How To Stage A Last Minute Shoot With Ease + The Power Of Having A Live Subject

Chemex Brew Method By Christiann Koepke on

I’ve said it before and here it is again- I love photographing people at work in their craft. Whether it be capturing the art behind a painter, writer or cook, they all make for the most interesting shoots. Overall, any time you have live subject in a shoot you immediately get a different type of product as a result. This is especially true with food photography as having someone there brings so much life into a photo. A great example of this would be a hand coming in from the side of a frame, a shot from behind the shoulder as if to gaze with the person, becoming apart of their thoughts and composure. . . these are all dynamics that make a photo interesting.

I’ve only recently realized the power behind shoots with real people as subjects and it’s changing everything in terms of the outcome of my photos.

There’s something about closeness that is seen and felt when someone is there a part of the experience that is felt by the seer when captured in a photo.

I hope to plan shoots with friends as much as possible as I continue on in my photography. Not only is it fun to hang out with a friend and work on a project like this together, but you can get in some good quality time while you’re at it!

Chemex Brew Method By Christiann Koepke on

So for this particular shoot, to be honest, it was completely unplanned (which by the way, if you haven’t seen the full post, you can take a look here ). My brother had just gotten his Chemex for Christmas and when he was making his first cup in our kitchen at home, my eyes instantly were drawn to the beauty of the drip. Yes, I said it! That’s what it is though….

It’s learning to train your eye to see the beauty of the moment and the possibilities that very thing could hold if it was captured behind the lens.

That spark of interest quickly grew into what turned out to be a full coffee photoshoot. We landed at a friend’s house a day or two later out in the mountains and all I had for props was the Chemex and two red camping cups I had brought a long. I quickly looked through the house to see what I had to work with and turned up with a wooden box and a kitchen cutting board like stand. It still needed a little something more, so I stepped outside and grabbed some fresh mountain pine.

When short on props, step outside and pick some foliage from your surroundings for added interest and texture.

Chemex Brew Method By Christiann Koepke on

Within minutes I had a staged area by the window. It was simple, efficient, and created a great backdrop for a shoot in the mountains. It allowed for the whole feel of the shoot to be engulfed in the snow….the interest of what lingered behind the warm cup. I liked it that way- I wanted it to be something different that would capture a certain sense about it.

Every shoot carries a theme or feel of what is looking to be represented, whether intentional or not.

The theme of your shoot can be pre planned, all centered around a specific dish, your surroundings, or a particular concept, or it can be completely on a whim. Either way, it’s good to realize going into a shoot that your end result will carry something. Planned or unplanned, a strong sense will come through your photos whether that’s visually or emotionally by the onlooker. Keeping this in mind will help you to streamline what you’re looking to capture and build your set around that one thing. As a result, what you aimed to capture will be experienced and enjoyed by all.

Chemex Brew Method By Christiann Koepke on

With this shoot I feel we captured it well. The staging and props are minimal and earthy and follow the theme of the area we shot in. Some of my favorite shots are of Calvin looking out the window with his coffee in hand. There’s a sense of warmth, adventure and mystery. A great example of this is below.

For more in the Food Blogging 101 Series, check out this tab accessed above to see recent posts like last week’s 4 tips on how to be more efficient with your photography as a food blogger.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any thoughts on this article or questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send an email by way of the contact page.

Till next week!



Chemex Brew Method By Christiann Koepke on

Get These Posts in Your Inbox