A day in the life of a 2009 sofi Award Finalist

I’ve spent this entire week at our photographer Mark Ferri’s studio on the West Side of Manhattan shooting this year’s great crop of sofi Awards Finalists…all 111 of them.

sometimes I sneak tastes!

sometimes I sneak tastes!

I am amazed at how much thought, preparation and detail goes into every single shot, whether for a dark chocolate bar or a cookie mix that needs to be baked to show off the final product. We’ve prepared and cooked everything from pork we brined with Fire & Flavor’s 30 Minute Ancho Chile Brine (savory!) to Gagne Foods’ Pecan Sticky Buns (yum!). True confession: we sneak tastes sometimes.

We need the photos for signs at the Fancy Food Show, for our magazine and website, for marketing materials, etc. I figure each photo is worth about $2,000. We give these photos to the finalists for free. This year we’re giving them earlier than ever before which is great for the finalists.  Our association, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, has more than 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad, and many of our members are small businesses and entrepreneurs who I’m sure relish things like a fabulous free photo.

The photos will be on display at the Summer Fancy Food Show, June 28 – 30 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Last year we blew them up to be larger than life and used them to decorate the room where we held the awards ceremony to announce the sofi Gold Award winners. We plan to post the photos from this week’s shoot of the finalists as soon as we can at specialtyfood.com/sofiawards.

Here’s a peak inside our photo process: a play-by-play of the photo we did for Saxon Chocolates Molten Cake Mix (a finalist for Outstanding Food Gift).

After a long but fun week away from my desk at the NASFT, I am headed out for a run in Riverside Park to burn off the extra calories I’ve eaten this week. I’ve done some serious damage but I have to say it was worth it!

Betsy Schwartz (bschwartz@nasft.org), NASFT, Creative Director

Saxon Chocolate's Molten Cake Mix is one of the 111 products we have shot over the last week. We decide for this shot the best way to represent the product is to bake the cakes and show one with the packaging.

Saxon Chocolate's Molten Cake Mix is one of the 111 products we have shot over the last week.

Leslie Orlandini ( food stylist) and Mark Ferri (the photographer) are carefully discussing how to set up the shot. All this needs to be figured out before the product goes on set so the cakes look perfect!

Leslie Orlandini ( food stylist) and Mark Ferri (the photographer) are carefully discussing how to set up the shot. We decide the best way to show off the product is to make one of the chocolate cakes in the ramekins and show it with the gift box. All this needs to be figured out before the product goes on set so it's not sitting around and is able to looks its very best.

Here leslie is preparing the cakes and pouring the chocolate batter into the ramikins. YUM!

Leslie pours the chocolate cake batter (YUM!) into the ramekins. She is making all six even though we need just one for the actual photo. Having a selection of finished products to choose from is key in food photography (and any left over's we get to taste!)

Mark onset figuring out the best lighting & angle that makes the food look its best.

Lights, camera, action!

Ta-da! Our beautiful finished photo.

Ta-da! Our beautiful finished photo.

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One Response to A day in the life of a 2009 sofi Award Finalist

  1. Jane Nugent says:

    I can tell you these molten cakes are delicious!!! I am no baker but these look and taste like a pro’s made them!

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