… and why there are so many people present at a photo shoot.

Out of my kitchen, over the past two days, I have produced and delivered to a shoot to feed 13 people (and this is just the things I remember making):

28 tubs of yoghurt

2 kgs of muesli

1 chocolate cake

2 dozen buttermilk rusks

1 dozen chocolate chip muffins

3 French loaves with assorted fillings

4kgs of roasted chicken

28 large meatballs

2kgs of potato salad

1 buffet cocktail snack tray

18 packets of crisps

25 assorted candy bars

Four vegan meals.

1 Eton mess

Two days and I had to supply breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea at the studio for the crew, who had to produce 16 photographs of pizzas. Why 16 people when the photographer could simply go into the restaurant and take a quick snapshot, you ask?

Well, it works like this:

The client has to be there to approve the shots on screen before they go to the advertising agency for production of the final advertising material. The client’s recipe developer also has to be there to make sure each pizza is the one that needs to be in the next campaign. FIVE representatives.

The advertising agency has to be present: the client service person to look after the clients and the creative director to make sure her initial concept design is adhered to. TWO PEOPLE.

Normal food doesn’t often photograph well, so a stylist is needed to arrange the food artfully (to cheat) and to supply props to make the shot fit in with the restaurant’s ambience. The stylist brings along a props assistant and a cleaner to wash up after each shot. THREE PEOPLE.

When we finally get to taking the pictures, our cameraman needs a lighting assistant and another chap to hand him a new camera / umbrella / other technical doodad as is required. THREE PEOPLE.

Sometimes they are not ready for me when I arrive at the designated time: all the above parties and myself are supplied with a ‘call sheet’ which details the running order of the shoot to the last minute. At these times I wait outside the studio and look at people’s Facebook photos to quell boredom.

Things I have learned from Facebook photo albums:

Some people have really, really ugly sofas and soft furnishings.

Some folk don’t pick up their dog poop very often and it forms interesting backdrop patterns for their out-of-focus photos of their pets.

No matter how ugly your child is, you will believe he/she is cute and continue to push pics of him/her into everybody’s eyes.

Everyone has a very different idea of what good food is.


90 Comments Add yours

  1. mairedubhtx says:

    Everything looks delicious.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Fatima, I think they enjoyed it 🙂

  2. I think you need a factory!

    1. theonlycin says:

      My feet think you are right 😉

  3. sparkle says:

    No wonder my oxtail doesn’t look rich like the ones in mag’s/tv. I even asked my sister over the weekend and she said I should try brown onion soup though oxtail is equally rich in brown colour. Haha! Thanks for enlightening some of us 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yep, food dye 😉

  4. I’ll have you know that my old couch is very comfy, we like the foam oozing out…..it gives it character! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bwahaha, your sitting room is very elegant!

  5. Jo says:

    yum – bet you were tired, but satisfied after! I’m envious – I would love to do this. JO

    1. theonlycin says:

      I sometimes think I must be crazy to do it 😉 But I do enjoy it!

  6. sparkle says:

    We always have a good chuckle with my sister about other people with their kids. I have a friend who’s childs nose is always stuffed and I don’t know how to tell her, but can’t she see it herself? Eeeuw! It’s so funny but again if I don’t see my child as a gem who do I expect to? Lovely post.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Keep a tissue in your pocket and offer it to her next time 😉

  7. My gosh! That’s a lot of job opportunities right there! 😀

    On the things you learn from FB… I have to admit: sometimes it is scary, sometimes it is laughable, sometimes it is ridiculous and sometimes you just skip right over it! 😀 😀 (And sometimes it makes me wonder why the hell people spend that much time on FB…)

    1. theonlycin says:

      I find it very entertaining overall 🙂

  8. Madmom says:

    Everything looks delicious, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Madmom 🙂

  9. You have been very busy! Are those buffet snacks on your butlers tray? Another story to add to it’s blog one day.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, that’s my faithful old Jeeves, I guess I should start a story about him hey?

  10. now I will have to check ALL my photo albums and delete delete delete!

    1. theonlycin says:

      No, just pick up the dog poop 😉

    2. Do you think she’s talking about Taylor too, Douglas? *sobs coz she KNOWS her kid IS the best* ;P

  11. Leeswammes says:

    Haha, I love your observations! Well done making so much food for all these people.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Judith, I am quite tired 🙂

  12. adeeyoyo says:

    You poor poor girl, Cin! I just hope you are being paid well to make it worth your while. Sounds like a nightmare, my friend.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I do make enough o make it worthwhile adee, and I enjoy it a lot 🙂

  13. Naomi says:

    Wow, what a production! I’m thinking your food pics are looking rather good, especially for 1/13th of the input 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am so envious of the cameras these guys have, Naomi!

  14. deepercolors says:

    You are amazing, girl. I am a one burner cook, and not even that some days.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehe, anyone can learn 🙂

  15. SidevieW says:

    wish you’d been feeding us.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’d have had to use far less chilli!!!

  16. slpmartin says:

    Ah yes…ever parent does seem to feel that way…of course what do yo say when they ask…”Isn’t s/he the most beautiful child you’ve every seen?”

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think “He’ll grow up to have a fine face for radio” is probably not the right thiing to say?

  17. souldipper says:

    There but for the Grace of God…

    Plus, thank God beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Well done, Cin!

  18. nrhatch says:

    Bwahaha! Love your FB observations.

    We are slowly by surely evicting the really ugly soft furnishings we inherited with the villa. Valances are now GONE, GONE, GONE.

    And you are so right about parents’ bias towards their children ~ not just in the looks department, either. Parents tend to feel their kids are the cleverest, most talented, and smartest bananas in the bunch. Often, they are mistaken. 😆

    1. nrhatch says:

      Oh, yeah . . . the food looks GRAND! 😀

      Sometimes I forget that this is a “cooking” blog because you entertain on so many levels ~ tickling our funny bone chakras while tempting our taste buds.

      1. theonlycin says:

        Thanks Nancy, a very kind comment 🙂 xxx

    2. theonlycin says:

      Aha, but I am guilty myself 😉

  19. Lyndatjie says:

    Why didn’t you ask me to come and help?
    After I’ve finished with the cooking, not very many people will be alive to populate the genepool… 🙂
    I’ve been on photo shoots and I’m forever fascinated with the different roles and processes that happen during them… The worst is participating in a film shoot… horrid!
    (Now excuse me – I’m off to go and scrutinize my facebook pics…)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, film shoots are even worse and take so much longer!

  20. SuziCate says:

    You have been a busy little bee! I’d be more than happy to be your assistant (sampler of foods to make sure they’re ok!)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Come along then SuziCate 😀

  21. PinkPolkaDot says:

    Wow,Cindy – you must be exhuasted!! So true about everyone’s children… LOL!! Luckily we all like different food!! Hugs and I hope you had a rest1

    1. theonlycin says:

      I slept like a baby Pinkie 😀

  22. That’s a fascinating insight into the process, thanks Cindy! Even with your explanation, I still find it hard to see why they need so many people there…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Me too Celia, but I can’t complain; more work for me 😀

  23. earlybird says:

    I’m exhausted just reading that. You must have lots of patience. As well as lots of energy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Countless cups of coffee help me along 🙂

  24. nursemyra says:

    I really really want a big bowl of your Eton Mess

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sorry none left, next time … 🙂

  25. bluebee says:

    One man’s dog poo is another’s fertilizer
    One woman’s soft furnishings is another’s nagmerrie 😉

  26. Yvette says:

    LOL! What a fantastic spread for all those people…I love the colourful array of antipasti…the word exhausted comes to mind, at the end of the day. Great job!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Yvette, I sure was tired 🙂

  27. Linda says:

    I’m about snorting now! You are so funny. Unfortunately I have a hideous couch. You will never see it on facebook. Oh darn it might be in some of my dog photos on the blog. 😦

    The food sure looks good.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I can’t say I’ve ever spotted a Snorty-poo on your blog 🙂

  28. Tandy says:

    good observations! *makes mental note to have garden cleared next Friday*

  29. johnlmalone says:

    gge. I wish I was in that film crew, Cindy; they sure eat well. any vacancies ?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll let you know, John 😉

  30. dearrosie says:

    I admire your stamina. Some years ago I helped a friend who did some catering and together the two of us made the food for a mutual friend’s wedding – a 3 course hot meal for 135 people – so I know that catering means a lot of standing and a lot of hard work.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ve only done one wedding and the mothers of the bride and groom weren’t talking to each other, it was very awkward!

      1. dearrosie says:

        oh god that sounds bloody awful! how can the mothers do that to their kids?

  31. Steffi says:

    Wow…everything looks so delicious,Cin!You did a great job!

  32. Tilly Bud says:

    It’s hard to believe real food doesn’t photograph well when you read this blog every day!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You are very kind, thanks Tilly!

  33. Goeie hemel! Ook geen wonder my koeke en kos lyk soos nat uitgewasde waslappies nie. Jou kons, aan die ander kant, lyk so ongelooflik lekker, ek vergeet skoon en moet op ‘n dieet wees.

  34. granny1947 says:

    Of COURSE my grandkids are the most beautiful in the world.
    Hmmmmmmmm…I don’t have any of their pics on Facebook!

    1. theonlycin says:

      LOL, you do – however – have pictures of Jasmine’s chair … *runs away fast as possible to avoid flying stapler*

  35. Count nicholas Czardas says:

    And why I have been scarce is I have been lying drunk in a ditch.

    Not only that but I have mislaid your e-nmail address, and would hunmbly ask you to mail me at czardas@webmail.co.za

    1. theonlycin says:

      I shall do so, if only to spank your bottom for disappearing and making me fret with worry!

  36. Count Nicholas Czardas says:

    “Hunmbly” ????

    1. theonlycin says:

      Smoking a hunmbly-bunmbly???

      1. Count Nicholas Czardas says:


  37. sana quijada says:

    dear cin, this sounds and looks delectable. your wizard cap may look like a chefs hat but we can’t b fooled.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Lovely comment Doc 😉

  38. How freaking right you are!! About it all!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m always right, bokkie 😉

  39. Jamie Dedes says:

    I don’t think I could eat again if I had prepared that much food! … and then you had to lug it to the site. Ugh! Oh my.

    Ditto your last line. Found that out as a result of two mixed marriages! Ha …

    1. theonlycin says:

      I nibbled as I made the food Jamie 😉

  40. gospelwriter says:

    Wow, Cin – you have been busy! – and it all looks so wonderful, the food. I hope they paid you well…

    1. theonlycin says:

      They did Ruth 🙂

  41. I see all that fb trawling has made you cynical 🙂 wow – look at that food!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yep, cynical is the word 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s