Lights! Camera! Action!

It was a hot summer day as Sharon and I drove up together to McDill and Associates in the hills of Soquel for the Pacific Cookie Company photo shoot with Lisa Keenan (photographer), Lynn Piquet (our designer and stylist), and team. This year has been dubbed “ReImagine 2012” as we have been working to freshen up our style piece by piece. You can see some of the results of this at our retail bakery downtown, where we have undergone some renovations: new paint, gluten-free cookies, a stainless steel bar and an IPAD to conduct transactions to name a few. But more about that another time!

As we passed multiple horse properties and fenced-in green acreage with roaming animals, I knew that the location would be simply breathtaking. Missy McDill of McDill and Associates was kind enough to let us conduct the photo shoot on her property.

Upon arriving, my eyes immediately locked on a classic red barn at the bottom of the property. The character exuding from every red wooden board on that barn as it stood there amidst the surrounding water fountain, grape vines, and peaceful gazebo was stunningly picturesque in every way.

Stepping from Sharon’s electric blue VW Bug in my green Toms, wedding dress in hand, the wind picked up forcing the sun to peek from behind the clouds – the perfect day for a photo shoot. In search of a bathroom in which to change into my wedding dress for our first shot (I know what you’re thinking – wedding dress?!), I had the opportunity to explore the barn. Amongst the well-organized prop collection neatly stacked to the attic’s ceiling, I was surprised to see a conference room/dining room and a full working kitchen (with my dream refrigerator, needless to say – industrial sized and taller than me with full length sliding glass doors so you can actually SEE  inside without having to open the fridge!). But I digress.

The idea behind this photo shoot and our “ReImagine 2012” concept was to introduce our cookies along with a few new packaging ideas in a way that fits more of a lifestyle mentality – ideally YOUR lifestyle. We wanted to show you how to incorporate our cookies into your life, rather than just into your tummy!

This wedding shot I speak of was meant to introduce our cookies as wedding/party favors as this has become quite a popular special request over the past year or two (many couples call in requesting their favorite cookies for each guest’s place setting). These stacks of six one-ounce cookies tied off with a simple yet elegant wired ribbon were arranged on a classic white cake platter amongst a table setting of fancy silverware, beautiful bouquets of white hydrangeas, and quaint Venetian-style champagne flutes. Oh, and the mysterious man in the red pumas? He was my stand-in “father of the bride” (who requested to remain anonymous). 😉

I learned quite a thing or two that day regarding the food photography industry – that those beautiful shots you see in Gourmet, or Bon Appetit or Saveur magazines are not just an easy point and shoot. The multiple shots, minute changes, and additions and subtractions of “props” are just a few ways in which to achieve the perfect shot. Not to mention the MANY cookies we baked and brought with us to ensure the perfect selection of cookie for each shot

Cookies Waiting for their Shining Moment

Small paintbrushes were used to brush away unwanted crumbs.

One technique that I thought especially clever was painting olive oil onto the chocolate chips in each cookie with a fine tip brush to achieve a “melting” look. That’s just one in a million ideas to make your food look more appetizing in photos – here are a few other ideas I came across online.

It was really something to see these ladies at work. Shifting the cookies around to the left or right, arranging the crumbs in a particular way to really capture that taste bud tantalizing effect…their level of patience with such an eye to minute details was stunning.

All in all, after a hard day’s work, we came away with a beautiful selection of photos showing our delectable cookies in all of their sumptuousness. Keep checking back to our website to see the final images of our photoshoot…


Okay, okay…here’s a sneak peek!



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