Cara Mia is an Italian Restaurant in Blyth, owned by my partner Kara,which opened in July 2014.Naturally I have been tasked with providing all of the images and advert design as well as keeping the social media channels updated. From the outset food photography was not something I had much experience of. So early on I had to do a lot of research as this assignment seemed even more important than for any other client. As with anything photography related research just makes things more complicated. As the more reading that is done you realise that there is more to consider.
A lot of these detailed shots form the basis of quick social media updates of what specials are on each week. With food photography you have to work quickly as your subject is often prone to either be melting or the steam evaporates. Each time you ask a chef to remake something to photograph it is costing you money in time and products. Although at least you can eat when you're done with the photography.
Where I was much more in my comfort zone was when it came to photographing people. Especially in setups like this with multiple off camera Flashes setup. The brief for this image was to create a photo that could form the back drop of an advert to appear in the local press that would sell a special "In The Dark" night at the restaurant. I knew I wanted to incorporate both light and dark and so after viewing the chefs create these big dramatic ﬂames I knew this is what I wanted to photograph.
After being open for two years we decided to freshen up the Menu and the interior of the restaurant. If you are a regular blog reader of mine you may have seen my post on my own dining room gallery. Well we decided that we wanted to recreate something similar in Cara Mia. The ﬁrst summer after we had taken over the restaurant we decided to go to Rome as it was not only somewhere that we always had in mind to go but also to come away with some inspiration for Cara Mia. The logical idea for the Gallery Wall was to use images from this trip.
When I did my dining room wall I knew from the outset it was going to be Black and White imagery in Plain Black Frames. Originally for this project I wasn't initially sure. There was a consideration to going with sepia tones to match some of the wood and the general tone. Also we have gold frames on blackboards and mirrors so we could have replicated them.
In the end the decision was to go the same. So on to selecting the images and the layout. Slightly more difﬁcult than my last wall because of the shape and the placement of a light ﬁtting and speaker. For the imagery I went with the photos that I think sum up Rome for me more than others. Especially some of those that contain Italian text as well.
I am really happy with the results as I was worried it might look out of place in the existing decor. One element I didn't consider was the reﬂection of the images in the large mirrors that allow you to see the gallery as you walk in without going around the corner.
For the time of the menu relaunch and minor facelift we also decided to create a new website. This was always in the ofﬁng as the old website was created relatively quickly and just contained the bare minimum details. Although it is surprising that it has taken us this long to update. It was developed during the time that I migrated my photography website. We decided to go with the same provider allowing me to only have to learn one content management system. For the new website I wanted to some new imagery. So over the last few weeks when I have had some spare time I have popped in and photographed another food or detail. We are pleased with the new website and have plenty of plans of new content for the blog section. Some of the new images are below.