Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bright (and also Enormous) Lights, Mini-apple City . . .

The Tiger Oak studio, glamour imminent . . .(Yes, that light IS the size of a German economy car!)

Those of you that follow JSTK on Twitter (jstestkitchen) may recall the tweet regarding our meeting with  the delightful Sarah Baumann, editor of Edina Magazine in early May.  Recently, I spent the better part of an afternoon at Tiger Oak Publication's swanky Minneapolis office with Bret and Tate, respectively the art director and photographer for the article.  For those residing outside the Twin Cities, Tiger Oak publishes Edina Magazine and wide array of really gorgeous, glossy local-content driven magazines, as well as targeted publications for business and bridal in several metro areas nationwide.

The photo shoot was a fascinating experience . . .
I brought a small army of photo-ready Jelly Shot "models" to the shoot, to be safe given the uncertainty of studio conditions.  Surprisingly, the hot light induced mortality rate was extremely low, due entirely to the systematic pre-shot prep by Tiger Oak's the amazing art department.  I was extremely interested to observe a few of the variables considered in photography for periodicals.  A great picture is not enough on its own, composition is paramount when strategic blank space is required for headlines, titles, text etc.

Composing the "inside" shot.  What you can't see is the art director, Bret, in deep thought on the sidelines.  Well, I guess you can see his foot in the lower left of the frame . . .  

The studio itself was huge, as a cavernous space is required to house the trappings of the photo trade including: an umbrella light the size of a Volkswagen; a giant arm/stick to hold the camera up, and row upon row of library shelving for various props.  (Sorry photo-minded peeps for the non-technical equipment terms - what I lack in jargon I make up for in nonsensical descriptors!)  Each photo was available for review on-screen in Photoshop moments after the shutter went off, allowing adjustments to the models/props to be made real time.  In the end, however, technology is but a tool.  Tate, like any talented photographer, pulled the best out of each and every jelly shot "model". The end photos were not only beautiful, but have a breezy uncontrived atmosphere, as if he was capturing Jelly Shots in their natural habitat.

Glamour shot in process!  Spare Jelly Shot models stand by breathless on the sidelines, just in case.  Will we get the call?, they wonder.

By the end of the shoot, although still mostly clueless about photography related matters, I was able to asses and appreciate that Amy produced every single one of her gorgeous photos for the JSTK recipe book shooting in what must now be referred to as Survivor-esque conditions, i.e. shot on my dining room table and kitchen island with a variety of, um, . . . creative lighting solutions (please, let's not go there, JSTK Annie shrieks!) and an outrageously expensive, yet entirely armless, tripod.  Bravo Amy!

The article is slated to appear in the July issue of Edina Magazine.  Those of you who have been clamoring for more recipes will be pleased to learn that three new jelly shot recipes were created for and will appear in the article:  French Lemonade (with Chambord!); The 78 (our own rift on the oft-riffed French 75) and Ocean Margarita (its new!  its blue!).  Tried and true favorites, Tequila Sunrise, Mai Tai and Sea Breeze, may also appear alongside the recipe specimens, in a stunning mixed plate uber-glamour photo a la Tate and Bret.  (I nearly weep thinking of it. . . )  

I"ll post a link to the article when it is released.  Until then . . .



P.S. Many thanks to Bret and Tate for a great day and a great shoot, and to all the folks at Tiger Oak as well, I enjoyed meeting and chatting with so many of you!