The Square is a chef-driven food hall and a hub for cuisine, culture, and community. Set to launch this summer in Washington, DC, proprietors Rubén García and Richie Bradenburg needed visuals to support their marketing efforts leading up to the grand opening. Our producers facilitated the relationship with photographer Rey Lopez and managed the pre-production and on-site production of a multi-day shoot for this exciting new venture.
Rubén García and Richie Brandenburg knew they needed marketing and advertising materials for their ambitious new food hall project and culinary destination, The Square. Immediately, Washington, DC-based food photographer Rey Lopez was a top pick. Rey, a master at his craft, had already built strong relationships with many chefs and restaurant proprietors in DC. There probably wasn’t a restaurant in the city that he hadn’t photographed. In fact, Rey had worked with Richie and Rubén as well as most (if not all) of the chefs involved in The Square on previous projects. Rey was the perfect fit for this new venture. So they recommended that Mosaic contact him for the multi-day shoot production. Rey then reached out to Wonderful Machine where I assisted with estimate creation, creative call planning, and, ultimately, to produce the shoot. As always we were excited to help!
The Square was designed as a new, upscale food market that takes over an entire city block in Downtown DC. The idea was to showcase 15 of DC’s best chefs and restaurants in a casual and vibrant setting for the city to enjoy. The creative brief was for a library of images consisting of styled dishes and raw ingredient still life photos, stylized portraits of people enjoying the food, and portraits of the chefs and restauranteurs involved in the project. This work would be used in OOH (out-of-home), web, and social media placements as part of Mosaic’s marketing campaign for the project.
After Rey was awarded the project, we worked on refining the shot list with Mosaic’s creative team. Since our shot list included a lot of pictures of food and people eating food, we had to consider locations with sufficient kitchens and wide open space to stage and execute the shots. With a short list of client-provided locations, we set out to tech scout and collectively decide upon what worked best. For the initial tech scout days, the team consisted of Rey and his 1st Assistant, The Square’s marketing director and marketing manager, Mosaic’s Creative Director, and myself as producer.
Coming out of our location/tech scouts, Rey and I worked on nailing down the schedule for our three shoot days. Specifically, we factored in the length of time needed to photograph each scene and tried to create an efficient schedule by placing related shots or scenes close to each other. This schedule then went to the client for review. They were involved in this part of pre-production since they would be handling all the food prep and managing the locations, chefs, and talent during the shoot. After finalizing the schedule with the client, we started working with our props and wardrobe styling teams. Also, we reviewed the schedule with them to keep them up to speed and also got the client to sign off on wardrobe and props.
Rey and I put together a stellar crew. It included Rey’s camera support team, a digital tech, a wardrobe stylist and assistant, a hair and makeup stylist and assistant, a props stylist and assistant, a nail artist, and production support.
With crew booked, locations and talent scheduled, and a lengthy to-do list checked off, our first shoot day quickly approached. We worked hard during pre-production to prep for success and we assembled a team of creatives who executed their jobs perfectly and anticipated our needs. So it was no surprise that the next three days of photography and production went smoothly. On the first two days, we shot at a local restaurant that Rubén and Ritchie partnered with. And on the third day, we shot in a large studio space.
It was great seeing all the moving pieces come together seamlessly and tackling each item on the lengthy shot list day by day. In the end, the shoot production was a huge success. We celebrated with the client and agency at a wrap party in the historic Hay-Adams Hotel. And, after a bit of post-production, the work was out in the world to promote the June opening.
1st Assistant – Matt DeBruycker
2nd Assistant – Matt Dandy
DigiTech – Chris Birck
Prop Stylist – Alyssa Sadler
Hair/MU Stylist – George Kyriakos
Wardrobe Stylist – Stephanie Tricola
Nail Stylist – Titilayo Bankole