August 15, 2012

Behind The Scenes: Tim's Photo Shoot for Peter Chang China Café

Tim getting set up to shoot new dishes at Peter Chang China Café

Sunday was centered around a special photo shoot Tim has been preparing for with Peter Chang China Café over the past several weeks. In collaboration with Peter Chang's team, Tim was asked to take food photos of some select new menu items onsite at the restaurant for an upcoming project they are working on.

We've been particularly excited about the shoot, not only because we are fans of this RVA restaurant, but the fact that Peter Chang China Café was nominated among Bon Appetit's Top 50 Best New Restaurants in the nation. I guess you could say this put the pressure on, but in a "excited pressure" sort of way.

Earlier that morning we rounded up the arsenal of kitchen supplies Tim thought might make great photo props to accompany the dishes— here's a look at what went to the shoot before packing the car:

You might recognize some of these different dishes and supplies from the photos we use in our everyday lives, here, and on Tim's blog, E.A.T.. He's done a great job of nailing that "rustic industrial" feel we both love so much. This is also a large part of why we have so much fun hunting down that next industrial looking find.

When we got to the restaurant, Tim scoured the room for optimal lighting — looking for a spot near as much natural light as he could possibly find.

Tim photographing new dishes at Peter Chang China Café

The sweet spot happened to be in the middle of the café — and did I mention the restaurant never closes on Sundays, so he was doing all of this amidst many curious diners! Tim went completely into the zone photographing, blocking everything else out as each of the 6 dishes came one by one from the kitchen, steaming on their way over to where he was shooting.

Tim photographing new dishes at Peter Chang China Café

You could say no boundaries stopped him from trying to get his perfect shots:

I was there to help him move dishes and add different elements as he needed, so I was able to snag a couple behind-the-scenes shots of him working with my phone here and there.  

Tim here: Mary was a huge help!  

We always find it fascinating to get a peek behind the camera of others' work, so we thought sharing some behind the camera shots from this project here on the blog might be interesting.

And just so you don't have to be subjected to only my instagram filters throughout this post all about food photography, here's a preview of one of the final shots to give a general feel for the style of the shoot:

We'll look forward to sharing more after this project pans out — now, are you craving Szechuan cuisine?

If you are local to the area, have you tried Peter Chang's yet? For those of you that have, you know what we're talking about! For those that haven't, you're in for a treat should you decide to go.


  1. well, that last shot definitely makes me want to order that dish! Great job :)

  2. I recognize myself in these photos :) This is our hard work :)

    1. Yep, we share many of the same tricks for getting that perfect shot — would love to hear more of the techniques you've tried out!

  3. I am more of a lurker than a commenter mostly because when I do have something to say some one else has already said it and I hate to repeat. But that being said, I have to tell you both that I have really enjoyed your blog immensely.
    I love the gardening ideas and have tried a few although most will have to wait til next year, the sweet potatoes for sure.
    And Basil what can I say, he is great. I have two dogs who will be turning 2 next week and we are having a pool party for them. (Humans in the pool. Dogs wouldn't have anything to do with a pool but give them a nice muddy pond... I think you get the point.) We celebrate every day our furry friends came to stay with us.
    Just thought you'd like to know I'm reading this from Reno, Nevada.
    Thanks for writting. Heidi

    1. Heidi!

      We are so thrilled to hear from you and yes — this comment did make our day!

      Happy birthday to your pups from us and Basil!

  4. Love this! Looks like the photos turned out great!! :)


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