Client: Personal project

Creative direction: After working on a number of client projects involving bold color, I wanted to experiment with black and white. Master food stylist Charlotte Omnès and I collaborated on this series: We gathered interesting food products and kitchen tools, and assembled them into vignettes based on a whimsical or eye-catching central object. We created distinctive groupings of food and objects that reminded us of classical still life paintings. As you can tell we were heavily inspired by Irving Penn. Each shot has a theme, like “Hunter-Gatherer,” which includes bones, plants, quail eggs and other unexpected items.

I always wondered why there isn’t much BW food photography out there, and after I finished this personal project, I understand why! Light, shadow and arrangement are especially challenging when you’re working in black and white. Explorations like this allow me to sharpen my skills and expand my capabilities.

PS. If you are near NYC make sure to visit the fabulous Irving Penn Centennial at the Met.

Crew: food stylist Charlotte Omnès


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesEditorial

Client: InstantPot

Creative direction: For this official cookbook for a new brand of electric pressure cooker (a slow cooker with all kinds of additional settings and functions), I took the lead in developing the art direction. Working with the food stylist and the client, we created a look that’s fun, approachable and welcoming to a broad audience of home cooks. The photography has a vintage cookbook kind of look, with ingredients and finished dishes shot on bold backgrounds with pops of additional color. With 50 images taken over 5 days, the shoot needed a smart gameplan (one of my strong suits) to stay on track and organized.

Crew: food stylist/author, assistant food stylist, prop stylist, publisher rep


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesCookbooks

Client: Culture magazine

Creative direction: How do you make a wedge of cheese look interesting? It’s all about design and propping — and about working with an experienced cheesemonger who knows how to bring out each cheese’s visual best. The design team at Culture magazine envisioned a comic book-like graphic style for their Best Cheeses of the Year special issue. I worked closely with the magazine’s art director to anticipate the layout needs and to shoot each cheese — about 100 in all — to support the design. We photographed featured cheeses on colored backgrounds for the chapter openers and on white backgrounds with minimal propping for interior pages. Who knew Feta could look so beautiful?

Crew: art director, cheesemonger


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesEditorial

Client: Laura Silverman

Creative direction: On her much-followed website Glutton For Life, Laura shares stories and recipes inspired by her life in rural Pennsylvania. A former art director for Bergdorf Goodman, Laura has a natural talent for design and style. Laura and I worked together to create a series of short web videos to expand her brand and web presence. We shot video during an extended shoot, with Laura providing creative direction; I then edited the work into 60-second videos and 15-second trailers for Instagram.

Crew: video assistant, food assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesEditorial

Client: Personal project

Creative direction: I’m constantly looking to explore new creative directions, play with different looks and develop new styles for my photography — it’s part of my life as a creative person. Food stylist Julia Choi and I had fun producing this series of color studies based on Pantone’s 2017 color forecast. Inspired by hues like Flame, Yarrow and Greenery (Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year), we assembled a group of images showcasing bold colors, simple props, natural light and deep shadows. We created a bit of movement in each image — drizzling honey, scattered crumbs — to give the work a dynamic quality. The project offered a great opportunity to test ideas and techniques that Julia and I can bring to our client work.

Crew: food stylist Julia Choi


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesEditorial

Client: Rossella Rago

Creative direction: This shoot for the cookbook “Cooking with Nonna” was an absolute delight, because I had the opportunity to work closely with author Rossella Rago and her grandmother. Rossella built her culinary brand via YouTube, where she shares videos of her cooking with Italian grandmothers (nonnas). Her recipes are classic Italian dishes that involve multiple steps (like making homemade pasta and preparing long-cooking sauces), so the shoot took place over six days in a private kitchen. Working with the art director, we created a homey, comfortable look using props that might have come from a nonna’s kitchen. Rossella and her family were very hands-on in preparing the dishes, which gave the shoot an authentic family atmosphere. I was thrilled that the publisher chose my portrait of Rossella and her nonna for the book’s cover.

Crew: food stylist, assistant food stylist, author’s family, art director/publisher, editorial director


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesCookbooks

Clients: Chef Giovannina Bellino and Quarto Publishing

Creative direction: What a great culinary concept: Chef Giovannina Bellino has developed recipes for what she calls “flavor bombs” — frozen cubes of intense sauce or stock that home cooks can add to dishes. For her book Flavor Bombs, I developed the photography style to bring Giovannina’s concept to life: bright, beautiful ingredients showcased on black backgrounds, so the colors explode off the page. Every photo is loaded with visual interest, from dynamically placed ingredients to a little bit of messiness in the scene. Working with artificial light, I photographed 17 flavor bombs and 20 accompanying recipes. This project was such a fun creative departure!

Crew: food stylists, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesCookbooks

Clients: Author Cassandra Bodzak, Quarto Publishing

Creative direction: Cassandra’s new book, Eat with Intention, not only presents recipes for nourishing dishes, but also shares the importance of eating with intention. She emphasizes whole ingredients and nutrition-packed recipes prepared vegan and gluten-free, as a way of eating healthfully without sacrificing the pleasure of food. I established the book’s loose, in-the-moment visual style, working with Cassandra over a week-long shoot to capture her lifestyle and her recipes. It was such a delight to work with such beautiful, fresh ingredients—and with such a talented author.

Crew: food stylists, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesCookbooks

Client: Candice Kumai

Creative direction: Candice, a widely followed food/lifestyle blogger and author, had an established brand, so I supported her visual style with lush photographs shot in natural light for her second cookbook Clean Green Eats (Harper Collins). I adapted a similar look for a series of lifestyle and personal photos for publicity and brand use. We shot in two locations—in my studio and at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Ohio—over 15 days, taking great care to ensure visual consistency between the two shoots.

Crew: food, prop and fashion stylists, hair/makeup, photo retoucher, photo assistants, production coordinator


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesCookbooks

Client: Westin

Creative direction: As part of its mission to help guests get a good night’s sleep, Westin presents a small vial of Sleep Well Lavender Balm on bedside tables. The brand created a social marketing campaign to promote the balm and needed a library of images for all digital and social channels. We worked with the client’s art direction to showcase the product in a variety of relaxing settings. To manage the volume of shots and formats (including horizontals for web banners and Twitter, squares for Instagram, verticals for Snapchat), I set up a large monitor on set that would show all formats for each image simultaneously. The process ensured that the entire series had a cohesive look — and that the client had a stress-free experience working with my team.

Crew: prop stylist, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising
Evi-Abeler-Photography_TMI0325.jpg

Client: TMI Trading’s Twin Marquis and Chef One brands

Creative direction: In addition to the straightforward product shots my client typically uses on product packaging, they wanted a series of stylized images for trade show marketing. Asian food manufacturer TMI Trading wanted to create a new look for their booth and promotional materials at the Fancy Food Show. I worked to elevate their visual style, using dark stone as the backdrop and minimal propping to really let the color and quality of their products shine. I set up a mini photo studio in their production facility, and we worked with their culinary team to showcase the fresh noodles, brightly flavored sauces, steamed dumplings and other specialties. 

Crew: food stylist, photo assistant,  client culinary team, client designer and marketing director


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Creative direction: Photoshoots can be flat-out fun, and this was one of them. Sheraton needed a massive image library for social media that all different business sectors can use. The photos were meant to look documentary, to capture real-life moments as they happen. I shot in a very loose, dynamic way on location at a Sheraton New York property, using a hand-held camera to take still-life and action photos in lounge and dining areas and behind the scenes in the kitchen.

Crew: digital tech, photo assistant, Sheraton staff


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Baileys

Creative direction: To market a new almond milk-based liqueur for the Baileys brand, one that’s aimed at the Millennial market, I worked closely with campaign creative direction provided by the agency, Mother. The lifestyle shots mirrored a series of TV spots; we carefully re-created the set and lighting in these still images for use in billboard, outdoor and point-of- purchase materials. They may seem simple, but the white-background product shots required technical expertise to achieve that bright, natural look.

Crew: prop and food stylist, photo assistant, digital tech, retoucher


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Provenance Meals

Creative direction: The culinary ethos for this new meal delivery service based in New York is healthy, clean and vibrant. So I naturally played on those themes in creating photographs for their website and marketing campaign. The images are bright and fresh, yet elegant and refined. We photographed not just finished meals, but also arrangements of ingredients presented like they’re in a the kitchen of an upscale home. Because the client’s customers are women who are fashion- and health-conscious, we styled the images to mirror their interests and lifestyles. 

Crew: client chef & food styling team, producer, prop stylist, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Sugar Hill Creamery

Creative direction: It was a joy to collaborate with friends of mine, Nicholas Larsen and Petrushka Bazin Larsen. They are neighbors who launched a Kickstarter campaign to support their new family-friendly ice cream parlor in Harlem. They really know the food industry (Nick is a former service director for Blue Hill and general manager for Telepan), so it was a thrill for me to capture their vision for the business. Because their start-up budget was tight, and because they’re seeking crowdsourced funding, I knew the photos wouldn’t look appropriate if they were overproduced. So I kept the styling minimal and uncomplicated, with honest imperfections that look like real life. This was a true passion project for all of us. 

Crew: food stylist & clients


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Misha’s Dairy

Creative direction: The client was initially unsure of how they wanted to visually represent the brand, so I proposed a style that let the product shine. Because the product— a fresh cheese called quark—is pure and white, the lighting and styling were bright and natural. I designed a series of photos to show how versatile the product is, and incorporated pops of red in the props—the model’s nail polish, the ice cream scoop—to tie into the red logo. And our team developed custom recipes to accompany the photos.

Crew: prop stylist, food stylist, recipe developer, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising
TagsMisha

Client: Lisa Hunt

Creative direction: Lisa is the former former creative director of Essence Magazine who now works as an artist, creating gorgeous, handmade graphic prints in gold leaf. I enjoyed collaborating with Lisa on this series of product and behind-the-scenes shots for her marketing efforts and website. In addition to showing her prints in home decor settings, we captured work that was still in development, plus fantastic images of her inspiration books to reveal her creative process. I also photographed casual portraits of Lisa in her studio to support her brand.

Crew: prop stylist, hair and makeup artist, fashion stylist, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Via Luma

Creative direction: For this jewelry designer (formerly the lead jewelry designer for Anthropologie), we established a look of elegant casualness: elevated, light and bright, with earthy and natural materials. In order to manage the large volume of shots (60 products and model scenes, in three different settings), I set up two different photo stations to shoot the products on plain and stylized backgrounds; we arranged a location shoot for the model images. The result? Gorgeous fashion and product photos and a no-stress experience for the client.

Crew: prop stylist, fashion stylist, hair/makeup, photo assistant


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising

Client: Lotta Jansdotter

Creative direction: Sweden-born and New York City-based, Lotta Jansdotter is a product and pattern designer with a remarkable eye and passion for her work. She served as the stylist for this massive project, involving 100+ product and lifestyle shots for her online store, social media and publication. In addition to photographing Lotta’s products, we also recorded behind-the-scenes images that show her artistic process. We collaborated loosely and fluidly during this session in her studio workshop, capturing photos as inspiration struck, sharing ideas and arrangements. Lotta is truly a joy to work with!

Crew: photo assistant, Lotta’s staff


Posted
AuthorMarci LeBrun
CategoriesAdvertising