Monday, November 21, 2011

Sierra Foodisms

For the past couple years we've made hard cover portfolios using Asuka Book. This year it was themed "Sierra Foodisms" and we used all food photography and created continuity with interesting little words that somehow relate to food, food photography, and or eating. We were excited to learn that our book was chosen to be Asuka Book's Book of the Month! November is a perfect month for us, since it's only appropriate that it contains a holiday surrounded by food:) For a link to view an online version of the book click here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Ramblings

Often times I receive helpful little emails with relevant and interesting information. Today I found a great little article waiting for me in my inbox. Study Shows People Ignore Generic Photos Online by Nick Bilton was posted online by The New York Times. This great little article proves that getting professional photographs taken of your product/brand drastically increases consumer attention. We love hearing facts that prove our work is not only "worth it" but also proven effective. A few highlights from the article are listed below. Enjoy and be sure to read the article in it's entirety here!

          “Invest in good photo shoots: a great photographer can add a fortune to your 
Web site’s business value.” After all, he notes, most sites are full of
 “fluff — of which there’s too much already on the Web.”

"...In contrast, when people navigated the Pottery Barn Web site, they engaged 
with the decorative photos of the bookcases for extended periods of time 
because they were images of the actual objects for sale."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thirsty Friday....Why not?

I realize we usually do Thirsty Thursdays but this week has been a little off due to the holiday weekend. So Thirsty Friday it is! We'll also do things a little differently this week, with more of a "photo of the week"/Thirsty Thursday combination! We had a lot of fun with this shoot a couple weeks ago. We created a bar-like atmosphere and really wanted a great ambience to showcase the beer. I think it turned out perfect and definitely a bar that I'd want to visit! Cheers!

"In love with the Bokeh in the background!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

photo of the week

With wedding season coming to an end, I found this only appropriate. This is still one of my favorite shoots to date and for obvious reasons. It just turned out absolutely beautiful!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

behind the scenes: faking it

If everything could be shot on distressed wood, I think it would make everything THAT much more appealing! I'm not sure what it is, but it just texturally makes us happy. We photograph a brand that calls for a wooden dock "like" background, so seeing that we don't have a studio on the water and one can't magically appear, we fake it! Nothing a few old boards, some blue fabric and strategic lighting can't help.

{Kev setting up our dock} 

{Love the distressed wood} 

{Lighting through double-paned glass for a scattered natural light effect} 

{Hints of blue}

{An older shot we have of a product from the brand, so you can see the final result!}

Thursday, September 1, 2011

behind the scenes: Oh GelatO!

We had a two day shoot a couple weeks ago that consisted of Gelato and Sorbet. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that we were all drooling after the 80 tubs of all flavors arrived. Yes, I said 80....We had to rent THREE freezers to fit it all in the studio! But as usual, all the hard work planning payed off and we had a very enjoyable and smooth shoot. 

{Stand-in scoop...But wanted to show everyone the cuteness of all the garnishes that were used!} 

{Another of the stand-in...You can tell by the melting on the bottom}

{Mmm chocolate shavings!} 

{A shot of CaptureOne with a few of the final options} 

{Options oh my!}

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shapes in Food

It's no secret that we do a lot of food photography. On most days, we stare at food for 8 hours a day and only naturally, we start seeing things. Similarly to staring up at the clouds and pointing out shapes, animals, faces, places, etc. Us here at Sierra see these things in plated food. We have so many instances that we can actually start sharing our great little treasures that we find! So Tuesday is now our official "Shapes in Food" day. Feel free to join in and share with us the shapes that you find. 

Shapes in Food - Day 1

Case in point - Vanilla Gelato with wafer and vanilla bean garnish

By the end of the day - Toboggan going down an icy slope! { I know you see it too! } 

Friday, August 12, 2011


 Sierra would like to congratulate our Urszula and her husband Konrad on their
newest addition...Meet Sebastian!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Pink Lemonade Margarita - 5 servings 1 cup each
Original recipe from Kraft Foods.


1 tub CRYSTAL LIGHT Pink Lemonade Flavor Low Calorie Soft Drink Mix
1-1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup cold orange juice
2 Tbsp. tequila
1 Tbsp. lime juice
5 cups crushed ice

PLACE drink mix, water, orange juice, tequila and lime juice in blender container; cover.

BLEND on high speed until drink mix is dissolved.

ADD ice; cover. Blend on high speed until thickened and smooth. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

thirsty thursday!

{Photo Credit to Sierra Studio Inc.}

Absolut Mang-ito

2 Parts Absolut Pears Vodka
1/2 Parts Pineapple Juice
1/2 Part Sweetened Iced Tea
3 Dashes Ginger Syrup
6 Mint Leaves
6 Pieces Mango Cubes

Muddle mint and mango cubes in a mixing glass.
 Add vodka and ginger juice, then shake. Pour into highball, 
and top with pineapple juice and sweetened iced tea.

{recipe credit to}

Enjoy and Happy Thirsty Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

behind the scenes

A few weeks ago, we shot chicken enchiladas! It was one of the more complicated styled shots, especially due to the fact that it was for packaging. Packaging photography = perfection and/or exactly what one would think perfectly made enchiladas should look like. It needs to look SO perfect, that no one, not even for a second, questions what it is. Before we took them off set, we were able to take a couple more editorial shots. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photo of the Week

We're still loving our bridal inspired shoot from last week. Here's another great outtake!

{how adorable is this pink chair?!}

Monday, May 9, 2011

behind the scenes: bridal

Just by looking at these 'behind the scene' shots, literally quick takes between adjustments and such, that all of these photographs turned out SO beautiful. White, crisp, modern, and everything bridal! Check out those ruffle curtains {previously posted here} too! They create the most perfect texture, without distracting.

{this dress appeared to have feathers all on the bottom, but it was ripped organza! it was gorgeous}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

This specific recipe is probably for a larger group, summer get together, or I guess if you like to drink a lot....yourself! It's very summery and refreshing, especially with the fresh lemon and mint sprigs. I would recommend getting a cute pitcher and serving like that!

Watermelonade Mixers
  • 1 {12-pound} watermelon {preferably seedless}
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 16 cups ice cubes, divided
  • 12.7 ounces {Half of a Fifth} of Watermelon Flavored Vodka
  • lemon slices; mint sprigs

  • Cut watermelon flesh into 2-inch chunks and discard rind. Purée one fourth of watermelon in a blender with 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 4 cups ice, and a pinch of salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Make 3 more batches. Add the Watermelon Vodka and sugar to taste. Serve over ice. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wedding Bells

We have a wedding inspired shoot coming up tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited. We do shoot a lot of food but love shooting a variety of different products and tomorrow is no exception! We will have a makeup & hairstylist, models, and will be shooting a variety of room scenes. The theme is white, white and more white {hello bridal}! We are hanging sheers on a white sweep in order to create texture. We got plain white sheers {exactly what the client wanted} but also white sheers with a little twist in order to offer some variety! We like to make sure all bases are covered and sometimes it's good to offer options just in case the client might want some.

{our little twist}

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Pineapple Mai Tai Recipe

Pineapple Mai Tai Ingredients: 
4 oz orange juice
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz lime juice
1 oz dark rum
1 oz light rum
1 oz triple sec
1/2 oz grenadine

Mix all ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a glass. 
Garnish with a cherry and a pineapple wedge.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

photo of the week

My favorite part of this Sierra recipe photograph is that it can be breakfast or dessert! With pancakes, cherries, walnuts, chocolate chips, and whip cream, it's the best of both worlds.  Which would you eat it for?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

behind the scenes: recipe shots

There are many different kinds of food photography shots that range in complexity and difficulty. To name a couple, there are outline shots, packaging shots, and the elusive recipe shots. Recipe shots can be more editorial and definitely leave a little room for creativity. There are still {as always} a shot list and certain items that HAVE to be included in the shot, but in terms of placement and angle, there is a little leeway.

{I love this photo....Stylist notes, just to show a bit of the complexity of the behind the scenes}

{Some quick shots of the stand-ins for the recipe shots...Sliders!}

{Stand-in for the Sante Fe Burger recipe shot}

{Stand-in for an Sausage & Fresh Vegetable pasta recipe}

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thirsty Thursdays

It's that time again! This week we're going to try a fresh twist on an old favorite, Vodka Tonic. The below shot was so much fun to create that we had to do a Thirsty Thursday feature with it.

So for the fresh twist, instead of traditional tonic, why not include lime flavored La Croix {would even be good with any of the featured flavors below!}? Of course if you love your limes then you can also include extra fresh limes with as well!

A Fresh twist on Vodka Tonic


2 Ounces of Vodka {brand of your choosing}
7 Ounces La Croix {we think lime or orange would be AMAZING!}
Shake it up!
Then add a fresh lime twist and you have a delicious and refreshing treat:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Take a look at this humorous little video of Kevin setting up for a shoot.  It's amazing how a little caffeine can help get the shots completed a little quicker!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo of the Week

In honor of the beautiful weather we've been having, the photo of the day post showcases a photograph from last year. Fruity ice cream bars! We have an ice cream shoot coming up soon that we're very excited about {Yay!} and might as well get into the spirit of summer. Enjoy:)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thirsty Thursday!

Another Thirsty Thursday is upon us and we're craving something Sweet and Salty, just like the photo {below} taken at Sierra! The whole image just looks so refreshing...Where are you Summer? We're ready for you and will be drinking these in the meantime, in hopes you'll arrive soon:)

Salty Dog
                                                       5 oz grapefruit juice

                                                       1 1/2 oz gin
                                                       1/4 tsp salt

Pour all ingredients over ice cubes in a highball glass.
 Stir well and serve.
 (Vodka may be substituted for gin, if preferred.)

Recipe courtesy of

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

faking it

We fake it a lot around here;) As long as we're not shooting product for packaging that is {a big no no in the food photography world}. One instance being with beverages. It's not always constructive to use real ice in shots....seeing that it tends to melt {really??} and time is usually a major factor in shoots.
So that brings me to our little friend...fake ice. Yes there is such a thing and it comes in many different shapes & sizes as well as a few different materials. Ah the possibilities!
Some ice floats and some sinks and depending on what you're intentions are with the shot, one will probably be used over the other. There are even little 'tricks of the trade' to make the shot not look fake including spraying dulling mist on glasses or pitchers, in order to create a frosting effect {frosted mug please!} and then spritzing them with water to give the illusion of perspiration. Are you feeling cheated at this very moment? Please don't:) It just means we're good at our jobs and may even be considered optical illusionists. Which brings me to the main question...

Can  you tell which ice is the imposter?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

thirsty thursdays

It's Thursday and I'm sure everyone is in need for one of these! A new blogger ritual for Sierra will be to showcase a beverage photograph and accompany that with a recipe! I couldn't really help myself when I came across this photograph that we shot last winter {Yes winter...doesn't it look straight out of a backyard?!}. Margaritas are definitely a favorite and made that much better with FRESH mangos:) Happy Thursday!

Mango Margarita

2 oz tequila of your choice

¾ oz Grand Marnier
1 oz mango nectar
¾ oz orange juice
¾ oz lime juice
1 tsp simple syrup
Slice of mango, for garnish
Sugar, for garnish

Rim your chilled margarita glass with sugar. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it up! Strain into the glass with a bit of crushed ice. Garnish with mango slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

photo of the week

A new Wednesday ritual will be a 'photo of the week' feature! This will be a great way to showcase some of our best work as well as some new work. This week we're featuring two photographs as a mini series.

{love the rustic feel of these photographs}