How to avoid food waste during shoots with Martina Jones
November is a month where food is on everyone's mind. People break out their winter recipes, canned food drives pop up everywhere and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Today we are interviewing Martina, a photographer from England. She agreed to share her brilliant idea to avoid food waste during food shoots with our community. Together, we can make a difference.
Could you briefly present yourself, tell us where you’re from, what you like to shoot, etc.?
Hi, my name is Martina, I live in Manchester, England. I completed my degree in contemporary photography in 2017 and started working for Meero in May 2018 and opened my own studio with a workshop and darkroom space in June. My passion is Victorian photographic processes but I have always enjoyed photographing still life, so food photography for 'Just eat' is perfect for me!
So, you shoot food photography with us, can you explain how it works for those who have never shot food?
I turn up at the takeaway/restaurant and after basic introductions etc. I will get some shots of the chefs preparing the food in the kitchen. The main food shots are done on the 'Just eat' background provided using my camera on a tripod, I then arrange the food as well as possible to make it look like a meal and photograph it all together from above 90 degrees.
The Just eat guidelines are very specific so I find them easy to follow and, really, as long as you stick to these as much as possible it continues to flow easily.
After the shoot, what happens to the dishes?
Most places will offer me a dish or two to take home, which I will sometimes accept. The rest I presume goes in the bin or to staff members.
What do you do to avoid food waste?
I try to get the restaurant to only fill the front of burgers/wraps, as that is all that is seen in the photograph I will use the same chips or other sides to go with several of the dishes.
If the restaurant is particularly upset about having to make 8 dishes I get them to use the same burger starting out as a plain cheeseburger and then add toppings which will make it another burger off the menu e.g: add pineapple makes it a Hawaiian burger and photograph it again. Or if the restaurant doesn't want to make any food to photograph I have had to photograph food going out for customers.
This is difficult as it can leave you with no food left to photograph for your top shots. On occasion when a restaurant has insisted that I take food home, I have given it to homeless people if they have been around for me to give it to.
Great idea Martina! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.