Healthy

Sandwiches.

Sandwiches are great, aren't they? Seriously. The practicality of carrying anything messy by stuffing it between some carbs (presumably so that you can get it to your face with a higher percentage of success) has led to some beautiful creations: the classic ploughmans, the salt beef on rye, the 'Club', the humble chip butty, the PB&J, the late night kebab, the cheese toastie, the lobster roll, even the Sausage & Egg McMuffin....the BLT: needs no more explanation than three simple letters.

Seems like a good enough reason to pick some cool ones, make 'em, shoot 'em and eat 'em!  Along with me for the ride was the highly travelled and highly trained Livia Abraham, whom I met on a very big advertising shoot and got talking about testing together.

I'm very glad we kept in touch and got to shoot together; the results are (as usual) a little different to how I usually shoot  - I wanted to try my hand at something cleaner for one of the shots, and it was a recipe I didn't imagine at first would work for such a set up...but I'm glad I pushed to try it and am pleased to still be picking up tricks and tips from everyone I work with, from all disciplines. 

These were fun to eat, by the way. All of them. That drippy basil oil on our baguette shot was PERFECT amongst the goat's cheese and squidgy roasted tomatoes and parma ham. In fact, I chomped into that so enthusiastically I nearly skewered myself on a stray toothpick.  #noregrets

H x

Neon.

Here are the results of a recent test with the brilliantly creative Tamzin Ferdinando on Props and the unflappable Sophie Foot on food styling. 

I've been doing a LOT more tests recently. I think I got a bit bogged down in the 'day to day' for a lot of last year, and the tests I DID do reminded me how essential it is to dip a toe into a bigger creative pool and occasionally swim right out of sight of your comfort zone.

Well, I don't mid admitting a few of the shots I took last year were noticeably dark in tone; rich shadows, inky blue surfaces, tarnished metals and even a test devoted totally to BLACK. I think those winter months really affect me in ways I haven't noticed before. I started up a Pinterest board just after Christmas that was the complete opposite of all of these things; a bright, sugar coated pill to ease the pain of a long, grey November.

A Screenshot of my Pinterest board, which is usually how I start to brainstorm for a test. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GO TO THE BOARD ITSELF.

A Screenshot of my Pinterest board, which is usually how I start to brainstorm for a test. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GO TO THE BOARD ITSELF.

I have worked with Tamzin before on our 'Orange and Black' test, and this sort of brief is totally up her street. I'm so glad she was on board and able to bring the slightly abstract pins on the Pinterest board (which featured contributions from all three of us by the shoot day itself) to life in a way that would work for a food shoot - not an easy task. Not to mention all the crafty ideas Tamzin brings to the shoot on the day that make it truly special.

Sophie, who I'd met not long before whilst assisting together on an unforgettable cook book shoot, came up with some ideas for the food that would hold its own against a strong colour palate and went above and beyond in the week running up to the test day to make sure her homemade marshmallows(I know, right?!) were perfect. We also had jars of pickles in mind for the shoot so Sophie reportedly had jars of brightly coloured things stashed around her flat for a week before the test even began!

In the end we settled on variety of pickles in jars, a rainbow Asian-inspired salad with kale, avocado, slivers of pickled red onions (straight from the jar) and butternut squash, homemade marshmallows with pistachio and raspberry crumb (a perfect gift, we decided), and rhubarb ice lollies. We even had time to make a rhubarb Bellini. Yum.

I'm thrilled with how the images turned out and I hope the guys are too (they assure me this is the case) and even more happy that spring has sprung and I get to drop some colour into my growing portfolio. 

More tests next month, including a new cocktail shoot just in time for drinking outdoors - one of my favourite activites.

H x

Food styling: Sophie Foot
Photography: Hannah Hughes
Prop Styling: Tamzin Ferdinando