It was quite a treat to get to travel to the gorgeous Texas Hill Country to shoot for Miiller's smokehouse. Located in Llano, Texas Miiller's Smokehouse was looking to update their catalog and website with new product photography. During the preproduction meeting I got to meet the lovely owners Bryan and Lisa and we got a tour of the smokehouse. The folks at Miiller's were so hospitable and accommodating, I just knew this photo shoot would go off without a hitch. Food photography items included whole smoked turkeys, prime rib, tenderloins, bacon, and bone-in hams. With these complex food items, I enlisted the help of Darcy Folsom, a veteran food stylist new to the Austin market. Darcy has a long history with catalog food photography, and was also a great fit culturally for working with Miiller's.
Stylistically, this shoot was a bit of a departure from our highly commercial, bright product images. The client had a vision of a rugged, outdoorsy, contemporary style. After some prop shopping at vintage stores and antiques shops we had the perfect accents for the food to take center stage and be complemented by dark and moody studio lighting.
After a few meetings and conference calls, we were ready for a full day shoot on location at Miller's. We set up the portable photography studio in their packing room, close to the kitchen. It was an aggressive shoot, but we assembled an amazing team and skillfully knocked out all items on the shot list. Some of my favorites are below.
Watching a master food stylist work her magic is fascinating. I definitely learned a few styling tricks myself and it was cool to see how Darcy made ribbons of bacon perfectly cascade out of the pan.
I can't wait to see the final results of their holiday catalog and hear about how new food and product photography has helped increase their sales.