Friday, February 18th, 2011 | posted by mike
Every week here in the Friday Fish Report we try to come up with a (hopefully) interesting article accompanied by a nice recipe along with a photo of the featured dish. I am very fortunate to have a pro photographer on staff—My wife, Lisa Monahan. Lisa studied graphic arts and photography at the U of M and later—to our great advantage—went on to study food photography at Washtenaw Community College. Every week Lisa shoots for the Fish Report—sometimes the shot takes place at the Market and it’s often taken on our dining room table at home. Most times she puts me to work as a stylist or sometimes I even get to hold up reflectors or props. It’s always interesting to watch her work, even as dinner is getting colder by the minute.
A lot of planning and skill goes into good food photography. The moment a dish is prepared it starts losing its luster by the second. There are lots of tricks used by the pros, such as spraying with oil, microwaving water-soaked cotton balls for steam, paint, blowtorches even the use of fake props are commonly used. I notice when watching Lisa that her success is in her preparation. Setting up the shot, focus, lighting, background etc. are all ready to go before the star of the show is even out of the oven. Her skills make our fish look exciting and delicious.
Lately we’ve been getting some emails with photos from customers who send in great shots of some of the amazing dishes that they’ve prepared at home with our fish or shellfish. I got to thinking that we maybe we should have a little photo contest.
I know that it might be a little difficult to judge because not everybody has the same equipment to work with but I think it will be fun. Since some of you are great cooks but not great photographers we’ll have another prize for the best recipe in an upcoming contest (to be announced).
Photos should be of anything from Monahan’s, on a platter, a pot , an individual entree, anything!
Now you’re probably wondering what the prizes are…well, we’re gonna pull out the stops!
- First prize for best photo will be Dinner for Four, cooked by Mike Monahan at your house! (If the winner isn’t from within 20 miles of Ann Arbor, we will swap that out for a Monahan’s gift certificate redeemable for $100).
- The top 2 Runners-up will receive our world-famous squid t-shirt!
Our panel of judges will consist of current and former fish-mongers: Mike Monahan, Lisa Monahan, Bernie Fritszch and Wendy Williams. Photos will be judged in terms of creativity, composition, and how appetizing the dish appears.
Judging will take place as the contest takes place and we will announce the winners in the Friday Fish Report on March 24!