A grand day out

Art Directing The Cornish Bakery Photoshoot

A recent day’s photo-shoot for a client had us wondering how best to describe the just-managed mania which, eventually, results in the polished pizazz of the finished article.

The swan’s above-water elegance, perhaps, with all the ugly webbed action safely unseen? Or maybe the chaotic, dishes-littered, flour-encrusted kitchen, hours before the iced cake’s eventual emergence?

However described, what a photo-shoot definitely does involve is the output of enormous energy – creative, emotional, physical – condensed into one very long day. But before anything else happens, of course, there’s the concept to nail down: setting a style, conjuring the right emotion, throwing images at mood boards to show the client what we’re thinking.

After that, the work really begins: find the location, source the props, herd all necessary cats into their compulsory places at the agreed times (even if that involves long, caffeine-propelled drives up distant motorways). And all-day (long-day) shoots follow, checking all the time that styling and art direction are delivering on the brief, trying not to be stressing too often, or too audibly, that we’re losing out to the fading light.

Giddy with completion, boxes ticked, all parties happy, instead of sinking instantly into comfy upholstery, feet up with drink to hand, the whole business needs reversing. Everything set up is taken down, dressed sets stripped, homebound routes retraced. Only then, with sunset a distant memory, does relaxation beckon (and, if you can’t help yourself, a peep through frightened fingers at a whole day’s unread emails).