Post Kickstarter - Looking Back
We did it! We 300% did it!!! Our Kickstarter campaign closed just over three weeks ago at $93,440. Especially if you pledged to make it all happen - thank you so much. It's invigorating to have that much support behind us.
Now that it's ended, I'm looking back and trying to take some time to really remember what it took to launch. All of the prep leading up to the campaign took so much effort and regardless of the amount of time that it took, it went by very quickly - the last six months feel like a blur. I may extrapolate more about what those months were like in future posts, but I wanted to take a minute to focus on a particular image, the hero shot from the campaign.
Actually, I want to focus on the whole shoot that it came from. There are a lot of folks that were a part of this campaign in different capacities at different points, and I feel like I've been lucky to have really enjoyed working with everyone that's been involved, especially on the photography end of things.
Reiterating a point in an earlier post - good imagery and good photography matter in a big way to any company, and it's something I care about a lot. Especially for folks that haven't seen this cookware in person, the first way they experience it is through photos, most likely from a styled shoot.
Little explanation of styled shoots - they can be casual and impromptu, as in, "Oh this light coming through the window right now is great and the meal looks nice! Snap a pic!" Or they can be very calculated, as in, "We have a set menu, and 6 hours to shoot. We'll need these particular garnishes, let's start with these recipes so we have time to shoot these items before the others are done. We'll shoot into the night, and there are no south facing windows, so let's bring softboxes, bounces, and strobes." They can also be anywhere in between. The whole spectrum can result in beautiful images - neither is more "professional," even though when more equipment is used, it's sometimes more impressive in the moment.
The most recent styled shoot we did was with Angel Tucker, and it fell in that "in-between" space. I know Angel through her husband, Jon. I've known Jon, for a few years because of his business, O&G, which makes beautiful chairs and furniture [that I long for]. I've had multiple friends who have worked there in the studio, and Jon and I have talked each other through elements of certain casting projects from time to time as well.
Angel and Jon had just finished renovating their kitchen this spring after a burst pipe flooded and destroyed it earlier in the year. They'd designed certain elements with her photography practice in mind, which we totally want to do some day as well, hopefully without a flood to push it along... Anyway - Angel and I had been wanting to work together for a while, and timing finally lined up.
Angel often works with a food stylist, Maggie Mulvena, on her shoots, and planned to do so for ours as well. A note here - styling is usually more than just arranging - it's usually the menu prep as well, which can get intense. If you're shooting multiple pieces of cookware, you may be planning recipes for each of those particular pieces (garnishes and props included)... Maggie is really well suited for this. When she's not styling photos, she's running her business, Feast & Fettle - a local, premium meal delivery service here in Rhode Island. We share a passion for how food can make you feel connected to someone, to a moment, or a place, and we both appreciate that how it looks is a part of making that feeling happen.
The main objective for the shoot was to get the first shots of our new 12" Braising Pan, along with a few new ones of the 9" Skillet. Maggie and Angel work together so often that they really have a flow. I like being involved in some of the nuance of garnish placement and positioning, but on this particular shoot, I really got to sit back for the most part and watch it happen.
The food was excellent, and the photos are beautiful. I'm always inspired when I see what different people capture in their photos of the our cookware. The cookware itself doesn't change, but everything else can... Perhaps this is really elementary, but seeing those photos feels like getting to see the world through that person's eyes for a moment. Never loses its charm.