You look at this photo and you see a pretty girl and a handsome guy sipping away on a sunny day. And that’s all you should see.
For me, I see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into producing a photo like this one. Hours of coordination, contemplation and creativity to create a single moment in time. And when it works, and all comes together, it’s magic.
I have years and years of experience producing and art directing photo shoots, more than I’d actually care to admit given I’m just shy of my 29ᵀᴴ birthday for the umpteenth time. I’ve concepted the ideas behind the the shoots, hired photographers and stylists, scouted locations, rented studios, homes, and motorhomes, scouted models and made it all happen while staying within budget. It is probably one of the most exhaustive parts of my job because the brain goes into overload to be sure each detail is attended to for a successful outcome.
But that was then, and this is now.
These days I’ve transitioned from directing the photo shoots to being the one behind the camera making “the magic happen.” For the past three years I’ve been photographing each of Deer Valley’s restaurants, chefs and anything else I’m lucky enough to point my lens toward for use on their website, advertising and yep, even these blog posts.
As in every successful mission, it takes a village. For these shoots it always starts with Deer Valley’s tip top marketing team including Emily, Lara and Ryan who work out all of the details of where, when and what will be photographed. Next, the talented chefs at Deer Valley make my job that much easier, creating subjects that are always colorful, seasonal, drool-worthy, and that hardly ever talk—or bite—back.
This summer there are several photo shoots on our to-do list. We kicked the first off at Royal Street Café where we gathered 20 or so real-life friends of Deer Valley, spending the afternoon taking photos. Kudos to all of our real life models who were total pros and beyond patient as I made my way around the patio doing what I do which usually means making people do the same motion over and over until we get it just right.
Patience. It’s a virtue.
Here’a a sampling of me sneaking into the kiddos lunch, that turned into…
This photo of this sweet blondie with a cheesy grin. Literally. A grilled cheese grin.
This time around we were fortunate to have Deer Valley’s creative agency represented by Struck’s creative director Scott Sorenson who shared his creative vision. It was great having another creative alongside me to make decisions, create the perfect sprinkle of crumbs and decide when the shot was just right.
Scott also makes a mean clean-up guy when the beer gets spilled. I have a feeling it wasn’t his first time.
I may have snuck a fry. Or two. It’s all in the name of food styling.
A Few More Faves to Savor
Editing photos is one of the hardest parts of my job, but just like going through my wardrobe in my closet, you have to make hard choices and edit, edit, edit. Following are just the smallest sampling of a few favorites from the edits of the day’s 1,700+ photos that will be shared on the website and in upcoming advertising soon.
And now, it’s time to get back to going through the rest of those 1,700 photos. Cheers!
Royal Street Café, get more info here.
- Location: Silver Lake Village – mid-mountain
- Address: 7600 Royal Street
- Telephone Number: 435-645-6724
- Dining Type: Casual Dining
- Business Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., daily
Heidi Larsen is the creator of foodiecrush.com, the blog and online magazine featuring family friendly recipes and inspiring photography. She also photographs Deer Valley Resort’s food and fine dining when not enjoying quality time on the ski hill with her husband and 11 year old daughter. See more of what she’s crushing on at Facebook and Instagram.