Behind the scenes at a Clarks photo shoot

When creating content, there are so many technical elements to get right for food, travel and lifestyle PR photo shoots.    

We recently worked on a content creation project for our client Clarks Natural Sweeteners. The aim was to develop some exciting new recipes for a summer launch, showcasing Clarks Carob Syrup and creating a buzz around the product. Images and videos were created to bring the recipes to life on social.

Clarks Carob Coktails - Mojito 2017-22

We worked with development chef and food stylist, James Strawbridge, shooting in a kitchen location in Truro. It was a fun day’s shoot, including quite a bit of cocktail testing (we had to get them right!) and the results will be pushed out in June – so watch this space.

In the meantime, here are our three top tips to help you produce the best food photography and also keep the focus on the story of your product. Combine a storytelling approach with technical best practice and your content will fly!

Wild West and Clarks Carob cocktails photo shoot

  • Tip No.1: Choose your Angle In all honesty there are only a handful of angles that really work for the majority of food products – top down or a slightly elevated side-on shot. These angles are the norm in food photography and what consumers expect.To decide which angle will work best for your product, think about the size, height and its hero element. Burger King wouldn’t shoot a burger top down because that juicy patty is the hero. With Clarks, we shot side-on to showcase the colour, texture and layering of our recipes.

  • Tip No.2: Control the light You don’t need a massively expensive lighting set up to create stunning shots, all you need to do is understand how light affects your product in the eye of the camera. Put simply, don’t aim to remove shadows, aim to manipulate them – they are key to giving images depth and bringing them to life. A simple way to do this is shoot by a window and use an opaque white diffuser to maximise the natural light. This will reduce excessive imbalances like blown out lighter colours in ice, or solid black shadows under plates, by softening the light. As you can see above, our recipes were shot next to a large window with a diffuser and one controlling light box to balance the shadows and keep the shot feeling fresh and summery.

Clarks Carob Coktails - Mojito 2017-22

  • Tip No.3: Carefully choose props with colour in mind This is a simple but incredibly important step when constructing your set. In the above Clarks shot, we had a beautifully rich mix of mellow orange and brown tones in one of the cocktails. We chose props to complement these colours and not take attention away from the recipe. If we had picked a lime green mixer, it may have dominated the shot.

When shooting for yourself, use these tips and make sure you have lots of options for props, a clear shoot schedule and a plan for different layouts and angles.

Clarks Carob Coktails - Mojito 2017-22

This will help you maximise the the shoot and hopefully will produce a strong package of material.

Good luck with your next shoot and if you found these tips helpful, or would like to work with us for creative content services jump on LinkedIn and follow us for weekly tips and get in touch with our creative team.

Words: Sam Shrimpton

Senior Campaign Executive at Wild West Comms