This past April, I had the amazing opportunity to travel around Canada for two weeks, photographing, filming, and eating at some of the best restaurants our country has to offer, all in the name of lentils! The project would require me to spend 15 days travelling from Saskatoon to Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg. At each restaurant, I would produce a 1-minute video, along with shooting photos of each dish for the Canadian Lentils “Fun de Lentil” Restaurant Challenge.
From my first shoot, to the final deadline for deliverables, the project was about a month and a half. I left for my lentil journey on April 5th, and returned on the 22nd, then I had about two and a half weeks to edit everything, before a due date of May 10th. Given the travel involved, amount of videos and photos to be completed, along with the tight timeline for delivery, it was definitely the biggest project I’ve taken, but I was confident I could get it done!
One of the unique challenges during this project, travelling to so many places, and working alone, was really whittling down my gear to what I felt were the bare essentials for creating quality food photos and videos. I would have loved to travel with a 3-light setup, large modifiers, two cameras, a couple tripods, sliders, and all that. With only 3 hours to shoot an interview, all the necessary b-roll, and take photos of the final dish, a smaller set-up meant I could spend more time focusing on footage, and less time fussing with gear! Plus, I didn’t want any extra baggage for travelling, and was able to pack everything in my suitcase, and two carry-ons, making it a lot easier getting through airports, and from restaurant to restaurant.
I usually rely on a fairly minimal amount of gear for a lot of my videos, often just using a monopod, so that wasn’t too unfamiliar, but it was a fun challenge utilizing less gear for the interview portions. Often I would use a three light set up (with led panels), and for this project I took that same approach, utilizing three directions of light, but instead relied on either natural light, a reflector, and one hair light, or one key light (a ring light – diffused through an umbrella), a pocket sized led for a hair light, and either a reflector, or natural light for some extra fill. Overall, I was really happy with the looks I was able to achieve with each restaurant, and it was a great learning process, going into each restaurant for the first time, and settling a spot I felt would work best for the interview!
If you’re interested in checking out some of the videos, head over to my Vimeo page, where you can see them all!