- September 14, 2016 -

I recently had the opportunity to shoot Olympic Gymnast and Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas leading up to the 2016 Olympics.  Not only a great athlete but a great person to work with.  She was a great sport being tugged from one shot to the next with both stills and video.  We were paired with a film crew which adds a level of complexity in itself but we pulled off some great imagery in a short amount time.2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_1620 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_1572 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_0983 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_0533 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_0395 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_0372 2016-05-01_gabbydouglas_0351

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- July 13, 2015 -

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I recently did shoot to highlight Holloway Athletic Apparel’s upcoming athletic wear. In this shoot the goal was to show the athletic wear in motion, almost as if you were watching it live. It would allow viewers to get a better idea of how the uniforms and athletic wear will look in action, on the field and in the gym.

It was a lot of fun doing this shoot and working with the athletes and their coaches. The coaches were a vital part of shoot, and were able to help the athletes attain authentic movements, giving the shots a more live-action feel. Shooting athletes is all about timing, not just with lighting, but also with movement. When you shoot someone who is running, you only have so much time to capture their body movement, correct positioning and facial expressions. We need to make sure that shots taken in the studio look as if they were taken on the field. That is why pre-production and planning are so important for these shoots. Every shoot is a balance of journalistic photography and advertising in one setting.

All of these elements are achieved with the help of a great team. For this shoot, my team was comprised of a digital tech, second assistant, hair & makeup, wardrobe, art/creative directors, producers, project manager/account executive, client and coach. A lot goes into every shoot and these people make it all possible.

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- March 10, 2015 -

Food, especially healthy food, is something that I am very passionate about. People have strong connections with food. Certain foods and smells associated with food connect us to specific moments or times in our lives. This is what makes food photography so fun and exciting for me.

Food Photography, Renovated Kitchen

The Illumination Studio Kitchen

When it comes to food photography, the space you shoot in is incredibly important. I believe that natural lighting is necessary to capture that authentic feeling, connecting people with food, and it is what I love most about my studio. I recently made some renovations to my studio, which included a completely updated kitchen. With this new kitchen I am able to shoot much of my food photography in-house, allowing me to expand my experiences and shift my focus to food photography. The renovation also allows me to shoot as simply or technically as needed, depending on the subject, and add my own personal style to the mix. Creating feeling and connections between people and food is something I strive to craft in every one of my food related photographs.

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- December 17, 2014 -

Having a great team is important with any facet of life. From studio work to outdoor shoots, making sure that my team is ready for each shoot is essential.

Baseball with Westcott Zeppelin shoot.

Baseball with Westcott Zeppelin shoot.

Baseball outdoor lighting reflector

Baseball outdoor lighting Westcott 35″ silver scrim jim reflector

Having a great team is important

Having a great team is important

Having a great team is important with any facet of life. From studio work to outdoor shoots, making sure that my team is ready for each shoot is essential. Not long ago, I shot for Holloway sports apparel in an outdoor shoot that utilized a mixture of natural lighting and lighting gear from Westcott. For fast action shots I was able to use the Westcott scrim jim which performed very well outdoors while reflecting just what I needed. For some tighter shots I used the 35″ Westcott Zeppelin to counter some of the harsh lines created with natural light. Makeup was handled by Dee Dee giving the players just enough to best display more dramatic lines and better convey emotions in the images. In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as just the correct amount of makeup can remove hours of photo-editing down the road.

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- June 24, 2014 -

As a food photographer in Columbus, I enjoy the variety of food our city offers.  However, my recent trip to Italy I got to experience something special.   The farm-fresh tomatoes, the cheese and of course the margarita pizza.   All though these are staples in the american food industry I just can’t compare the flavors.   0H5A2789 0H5A2791  I took my Canon 5d Mark III and my 24-70mm f2.8 lens to document my trip.  Here are a few of my favorite food shots.

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- March 4, 2014 -

Ah… vacation.   A place where memories are made with friends and family.   However, this  is a place I typically do not take my camera.  Although some people think this is crazy being a photographer, I like to enjoy seeing without pushing the button.   I enjoy looking at light, color, shadows, details, moments and embracing the beauty of the moment and not capturing it.  However, this trip I decided to take my canon 5d mark III and my 50mm macro only.   I was planning on only pushing the button once a day but that just did not happen.  My personal assignment was to shoot products that communicated places I went and only details.0H5A4191 0H5A4178 0H5A4146 0H5A4157 0H5A4160

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- August 30, 2013 -

Kathleen happens to be one of my food and prop stylists, and her personal sense of style is apparent throughout her restaurant. One of the reasons her customers visit her restaurant is as much for its quirky character as for the unique food, both of which are all about twists on tradition...little surprises here and there.

 

One of my good friends, Kathleen Day, owns a restaurant in our hometown of Columbus, Ohio. She named her restaurant “Katalina’s” because when she first started cooking in the tiny space (an old gas station), the Mexican cooks she hired called her “Katalina.” She likes to call our hometown “ColYUMbus” (she’s actually in the process of having it trademarked!) because she’s intent on putting us on the map as a food destination, despite a misconception that we’re all about fast food (we used to be, but times have really changed in recent years). Katalina’s serves healthy, homemade food with a bit of an attitude but none of the pretense, which is kind of how I’d describe Kathleen herself!

Kathleen happens to be one of my food and prop stylists, and her personal sense of style is apparent throughout her restaurant. One of the reasons her customers visit her restaurant is as much for its quirky character as for the unique food, both of which are all about twists on tradition…little surprises here and there.

One of her most famous dishes are her pancake balls, which come in flavors from Nutella to dulce de leche, reflecting the restaurant’s Latin touch, just like the Katalina name. They’re pictured below, and I can tell you from experience that they’re as tasty as they look. As with all the food here, Kathleen added no artificial styling elements, and my retouching was minimal, so the food really is as good as it looks!

To capture the Katalina’s spirit, I approached the shoot with simplicity, using only a Westcott silver reflector arm and Manfrotto stand. I didn’t use strobes or any manufactured light, which obviously would have been too much for the authentic feel and flavor of the food and setting. I shot with my Canon 5DIII camera and used my 24-70mm lens for most of the shoot. Typical of shots that Kathleen styles for me, each item is purposefully placed within each frame.

Kathleen plans on using the shots on her restaurant website, in advertising, as well as on her online styling portfolio. There’s also wind that they may appear on Country Living’s site, one of Kathleen’s favorite national decor magazines (she also finds time to decorate homes and businesses!) She assures me that the title is a misnomer and that there’s little “country” about it (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess!).

I call on Kathleen’s styling skills when I need to add an authentic edge or a witty wink to photos to push my own style in a particular way. In turn, Kathleen says she likes my personal photographic style as representative of the Midwest—clean and streamlined with a bit of vintage grit added when called upon. Sure, I love to shoot technically advanced shots or pictures that are more polished and perfected or that pull you in because they’ve been manipulated in some way that tricks the eye. But in the end, I lean toward pictures that are as straightforward and wholesome as the food from Katalina’s and what she calls our hometown of ColYUMbus.

Thanks!

Eric

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- August 16, 2013 -

I had the privilege of working with ATSG, the world’s largest provider of air cargo transportation for domestic and foreign aircrafts.

I had the privilege of working with ATSG, the world’s largest provider of air cargo transportation for domestic and foreign aircrafts.  The day shoot featured a variety of shoots in a documentary style that let me show the excitement and thrill of working with such breath taking machines as the Boeing 787, 747, 757, Dreamliner, and many other of the world’s most powerful aircraft machines.  This company helps keep the business of your packages flowing easily to your door offering DHL shipping services and ABX air.

The two day shoot ended early in the morning with a shot of the cockpit from the Captain’s seat of the massive airplane.  With endless controls at his hands it was inspiring to watch how effortlessly the Captain managed the switches and dials.  Being a commercial photographer in Columbus Ohio I was happy to venture not very far to Wilmington Ohio to the home of ABX air.  I applied my knowledge of journalistic photography to capture moments using my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon USM L series lenses and 580EX II flash.  Using every canon lens in my bag in a run & gun style was essential to capture these massive metal beasts and timeless moments.

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- August 13, 2013 -

Food Pallet ©2013 Illumination Studio - Photography by Eric Wagner

Food Stylist

 

Personal work is always exciting when working with a food stylist.   Food stylist Chef Nicky spent the day in the studio with very simple ideas that turned into art literally.  Chef Nicky was prepping a asian dish in the studio and something about the way the veggies were laid out on the tray that provoked me to think of art.   We started down a the path with silverware and ended up with paint brushes as the utensils.

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- August 7, 2013 -

Midwest food & product photographer Eric Wagner shoot for Skinny Girl Sweeteners.

Skinny Girl Drinks

Skinny Girl Drinks

Keep it clean and simple.  Here are a couple of shots that I did for Skinny Girl Sweeteners.  A good food stylist and simple lighting can always make the images pop.   Advertising photographers which includes product and food photographers tend to shoot this way but the lighting is spot on.

 

 

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