Eat Clean Bro
Food product photography can be a real challenge to get right. The technical aspects like fitting the images into the website’s design or choosing to photograph food overhead or at an angle are only the smallest part of the package. You also need to consider your customers’ preferences — are they drawn to bright and colorful or dark and dramatic photos, do they react more positively to precisely styled food or do they prefer it a little bit messier and more realistic, does it fit with the branding they’ve come to know and expect? — and wrap it all up in a neat bow.
So much of this was hashed out in advance of my first session with Eat Clean Bro, a New Jersey-based meal delivery service that specializes in fresh, nutritious meals that help their customers meet their health goals. This company is a particular favorite of the gym crowd and allows their customer to follow their preferred eating plan, whether gluten-free, low carb, vegetarian or something else that makes them feel great. It’s a terrific concept, and as another Jersey-based business, one I loved learning more about.
Kayla and Jamie are the owners, and contacted me about redoing all of the photography on their website, but they had a particular request — elevate the look of the photos while still showing the food in its packaging. They're all about transparency and want everything to be recognizable to the consumer (even down to using scoops of mashed potatoes rather than spreading them out to cover the base of the container, because that's what the customer will receive). Given those parameters and Kayla's knowledge that her customers would respond to moody lighting with deep shadows, we decided to shoot everything from overhead on a dark stone surface so the black packaging would recede and the vibrant colors of the food would pop from the photo. It ended up being a great strategy and really differentiates their site from other meal delivery sites.
Because of their need for precision in plating, they decided to forego using a food stylist and instead brought their chefs to my home for the shoot, so we had quite the production line going in the kitchen! While my kitchen may not be photo-ready, it's fully functional — from the large stainless steel work table for prep to a professional range, with decent floor space to maneuver in between the two, no one tripped over themselves in the process of plating and handing the dishes over to me to photograph. Working in my home offers other advantages, too — I was able to run downstairs to my prop room to bring up different stone surface options, hit my office for lighting modifiers as needed, and my greyhound Benny kept Jamie company while the chefs and I did our thing. Win-win all around.
I'm quite happy with the way everything turned out and Eat Clean Bro’s customers seem to be as well! Here's just a small portion of the new images, with many more to come...