Who says fondue can should be an autumn or winter treat? Well, maybe nobody does. It seems popular in the colder months. I definitely understand why- warm beer cheese underneath a tiny fire and you and your partner are snuggled up next to each other dipping bread chunks. I get it. But, I wanted to photograph fondue in a more summer-cheery atmosphere to try and break the mold.
This project originally started with my friend Renee. Her and I wanted to do a fondue collaboration. I wanted to do a very rustic fondue shoot- almost like if you were camping and using actual tree branches as your fondue sticks. It was extremely hard for me to wrap my head around it, especially when it came to props. It was bright and warm out and everything in the stores was colorful and beach themed. The prop shopping lead me to a summer fondue shoot and Renee and I decided to postpone the rustic fondue idea until a more appropriate season. I think the biggest thing I learned here was to not try (unless you HAVE to for an assignment) to pretend it’s winter when it’s not. It’s summer! Embrace the hot sunny days and photograph food that is appropriate for this season of life. The other lesson I learned; even the simplest of prop shopping can take a lot of time. It took me months to find the perfect fondue sticks. I found them in the most random antique store in Gaston, Oregon…hidden in the back with no price tag! It was probably the best $2.00 I’ve spent in a long time.
My wonderful assistant, Christiane, reminded me that sometimes less is more. I had all these colorful plates and food everywhere. I sat there and stared at it and I could not get the images to work. She finally mentioned that maybe there was too much going on and we should take items away. Brilliant. As you can see majority of my favorite photos are those with a lot less props and food. Sometimes simplicity is best.
Chocolate Fondue: 2/3 cup Whipping Cream, 1/3 Cup Strawberry Preserves, 1 Tbs. Honey, 1 Bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Easy Strawberry Dip: 1 Tub Marshmallow Fluff + 8 oz. Strawberry Cream Cheese (I added some food coloring to make the dip appear more colorful. I was stupid and only had like neon pink food coloring. I should have used 1-2 drops of good ol’ red instead.)
You can always play around with props, backgrounds, lighting, etc. to come up with an entire different look. You have all the food prepared- you might as well play. We pulled out my trusty wood backdrop, swapped some plates and bowls and I exposed for a “darker” mood. The biggest difference of course was how I edited these photos and I tried them in black and white. Black and white is hard with food because typically color is so important. I played. I liked. I shared.