Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh hail the white plate!

So the one prop that most Food Editors ask for when propping for a food shoot is the "white plate", Like some holy saintly good doer, the white plate just can't go wrong and with Food Editors it seems you just can't enough of them! There is a simple explanation for this, Most food looks great on a white plate. When you are a Stylist, sometimes you see so many white plates that you just want to channel the inner Greek and smash them, but for the most part. I often think how I would love to do a story with a non-white plate rule but alas it's may never happen in my life time! ; )

Don't get me wrong, I do love a white plate really, I actually have my old staple Arabia white plates that I bought 10 years ago still standing proudly in a stack on my kitchen shelves, I got them in a divorce and they still stand the test of time and I still love using them, but sometimes I will admit I would love to lash out and serve some beetroot salad on some pale blue earthenware or some green string beans on pink hued charger, call me crazy but I love the play on color!

With this story for "Good Housekeeping" for the current June issue, The brief, guess what, white plates! Now you think it would mean an easy walk in Central Park but for my assistant Jeanne Lurvey, she actually spent a whole day just looking for that one right white plate! Never had a white plate ever been so thought over, after all it had to be repeated 50 times! We also had to make sure any plates we presented where available in multiples as the Food Styling team would have to be plating salads like a salad factory production line.

A meeting was set with a multitude of Editors to choose the options, It had to be just the right shade of white, not too white, not too cream, It had to have just the right sized lip, come in 3 different sizes so the salads could be adjusted to fit the scale of the plate and look everyday but not too down market, We had a winner at the end of the meeting, actually 2, they liked the shape of one plate but the color of another, so out went poor Jeanne again to find that and find that she did, In Macys around the block!

So the story was born, As you can see from the behind the scenes shots, Boards are set out with all the printouts of the shoot, The Art Director will often use these as a guide to laying out the story, I also use it, to regulate the flow and make sure the color palette is being woven through, In this case, It was white, so maybe not so much regulating for me on this one! ; )

We had a lot of fun shooting as always, Kate Mathis is a dream to work, and with 50 salads to shoot, She certainly had to keep focused, As did the Food Stylist Michael Pederson who did an amazing job of keeping those salads tossed!

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