Skorpil Photography » Commercial food photographer in Austin, Texas

Texas Co-op Power Magazine Holiday Recipe Photo Shoot

One of my favorite clients to work with this year has been the Texas Co-op Power Magazine and working on their food photography recipe features.  What an honor to shoot the cover and winning holiday recipes for their December issue.   Over a two day shoot, we shot five recipes at the home studio with food editor Paula Disbrowe preparing the food and food styling along with the oversight and expertise of graphic designer Jane Sharpe.  We always have so much fun setting out the various props and choosing just the right backdrops and props to tell the story, often including vintage props and family heirlooms that we need to be specially careful with.  For this shoot, we kept it simple, suggesting a holiday setting with eclectic vintage china and silverware, coupled with graphic hand printed decorative paper.  The food was delicious as usual, leftovers being a major perk of this type of editorial food photography job.  The Texas Pecan Board sponsored the recipe contest.  The cover winning recipe, Pecan Pie Cake With Cinnamon Whipped Cream Frosting was simply amazing and really combined the best of dessert options (pecan pie filling and moist dense cake with frosting).  Check out the magazine tearsheets and food photography vignettes below:

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Food Product Photography

So excited to share some recent collaborations with my partner, Tim Brisko.  Tim has a background in product and fine art photography, so we naturally combined both of our passions to create dynamic portfolio images of food products and food-related products.  It’s been such a treat to learn new photographic lighting techniques (shooting through plexi, who knew?) and having him along on photo shoots.  We even recently taught a basic product photography course at Precision Camera University together.  Looking forward to more exciting developments as Skorpil Photography expands!

Food product photographyDrink photography



Sweet Temptations- Dessert Photography at Serranos Tex Mex

I haven’t eaten sugar in a year. (well…mostly)
Have you ever tried to give up sweets?  It can be a pretty difficult task when you’re obsessed with desserts, when the food stylist you adore (ahem, Kristina Wolter) brings you trail mix with little sweet bits of chocolate, and when the city you live in is full of sugary temptations.  I try to eat healthy, so for the better part of a year I have avoided sugar.  That’s why my shoot at Serranos last week was such a fun challenge; we photographed desserts almost all day.
Texas food photographer
The first two times we worked on set with Serranos we photographed their main entree and drink menu items.  With this third shoot, we focused on desserts such as creamy flan, gooey sopapillas and fried ice cream, and creamy tres leches.  Later in the work day I was relieved to be free of the dessert temptation when we photographed a generous plate of a Migas and a filling Brunch Menu.
professional food photography
What I liked most about this shoot with Serranos was the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.
[I mean….wait.]
No, what I meant to say was what I liked most about this shoot was the fact that I have developed a relationship with my client, Joshua Camacho of Serranos, in a way that matters to me and how I want to do business.  Being asked to photograph for them a third time is an honor and has built another layer of trust between our businesses.  When a food photography client and I truly collaborate, the food images come alive in a way that makes our mouths water.  They’re bright, colorful and express exactly what they should.
[Mmmmm….chocolate tres leches makes my mouth water.]
food photographer and food stylist
Speaking of sweets, I cannot leave this post without mentioning how much I adore working with Austin based Food Stylist Kristina Wolter. She worked tirelessly to make every dish look delicious. She picked over several cartons of fruit to find perfectly plump blueberry garnishes, drizzled tart strawberry and sweet chocolate sauces, and cleaned smudge marked plates with Q-tips.
[Those smudge marks were not left by my fingers…pulling away a nibble of the cake.  Really. I resisted, I promise.  My fingerprints were nowhere on there…especially since Kristina cleaned the plate.  Thank goodness for Q-tips.]
Humor aside, this post is really about relationships and how much they matter in food photography, business, and my whole life.  Serranos is a local Austin favorite for Mesquite Tex-Mex and they’ve been around for 28 years for good reason. They connect with their customers and respond to their desires; they grow their menu offerings by exploring new trends while staying true to their roots. Likewise, Kristina Wolter has a long relationship with food that goes far deeper than just making it look pretty. She devotes herself to knowing everything about the food she is working with, from its cultural roots and how it has changed over time, to how it responds to mixing and whipping, stirring and pouring.  Plastic spatula or metal spoon this time?  Prepare ahead or style last minute on set?  The care Joshua and Kristina give their relationships is why I value working with them so much.  My work is strengthened by our synergy.
Relationships take time.  They need care.  They crave attention.  They are work.  And when given mindfulness they will become something no less than the sweetest, most generous piece of luscious Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.
Tres Leches Cake

Food Photography Workshops Texas

Ever wanted to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to food photography?  Join me at an upcoming Art of Food Photography workshop with Precision Camera University.  These classes are so much fun!  We spend the first half of the class exploring lighting, composition, food styling and prop styling.  It’s also a unique opportunity to ask questions about the business side of food photography.  Whether you’re creating a cook book, shooting food as a hobby or for your blog, this class is ideal for anybody who wants to expand their photography skills to include food photography.

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The second half of the class gives participants the opportunity to practice what they learned with hands-on shooting bays.  Food stylist Kristina Wolter sets up six different food compositions for participants to try out.  With Precision Camera’s generous selection of lighting equipment, participants also get to try out different lighting systems, such as studio strobes, LED panels, Spyder Lights and more, depending upon the set up for that class.  The great thing is, each class is different with new food displays in the shooting bays and a variety of topics covered depending upon the questions asked in the class.  Check out the video below to learn more about the workshop, or visit Precision Camera University’s website for more information on the next specific date.


Barbecue and Catering Food Shoot

Green Mesquite Barbecue needed compelling, delicious food photography for a promotional mailer highlighting their catering menu items.  I was thrilled to get a call from Tom Davis co-owner of Green Mesquite Barbecue and Scholz Garten to work on this project.  Many thanks also go to Bill Frink at Frink Advertising  for the recommendation and Daniel Stone of Study Breaks, the creative visionary behind the mailer campaign.  Not only did Green Mesquite need delectable shots of their barbecue items, they also needed to show their catering set up and service, with models waiting in line for catering.  They arranged for some employees to be available for posing in a catering line.

Working with the employee-models was a lot of fun, and we couldn’t have asked for a more willing, easy-going group.  Thankfully, my assistant Rachelle Bendixen is great helping people feel comfortable posing and modeling.  She has an eye for detail and helps to straighten collars, smooth out hair, while I can focus on taking the photos. We showed the models how to make just enough banter and movement in the catering line, but in a very controlled manner so we could get the composition just right.  Although food photography is my all-time favorite subject, I love expanding my horizons and being challenged with work that includes photographing people and spaces.

Green Mesquite’s food was great and easy to photograph.  We really wanted to showcase the fresh, juicy ingredients.  My food stylist Kristina Wolter and I enjoyed putting together the perfect barbecue tray, and then once we got the perfect “safe shot”, we had fun playing with a messier scene, below.

I think we got some great results as a team.  The food images are up on Green Mesquite’s website and were used in the promotional mailer.  Check them out below, plus the inside of the mailer designed by Daniel Stone.

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