Make Five – Maak Vyf

I’ve been working on a few projects with food consultant Heleen Meyer and was asked to shoot her new book for her, Make Five. (Available in Afrikaans as Maak Vyf). This book has been amazing to shoot and for me personally it has been a book I’ve really enjoyed shooting. I must thank Heleen for what I have seen as one of the best briefs that I have received for a book project with Pinterest mood boards and constant updates on our shots.

We were able to have the mood boards open on one of our computer screens while seeing what we were shooting on the other, making comparisons to lighting, depth and backgrounds choices etc. While Heleen and her team were busy with prepping and styling, I would be fine tweaking the photography to get each one just right before the final shot was taken.

The book contains easy recipes where one ingredient is used in five different ways. From salads, to side dishes and meals and never forgetting dessert like the delicious rose-water panna cotta with roasted strawberries.

Make Five is available through Heleen’s website, at book stores nation wide (South Africa), and can also be purchased online. For a video preview of the book, click here.



For The Love Of Avocado

My son Joshua will tell you that one of his most favourite things to eat is an avocado. He simply loves avocado and can have one every day whether its scooped out of the skin with a teaspoon or on toast or in a salad, this is his choice fruit.

When having the chance to shoot avocado, it is always great to see how food editors, stylist and consultants make use of the avocado. So on this shoot with Heleen Meyer, I was exited to see what to do at home for the family. We shot various step by steps, one of which was of how to make your own guacamole which forms part of the Woolworths In-Store promotion presentations. Along with these images was a main image to be used on the Woolworths recipe cards.

Now that I have my set of recipe cards its time for me to stock up on avocado and make my own guacamole.


Dining in the City

Being in Cape Town and looking for a restaurant for dinner can be a huge task as there are so many great restaurants to choose from. Cuisine from all around the world can be found here at this favored destination. Having had the opportunity to photograph some of the restaurants, two of them came to mind when having to make this choice for me and my family who were here for the holidays.

One of these was The Grand cafe & beach in Granger Bay. They are open for lunch and dinner, have a great menu to choose from and they have their own beach. I must honestly say, that it is due to the shoot at The Grand and their food, that fish was put back on the menu for me. One of the best fish served. So whether it be Kingklip, Calamari or Prawns, The Grand would be a great choice.

The other place that came to mind was Bukhara Indian Cuisine situated in the heart of the city. With a love for Nan bread, you can’t go wrong with Butter Chicken, Curry Prawns or one of the Lamb dishes. And don’t forget the finish it of with Shahi Tukara, Indian bread and butter pudding.

So where did we go and spend our evening?  D’ Angelo’s in Vredehoek. This traditional Italian Sport Bar was a great find. All six adults and two kids enjoyed the meal. Most certainly, one of the best Pizza’s, Sirloin steak and Alfredo tagliatelle. Magnifico.

Here are some images of The Grand and Bukhara.


What Lisa Ate

While on the shoot we did for Virgin Active we had book in the studio of What Katie Ate and so the idea was put into action for food stylist Lisa Clark to do a take on the book, “What Lisa Ate”.

So hamburgers, ribs, samoosas and chips were the order of the day. Follow the links to the recipes.

Images were shot using daylight. Curtains were drawn to just let enough light through to the set which was placed 1meter away from the window.


Food Workshop

I was invited to do a food workshop at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography this afternoon. Setting up a food shoot in their studios with their equipment without a stylist but an eager group of 21 students was the challenge of the day.

We worked on shooting both flash and daylight options. We looked at shooting tethered for “immediate” review of the images and the importance of using a grey-card to colour balance the shots especially on a rainy day like today.

With the use of the flashes, we created a fresh “daylight” look and with a few light adaptors, we could change everything to a “dark moody” look. The use of a tripod, reflectors and mirrors were added into the setups. All that was left was to shoot a natural light option which we shot from the top.

With food photography, props and styling either make or break the images and of course there are the “tricks of the trade” that also come in. So a special thanks to Caro who not only organised the workshop but also brought all the produce and props to make our “dark moody” shot.


The Braai

On Friday I went to Noordhoek to photograph a braai (BBQ) story with Arina from Landbouweekblad for the next Boerekos issue. Being Cape Town winter, we have been having some stormy weather and Friday was no exception. I departed in the rain, arrived in the rain and returned in the rain. Fortunately, the braai area where we were to shoot was under roof and protected us from the rain, but there was no shelter from the icy wind that blew all day long.

So how were we going to accomplish what we set out to do? I had a bag of tricks up my sleeve, that was given to me to test for Sunshine Company. The first, was the FLM tripod and ball head. It was light, flexible and has friction control in the ball head, allowing one to do small adjustments. An easy to use locking system for the legs made leg adjustments effortless compared to previous systems.

The best trick of all was the CamRanger wireless camera remote control. The software was installed the night before and a few tests were done. CamRanger allows one to shoot from camera to laptop, tethered via a built in wifi. Yes there is a cable, a small one connecting the device to the camera, and so the camera and CamRanger sat in the wind and smoke from the fire while the laptop sat inside the house near the fireplace. It took about 10 seconds for the images to come up on the screen, but that was because I had one more trick. Using a setting within the CamRanger software, I was able to make a “hot folder” within a session I created using Capture One Pro shooting directly into the Captures folder. CamRanger ran the camera, Capture One did the editing it is renowned for.

Whether it was fish, chicken, beef, pork or lamb, all in all, the great styling and preparation from Arina, the braaing done by Chris Burgess, editor-in-chief of Landbouweekblad, and Lucille the assistant editor helping everywhere, the day was a great success.



From a doctor’s heart – Recipe book

A while ago I mentioned that I was busy shooting a recipe book with Heleen Meyer named : From a doctor’s heart.  My copy has arrived and I’m looking forward to trying some of these recipes myself.

Thanks to Pharma Dynamics for the opportunity to work on this project and to the team who made it possible. To view the previous post please click here.

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Virgin Active

Today is day 5 of a photo-shoot for Virgin Active South Africa. We are in the process of completing a shot list of 50 images as part of a revamp of the recipes that are available to members once they have logged in to the website. 35 of these images are food and the other are generic food produce.

Our location for the week has been Plush Props in Biscuit Mill Woodstock, which has been a bit of a prop heaven with all the options available. Lisa Clark has been doing the styling with her assistant Sara cooking up a storm in the background while Jason has been assisting me with the photography.


Winter soup

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, we still have some cold nights ahead. Although we have had some really beautiful days, winter is still here and fireplaces are ready to be lit. So when it comes to food, a bowl of warm soup accompanied by a freshly baked ciabatta is perhaps the choice to make. So whether it be bean, lentil, lamb, noodle or chicken, the choice is yours to make and you can find the recipes here.

Shot on location with Arina Du Plessis from Landbouweekblad.


The Elvis Sandwich (Die Elvis-broodjie)

Elvis, better known for his music as the king of Rock, also had a passion for a special sandwich which has been named after him; “the Elvis sandwich”. As part of a food story on peanut butter, showing how to use this favoured ingredient, Arina from Landbouweekblad has put some recipes together from biscuits, tarts, brownies and ice cream, to the sandwich. Below are some of the images from the shoot, and you can find the recipe by clicking here.

The making of “the Elvis sandwich” has also been captured on video and can be seen here.