Never in a million years did Katie Ring think she’d be doing a photo shoot in the back of her minivan. But as a freelance photographer mainly focused on the food business, that’s exactly what she’s doing right now.
“So many of my clients are restaurants,” says Katie, who is based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a seaside town just north of Boston. “And a lot of them aren’t used to offering takeout, so their websites aren’t built to promote it.”
With so many customers now scrolling the web in search of a delicious meal to eat at home, Katie saw a way to help her clients and the community — plus keep her own small business afloat. She needed to help them pivot.
Minivan, mini studio
Usually, when Katie does a shoot, she brings her cameras and lighting equipment into the restaurant and sets up. But with social distancing now the norm, she needs to protect her clients, herself and her family. So, she turned the back of her car into a mini studio complete with battery-powered lights.
“Typically, the restaurant would give me the pieces of say, a burger. And I would build a ‘burger sculpture’ for the shoot. Now, they bring it outside to me like a takeout order and I style it from there,” Katie explains. She has reduced her photo styling kit to a small box and makes do.
Why doesn’t she just bring the meal back to her home studio to take the pictures? “Food looks good hot — and not as good cold,” she says. She makes it look as delicious as is it by photographing it piping hot from the kitchen.
Taking care of business
Katie, who has two small children, is making it work by sharing childcare responsibilities with her husband. “I’m only shooting within a 15-mile radius from my home — I won’t drive farther now,” she says.
Katie is offering this service at no cost or takes what they can pay. She hopes her goodwill will help keep them in business while she builds lasting relationships. Says Katie: “I’m hoping to support my current customers and meet new ones for the future. I love what I do.”
Katie Ring is a food and product commercial photographer. She specializes in collaborating with businesses to provide visual content that meets branding and advertising goals. Visit katiering.com to see her portfolio and request your 30 minute complimentary photo consultation.