Interiors photography for an expanding chain of Pubs

How to make food look attractive – The art of the food photographer
May 19, 2019

Background to the interior photography shoot.

It was perhaps my dream referral when I was introduced by a networking colleague to carry out interior photography for an expanding chain of pubs. Initially I was called to a meeting to discuss food photography. (See previous blog post –The art of the food-photographer ) At the meeting I thought it best to set out my pitch by showing examples of work previously carried out for another pub. Although the idea was to show just the food aspect, their head of marketing seemed more interested in my interior photography.  By the time the meeting was over I had confirmation of interiors shoots for 7 of their 10 outlets.

Logistics for the shoots proved to be somewhat complicated. I needed to time all of the shoots to occur before each venue had put up their Christmas decorations. As the shoots were for their updated website, they needed to be timeless so full Christmas decor would be inappropriate. This extended to publicity material on display too.

The photography brief

For any client wanting commercial photography work, I always ask for a full brief as to what it is they want and how they hope the resulting images will be.This is very important as I need to get to know my client and their culture and ethos. This is what sets me apart from others as I am tuned to their wavelength. I need to understand the ambience that they wished to create. For the client the emphasis was that they were family friendly pubs with an ethos based around excellent customer service.

All of the pubs are quite quirky too. There were lots of nooks and crannies where you are able to get a little privacy. They also have lots of knick knacks about so all those little details were crucial to capture in order to showcase the personality of the restaurant and owners.

With the brief signed off and the logistics sorted, it was time to get the shoots underway.

The interior photography shoots

With kit packed and post code loaded it was off for the first of a series of shoots. For each shoot I was either accompanied by Rachel the marketing manager or else Ben the website developer. It was not long before I picked up on the consistent styling and branding across the pubs. I started to recognise the corporate blue. This was evident in every location usually in the bar area. Even though each pub had its own unique look and identity, the branding ran consistently throughout the chain. The company that refurbishes all of their premises had done an excellent job.

It was really important to get input from Rachel as she knew what was important which ensured each shoot progressed smoothly. She was also an extra pair of eyes to check all of the details. this is very important when you are engrossed in the job in hand. It would not be the first or last time that I would set up a shot and then find that I had left my camera bag in view. It is always best to check around the viewfinder before you commit to the shot. Other details such as marketing materials that would date the shoot needed to be checked and removed.

Gradually a pattern developed which lead to the photo shoots becoming easier to conduct, manage and overall flow better. Consistency became the name of the game in order to preserve the corporate look and branding throughout all of the shoots. With all of the little details picked out too, it meant that Ben had plenty of material to use to make each of the pubs really stand out.

Post production

I always take a range of images at different exposures to enable merging later in post production. This allows me to optimise each exposure to make the image look natural and make sure that everything is perfectly exposed. This approach accounts for limitations in camera technology. The truth is that the sensor never records the image how your eyes see things and processes like your brain does. This of course adds time to the work but is so worth it. Another technique hich helps enormously is the use of luminosity masks to balance up the image. You can make really subtle changes to exposure and brightness levels without affecting adjacent areas.

Another important area is remove distracting elements and clean up the image. This is rather like a snagging list after a construction project. For this series of shoots I even cloned some clock faces as they had not installed the othres before the shoot. i also did some running repairs by cloning lights and heater elements to replace those that were not working.

Finally I export all of the images in two versions, one suitable for print and the other for web use.

Conclusion

This interior photography project was an amazing piece of business and I have forged a fantastic working relationship with the client. The food photography was also carried out. I am now in the process of revisiting the locations to carry out photography of the exterior and gardens.

© Andrew Boschier Photography 2019

Barons Pub Company

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