We were recently asked to complete a shoot for a beautiful old country Hotel as it has recently changed ownership. The new owners have re-invented the Restaurant and Bar area and have plans to up-grade the rest of the Hotel over the coming months.
So, last week, we were to be found in delightful surroundings, with the wonderful Chef, Alex, and new Manager/Proprietor, Chris and the staff. The brief was simple, to convey the new area and food in way that supported their style, approach and development. This meant we were to produce photography that conveyed a warm, natural cosy feel with high quality dishes that made the viewer feel a sense of comfortable ambience. The building dates several centuries and is well known in the local area and the new decor certainly builds on the ‘country’ feel and style.
We decided to photograph six dishes, two starters, two mains and two desserts. These we decided were to be shot in a way that would be consistent with the imagery we produced for the interior itself. This meant a subtle toning of the images and a departure from the traditional sometimes clinical images of food often observed in books and magazines. We achieved this by shooting well lit images but in post, adding in some texture and subtle toning to the images that created the overall look and feel we were after.
The interior shots were easier to produce as the ambient lighting manages to set the tone the owners were looking for all by itself. All I needed to do was to choose the appropriate angles and viewpoints to capture the comfortable surroundings. My only issue was the colour balance in the lighting between two ‘areas’ of the interior but this in itself only caused minor issues to the overall final images.
The Restaurant in question is called The Bell House Hotel and its wonders can be enjoyed at Sutton Benger which is a small village just off J17 of the M4 in beautiful rural Wiltshire.