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Shooting Food

Cast Iron Creatives is the local state-of-the-art in food photography

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PHOTO BY MELISSA DELYNN
  • Photo by Melissa DeLynn

SAVANNAH has seen a tremendous amount of growth in areas that could potentially foster an environment that encourages a different type of tourism.

Building a foundation around industries that can help facilitate the growth of other industries will allow us to expand at a rate conducive to what our communities want and need.

As our culture shape-shifts, and we figure out what works, we need to make sure we support local entrepreneurs who are using their passions to contribute to the bigger picture.

Our food industry has given us such an influx of culture this year, and we’ve responded well by using it as a building block for other industries to flourish.

Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way.

Some people attached to how things have been are fighting the current. Reducing the amount of competition allows for the bigger fish to continue to getting bigger, even though their growth contributes to nothing except lining their pockets.

That simple-minded, selfish train of thought makes it difficult for us to fully step into our potential.

As competition for people’s time and energy heighten, restaurants, bars, and food trucks will have to start thinking outside of the box to make sure they maintain the attention of their customers.

Which is exactly what is best for us as consumers, because we get to vote with our dollar as we decide who stays and who goes.

Those aware of this understand the value of marketing, and how important branding can be to grabbing the attention of the locals and even tourists. Food photography is an art form that goes severely underappreciated, mainly because most people think they are photographers from behind their iPhones.

PHOTO BY MELISSA DELYNN
  • Photo by Melissa DeLynn

Capturing the essence of a plate goes way beyond point and shoot. Those who take it seriously understand the nuances behind great food photography.

I had a chance to sit down with friend, GM of Foxy Loxy, and professional food photographer Jason B. James about how he views food photography in this day and age, as well as where the food industry is headed in Savannah.

Born in Savannah, but living in Atlanta during childhood and early adulthood, Jason went to school in Valdosta. After understanding the dynamic of a big city, he decided to try Savannah on for size.

Despite going back to school at the creative circus, he had not yet found his passion for photography.

“I found a professor that I really enjoy, and I listened to his advice which was to figure out what I really enjoyed shooting, and focus all my energy in that direction,” Jason says.

“The real goal is to show the masses the difference between what your cousin can do, and what someone who has trained and studied this medium could provide. Even beyond the photos themselves, the styling of the food and the environment is more than half the battle,” he says.

“We as artists are storytellers through our mediums, and it is our job to bring people back to a very specific place. As a photographer, it is a beautiful thing to be able to bring back memories for people, memories that most people forget that they have,” Jason explains.

“One of the only senses that can do that immediately is smell, so it is an interesting dynamic to attempt to catch those emotions through a picture.”

We both agreed on a couple of things. One, quality photography, especially food photography, is a dying breed. However, when you dig past the flood of point and shoots that bog down social media, you can begin to see the artists whose intention is to evoke an emotion rather than just capturing a dish.

Taking the time to design a menu item, to think about where those ingredients are sourced from, and how to prepare and execute these plates to maximize flavor potential, is what these chefs live for.

From an artistic standpoint, great food photographers are interested in transmuting those feelings, even if you can’t directly taste or smell the food.

The moods created by lighting and styling directly impact the consumers perceive a restaurant and the environment that exists behind its walls.

As locals, it’s our job to continue to play our role facilitating the growth of our city, and we do that with our dollar. Supporting artists and entrepreneurs who see a better future for city is our role.

And if you need food photography, consider a visit to James’ website at www.castironcreatives.com.

Let’s keep stirring that pot, people.

cs

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