Where the Grass is Greener

After so much talk of coffee brewing assistants and equally coffee guzzling photographers, I thought it time I wrote about a food shoot just to remind everyone that there’s more to Flat Art than just cups and saucers with a spoonful of light banter stirred in. This month’s issue of rooirose featured “Winter Piekniek” in its Versamel Resepte section. I find out why photographer Lee Malan and Food Editor Vickie de Beer consider it their best shoot yet!

The picnic spread. Photo: Lee Malan

With the Cape’s often icy wind and dark crown of clouds, the last thing on most minds in winter is laying down a blanket to enjoy an alfresco picnic. However, with bubbling cheese fondue and cups of melkkos to warm your bones and gladden your heart, Vickie really knows how to serve it up as a truly appealing idea.

The shoot took place in May at Pampoen Kraal on Altydgedacht Farm in Durbanville. Setting foot on the farm you feel like you’re in an urban forest, escaping the hustle and bustle of city life by entering another world. Its green and lush vegetation and the sound of mooing cows really puts you in touch with nature but not too close though, as  hakkies draad fences provide a safe distance between you and the cows. With its rustic charm it’s no wonder Lee immediately fell in love with it and has chosen it to be her wedding venue for next year.

The hakkies draad keeps the cows at bay. Photo: Daniela Zondagh

With wedding bells in Lee’s ears, interrupted by the occasional mmmoooo, Vickie and her got to work creating the winter picnic scene. rooirose fashion assistant Lisa Lazaurus was also part of the team and had brought a friend along to be our model picnicker. Lee says it was fun to shoot a real life model for once, giving the food a break from taking centre stage, but it was also challenging. It’s all about communication and positioning the model right, you have to look at the bigger picture, not just at the food.

Vickie and Lee wait as the model is prepped. Photo: Daniela Zondagh

As it was an overcast day, we were lucky to have perfect shooting conditions with more contrast to the light and no direct sunlight and harsh shadows. It was difficult at times to get the shot we wanted but we kept shooting until we got it right, even if this meant Lee standing on the edge of a ditch and almost falling in as well as photographing a ladybug on a leaf for 15 minutes straight before eventually giving up. At least we gave it our best shot!

With Bob’s Your Uncle wine, a delicious spread of food to snack on the whole shoot through as well as an abundance of fresh farm air, we had the extra energy needed to create a beautiful story that tops our list so far.

More behind the scenes pics on our Facebook page!

Keeping our energy levels up with Bob's Your Uncle. Photo: Daniela Zondagh


About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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