Recipe & Product Styling | Easy Cocoa Brownie – And It’s Time to Take Another Step Forward
Whoever said ‘Life’ is a beautiful journey for those who are willing to learn something new at every stage, was absolutely right. I never thought ‘life’ will unfold countless avenues for me to discover at the fag-end. And am thoroughly enjoying my self- learning sessions of content writing, web technology, social media interactions and photography nuances.
One more phone call and I was getting ready to face another exciting assignment with my photographer friend Deepa. “This time we will be doing a ‘Product Shoot’ Sanjeeta, it is on a larger scale and we need to plan a lot ahead before the shoot” she explained me on the phone.
This time it was a product shoot for Poppat Jamal, one of the oldest & finest stores in Chennai which stock a diverse range of high quality products from many leading international brands. The planning started almost a month back with the brand managers working around the entire campaign which will go live in January 2013.
The categories of the products to be shot with other details were worked out. Then came the visits to the location of the shoot and selecting the products in each category. A couple of visits to the retail outlet and we selected our products.
Prop selection and shopping took the most of our time. Ideas, pictures and photos were exchanged almost daily through mails with Deepa (photographer), Divya (brand manager) and Saleem Poppat Jamal . We visualized the shots and made a tentative list of tasks to be completed till the day of shoot.
I baked these easy Cocoa Brownies a day before for my neighbors who took care and entertained my children the whole day at their home in my absence.
And then arrived the final day of shoot. We all reached the studio at 8 Am as decided and started to unpack the truckloads of products, props and other things used for the shoot.
This was our first shot which took maximum time to style and set up the entire shot on a table and make it look like a real kitchen!
I did not take my Dslr to the studio as I knew I will not get time to click there, but took a few candid shots with my P and S. These are some of those pictures which are hazy and blurred with practically no lights at my end.
I loved this part of the shoot when the entire area would be repainted again and again to get that perfect white background…and it does dry in no time.
I use spaces as small as a carom board plank for styling food and taking photographs for my recipes and was really excited to see a work station of the size of a table tennis board for product styling shoots
Fresh juices to sip….perks of shooting food.
Different styles and combination of props to shoot cutlery.
My rustic board…
Cakes, muffins and desserts for the shoot were ordered fresh from a bakery nearby…
Some of the colorful food ingredients planned and purchased days before the final shoot.
Different angles to try, black cloth was spread not to spoil the white paint.
You need to be on your toes for the entire shoot of almost 12 hours. Hard work…but very satisfying indeed.
Huge planks for the backdrop….and our messy table.
We made that instant gravy for this shot of kitchenware.
Easy Cocoa Brownies
Cocoa Brownies need more of oil and sugar as compared to the brownies baked with cooking chocolates. But cocoa brownies are a perfect treat for times when you open the refrigerator to find no traces of chocolates nor have energy to go out buy some to bake a brownie. This is my fool proof recipe and I would have baked these brownies umpteen number of times for family & friends and the recipe has never failed me. Just a few easily available ingredients to go in there you are…ready impress your loved ones with your baking skills at all times.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup All purpose four
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
Method; Preheat oven to 190°C for 10 minutes and grease a rectangular flat baking tray.
Take a large bowl and add both the flours, salt, baking powder. cocoa powder and mix it well with a fork.
Take another bowl pour milk, oil, vanilla essence in it and add powdered sugar in it. Whisk all the ingredients well with a fork.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir it lightly to combine and make a smooth batter.
Pour the batter onto the greased baking tray and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the brownie for about 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs, but not raw batter.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Slice the Cocoa Brownies and dust with powdered sugar.
These are the few extra pictures that we decided to shoot on our own just for the love of those cute salt & pepper shaker and the black and white cup and saucers Borrowed potted plants from the studio owner.
We were late and the showroom employees were getting impatient to wrap up the shoot ..in the hurry to complete the shoot we forgot to use a few ingredients that we bought for the shoot..where is the corn on cob that was supposed to be on the grill
After stacking the boxes upright and finalizing the pictures for this product, I just wanted to tilt one box and show the colorful candies on the board…and we liked this shot better. [Picture courtesy; Deepa Vaswani]
Photo shoot is a demanding and backbreaking job, one needs to be on the toe all the times…I was healing my sore legs and aching back for long.
Bur what an amazing experience this project was, every picture has been a learning opportunity for me. I am moving one step at a time remembering to count my blessings always and being thankful to family, friends and all the people each day who make a difference in my life.
And yes, I have fallen in love with my work!
Don’t forget to enter the lovely cook book giveaway open worldwide till Dec 14th on Lite Bite here.