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For this dose of creative vision, we begin the week with a favorite summer treat (or, a year round treat when you live 3 blocks from Mario’s Gelato like we do): strawberry ice cream. But don’t be fooled, this is not the edible kind. Well, technically it is edible, but I don’t think it would taste very good and I’m certain it would give you a week-long stomach ache. What you’re looking at here is fake ice cream, and it’s what is used most of the time when food photographers are shooting ice cream, unless it’s an ad for the product itself, then their job gets a whole lot harder as it has to be the real thing.

Vision here was simple, and fully inspired by the vintage green glass sundae dishes: old school ice cream parlour. Back-lit with natural light was a must to highlight the top of the scoop and shine through the glass dishes, and reflectors were needed to bounce that backlight onto the front of the set-up (one large white reflector camera left, another camera right, basically forming a 90 degree angle, with my camera poking in between). And selective focus was used to give the front dish prominence, and knock the second dish out of focus, becoming background interest. As you’ll see below, I tried out different things with the strawberry garnish and cookie props on the table surface, but settled on 2 round jelly-centered cookies with a strawberry fan for garnish.

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© 2008 Jackie Connelly

The beauty of the fake stuff is that (a) it doesn’t melt, (b) with the right scoop it ‘barks’ better than the real thing ~ I’ll get to that in a minute, and (c) it keeps in your cupboard forever.

Here is the recipe that I use for fake ice cream:

• 1/2 cup corn syrup (such as Karo or White Lily)

• 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)

• lots and lots of icing sugar, at least a 1lb bag

*for colour: fruit (here I used frozen strawberries to get the little seeds in my final shot), cocoa or food colouring (just remember, a little goes a long way).

To make: First, in a mixer or with a hand blender (or even by hand) mix your corn syrup and vegetable shortening together. Then slowly add your icing sugar in small doses and continue stirring. You’ll know you’ve added enough icing sugar when the consistency is dry and fairly stiff, but too much will make it crumbly. You’ll know it’s just right because those cracks the scoop of ice cream gets when you scoop it out is called ‘barking’, and is key to making fake ice cream look great. Fill the contents of your bowl into sealed ziploc bags and stash in the freezer overnight. In the morning you should have a rather hard ziploc bag of fake ice cream. Stores well in fridge. * I will also suggest a stainless steel ice cream scoop with the release lever, I like mine made by Good Grips.

Have you got a different recipe? Did you use something else that worked well? Leave a comment and share it with everyone.

Happy scooping!

~ j

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Our travels through the city’s food world for Urban Diner continued over the past 2 weeks capturing Vancouver’s bartenders and their cocktails. Some of the tasty drinks (yes, I had to sample a few) were brand new, only to be found on cocktail programs as of this week, while others are tried and true. My editor, Paul, titled the column “The Rebirth of Cocktail Cool” and these bartenders didn’t disappoint.

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above (L to R): Nick Devine (Habit Lounge), Chris Brown (Beyond Restaurant), Lori Poppe (Voya in the Loden Hotel)

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above (L to R): Steve da Cruz and Justin Tisdall (Gastropod), Jordan Moore (Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel), Jim Shelton (Sanafir)

Some of the shots are above; you can see more photos and Part 1 of the column on Urban Diner here, and Part 2 here. And if you feel so inclined after trying one of the yummy beverages featured, head down to the according bar (being sure to say hello to the cocktail’s creator) and leave a comment below the column to tell everyone about it!

Happy drinking!

~ j

The Adelphia Group‘s Lux at Caprice (965 Granville, beside and attached to Caprice) is now open for business! Some friends and I attended the media opening on thursday night…our recommendation is that Lux is a great place to share some plates and enjoy a few cocktails with your hip, young (and young at heart) friends. We photographed the freshly renovated interior of Lux, their good looking menu created by Chef Brett Turner and several of Bar Manager Jack’s cocktails.

Some photos are included below to entice your tastebuds….enjoy!

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Also, in keeping with our promise to include vision and insight into our photoshoots, we’ll start here. As the shoot for Lux spanned more than one day, we had initially shot some of the menu items in a very simple fashion: white plate with white linen. This gave the food center focus with no visual competition, but it also lacked context. Simplicity at it’s utmost can work if you’re shooting for something that will cross medias and need to be more versatile, but after giving the overall feel of the photos more thought and agreeing that incorporating the elegant and funky restaurant interior would make the photos more sucessfully reflect the brand at hand, we were happy to shoot more frames with this in mind. The client had seen other photos that incorporated the restaurant features in with the food and beverage photos as we’ve done for many other of our restaurant clients, and asked us to shoot their food & beverage keeping this in mind. There was no shortage of elegant features to include this way, and with a shallow depth of field that suits food and beverage photography, including background interest items such as menus, cutlery & linen in some, and out of focus interiors such as one of their bold couches or stylish bar stools this was easily accomplished. The Adelphia Group wanted their photographs to reflect a luxurious and modern, sophisticated and trendy feel ~ they told us we did just that.

What do you think?

p.s A shout-out to Vancouver’s newest photographic transplant from Edmonton, Morgan, who lent her skills as Assistant to this shoot…thanks again Morgan!

~ j

Last week I had the pleasure of enjoying Christmas dinner a bit early. After I photographed it, that is. “How to Make Christmas Dinner” was the topic of the shoot, and Ginny Love was the chef. As PR for her new cookbook, Simply Love, we photographed every meal that one could make for your holiday feast and the steps to making it. And let me tell you, it was delicious! Thanks Ginny!

Visit Ginny’s website to read a bit about her cookbook, and head over to one of the many bookstores (listed on her website) to grab your copy.

ingredients for cranberry sauce

ingredients for Ginny's cranberry sauce

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it's almost ready...

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Ginny with the whole spread!

If you keep up with Vancouver’s restaurant scene at all you may have heard of Urban Diner. It is a site that has been bringing the general public updates, events, reviews and general news in the food and beverage scene in our city for a while now. What is new about the site is it’s recent turn to providing a more diverse group of voices from the community on everything that is going on, and we’re proud to be a part of that.

We are now working for Urban Diner to provide a regular and exclusive pictorial column, and the first one has been posted today! Check out “The New Italian” here, and then check out the great restaurants we’ve shot the next time you’re craving Italian.

Enjoy!

Angnolotti con sugo d’angnello (Green pea & mint agnolotti with braised lamb sauce)

La Buca: Angnolotti con sugo d’angnello (Green pea & mint agnolotti with braised lamb sauce)

Chilled Albacore Tuna salad with treviso and salt roasted onion

Campagnolo (soon to open): Chilled Albacore Tuna salad with treviso and salt roasted onion

I can think of maybe only 1 or 2 other meals that I’d rather eat than the perfect sandwich. My mother’s lasagna is a definite (not being able to eat dairy for the past 15 years leaves me with only fond childhood memories of this dish…and sadly it’s the cheese that springs to mind first) and also my husband’s homemade burgers (but only when I feel like I need a reason to be arrested to the couch for several hours afterwards…they’re that huge). But other than those I would do many things for a delicious, tasty sandwich of pretty much any variety.

So when Rhonda at Cityfood Magazine asked me to photograph (and subsequently eat) all of the sandwiches that the humorous Jurgen Gothe has written about, I said “Yes thank you!

The Sandwich Series being posted one sandwich at a time on Cityfood Magazine’s website will, very entertainingly, spotlight some of the tastiest sandwiches in the city. And let me tell you…they are tasty.

We started with my great friends over at Terra Breads…

…with their Roast Lamb sandwich with pears and mint on raisin bread. Yum.

Next we went to the Black Forest Deli in the South Mall of Park Royal. They really are a deli, you can have pretty much any type of sandwich you want made to order from whatever German meats they have there. My German-born (Comox Valley raised) friend and I went for lunch, and he was instantly transported back home, where his mother has made us both fabulous Schnitzel among other dishes over the years. Deelish.

I’ll post more sandwich photos as they appear in The Sandwich Series, so stay tuned!

A warm welcome to our new client and new Yaletown restaurant Tequila Kitchen!

Scot Roger, food stylist, and I had the pleasure of photographing some of the tasty and delicious dishes from their menu, that made me feel like I was eating in Mexico again. I love that. Laura, her son and Chef Claudia have put their heart and soul into this place, and we were happy to give them a little boost.

Pollo en pipian verde © 2008 Jackie Connelly

above: Pollo en pipian verde © 2008 Jackie Connelly

Drunken Lamb © 2008 Jackie Connelly

above: Drunken Lamb © 2008 Jackie Connelly

Participating in the Taste of Yaletown event (see previous post for event details and a few more photos), Tequila Kitchen is a new(er) restaurant to the local scene, they opened just about 7 months ago. If you haven’t tried their menu yet, this reduced price dining event would be a great opportunity to do so. For $25 Tequila Kitchen is offering:

Appetizer
Sopa de Tortilla

(rich tomato and dry chile soup with thin totrilla crisps, avacado, cheese and cream)
-or-

Queso Pundido Altequila

(melted cheese flambéed with tequila, tomato, onion and cilantro)
-or-
Ceviche de Pescado

(lime-marinated halibut with cucumber, serrano chile, onion, cilantro and tomato)

Entrée
Manchamanteles

(Pork and fruit in a blend of chiles)
-or-
Camarones al Tequila

(Shrimp flambéed in a creamy tequila sauce)
-or-
Pollo en Pipian Verde

(Chicken breast in a green pumpkin seed mole sauce)

Dessert
Caramel Crepes toped with Mexican caramel sauce and walnuts
-or-
Walnut Praline served with ice cream and milk and topped with Mexican chocolate

Happy dining!

Last week my cinematographer Chad Galloway and I took a road trip to Keremeos (about 45 minutes outside of Osoyoos) in the Similkameen Valley. We were going for a shoot, but little did we know it would be such a warm, welcoming experience.

Sharon and Lawrence Herder are proprietors/winemakers/business owners of Herder Winery and Vineyards, and they hired us to spend two days and two nights at their estate documenting everything from crushing, filtering and bottling of their grapes and wine to the incredible lifestyle they have carved out for themselves, and soon, guests as well. We also got to know them and their family, spent the days with them, enjoyed dinner and wine around the table each night, and listened to how they made it to where they are today which was a unique aspect that doesn’t happen on a typical job.

Staying in their guest house you can golf over the four holes they’ve set up around the vineyard, swim in their endless pool, and take winery tour before sitting down to a locally catered dining experience, all set against the backdrop of sweeping vistas that are this Valley. I apologize if this sounds a little poetic, or too good to be true, but I’m not kidding you, there’s something here that instantly made me feel like I was on vacation. Maybe it’s getting out of the city…or maybe it’s waking up to delicate sun beams pouring through your window… definitely has something to do with getting out of the city – note to self: remember to do that more often.

Thank you so much to the Herder’s for their generosity and wine, and to Joy Road Catering for their delicious dishes!

* Chad’s cinematography still to come!

Lamb chops

Got a hankerin’ for some good Italian meal, but the though of boiling pasta in your own kitchen leaves much to be desired? Wander down to Glowbal Restaurant Group’s latest hot spot Trattoria Italian Kitchen on West 4th at Burrard to sample any of Chef Jeremy’s dishes. Totally affordable and great for sharing (part of their menu is based around large pasta and seafood share-platters), I’m sure you’ll have a great night out.

You can also check out what we shot for them on their website, Trattoria Italian Kitchen.

all photos © 2008 Jackie Connelly Photography

Ni hao!

We arrived home from holidays a short while ago, and finally starting to feel somewhat normal again…well, somewhat. Having never flown longer than about 6 hours I didn’t know what to expect after tis 13 hour flight to and from China, but now I know: jet lag is brutal, and there truly is nothing better than a good sleep in one’s own bed.

Back to business too, but I wanted to share some photos from the trip, so please feel free to go here for a little slideshow.

Enjoy!