Penny's Pastries. Getting the feeling right.
We were doing an article for Inc. Magazine when I met Penny. She'd opened a baking business and had been pushed into bankruptcy because a big customer pushed her to grow too quickly and then moved on to a different product from a different supplier. She learned a lot from the experience and set out to start over. That was the story. It was a cold and gray day outside and we were still working with film. Medium format transparency film. Probably 100 speed Fujichrome by the look of this frame.
I knew I wanted to light Penny with a big soft light and I knew I needed to light the ovens in the background to give the image a sense of dimensionality and place. But the biggest thing that was needed was to make some sort of connection with Penny that would make the image genuine. We talked about baking and food. We talked about the challenges of business. Once the lighting was set I didn't monkey with it for the rest of the shoot. I figured that if there wasn't some sort of rapport all the lighting in world wouldn't make a difference.
We all hit it off. Penny got a nice profile in the magazine. We got a bag of great cookies.
It's nice when everyone is on the same page. Makes me happy to think about it even now. I guess that's why photography is so cool.