4th of July Patriotic Picnic Photo Shoot – In Studio

I came across these images from a photo shoot we did years ago for a 4th of July picnic themed blog for my commercial studio. We asked our favorite food stylist if she wanted to help and we would both have the images to use. So it was a fun day! Since we wanted a “picnic” looking theme, I photographed my pond at home, blurred the image and printed a large background for our “outdoor picnic” shoot in the studio. In my studio we printed or painted most of our backgrounds we used for our assignments giving a more personalized look for our commercial clients. Below are the setups for the shoot – the featured image is the main image, then we shot detailed closer images. It was a fun day plus we got to work with Marie, our food stylist!

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behind the scenes –

2 copyAbove is original image, then blurred printed background.

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10 Comments on “4th of July Patriotic Picnic Photo Shoot – In Studio

  1. I love this behind the scenes view, Reed. A lot of work goes into these commercial shots. The food looks yummy, too!

    • It is fascinating, Reed, to see the entire staging of the scene which is incredibly elaborate. The food looks almost too pretty to eat. I was very interested in trying to understand the lighting set-up–it looks like studio strobes with cables that plugged into a box and also so hot lights?

      • Thanks Mike! Yes, the black boxes are Speedotron 4800, 2400 & 1200 watt second power supplies that the flash heads plug into. You can then vary the power to each head for the amount of light you require by lowering or increasing power to that head. Or by moving a head closer or farther away. Each head has a modeling light so that is what you mentioned as a hot light. When the flash goes off it overpowers the modeling lights. The flash are pretty much “daylight” balanced. Once you are semi setup you fine tune the power by checking with a flash meter to get the power exactly where you want it for shadows or highlights. Here we were using soft boxes for diffused light, then a light head with a screen for a highlight and a Focusing spotlight for putting a small highlight on a certain glass or area. So to balance all this takes a little while. But we see exactly what we are going to get because the camera is tethered to our Mac, so we can see exactly what the shot is and measure values anywhere in the shot. We can then change power to any of the heads. Sounds complicated but after doing this 30 or 40 thousand times in a career it becomes second nature.

      • Thanks for the detailed explanation, Reed. I have only a basic familiarity with using a couple of studio lights, but they were monolights controlled with wireless triggers.

    • It is especially fun to work with Marie, our favorite food stylist! Most of the time you would not want to eat the food! It is made to look good for photographing, not for eating!

  2. Hey Reed. It’s so nice to see you doing the kind of photos you really enjoy doing. Thanks for sharing this one too. Your photographs have always been amazing.

    • Thanks John! After 50 years of commercial work it is fun to photograph what I like to photograph! Plus it keeps me busy in retirement! Hope all is well!!

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