Shooting food Shrimp on the Deck with Bob Coates

Words and photos by Bob Coates 

When you shoot with multiple crops in mind, you can make a single image give you more bang for the buck. Working with the graphic designer can be a help in designing the shoot. 

The original image was shot a little bit looser for multiple uses. Many times when working with a commercial food shoot you need to leave negative space for logos, text and marketing purposes. I, like many photographers, have a tendency to fill the frame with the subject for a more dynamic image. You need to talk with your client about the ultimate use of an image. In this case, we mapped out multiple crops because this capture is a hero. I suggest working to a "comp" when doing any advertising food shoot so your client gets the most from your work.

In the behind-the-scenes image below, the Platypod Ultra was raised on its legs to get a slightly higher view for a slightly downward angle. This makes the viewer feel they are bigger than the scene and are looking as if standing looking at the scene.

So what makes an image a hero? It tells the big story, in this case, of an outdoor dining experience with a great view. It’s a signature image that only this restaurant can have. Rather than cropping in camera for each use (which would take longer in capture and post production) room was left at the bottom and lower right hand corner for the Sound Bites Grill logo and text for an ad. The image was also cropped to a 16x9 ratio for use as a header photo on the website. Additionally, a tighter square crop is ideal for Instagram and Facebook posts. Multiple crops of the same image can also add cohesiveness to an ad campaign.

Below, the full size image is showing use of negative space for Sound Bites Grill logo. Space to the left of the logo can be used for text describing location, hours of operation etc…

 In the image below, the crop is suitable for a website banner.

And finally, the photo below is the same image, yet another crop suitable for Instagram and Facebook posts.

To see more of Bob’s work, head over to his blog at