Gardner Village Blog Six Photo Tips and a Behind the Scenes Look at Food Photography
Monday Feb 20 2017

If you {heart} tasty treats and photo tricks, you've come to the right place. I recently completed a photo shoot for Naborhood Bakery at Gardner Village and thought it would be fun to share a behind-the-scenes glimpse at this process. If you're one to snap and share pics of your favorite meals, you might find this post inspiring. If not, you’ll at least find it appetizing. ;)

Like any good project, preparing to photograph menu items for the bakery started with a plan. The amazing bakery team determined the tasty shot list, while the fine folks at CF Home helped me do some prop shopping. Here's the list we came up with. (All items available for purchase, in case you see something that tickles your fancy.)

PHOTO TIP #1: In photography, there's a term used called "crash point," which is when an item is in a shot along with your subject, but the item is generally out of focus or off in the distance. The viewer's eye subconsciously sees your subject, wanders to this other point, and then bounces back to the subject (vs. wandering off the image entirely). It's a great, subtle trick to keep the attention on your focal point. Props make for nice crash points!

PHOTO TIP #2: The best place to capture a well-lit shot from inside is next to a window, so we set up our backdrop on one of the bakery tables against the wall. I brought a large roll of white photo paper. It's heavy weight and smooth, which makes for a nice, crisp backdrop.

PHOTO TIP #3: Don’t forget a reflector. Even with a window, it can help to introduce added light. Reflectors bounce light to shadowed areas. This is where it's nice to have an assistant on hand. I was lucky enough to work alongside the talented Megan Hall, the Pastry Chef, for Naborhood Bakery.

Not only did Megan hold the reflector like a pro, she made sure every food detail was tended to before I snapped a pic, turning and touching up each treat as if she were gently handling a baby. It was fun to watch her love for her art shine through as she handled our sweet subjects.

Sometimes the job was extra tough, like when she had to take a bite out of a divine macaroon.

 Oh, the sacrifices that have to be made for the shot. ;)

PHOTO TIP #4: When photographing, if you aren't satisfied with a shot, try a different angle. Sometimes an adjusted perspective can make all the difference!


PHOTO TIP #5: Don't be afraid to play with your food! I know, I know, it goes against everything your mother taught you, but a food photoshoot is one excuse when it's food play is celebrated. Try stacking, crumbling, staging, even shaping, and see what kind of outcomes capture your heart. 

PHOTO TIP #6: Think texture! Have fun introducing various surfaces and materials to your shot to support your subject. In this case, our subject was a delicious sugar cookie, so flour was a natural choice.  

This was far from a two-person operation. Many hands went into the planning and preparations, including bakery manager, Denise Karren (girl with the GREAT smile), and marketing director, Marcia Johns (cutie in the pink coat). A special thanks to the many behind the scenes at the bakery as well! 

Oh, and my good pal Bill Scott, Gardner Village's food & beverage director, also stopped by. This was my second food photo shoot for Gardner Village. I was blessed to learn from Bill on my first go around. Like Megan, the man has an obvious love for his craft and is great at what he does!

If, like me, you love eating out at Naborhood Bakery or Archibald’s Restaurant, I hope this post gives you a newfound appreciation for all that goes into making each and every item offered perfect and delicious. This locally-owned Utah business works so hard behind the scenes to bring our community only the best. It was, ahem, a real treat working with them on this special project. 

Watch for all of our food photos to be revealed in your local mailers, on the Gardner Village website, and in other fun spaces this spring. And definitely stop by in May to get your hands on the special Mother's Day cupcakes coming your way. You won't want to miss these beauties. 


Megan Hoeppner


Labels: naborhood bakery, food photography, cf home, archibald's restaurant, gardner village, utah, salt lake area, dining, megan hoeppner