The Challenge:

Clients are always looking to improve their ROI, so TRG wanted to see if they could provide more imagery to clients by utilizing our time in a more efficient manner. The catch? We need to do this without increasing our costs, therefore keeping the cost to the client the same.

The Project:

A typical day-long food shoot will usually consist of 5 recipes that a food stylist will cook and plate. The photographer will typically shoot one hero shot of each recipe as well as many different exposures and layers that the retoucher will use to make the dish look perfect.

Our challenge was to shoot five final Hero shots + any additional assets we could create within the course of a day shoot.

The Results:

  • 5 retouched Hero Shots
  • 100+ un-retouched detail and behind the scenes shots
  • 1 two-minute edited and color corrected recipe video
  • 12 Additional Recipe Angles

How TRG Reality Improved its Food Photography Process:

The landscape of our business has been changing for a while. With the advent of social media, advertising imagery has made a dramatic shift to focusing less on the quality of a single image for a campaign to focusing more on the quantity of good images that can be used for a campaign that spans print, web, social media, and other forms of digital media. The focus is no longer on that one perfect shot but on those 30 shots that can be used in a multitude of ways. Any good business-minded person will tell you that successful businesses must shift with the landscape, so TRG is constantly adapting to fit what our clients need to gain the edge on the competitors. Whether it's Virtual Reality360 VideoDigital MediaCGI, or even Digital Photography, we always strive to be on the cutting edge of technology to give our clients the advantage.

Sometimes the advantage can be gained not in technology however, but in evaluating our processes and creating efficiencies to allow us to provide more for less. We recently challenged ourselves to go through our Food Photography process and see what we could do to provide our clients with more for less. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what we found.

First things first: We know that, no matter what, our Food Stylist has to make the dish before we can photograph it. By placing a camera over their work station we could capture footage to create recipe videos that are all the rage right now (Think Tasty). Simply turn on the camera and capture the first dish created that day, hand off the footage to our editor once the dish is made and we can have the video done by the end of the day.

Secondly, our photographers have some downtime throughout the day of a food shoot. For example, there is not much for our photographer to do when the stylist is cooking and plating a dish and while we are waiting for feedback from our clients. Now we hand them a second camera to take some cool detail and behind the scenes shots during that downtime so that we can provide the client with some awesome shots they can use on their social media sites.

Lastly, after we get approval on the main hero shot, our photographer will usually wait for the stylist to finish the next recipe. During that time we are able to take additional angles of the previous recipe which will give the client more options for their layouts, or for different social media uses.

By simply making these three changes to our process, we went from shooting and delivering five images to shooting and delivering over 120 images and one video - all without increasing our cost to client. It's a pretty huge improvement to our process and needless to say, our food clients have been over the moon about the extra (free!) content.

Check out all the imagery below!

Hero Shot

Recipe Video

Detail | Behind the Scenes | Alternate Angles