The main reasons I do what I do as a food photographer, is to help ethical and sustainably-minded businesses enhance their marketing strategy with beautiful food photography. So when I had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with Edinburgh-based vegan bakery, The Plant Patisserie – I was so excited! 


The Plant Patisserie is owned by patisserie chef Amy, who has worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years and currently specialises in vegan baking using seasonal ingredients. 

Amy needed a greater variety of photography for her social channels and website that fit her brand style and ethos. So I offered my services to help her achieve her goals. 


Preparing for the shoot

Preparing for the shoot I had an initial consultation with Amy about her needs for me to craft a brief for the shoot. Before taking any photos, understanding the client’s needs is crucial to make sure everyone involved is on the same page and therefore happy with the final result.


I studied Amy’s social media content and website to get an idea of her brand style and the type of content she has/needs more of. Then I created a moodboard that acted like a plan for a photoshoot. It has visual style references, colours and types of shots. 

The Plant Patisserie food photography moodboard
Moodboard for The Plant Patisserie photoshoot


We agreed on keeping the colours mostly neutral, with touches of green that are present in The Plant Patisserie’s branding. The props and backdrops would be minimal and neutral, again keeping with the brand. 


Once Amy was happy with the direction for the photoshoot, the next step was to prepare the gear I needed to bring. 


Selecting what gear to bring

Prior to the day of the shoot, Amy and I decided on the products we wanted to photograph. Based on this and the creative vision for the shoot, these were the items I brought with me: 

  • Variety of neutral backdrops
  • An assortment of vintage cutlery 
  • Selection of neutral crockery – dessert plates and platters
  • Variety of smaller pieces of fabric 
  • Tripod
  • Camera – Fujifilm XT-4 with 50mm lens


The shoot


An important part of the brief was to give Amy a variety of images to be able to use on her social media channels and website. That said, the final images need to convey The Plant Patisserie’s brand beautifully and effectively.


Flatlay or overhead food photography setup

food photography behind the scenes
Composing the plates of cake

A flatlay or overhead angle is commonly used in food photography. You may notice that a lot of smartphone food photography is taken from this angle because phones usually have a wide lens (or in simpler terms, can capture a bigger surface area). For the Plant Patisserie photoshoot I mostly used backlight for the flatlay shots, which emphasised the textures on Amy’s beautiful bakes. 

chocolate chip cookies with flaked sea salt
slices of vegan cake on dessert plates


Shooting food straight-on

Shooting food straight suits food that have a little more height and dimensionality – think sandwiches, burgers and obviously, layer cakes.

spiced banana raspberry peanut butter cake sliced

Shooting food at an angle

Shooting food at an angle is another common setup that allows for a lot of flexibility and shooting handheld.

three chocolate chip cookies stacked with glass of milk
Vegan chocolate chip and sea salt cookies ready for dunking

Lifestyle food photography

An important part of the photoshoot was to capture some action and lifestyle shots of Amy.

piping icing on spiced banana cake

For these images I was going for a Vanity Fair-esque type of setup, and was also inspired by one of my favourite photographers Matt Russell.

tablescape consisting of cake, raspberries, plates and a plant


Post-production 

When selecting the final images I make sure to revisit the initial brief to make sure they fit the client’s end goals. It sometimes means that my favourite photos might not be included as part of the final deliverables! For this shoot, I made sure I got a varied selection of images that align with The Plant Patisserie’s brand values and aesthetics. 


A little bit of video

Something I do often during photoshoots is take a bit of video footage OR images for a stop motion animation. Adding that little something extra is a lovely way to delight your client and make them feel extra special. 


That’s a wrap!

One of the best parts of being a food photographer is being able to help businesses like The Plant Patisserie achieve their marketing goals. And the cherry on top is of course, a happy client!

“I absolutely loved working with Alexis and I love the photos she took too! We had a great day of shooting, Alexis came super prepared and we discussed what would work best for both of us. I am usually the one taking photos of my cakes, but I wanted some more neutral photos that were really good quality, professional and able to use on my website and across social media channels. I even learnt a couple of things about photography from her while we were working. I can’t wait to work with Alexis again for another shoot!”
– Amy, The Plant Patisserie

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the process of an on-location photoshoot. And if you’d like to find out more about how food photography services, I’d love to hear from you!

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