Photographing KFC’s Premium Italian Desserts

September 2014 was all about franchise food photography. I had bookings to photograph KFC, Starbucks, Sushi Tei, Auntie Anne’s and Gloria Jeans food menu, all in the same month. A week before the Starbucks assignment, I photographed KFC Brunei’s Premium Italian Desserts in three offerings: Profiteroles, Tiramisu and Chocolate Tartufo. Of the three, I have sampled the Tiramisu and Choc Tartufo — can’t say which one I liked better but as far as sweet desserts go, I guess I would take turns having them again. Now to find time to sample the Profiteroles.

As I have no behind-the-scenes photos of the assignment to share, here are close-up images of the mouthwatering desserts used in the actual packaging instead. According to KFC Brunei’s Facebook announcement, these desserts are now available in all stores nationwide.

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Photographing Starbucks Brunei’s Menu

I cannot ask for a better month — two photo shoots in a month with two international franchises: KFC Brunei and Starbucks Brunei. Three premium desserts for KFC and a Starbucks menu just a week apart have kept me busy with post processing work. Somewhere in between I have had to rush a client’s request to uprezz (yes, there’s such a term) a panoramic landscape shot of Tasek Merimbun to 343 megapixels (45472×7543 pixels) to go onto a wall of JPMC Cancer Center. I am so glad that I had my computer’s cooling sorted before I have had to deal with an avalanche of CPU intensive processing work.

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The setup at Starbucks Mabohai outlet: A pair of light stand mounted, radio triggered Canon Speedlite strobes including a third handheld Speedlite, 5D Mark III tethered to a 17-inch Dell Studio laptop for instant, critical review.

It is Starbucks policy to conduct their photo shoot in private but after juggling the idea of just a handful of preferred locations Starbucks Mabohai outlet was chosen even if that meant shooting in full view of passers-by and dine-in patrons. The display and merchandise section of the cafe was cordoned off for food styling and preparation and those who are familiar with my workflow know that I’ll bring a lot of equipment on location. A 17-inch laptop for tethered shooting is an absolute must when dealing with commercially critical images. I can’t imagine four pairs of eyes fighting to view the camera’s 3-inch LCD versus the convenience of a 17-inch display.

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Testing light placements and checking exposure of the first item to shoot. A third unmounted light (not pictured) was used where required to provide additional lighting to hard to lift shadow details. Thank you Eric for this picture.

Upclose and Personal with Inhabitants of the Seria Shoreline

There’s a time to feast on delicious cooked crabs and there’s a time to just … watch them. The last time I set foot on the beach I had an amazing time watching and photographing crabs local to the Seria shoreline. Hard to believe it’s been 6 years since I took these closeups — a test of patience with a dose of luck and opportunity. The price I paid for being extremely patient was bait for sandfly to feast on. This time, however, I covered myself a lot more than I did before — sunhat, long sleeved top and jeans along with socks and shoes — which somewhat helped except I had left my neck completely uncovered. As a result, I came home with three bite marks (as opposed to more than half a dozen before) that are now swollen and itchy. Still, a small price to pay to be up close and personal with these very interesting creatures, watching them dig holes. Because

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This crab scoops tiny balls of wet sand to create a hole deep enough for it to hide in.

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Walking back to the car with the front of my top and jeans completely wet (I laid on wet sand in order to get a good vantage point) I came across another catch — horseshoe crabs. Before today, I had only seen dead ones that people kept as display items in their house but these were alive and kicking on the very shoreline where the hundreds or thousands of tiny crabs hang out. I was ecstatic that a few hours on the beach had been so productive!

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A fruitful morning for this family of four to have picked up four horseshoe crabs.