Group of people behind table smiling happily

Foodie Shots loves collaborating with other businesses, particularly local ones – and recently we did just that. As part of the launch of Darling Fresh’s very own DF Smoke Haus smoked plants and meats Foodie Shots, Darling Fresh, and Retrohex spent the day in the kitchen cooking (and eating) Jeff’s incredible products.

Crazy concept, right? Physically collaborating with two other businesses in the same room at the same time! Especially in these unprecedented times, the chance to collaborate in real time is almost improbable, especially when you’re talking about produce, photography, and web design. Most people would see no need for it. But what a brilliant day we had!

Collab Comfort

From the very moment we arrived, Jeff, Leisa, Ross, and I were able to get on the same page. No need for endless emails to confirm ideas, check the quality of the produce, or what type of images work best for the website.

We planned the day from start to finish with ease, sharing ideas and relaxing into the shoot making sure we were all moving in the same direction. Then we were able to just play and enjoy the day.

Having the whole end-to-end team together gave Leisa and I the chance to discuss the technical and plan the shoot from a final product standpoint. Jeff and I could play with the finished dishes to ensure we got the best angles and really encompassed the beauty of each product individually. It also meant we could eat all the delicious food.

Discovering Delights

Now, I love food, so I’m not going to deny I love the eating part of my job. But it also has some benefits for the brand to share their food with their professional team. At the very least, it allows us to fall in love with their product and rave about it to our friends. But it also means that, creatively, we can better capture the essence of the product.

Let me explain that…

I know what smoked meat tastes like. But I’d never had Jeff’s smoked meat, and I’d certainly never had such incredible smoked mushrooms. Wow!

Beautifully smoked mushrooms sit piled on a white background. Surrounding the mushrooms is a scattering of peppercorns. In the bottom of the photo is fresh greenery, while in the top left corner there is a half-filled bottole of oil

I’m an equal opportunist foodie, so I love vegetarian and vegan as much as meat, but those bad boys were something else. And because of that, whenever I promote DF Smoke Haus, their plant options are one of the first I think of. This means I’m constantly promoting him to niche markets who may otherwise assume he only does smoked meats.

All because of a collab shoot where I got to try his smoked plant-based options.

Credibility Counts

The day wasn’t just about the food though. Working in such close proximity for the day is a brilliant way to grow business relationships, as well. Not only could we watch each other work and feed off each other’s excitement and passion, we were able to really engage personally.

While we all knew each other well before the shoot, spending such a block of time together professionally allowed me to learn more about Jeff and Leisa personally as well. We got to understand more about the person behind the brand.

Now, when I recommend either Retrohex or Darling Fresh to others I have a personal reference of their working abilities. This creates stronger, more credible recommendations, like this review Jeff provided for Foodie Shots after his launch:

“We got going, and with Kat’s experience in Consumer X and Graphic Design, we very quickly worked out the Brand story and goals for the project. Kat worked brilliantly with our design Team and Chef to deliver exactly what we needed, on time and in budget, and has become a key go-to part of our team.

The result is a bang-on website for look and feel, along with a multitude of images for ongoing social media and marketing use.”  

Being able to talk through Foodie Shots working with his whole team gives his recommendation authenticity, which could not exist without him being present for the collaboration.

Collaborating with Jeff has also been brilliant at strengthening our relationship as advisors for the Food & Agri Network (FAN) as part of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce. With Jeff announcing the rollout of the updated CBD Local Produce Map, I can confidently see he shares the same enthusiasm for local food and produce as I do!

A freshly cooked pizza is being pulled from a smouldering wood-fired pizza oven on a metal pizza peel. tHe pizza has a red passsata with mushrooms on it.

Learning Together

Something you can’t necessarily learn from virtual or remote collaborations is new skills. Jeff, Leisa, and I are all curious learners, so all three of us absorbed new knowledge simply from working in the same space as each other.

As a business strategist as well, Jeff looks at everything from a strategy and improvement background. This pushed me throughout the day to ask how we could do each shot better and what was the purpose of each shot. Leisa was examining every shot from a web capability point. 

Ross educated me on some of the cooking techniques to prepare food for photos. Let’s face it I am the photographer with food styling skills. But food styling is not my niche so it was great to pick up these tricks. And I got to share some of my own little tricks for taking incredible images. The day became a collaborative skill-share as much as a photo shoot.

It is so rare we get to learn and share out talents with fellow professionals in a comfortable and informal session. I have loved the chance to collaborate with Retrohex and Darling Fresh.

I can’t emphasise enough the value of collaborations like this one, and I’d absolutely love the opportunity to do more similar shoots. Being able to create a whole website and social media gallery of images means, ultimately, Jeff saves money and now has a comprehensive gallery of images to use for his launch and the coming months promotions. 

So if this is something you have been thinking of doing…let’s chat…by all means talk to Jeff or Leisa for their own take on working with Foodie Shots.

A table is laden with a fresh feast. The feast includes salads, pizza, sub rolls, and hamburgers