After the success of the previous 'Modern Rustic' test, Toni Musgrave and I agreed to get together for a test to make full use of the 'zero bookings period' that occurs between the last toffee penny being consumed and the tree being taken down.
She had the idea of doing something bright and light with lemons, having a list of citrussy recipes freshly-squeezed and ready to go. "I'm in - let's do this!"
Keeping things simple and food-focussed this time, with colours inspired by last years work trip to the Amalfi coast, I took to the prop house myself to pick up a few key items.
I do enjoy prop styling, but I'd be the first to admit...I mostly feel like I'm winging it every time I go in to pull things together! I can do it for my own shoots but to take someone else's brief, and prop it creatively with so many considerations: serving size, type of recipe, overall feel of the story, size and proportion, the look of the publication, how the photographer works with props, not to mention budgets and availability and logistics and personal style...its an artform, it really is.
We sailed through test day, with help on the day from one of Toni's friends, and I had a bit of fun with the lighting, harnessing the few rays of sunshine we have during the short, grey days we have so often in January and making the studio feel like a summery lemon grove in Sorrento.
My favourite shot of the day: this magnificent Lemon Meringue Pie, a particular family favourite of mine and a dessert that holds dear memories of my mum and I crouched over a pan, stirring the lemon curd-like filling (admittedly shop bought, on occasion!) and waiting patiently for the squidgy capsule of citrussy essence to dissolve and pop, before both inhaling deeply that sweetness and sharpness all at once. So satisfying!
Fun to prop, fun to shoot and fun to eat. Tests SHOULD be fun, shouldn't they?