In the spring of 2014, Mountain House, the top producer of freeze-dried food in the country, was ready to showcase their products to a new generation of consumers after decades of needing little to no marketing. We captured packaging, food, and lifestyle shots and created a complete and consistent family of images for them.
Production spanned 5 different locations for the different pieces of the project: here at Polara Studio, and on location at Smith Rock, the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood, and the Sandy River. Michael Shay worked here in our natural light studio to create food images, and Derrin Battles took our team into the field to capture lifestyle shots on location.
Michael’s goal in crafting food shots was to not only showcase the visual appeal of the food, but to also create a sense of place consistent with Derrin’s locations. Michael meticulously combined artificial and natural lighting to turn our studio into everything from canyons to mountaintops.
Derrin’s challenge was to get the locations to look like they were supposed to – no small feat in the Oregon springtime. Wrangling a generator and lights all the way up to Smith Rock to change the day from overcast to sunny nearly seemed routine, after juggling sudden showers and 35 mile per hour winds at the Gorge.
Pulling all of this together, indoor and out, was an interesting logistical puzzle for our production team: coordinating 5 locations, 10 models, 7 crew members, every sort of weather, an RV, and all of the lights and generators took some very careful planning. All told, we handled location scouting, casting, set building, shoot production, propping, hair and makeup, food styling, and, of course, photography and post-production.
Putting together the many pieces of new imagery for Mountain House suited us perfectly: we love bringing together specialized photographers and production teams to collaborate in a consistent visual language on everything from the smallest packaging shot to the most produced location shot.