Austin, Texas-based lifestyle photographer Buff Strickland recently teamed up with Camille Styles, an Austin-based blogger, event stylist, and lifestyle expert for a beautiful book all about entertaining.
The book, Entertaining: Inspired Gatherings & Effortless Style, covers all the seasons and contains a variety of creative ideas for those who love hosting. Buff had been working with Camille for a while and was excited for the opportunity to shoot this book. Below, I caught up with her to talk about all of the joys and challenges of the project. Enjoy!
How did you get involved with this book?
I had worked with Camille on her blog since moving to Austin. She and I always worked very well together. There’s a lot of talented photographers in Austin and I feel fortunate she asked me to shoot the book for her.
Can you explain the project?
The book is a seasonal entertaining book. Because of that Camille wanted to shoot it seasonally. We did our first shoot in early June of 2013 and our last in January of 2014. We ended up shooting about 18 days total.
Do you shoot a lot of food?
Food is one thing I shoot. We shot some food stills but really it was about food in the context of gatherings, which is what I love to shoot.
Any challenges with this project? If so, how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was probably not having a budget for an assistant. On some shoots it didn’t matter, but some I really needed someone. There was so many things going on at once during the party shoots. Fortunately, Camille has a pretty big team that I enlisted the help of. We all worked together really well.
What was involved in pre and post production ?
Camille involved me in so much of the process, which I really appreciated. We scouted together and she was always open to my suggestions. I also did all the retouching of the final images and reviewed all the layouts as they came in, making suggestions along the way.
Here are a few promos that Buff created with images from the book:
What was your favorite part?
I love collaborating with a team, especially one as talented as this group of women. I loved the locations we had access to, beautiful homes, an urban farm, we even shot a party at a nursery (although it was over 100 degrees that day which proved challenging).
Do you have any tips for aspiring food photographers?
I didn’t really start out shooting food. Food was something I shot as a part of my travel work. I think the same principals should apply to any aspiring photographers. Mostly to shoot, shoot, shoot. These days there are so many outlets for photographers just starting out to show their work and I would contact them all and try to shoot as much as possible. Connecting with people who make their living around food: stylist, chefs, bloggers, restaurants, etc. and putting yourself out there to do work and test with them are great ways to get work.