Assignment 39: Hot! Hot! Hot!
This assignment was to create an image for a restaurant menu cover and the client wants it to be “HOT HOT HOT” – the tag line of his restaurant. The food is Tex-Mex and Thai combined in exciting new dishes that are heavy on spice, and a bit hot. We could shoot food, product, or people.
I immediately knew that I wanted to shoot food - I've been trying to focus on this more over the past year. I also had a craving for Thai food, so this was a good opportunity to combine a photo shoot with lunch. I decided that Tex-Mex would be a supporting actor in the shot, so I purchased some tortilla chips, limes, tomato, as well as some hot peppers to use as props. I spent some time getting the lighting set up, and then I ordered Thai curry. I ordered both a red curry and a green curry to try a couple different meals...I mean images.
The first shot was with the green curry paired with tortilla ships. It actually doesn't sound like a bad combination, if you ask me. I didn't try it - I'm sticking to the low carb regiment, but nevertheless, I think it would be good. I put the curry in a beautiful handmade pottery bowl made by my friend Norma Messing. I bought the bowl from Norma at a craft fair she participated in the weekend before my shoot and made her laugh when I told her it wasn't for serving food, but for my photography. I know it is going to get a lot of mileage in my photos.
For the next photo, I reset the scene with gray slate tiles under the food for more contrast. I went with the concept of green curry tacos. In retrospect, I should have filled at least one of the taco shells with curry. It's my least favorite of the three shots:
For my final attempt, I pulled in a cast iron pan and the red curry. I have to admit that by the time I got to this shot, I was starving, so I started eating the green curry...it was delicious! Anyway, the brief asked for smoke to be included in the image, so I also got the chance to learn how to shoot smoke and blend it into a photograph. The smoke didn't look right on the images above - the colors were too light for the smoke to show up properly. The image below was dark enough, particularly the pan, for the smoke to show up as if the dish was steaming, so I submitted this one for the assignment:
Next week will be a challenge. The brief is to make "a killer shot of a mundane product" for an end cap display. The mundane product is...a power strip. I know the excitement of seeing a photograph of a power strip will have everyone rushing back next week...so see you in seven days!