London based Drinks agency, DIRTY AND DRY contacted me to discuss food and drink photography for their Client, The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO). The shoot was going to be used to promote Japanese Sake by pairing it with suitable dishes from top restaurants around London under the title Add Sake to Taste
The images were simple shots showing plates of food with bottles of Sake next to the dish.
The food would be the hero in the foreground with the Sake appearing in the background and was to be shot on location at selected restaurants around London.
Before taking a single frame, you have to take into account how the images are going to be used and whether they need clean unfussy images or something a bit more creative.
In discussion with the Agency and The Design team at Wunderbrand, I had to leave a large area around the images for Copy meaning most images had to be minimalist. I.e., No or very little props. This meant leaving large areas of table or background that could be extended if the agency needed to place large copy in that area.
The timeline for the shoot was fairly short and took place over several weeks in January and February 2022.
First, the agency contacted the Restaurants who were to chosen take part in the Campaign and dates were booked in for the shoots. Most times we could only shoot 2 restaurants in a day because they could only accommodate us between serving times.
A professional Sake sommelier selected the best Sake to compliment the chosen dish before shooting commenced. This was in the form of Natsuki Kikuya from the Museum of Sake and Ollie from Tengu Sake. Both completely obsessed and experienced professionals of the Sake Industry.
There were two dishes per restaurant to shoot in two different locations around the dining area. Lighting and Camera set up had to be established before the chef cooked the dishes so as to keep the food looking fresh for the final image.
We covered Restaurants from East to West London and all were extremely hospitable and helpful which is amazing considering the space we took up with lights, stands and bodies everywhere!
I have never been keen on Sake but now my taste has completely changed from sampling all the Sake’s I shot. I suppose it’s like choosing between a fine wine and a cheap bottle!
Dirty and Dry Art Direction
Sean Taylor-Williams - Instagram @Masternovice