When I first launched Curated Life Studio as a business, I never anticipated that I would be the head photographer for MasterChef Australia, in conjunction with 97.3 Radio Station & Channel 10.
I’m still pinching myself!
“Do you have your camera?” “Yes.” “What about your battery grip?” “Mmhmm.” “Have you charged all your batteries?” “Yes…” “How many Batteries for the flash will we need?” “I’m not sure… 12 should be enough, no?
I was wearing an elegant skirt, a simple black blouse and was packing my bags for my shoot. My partner, on the other hand, was biting his lip in anxiety. He was just as nervous as I was. Not because I had employed him as my second shooter, but because he knew how much this meant to me.
Once arriving on location, we received a tour of the restaurant, a brief of the evening and then the shooting began.
Red Carpet, check.
Media Wall, check.
It was 5 hours shooting, followed by overnight editing. The images had to be delivered by 8:30 a.m the following morning, all 150 of them.
It was as exhausting as it was rewarding. That evening I learnt so much about how I work as a photographer.
Preparation is important
Before any photo shoot, I go through my check list the night before to ensure I am 150% prepared. I print my photography brief from the client, I clean my lenses, clear my SD card, charge my batteries, pack my equipment and coordinating any travel arrangements. Generally, I also google the venue to anticipate the available light and the weather conditions of the day.
If I’m working with new equipment, I always acquaint myself with how to use it before the shoot. Afterall, the client’s paying time is not the opportunity to learn how to use new gear.
If I am using a new lens, I always take it out for a day before to become more familiar with it.
During a photo shoot, I don’t always have the opportunity to have a break or to eat something. Regardless of the client (or the duration of a shoot) I always carry around a muesli bar and ensure I’m well hydrated.
Carrying a 3+ kilos camera for 5 hours straight feels like a century if you’re dehydrated.
Break (some) rules
My brief during the evening was to photograph the meals as they were delivered to the Judges. This was a huge challenge. The dimly lit dining room made the conditions similar to shooting in a closet. My shutter speed was at its limit, and my ISO was between 6,400 and 12,800. There was no way these images would turn out looking appetising.
To take gorgeous pictures of the dishes, I took the photographs in the kitchen where there were better lighting conditions before they were delivered to the judges and guests.
Media Wall / Celebrities
The media wall offers the opportunity for guests to meet and interact with their idol celebrities. If the guests and the celebrity are open, I make it a fun and authentic moment by getting them to try unique poses.
As a photographer, you may have taken a few great images but it’s worth taking an extra three or four. It is a rare and special opportunity for the guests to have their images taken with their idol. Those additional images take a minute, and it counts towards the experience.
I want to extend a huge thank you to my dear friend Lou. Without you this incredible opportunity with MasterChef Australia would never have been possible.
I want to say another thank you to my fiancée. I love you completely, I couldn’t imagine my life without you and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for your unconditional support! x
What did you think of the shoot? I would love to hear in the comments below! 🙂
Hey There, I’m Kylie. My passion is plant-based recipes and I want to help you create something gorgeous!
I believe in taking a slow approach to food – to eat locally, seasonally and consciously.
When I’m not taking photos, you can find me wandering the coastal paths of South-East Australia.
Juelz John says
Wow wow wow! You are so lucky to have shot for MasterChef. It’s my absolute favorite cooking show.
You did an awesome job, the pictures are great and I love the quality!
Kylie (Author) says
Thank you so much, Juelz! I’m glad you liked them! 🙂
That is so neat. Great photos!
I totally understand that whole…checklist thing. I feel like it’s so easy to forget things it can be pretty anxiety inducing to think about.
Courtney Blacher says
The conversation at the beginning of this post is so familiar to me. I’m always worried about camera’s battery! I love to be prepared.
Robert Lee says
Of course, you will take your time to go through everything you need. Such is your nature, and that is why you do such a fantastic job. I love the photos, and because it is MasterChef, it means a lot to them to have you. Nope, I tend to look at it the other way around. They can have other people do the same job, but none of them can match the effort you put in to make sure that the photos come out the way you want it.
Good job and more to come, Kylie!
Kylie (Author) says
Robert, I can’t even tell me how happy reading your comment made me. It was beautiful, it made my eyes glisten, and it has made my day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! <3
These pictures are so beautiful! You are so blessed to have had this opportunity.
I love this program and I try to watch it on TV all the time.
I also watch MasterChef Canada and India as well. Thanks for sharing the post.
Your photos are truly lovely and so stunning, I have no doubt that you got the job.
I like how you see the right angles and how your photos turn out. It must be a great experience.
Wow! This must have been exciting for you! I could imagine the thrill.
Good call on putting the dishes in the kitchen. They deserve to be front and centre!
Speaking of which, your pictures look gorgeous and appetizing! Kudos!
Kylie (Author) says
Thank you so much for your support Madz! 🙂