A couple of weeks ago we were commissioned by LightBrigade PR to undertake a shoot at the newly-opened “Hugo’s” restaurant in Egham, Surrey, for DM, website and general marketing use. Good restaurant interiors are always a challenge – particularly if you are shooting while they’re open and serving customers ! The mistake a lot of inexperienced photographers make when presented with a commercial interior is to put on their widest lens and attempt to capture everything in one or two angles. My technique is to look at the overall picture and then select elements that catch the eye, whether it’s the light on the bar stools or the Damien Hirst painting on the wall. It’s these details that tend to lodge in the memory, rather than sprawling vistas of a dining room in it’s entirety.
Some general shots are of course essential to give a sense of place, but again showing just enough to tempt you to come and see what else is on offer…
Shooting up to this point had been available light only, but my portraits of chef Antonio Romani and manager Leo Alexander were each lit by a single soft box. For Antonio I shot with flash, but for Leo I shot using just the built in modelling light , making it easier to balance foreground and background exposure levels.
Food was next on the menu, again lit by a single soft box and shot with an 80mm Macro Nikkor. We selected scallops with bacon and a roasted vegetable platter with parma ham, as both dishes gave us terrific colours and textures to work with.
Final shot of the afternoon was the exterior. We’d left this until last as although Hugo’s is situated in a prime position, the surrounding buildings are fairly nondescript and there is lots of street furniture to contend with. This image was tweaked in post production to reduce the effect of the surroundings and focus attention on the front elevation itself.