Today's blog post is a little bit different to my normal content - instead of sharing a new fun food idea or recipe, I'm going to give you a little peep behind the scenes of a recent project I worked on with Heinz for Baby.
If you regularly follow Eats Amazing, you'll know that I primarily share fun food ideas and recipes for kids here on the blog and on the Eats Amazing social media pages. But did you know that I also work as a freelance food photographer and recipe developer? This is actually a large part of my business and I absolutely love what I do and the very lovely people that I am fortunate enough to work with.
Sometimes I create fun food art for clients, often themed around their own brand, and sometimes I develop and shoot new recipes using a brand's products. For this particular project, I was working with two new Heinz for Baby ranges - the plant-based Heinz for Baby Pulses and the Heinz Let’s Cook! range.
When working on freelance projects, it might surprise you to learn that the starting point for me as a photographer is the background of the photo. This is really important as it can really help sent the scene and mood of a photo and also help tie in with the client's branding.
I almost always shoot on vinyl backdrops from the wonderful Capture by Lucy, and have a growing collection to cover almost any occasion. For this project, I shot a series of test images on a selection of suitable backdrops, sent them to the Heinz team and asked them to decide which backdrops would best suit the style of photography they were going for.
After some discussion, we settled on a soft watercolour blue backdrop for the Baby Pulses range, and a couple of bright block colour backdrops for the Let’s Cook! range, for which the Heinz team wanted to convey a more playful mood.
Backdrops decided on, I then turned my attention to props. I have to admit that I own a very large collection of bowls in many shapes and sizes (I collect bowls like other people collect shoes or handbags, ha ha!) and so I picked out some nice baby friendly bowls that I thought would be most suitable for this project, and also different styles and colours of spoons.
Once again I sent photos of the various options to the Heinz team and gathered opinions to help decide which props would work best for showcasing the foods. For the Baby Pulses range, we settled on some pretty bamboo bowls and wooden-handled spoons, which I felt reflected the simple natural ingredients that the products are made from.
It may seem a little excessive to spend so much time choosing props and backdrops etc, but I firmly believe that the tiny details are the most important secret ingredient in a well-branded photo shoot. They are the key components in helping to tell a story with your photos, and I really loved that the Heinz team were so engaged and got involved in helping me create exactly the kind of photos they were looking for.
Decisions made, it was time to get shooting! I started with the Baby Pulses range, and created some short 10 second videos as well as the photography. I used fresh ingredients inspired by the products themselves to help set the scene and highlight the tasty ingredients to be found inside the jars.
While shooting the photos, I varied the angles and rearranged background props to create a series of different images to showcase each product. Whether you are a blogger, a social media influencer or a freelance food photographer, taking some extra time to shoot the same subjects from a variety of angles is a great way to multi-task and create extra content for your client!
Heinz new plant-based range is specially designed with babies’ tiny taste buds in mind. It’s great for parents looking to introduce more savoury flavours and plant-based ingredients to their little one’s menu, boosted by protein rich pulses, the perfect complement to a balanced weaning journey. If you have a little one, do look out for them - they're available to buy from all major retailers now!
Once I'd finished shooting the Baby Pulses range, it was time to start work on the second photo shoot, this time for the Heinz Let’s Cook! range. This time I added in a few extra props in the form of brightly coloured wooden blocks and cars, and served the food in bright plastic bowls, to help achieve the playful mood the Heinz team had asked for.
This part of the project involved a lot more work as I was asked to develop some recipes to help showcase the new range of products. I also shot some recipe videos for these products as well.
The Heinz Let's Cook! range includes two tasty new pastas and three delicious sauces for parents to mix and match for scrummy from-scratch style meals for little ones that are ready in minutes. My task was to create a dish to showcase each of the five products, the recipes for which I tested and tweaked extensively before shooting. You'll find all five of the recipes I created over on the Heinz for Baby website.
I taste test all my recipes of course, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at just how tasty these were for baby food! If they had been around a few years ago, these are definitely products I would have bought and used for my boys when they were weaning, they're so handy to have in the cupboard for a quick and easy meal for baby! The full Heinz for Baby Let’s Cook! range is available in Asda and Tesco now, so keep your eyes peeled for them if you have a little one to feed.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Heinz team on this project, and am really looking forward to working with them again in the future!
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Heinz for Baby. I was compensated for my time spent working on this project, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.