Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A new kind of beach bag

On Friday night we set off to Wales. To the Gower Peninsular to have a beach weekend and do some food photography on the beach. What more could a recipe writer need than three hungry children, a beach and a strapping husband to carry the picnic. The shots were going to be romantic, perfect sandwiches, divine chocolate cakes, steaming hot chocolate and wholesome chicken pasties all being eaten by smiling happy clean children on a sunny beach.

In the first instance I forgot to pack the picnic hamper. No plates, cups, knives, forks or spoons. Never mind. In the second instance the first day was pretty much off for pictures. It was grey, and the children, who were beside themselves with excitement would not sleep in the car. It was 11pm by the time we checked in the B& B. Saturday was not going to be smiley happy children.. it was grumpy, winey horrid too tired children not fit for a photo… I began to wonder if this was a good idea!

Fortunately the next day the sun and smiles came out after a good nights sleep. We really did spend a delightful Sunday on the beach at Port Eynon

The authentic setting for the food shots made photographing more than a little hazardous. There was sand in almost everything. My son particularly enjoyed the crunch texture asking if we could take some sand back to season his jam sandwiches at home. The lighting was harsh. Full sun, followed by clouds ensued by intense bursts of sun. My aperture and speed settings swung from one end of scales to another in seconds. The wind blew the napkins everywhere. The children kicked sand in the pasties. Husband shouted at them. I dropped the cake. My youngest fell head first into a rock pool. Luckily I was photographing the cardamom hot chocolate and a steaming sweet mug cup saved the day turning a cold wet child and buckets of tears back into smiles again.

It occurred to me that perhaps I should shoot some of the food shots in a more controlled environment at home. I filled a bag with sand, pebbles, seaweed and shells. Aside from carrying Isobel on his shoulders, three baskets, two fishing nets and a rugby ball back my husband also had to cart a large holder of welsh beach back to the car, whilst I quipped about it being a beach bag.

Now all I need is some proper sunshine and to mock up the beach on the patio at home and when the photos are done my son can season his sarnies with the leftover sand.

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