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}

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicago Style

The Chicago Style hot dog, not to be confused with the Coney Dog, Slaw Dog, Chili Dog, or Italian Style Dog. I think everyone gets my point, there are a lot of different ways to serve hot dogs! Each of these recipes is a combination of several ingredients that definitely need to be accompanied by a napkin. However, the deliciousness of all these ingredients combined, pose a little dilemma when it comes to photographing them.

The combinations {though yummy} can get a little muddy in presentation. So the task at hand is how to photograph all the components clearly and beautifully {while also keeping everything looking appetizing!}. With every recipe shot, we clearly identify each of our ingredients, then assemble the recipe in a way that showcases each of them without being too obvious with placement {nothing too perfect!}. Sometimes it can take hours getting these tiny details just perfect. It may seem like a tedious process but in the end the shot is what makes all the time and effort worth it!

Chicago Style Hot Dog Ingredients

{sport peppers, to top off the recipe} 

{dill pickle relish...LOVE the color}

{tomatos cut into wedges}

 {the classic poppyseed bun}

 {perfectly grilled hot dogs}

{and a quick shot of the final product...SO bright & colorful!} 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The search for the PERFECT grill marks

Yes...that's right...the perfect grill marks. It's an art and one needs to know their grill personally in order to recreate a natural looking grill mark. You don't want the grill marks to look too thick, thin, or unnaturally spread out. Some stylists create an outline of the grill and grates in order to match the burgers to the grill that they will be photographed on. Like I absolute art.

I can seriously smell the aroma of the studio, on this day by simply staring at these photos. The whole place smelled like a summer barbecue! So cruel since it's just barely grilling season...soon though...and in the meantime enjoy the torture below:)

{grilled bun anyone?} 

{browning the burgers before applying the grill marks} 

{intricately placed grill marks} 

{sometimes a darkening agent needs to be applied to achieve the perfect color!}

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Favorites

Hey Everyone! Sorry for the slight lack of posts this week but this week was very eventful at Sierra. Hot Dogs and Hamburgers are actually very complex contrary to what some people might believe. This week was spent shooting and styling their complexity, playing with fire {FUN!}, and assisting in creating great dining scenes for shots. Here are a few of my favorite moments and also "soon-to-be" blog posts. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

{styling sliders...the fine art of melting cheese} 

{setting up for a fun lifestyle shot of the product} 

{getting to see a pheasant while working in the back kitchen/studio!} 

{chicago style hot dog...a great chicago classic}

{the grill shots! i have a fun video of the flames and will save the excitement for it's own blog post!}