Food Photography for The Talbot in Cuckfield (West Sussex)

So as a wedding photographer you need to be a jack of all trades.  Predominantly you need to be a story teller, but how you build up that story is through a number of different photographic skills.  You need to be able to work in low light as a photojournalist capturing the emotion of the day, you also need to take beautiful detail shots (macro), to set the scene with evocative landscape images, move around the light to create interesting portraits and finally you need to be able to photograph the food too.  Couples pour so much heart and soul into their menus that the images must do them justice,

When I’m not working as a wedding photographer I work commercially and recently my local pub (The Talbot - Cuckfield) asked me to shoot their menu as they were updating all their imagery. The Talbot offers both pub grub and fine dining options and is in the heart of the stunning Sussex village of Cuckfield.  The pub is popular and vibrant with the owners creating a rustic country feel, and the food images were to reflect this.  The pub grub is excellent, gastropub standards with burgers overflowing with delicious content, buckets of fries, sticky toffee pudding that you’d actually kill for.  Then on the other side of the pub is the restaurant where the chef excels with his fine dining options, from a divine beetroot and goats cheese salad through to an exquisitely rich chocolate and black cherry tart. 

The shoot took place over the course of a morning and with the aid of Siobhan (one of the owners) and Tamsin (art director and stylist at Hipster Diptych Travelling Photo Salon) we set out on a mission to shoot 10 dishes, from every angle and at every distance.  Tamsin styled each dish to reflect the pub, and the results are superb.

Tech spec (for photographers):

I shot mostly with a 50mm 1.2 lens, somewhere around f2 for a soft creamy depth of field.  For the detail shots I switched to my 100mm 2.8 macro lens.  The quality of the glass on the 50mm is much better though and can open up to 1.2 so the bokeh was truly pure.  I used only natural window light with a bit of help from a white reflector to soften the shadows a little.  I also brought a new bit of kit for the shoot, something that I’ve needed for ages but never quite got around to sourcing. So I am now the proud owner of a CamRanger which allows me to shoot and wirelessly transmit the images straight onto the iPad.  This allowed Tamsin and Siobhan to see what I was seeing through the lens and make any necessary tweaks to the set… being tethered like this is such an efficient and collaborative way of shooting, I’m a big fan!!

So that’s it folks, the brief was for the images to be current, to carry the cool rustic vibe of the pub and to look utterly plate lickingly good… so that’s it, job done, now for the diet (yep was tucking into it all once we’d wrapped!!), ha.

Here are a few taster images…



Soph xx


Food Photography for The Talbot in Cuckfield (West Sussex)

Some Kind Words

  • Emily and Ollie

    "First and foremost, Sophie’s photographs are absolutely stunning - we just can’t stop looking through them! They capture the essence of our day so perfectly and Sophie somehow managed to be everywhere at once, but never got in the way and was very discreet the whole time. The light and colour is beautiful, even in very difficult conditions such as the dark church or a dance floor filled with artificial light.
    Secondly, and just as importantly, Sophie went to a huge effort to fit in and it was a real pleasure spending time with her on our wedding day: it’s a very personal and special time and could easily be ruined by a pushy or socially awkward photographer! Sophie made everyone feel very relaxed around her, which of course makes for much better photos! Her judgement, sense of humour and social skills are exactly what you need in a wedding photographer, and I would not hesitate to recommend Sophie to anyone”.

    Emily and Ollie