Fishscape
Behind The Scenes

This image was commissioned by Klirr Proximity in Stockholm for a seafood company called Findus. They wanted me to create a scene reminicent of the fishing villages situated in archipeligoes off the Swedish coastline, using sustainable fish and seafood. After studying images of the area I came up with a series of sketches of what the scene would look like and these were to presented to the agency and client.

Having never created a Foodscape using fish I knew it was going to be a challenge as the fish would soon deteriorate in the studio, so It was a case of having to shoot the whole thing in one day with the studio kept as cold as possible.

Using the tops of the darker fish for the islands, and the bottoms of the more silvery fish to be the waves and surface of the water, I was able to create a contrast between the land and the sea.
The most exciting part for me was the use of sides of salmon for the wakes of the fishing boats, as I wasn’t sure how we were going to achieve this. But thanks to my wonderful food stylist Peta O’brien who filleted and laid them in with tender loving care, the illusion was perfect!

My model maker Paul Baker did a masterful job of building me a jetty made from razor clams, and the rest of the team worked tirelessly from the 4.00am start at London’s Billingsgate fish market to a midnight finish.

Not only that but we also shot elements and different angles for an animated short of the scene which can be viewed in the TV ads section.

After a very long day’s work we all went home to our partners and families smelling pretty bad, but with the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from rising to the challenge of creating what has been the hardest and most difficult Foodscape scene we have made so far.

It does however remain my favourite scene of all, not only because it was so difficult to achieve as an image, but because the lighting and the cold tones of silvery blue give it an atmosphere that makes me want to blow into my hands and reach for a warm coat as the sound of tug boats and seagulls washes up on the fresh sea breeze.

Achieving that ‘sense of place’ is the magic I hope to achieve in all my foodscape work, so that it all becomes so much more than just a pile of food on a table top in my studio………. I hope you agree?