Before shooting this series, I saw a documentary about how different groceries are made. Big factories with endless assembly lines and hundreds of machines handling products from beginning to end. It was quite interesting to watch how products change their appearance completely from start to finish. An idea was born to create alternative ways of making these same groceries. And when you add just a drop of humanity to it, I think that’s a story.
Groceries are food (really??). They have no persona (you sure??). How do you create a character for these lifeless pieces of healthy little things? How do you create a story about them? That’s what I thought when I opened my refrigerator while brainstorming themes for my upcoming project.. so I picked corns, cucumbers, tomatoes etc. and started sketching.
My garage is full of pieces of wood and plastic. That’s my huge treasure chest when I start to create all kinds of props. If I don’t have the exact piece, which I plan on using, I still have something to replace it. Having this “box of tools” means I don’t have to think about buying materials in order to start creating. That’s a big thing for me, especially if I suddenly have some free time or some instant inspiration that needs to be created.
Like my usual work, the props here are made of wood and plastic. They are by no means perfect or detailed but they work well enough for me and my story. When I create a scene, I already know what I can post process, so I don’t have to worry too much about little details. This way, I keep the whole construction process efficient and don’t have to use more than a day for the entire process: props and scene creation for finished photo.
The whole process starts with sketches. I use Photoshop to draw different ideas that are in my head so I can see if they work in “real life”. When the sketch is done, I start building the props and the scene. Construction is the part that takes most of the time. Then, I shoot a couple of frames (3-5 photos) with different light setups. I usually use one flash with a beauty dish and a grid to have a good control of the light. Then, I combine these differently lit frames in Photoshop and add the details that were too intricate in real life, or easier to create in post.
The name for this series came with the idea of gross ways making groceries… Grossceries.
Behind the scenes of “Babycarrots”
Behind the scenes of “Ketchup”
Behind the scenes of “Popcorn”
Behind the scenes of “Egg”
Behind the scenes of “Raisins”
About Juhamatti Vahdersalo
Im 35 years old professional photographer from Finland. I love storytelling and my personal projects often has dark humor and story around them.
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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Juhamatti Vahdersalo. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.