Montreal, Canada-based food/drink photographer David De Stefano has worked with Metro grocery stores on a regular basis for the last several years. The Canadian food retailer is headquartered in Montreal, with 953 stores in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. With Metro’s four in-store brands (Selection, Irresistibles, Personnelle, and Life Smart), David enjoyed a constant flow of assignments for both product and packaging shoots. His most recent commissions from Metro ranged from savory to sweet, with new product shots for the Irresistibles and Life Smart brands.
I think Metro really requires experienced photographers who can manage a variety of styles and are technically proficient in order to deliver on the perfection usually demanded of food packaging photography. It goes without saying that really knowing your way around a food set is a must. It also helps that my partner and prop stylist, Caroline Nault, and I have a deep bank of in-studio props to deal with the quick turnaround times of these shoots.
Through his many projects with Metro, David and his client have refined their pre-planning process to a T: creative brief, prop approval, and scheduling the shoot.
Most of the work is done remotely, in coordination with their design agency Pigeon Brands, based in Toronto.
For each assignment, the goal of the photos can be broken down to two words:
The photoshoots took place in studio, with David and a small team present on set. David stayed connected with Metro and Pigeon Brands remotely, updating the client and agency throughout the shoot.
It is always fun, and a challenge to make these shots come to life. I usually like to add as much mood as possible when it comes to lighting — which is not always easy for packaging shoots.
As David reflected on the projects, he remembered that each shot presented its unique challenges, a common occurrence in food/drink photography.
Ice cream melts. Chocolate can sweat out its oils or whiten. Lettuce wilts quickly and coriander lasts literally seconds before it dies on set. You just have to know what you are shooting, and have an answer for whatever does not look as good as you would like.
See more of David’s work on his website.
Metro Design and Branding Creative Direction Manager: Eric Gagnon
Agency: Pigeon Brands
Pigeon Brands Directeur de Création Exécutif: Olivier Chevillot
Pigeon Brands Creative Director: Jessika Neal
Pigeon Brands Graphic Designers: Canelle Péré and Catherine Potvin
Food Stylists: Nataly Simard, Heidi Bronstein, and Anne Gagne
Uno Photodesign Prop Stylist: Caroline Nault
Read about more food/drink shoots on our blog.