Though it feels like almost everything is closed, there are plenty of places that are still open for business — especially in food service. That is why outfits like Whisked Confections need to alert people to the fact, via social media, that they can deliver their product. This means they need someone to get shots of what they’re selling. Enter New York City-based photographer Melinda DiMauro, who has worked with WC’s owner, Lindsay Palumbo for years and was more than happy to shoot (and later devour) her Easter-themed desserts.
Lindsay asked if I’d consider shooting some incredible chocolate bunnies she’d designed for Easter. Normally, we’d plan a shoot day and she would be the food stylist, but this time she just dropped off a large bag of prepped product. I set it up in my office and spent the day sending screen shots to her as I shot each set up.
She’s been a friend for about eight years, and we’ve been shooting together around five years. Her cakes are stunning — the best I’ve ever tasted. My favorite chocolate she makes is a milk chocolate truffle with passion fruit filling. It’s outrageous.
Considering these were holiday-themed pastries, time was of the essence for Melinda. Like most of us, Lindsay lost work as a result of the coronavirus, making it all the more vital for Melinda to get these images to her so she could recalibrate her business plan and continue to make money.
I tried to turn these around as quickly as possible so that she would have time to upload them to her website and flood her social media as well. Chocolates are difficult and expensive to ship, so she could only provide local deliveries.
Social media was key in getting the word out that she was still in business, even now during COVID. She has a few large hotel clients in NYC that she usually services but was unable to. Extra advertising was key in maintaining her business in a changing world.
One of the obvious highlights of the shoot is the photo of a cracked chocolate bunny spilling bon bons [you should maybe stop reading now if you’re hungry]. Usually, Melinda and Lindsay work together in person to style and frame each shot. That being out of the question, the two worked through the assignment via FaceTime.
That one was tricky. She includes bon bons inside each bunny and wanted to show what it looks like in the image. For that shot, she sent me extra versions of the bunny and extra bon bons to create the shot. Normally, she would carefully style the image for me, but since we weren’t allowed to be in the same room, we had to improvise. We had a FaceTime call when I was ready to break open the bunny so she could talk me through it.
I used a clean set of tweezers to make the initial break and slowly picked apart the hole until it was a good shape and size. I stacked up the chocolates inside based on her recommendation of what to add.
That shot took a bit longer to finish because we had several calls until we had a final product ready. She was really happy with the final.
Not only was Lindsay pleased with that specific shot, she was satisfied with all the rest as well. Happily, Whisked Confections got more customers partly because of Melinda’s work, a spot of good news for a small business during one of the scariest times in history to be one.
I know that Lindsay had multiple new orders this year. She has an incredible artistic eye for symmetry. She’s such a great mix of a perfectionist but also a super creative and innovative. She inspires me to be the same.
Check out more of Melinda’s work at melindadimauro.com.
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