For an award-winning restaurant like The Punch Bowl Inn & Restaurant at Crosthwaite (Cumbria Life’s Dining Pub of the Year 2017), having the quality of its food reproduced through stunning imagery is hugely important.
We’re proud of the fact that the food at The Punch Bowl is creative, exciting and pushing the boundaries of traditional pub food, and our photography needs to reflect this. Investing in good photography can make you stand out from the crowd and should capture the juiciness and texture of food on the plate. We want people to look at our dishes – whether they are on our website, social media or in a magazine - and immediately want to taste our food.
Being a busy inn and restaurant delivering up to 140 meals a day, it’s of course hugely important for us to know exactly what to expect in advance from a photoshoot. Our kitchen team need to focus on our customers so we can’t expect them to spend lots of precious time cooking up dishes over and over again just to photograph. That’s why we needed someone that could get it right first time. A successful photoshoot is about more than just the photos; the photographer needs to understand our business, our style and our expectations.
The brief for R Gill Photography was to fully capture and embrace The Punch Bowl’s new summer menu. Richard communicated well with us before the shoot and established clear timescales, which were followed on the day. He had proposed just three hours to photograph 10 different dishes from our new summer menu, which we thought might be slightly ambitious, but on the day everything ran perfectly to plan and schedule.
Richard arrived at 9am to give us a couple of hours for the kitchen team to focus on each of the dishes prior to lunchtime service. He came along fully equipped with everything needed to get the best light and angle out of all of the dishes but the equipment wasn’t intrusive at all. We had decided to use two rooms for different backdrops as well as going for a mix of overhead, close up and rustic style shots. Richard found the best light in each area, which was a must for bringing out the texture of our food.
Once the shoot began, Richard was focused and swiftly established an efficient routine with each dish, which didn’t involve moving backwards or forwards between dishes or delaying over minor issues. He was quick between shots and had a good eye for seeing anything that might not be quite right on the plate and subsequently tweaked it – whether this was just turning a leaf or a piece of garnish the opposite way. As Richard worked quickly, the dishes were shot at their very best - whilst still warm - ensuring the food didn’t lose its overall fresh look and shine from cooling down. He was comfortable working with head chef Arthur and the team, and immediately grasped and captured The Punch Bowl’s style and what we expected from each shot.
Richard discussed and explained everything with us throughout the shoot and was reassuring and confident when putting forward his own ideas. He also offered specific and clear direction on styling. For example, we thought the carpaccio dish should be more of a rustic shot, but Richard convinced us it would work better from overhead and the finished results with its true-to-life, vibrant colours proved this.
Richard is a very friendly and personable photographer with great experience and knowledge, which came through in abundance during the shoot. He got the right lighting and the perfect shots to help us promote our new summer menu and everyone at the Punch Bowl is very happy with the finished photographs. We wouldn’t hesitate to use Richard again for future photography and would recommend him to anyone looking for a relaxed but 100 per cent focused and skilled professional food photographer. We wish him every success in his art.