Friday, February 20, 2015

Grilled Cheese Burger

After a photo shoot this week, we were fortunate enough to have extra time to work on a new portfolio shot with food stylist, Liza Brown. We were wanting a new hamburger photo for the website, and we decided the bigger the better with this tasty, shot.

For the main light, Kevin decided to use glass blocks instead of a more traditional light modifier. Unlike a light panel or softbox, the blocks distort the light, and can be used to create speckled light that can form nice highlights and shadows on the food.

In the background, we placed different bottles, as well as a glass of beer to add color. Placing a white card behind the beer helps illuminate and brighten the liquid.

Using white cards and mirrors help fill, block and control the light on the burger. Doing this allows us to fine tune where the light strikes the food, helping perfect the look of the shot.

We shot several different toppings on the burger, like this one with blue cheese dressing. Ultimately, we preferred a little cleaner look without the dressing. The addition of the drip was nice, but we thought it distracted too much from the burger, and cheese.

Photo: Kevin Ramos
Food Stylist: Liza Brown
Here you have it, the finished Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger! There were only a few minor adjustments to the levels and curves in photoshop, but the photo remained largely unaltered.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wrapping up Studio Renovations

We took a short break from the blog the last few weeks due to how crazy it has been around the studio. In addition to our normal shooting schedule, the studio was painted, cleaned, and is in the process of reorganization.

Our first step in the renovation was a fresh coat of paint for the studio. We decided to add touches of SGS orange to accent a few different spots in the lobby. I think it creates a nice warm welcome to the studio when you first come through the door.

Some of our artwork is in need of updating, so in the coming weeks we will have new photos printed for the walls to freshen up the space and show off our newest work.

One of our first goals for the our large shooting space (Studio 1) was to organize, make better use of the ample floor space, and eliminate clutter. One of Kevin's ideas to accomplish this goal was to use slat board to move items off the floor and towards the wall. In order to hang the heavy board, we first needed to hang a frame and mount it into studs. Using 2x4s and 2 inch edging, we built a simple frame for the board and mounted it to the wall.

Using different wall accessories on the board, we are able to hang reflectors, grids and other shooting essentials. Having the option to hang items neatly in the open will help Kevin and myself to save time during shoots. 

Besides the installation of the slat board, we painted and rearranged the studio. We removed several older room sets, and shifted the location of the client sitting area next to the windows to allow better light.

We plan to reorganize our other studio space in a similar way to Studio 1 in the coming weeks. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cold Weather and Chicken and Waffles

The weather in Chicago has been down right frigid with snow and high winds throughout the week. To combat the cold we decided to photograph some Southern country cooking to help warm us up.

Our inspiration for this shoot originally came from Lay's chicken and waffle potato chips. Kevin, Debbie and I had never had the real thing, so we decided that we would try our own spin on the southern inspired recipe. Instead of a bone in chicken breast, we opted for a boneless breast, creating a chicken and waffle sandwich.

The look we were trying to accomplish was a rustic and inviting feel. We used cool blues and white colors to accent the warm yellows and oranges of the chicken, waffles, and honey.

Our food stylist deep-fried the chicken and carefully poured batter into the waffle iron, making sure to keep the size of the waffles in proportion to the chicken.

The above image is a stand-in so Kevin could begin to adjust the light. It is important to capture the texture of the chicken and the ridges of the waffles.

The perfect amount of honey on the chicken adds a sweet bite to the meal and creates a nice shine to the chicken.

Photographer: Kevin Ramos
Food Stylist: Lisa Bishop

After the light has been tweaked and the food adjusted, it is time for the final shot. A sprinkle of powdered sugar compliments the white throughout the image, and a pour of the honey helps add movement and action.

After the photo was shot, a slight adjustment was made to the saturation and contrast in photoshop, helping provide a grittier and sharper look to the final image.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

Happy New Year from Sierra Studio! During our break from blog posts, Sierra Studio has continued work on top-notch food and commercial photography with a very busy schedule of weekly shoots.

In the coming months, check our blog for behind the scene looks at photo shoots, fun drink recipes, a sneak peak at our updated website, and the most up to date info on Sierra Studio. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Tricky...

Sometimes Mother Nature just doesn't cooperate. We recently had to shoot a beverage can with a snowboarding theme. Real ice would obviously melt on set, and the weather here has been too mild(70 degrees in Chicago during December, what's with that?). Therefore, we had to get creative. Luckily, we have a few tricks up our sleeve. If disposable baby diaper filling is removed and moistened it makes a dead ringer for snow.
Can't believe it? We think the proof is in the pudding.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Behind the Scenes

Last week we shot speakers in studio, with a lifestyle setting. We love having high energy shoots like this to keep us moving. The models were fun to work with and the product rocked out. Got a ton of great shots, so we wanted to give a glimpse behind the scenes.

Here's Kevin giving model Vic some direction.

Our lovely model Cori getting some attention from the makeup artist before going on set.

 Kevin proves that sometimes you need to kneel (and maybe even pray a little) to get the shot exactly right.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

thirsty thursday

It's been awhile, but what better way to get back into it than everybody's favorite Thirsty Thursdays! Below is a shot we did for our portfolio, a Pomegranate Martini and since this is Chicagoland it's only appropriate to showcase Oprah's Favorite Pomegranate Martini Recipe!

{recipe courtesy of drinks mixer}

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker 1/4 filled with chopped ice. 
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. 
Serve with a squeeze of lemon.