A few months ago I shared a train-ride with Caroline, my contact at the awesome Edelman PR Agency. Keen-eyed readers might remember Edelman as the agency that gave me the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, but they also gave me other assignments like covering the 140 years of Jeans celebration by eBay. Back then she told me they where looking for a kick-ass food blogger who made killer shots. As you can imagine, most bloggers aren’t camera-savvy, and most photographers are not the ones you’d imagine to write about food. To the most of us food is that thing that gets in between getting a shot, or traveling.
Fast forward to a month later where I got ‘the call’. If I want to take the pictures of a food-related event, so a blogger can do his thing. “Sure can do, just give me the date and address and everything will work out”. A few weeks of trying to sync ever-changing calendars between the blogger, the client, the agency and me, it is decided due a pressing deadline to split up the dates, and I’m sent in first. A few documents and thorough briefings later I’m walking through the door of Cocktails At Nine to photograph Carl van Droogenbroeck, Belgian’s best bartender. The event? The Global World Class Finals.
Under complete secrecy I was to photograph him mixing one of his own cocktails, the ‘Last Call’. It became even more interesting as they wanted to have a natural feeling to the pictures. Nothing staged, and nothing lit. With a lot of optimism and a pelicase full of gear I entered the world of cocktails. An introductory cocktail and a some historic information later I was ready to start shooting!
What nobody could foresee however was that after a few weeks of cold summer weather, we suddenly got a massive September heatwave, combined with the date gave the lowest turn-up for the cocktail bar in years. Not exactly the massive crowded bar we where hoping to capture. A bit of creative framing and happy volunteers I managed to create some compelling images that made the agency and client happy!
In the end I used the D800 with the 85 1.8 for absolute sharpness wide open combined with decent auto-focus, and of course the ‘trinity’, the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200. I lit a few beauty shots of the glass with a single SB-700, but for the large shots I used the light of my iPhone flashlight to ad some punch to some longer-exposures. I also shot on a lower shutter speed than I normally would, to create bit of added motion blur.
For the editing I used Lightroom 5 and VSCO Film 03 with the Fuji FP-100c ++.