Photographer Yessica Duque discusses the importance of taking on personal projects to grow as a food photographer in her latest “How I Got the Shot” video for Pierre Herme and Haagen Dazs.
The Concept of the Shoot
“As a photographer, I’m always looking for ways to test my creativity and improve my skills. When I discovered the new Haagen Dazs ice cream flavors created in collaboration with Pierre Herme, I was immediately transported back to my visits to the Pierre Herme store in Paris where I always made sure to pick up a box of his delectable macarons,” says Yessica Duque.
After trying the ice cream, Yessica was blown away by how the original texture and flavor of the macarons came through.
Inspired by this experience, Yessica decided to undertake a personal project that would capture the magical and luxurious experience of the Pierre Herme x Haagen Dazs ice cream collaboration.
“My goal is to use levitation and showcase the action of the ingredients, such as framboises and macaroons, to highlight the explosive flavors and textures of the ice cream, while also capturing the elegance and sophistication of the macarons,” Yessica continued.
Additionally, after seeing the existing campaign photos, Yessica believed there was an opportunity to take this campaign to the next level. While the current visuals are good, she felt that they didn’t fully capture the magic and luxury of the collaboration.
“With my personal project, I aim to elevate the campaign and make it more commercially viable for both the Haagen Dazs shops and USPs,” Yessica says, “My goal is to create photographs that truly showcase the explosive flavors and textures of the ice cream and the elegance and sophistication of the macarons in a way that stands out and leaves a lasting impression.”
This personal project provided Yessica with an excellent opportunity to add valuable content to her portfolio and gain more experience and skills in dessert photography. Even if this project doesn’t catch the attention of Haagen Dazs or Pierre Herme, it is still a win-win situation. Yessica could potentially catch the attention of a local brand or use the images to showcase her creative vision to other potential clients.
“Ultimately, I see this personal project as an opportunity to grow and improve as a photographer, regardless of the outcome,” says Yessica.
Location: The photoshoot took place in Yessica’s home studio with a clean, minimalistic, and modern backdrop to provide a clean and sleek look.
Lighting: The lighting is bright and crisp to accentuate the colors and textures of the ice cream and macarons.
Styling: For styling the shoot, Yessica used a carefully crafted fake replica of the original ice cream. This replica will maintain the sophisticated look and feel of the product, paying attention to all the details such as color and texture. Don’t panic, though – this fake ice cream is still made with edible ingredients, although I wouldn’t recommend consuming it due to the high amount of sugar. Using a fake ice cream recipe for photography offers several advantages over real ice cream, including versatility, cost-effectiveness, and greater creative control. Additionally, if made with edible ingredients, it can provide a realistic look without the challenges of working with real food.
Props: For props, Yessica incorporated a white marble slab, a spoon, and a maximum of two color backdrops from the ice cream packaging color palette to enhance the contemporary theme of the shoot.
Action Shots: Yessica planned to include action shots that showcase the levitation of the macarons, as well as the motion of crumbs and framboises, adding a dynamic element to the shoot.
Levitation: The levitation shots were taken using fishing line and a levitation rig. The macarons and ice cream were attached to the fishing line, which has been hidden through post-processing.
Post-processing: The post-processing focused on enhancing the colors and textures of the ice cream and macarons, and removing the fishing line from the levitation shots.
Overall, the concept of Explosive Macaron Magic showcases the luxury and magic of the Pierre Herme x Haagen Dazs ice cream collaboration through a series of visually stunning photos that highlight the explosive flavors and textures of the ice cream and macarons.
What setup and lighting did you use to get the shot?
To capture the shot, I used an overhead octobox with a flash to distribute the light evenly across the scene. Additionally, I used another flash with a stripbox to fill in the shadows and soften them, enhancing the colors and textures of the ice cream and macarons. The lighting setup was carefully designed to create a soft and elegant look, while also emphasizing the dynamic elements of the action shots.
How did shooting tethered help you achieve the shot you wanted?
Shooting tethered allowed me to achieve the desired shot by giving me a better view of the details and composition of each element. This was especially helpful as the image required different shots to capture the action of each element separately. Additionally, tethering allowed me to easily review each shot on a larger screen and make necessary adjustments to lighting, focus, and composition.
What was your biggest challenge?
Definitely capturing the action of the macaroons crumbs.
What type of post-processing was involved?
For this particular project, I used Lightroom to capture and edit the images, primarily focusing on enhancing the colors and textures of the ice cream and macarons. However, for more detailed adjustments and achieving the desired final look, I utilized Photoshop. This allowed me to combine the best layers from each shot in a script, removing any unwanted elements, adjusting the brightness, contrast, and saturation levels, and creating a cohesive and visually striking final product.
What was the logistics and/or gear needed to achieve this shot?
- Adobe Lightroom
- Tether Tools TetherPro USB-C to USB-C Right Angle 4.6m
- Tether Tools Tether Table Aero
- Rock Solid Tripod Roller
- TetherGuard Camera Support
- Pro Tethering Kit
- Canon R6
- Sigma 50mm 1.4 ART
- Manfrotto tripod 055
- 2 Falcon Eyes Stands for reflectors+ fishing line for levitating objects Lightning
- Elinchrom ONE 2 flash system
- Elinchrom Rotalux Octa 100cm
- Elinchrom-Rotalux Softbox Strip 100cmx35xm
- Foldable cardboard photographic reflectors
To learn more from Yessica and other amazing food and beverage photographers in the industry check out our new free: Ultimate Food & Beverage Photography Guide!