Mad Men Picnic

This past Summer I met a friend named Jung Fitzpatrick  http://www.jungfitzpatrick.com/blog/2017/12/1/mad-men-picnic on Facebook through SF Image Makers. She posted that she was a Photographer and looking for a Food Stylist to collaborate with in hopes that we could both build our portfolios and share a collaborative experience with her Photography and my Food Styling. I was so excited as I too want to broaden my knowledge and experience in the industry as I start out on my new career. We met at Tartine Manufactory for a delicious Brunch and planned and executed our vision. We planned our next meeting and picked a theme we both wanted to work on. Since we both love anything Vintage, we decided to do an elegant Romantic Vintage Picnic for 2 in the Park. Our inspiration was the TV show Mad Men, the 1960’s, romance and an elegant setting.

We scheduled our shoot for the end of August and our location was determined, Golden Gate Park at Golden Hour. Golden Hour is a term relating to the time of day shortly after sunrise and before sunset when the daylight has a red or golden softer hue. It is a beautiful time of day as the day begins to fade into the promise of a beautiful early evening.

We gave ourselves about a month to prep for our Picnic Shoot and to do our research. I had a project which I was so excited about, researching the food that was to be used. I watched Mad Men, looked through old vintage photos, used Pinterest that Jung and I shared in collaboration and I also studied the fashion as I was also going to be the model. I wanted to use China and luckily, the Thrift Stores in my area had beautiful vintage and 60’s period China which was perfect for the shoot and also extremely affordable. I even recollect my Mother having a set of the Plates I found.

The menu to be featured in our shoot was as follows;
Ambrosia Salad
Pimento Cheese & Celery Sticks
Tomato Cheese Sandwiches w/ Iceberg Lettuce & condiments on White Wonder Bread
Devilled Eggs
Ruffles Potato Chips
Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Peach Lattice Pie
Champagne

I loved doing this research and we even had a test run Picnic as we scouted at our location. I did my own photo shoots at home with the China Plates, Glassware, Props etc. to make sure everything was spot on. To capture the 60’s feel I wrapped the Sandwiches in Brown Baking Paper and tied with string later to be plated on the China I purchased. I tested all the recipes at least twice before Shoot day to get it perfect.

Other props I had and purchased were Vintage Champagne Coupes, a Vintage Picnic Basket, Japanese Vintage Umbrella and a Cart to safely transport our elements for our busy day.

The day of the shoot had arrived and our crew was David my husband my assistant, Peter, the Digitech and Male Model, Keith the Lighting Tech, Jung of course was the Photographer and I did the Food Styling and was the female Model. It was a freezing brisk San Francisco day but we were so excited to share our artistic vision we didn’t let it hinder our ambitions. We took a lunch break in between and I made sandwiches for the crew and also brought a 1960’s cookie bar called Scotcharoos made with Butterscotch, Rice Krispies and Chocolate. We worked tirelessly from about 10:00 am to about 5:00 at which time we were losing the light. We wrapped our shoot and had a toast with bubbly that Jung brought to share to toast to an outstanding and collaborative day!

What I’ve loved the most about this is I’ve met some new friends throughout this process. Friends that are creative and that I’ll keep working with. I am already planning 2 of my next projects. A Cocktail Party Shoot with a few appetizers, and a Christmas Cookie Shoot, I can’t wait to start testing all the food and beverages for these endeavours!!
 

 All bundled up and ready to work.

All bundled up and ready to work.

 Deviled Eggs on vintage egg plate.

Deviled Eggs on vintage egg plate.

 Testing food shoot at home.

Testing food shoot at home.