Food and photography are two of my passions. Actually, Chris and I share these two interests and as a result, we are able to spend a lot of time together doing these two things we enjoy. We have different skills and interests in the kitchen and behind the camera and we complement each other very well. While we both like to cook, Chris is more interested in the technical aspects of photography, while I gravitate towards food plating and styling. As you’ve read in previous blog entries, our Cuisinart ice cream maker is in constant use. This week alone, we’ve made three batches of ice cream. Our challenge with it is not in the creation or consumption, but in photographing it. Unlike professional food photo shoots where mashed potatoes or frosting whipped with powdered sugar stand in for the real thing, we photograph real, edible ice cream. This means that we have about 5 minutes before the ice cream melts and drips and looks more like a mess than a delicious icy treat. It does not help that it is the middle of summer and our house does not have air conditioning. I spend a good amount of time planning the photo with a stand-in bowl or plate and then replace it with the real thing at the last possible moment. Chris sets up the camera and takes test shots before I bring out the “models.” It’s usually a blitz of activity for a few minutes before the ice cream starts to melt and then the clean-up starts. We usually get a few shots we like that I share with all of you.
The photo above is my take on the bombe glacée, an ice cream dish usually frozen in a spherical mold. To make my version, I filled an ice cube tray made of silicone with freshly churned Razzleberry ice cream. If you look closely, the vibrant fuschia color of the ice cream is peeking out of its chocolate shell. Once set, I had to work quickly to unmold the ice cream, dip it in Magic Shell chocolate, and roll it in chopped walnuts. The first couple were a little mangled until I figured out that I can spear the cube with a corn on the cob holder and dip it in the chocolate. The last few turned out pretty good. Simply plated with some raspberry sauce and berries, the ice cream was the bombe!
The following photo was harder to plan and execute. Since we had three different flavors in the freezer, I wanted a more colorful shot that showcased each flavor. Again, I had to work quickly since three bowls of ice cream meant three melted puddles in a matter of a few minutes. I used my brand new props – mini latte bowls I bought at Anthropologie yesterday. I wanted the photo to look like a scene from an ice cream social and I think it conveyed it well.
Now that the photo shoot is over, it’s time to decide which flavor I like best – Pistachio, Razzleberry, or Cake Batter.
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I just found your blog and have been looking through your old posts for inspirations and saw this one and had to comment… I think your melting ice cream shot is perfect since it’s real ice cream. It makes me a million times happier to see the melting ice cream than the perfect little scoop that’s not melting.
Thanks, Emily! The perfectionist in me was getting to anxious to get the perfect shot, but now I think it good to see that it’s melting since it lets readers know it’s the real thing, and not the work of a food stylist using inedible props. Thanks for visiting!