I was recently approached by Kyle, the founder of the food brand Jam N Vegan, whose mission is to deliver culturally rich meals to consumers throughout the UK (in an increasingly crowded ready meal food space, one recent reviewer described them as being ”so much more exciting than anything else that’s on the market right now”). Kyle said he reached out to me because of how much he liked what I did on a previous shoot with the brand Misfits.
Kyle was planning a major rebrand. The previous packaging for his products was variation of functional brown packaging. The new design was based on street art that represented the regions from which his dishes originate. After several initial talks, it was clear that he wanted new imagery, short videos and model photography based on a 60’s/ 70’s aesthetic. We managed to nail down the concept he wanted - at a risk of sounding cheesy as f*ck - “fashion meets food”.
Seeing Kyle’s initial moodboard, ideas and drawings, I recommended the Set Sisters to build the set. Having enjoyed working with them on the Misfits shoot and the fact that they are incredible designers, it was an easy decision. They in turn recommended Deimante Sprainaityte, a lighting designer and technician they had worked with on previous projects.
Everyone had been sent the moodboard and deck in advance of the shoot date to ensure we were all on the same page. The studio booked was Hackney Studios in East London.
On the morning of the shoot, the crew got to the studio an hour before the models, chiefly because the Set Sisters had to finish installing the first set, and to enable Deimante and her team to position lights for the first setup, the product shots.
It quickly became apparent that we were up against it from the get-go, as we needed to do a number of lighting adjustments to get angles on the product that we were happy with.
Also, in hindsight, the studio space we had been booked in was not big enough to accommodate both set designs (and crew). We ideally would have fared better in a larger commercial space, where we could have each set at different ends of the space to go between each one as we liked. We therefore needed to factor in a hour to change to from the first set to the second, and with it the required change to lighting.
Unfortunately, one of the main lights hired was discovered to not work. We spoke to the hire firm, who although profusely apologised said they would not be able to get a replacement over to us sooner than an hour. Deimante was quick-thinking enough to create a workaround whilst we waited for the replacement, so we could continue shooting and not fall behind schedule (honestly, she and her team were exceptional and I can’t recommend her highly enough).
In what was a challenging shoot, Millie from the Set Sisters ended up having to take on art director duty, which really helped us get through the day and get the required results.
This has been one of my fave shoots this year, purely based on the concept, the team and the way everyone worked to ensure that not only was the day productive, but incredibly enjoyable for all involved.
The models were all excellent and really brought the kind of personality we needed from them. We captured plenty of great stills and video content (courtesy of videographer Jake). Big thanks to our stylist Katie and Olivia, our makeup artist for doing such a great job creating the looks for the models that Kyle was after from the beginning. Also not forgetting the food styling by Nitisha Patel award-winning chef and food consultant, no less (the food was the important element of this entire shoot, let’s not forget!).
You can see more images from the shoot here.