Photo Fun at the Mercantile

We’ve been having a lot of fun the last couple weeks doing some photo shoots at the Mercantile in Portage. A couple vendors took us up on our free photo shoot promo and asked us to come in to photograph some of their awesome products. We were happy to oblige!

Mila Stahl is the owner of The Artisan Foodie. After our photo shoot we were able to sample some of her homemade salad dressing and, no joke, it was probably the tastiest dressing I’ve ever had. Homemade. All organic. No preservatives, flavors or corn syrup. Just natural goodness, made with a touch of love. It sure makes a difference.

Mila brought in her business partner, a guy who grows organic salad, and we set up an ‘action’ shot- a pour over of her dressing over lettuce. One of the challenges of shooting a close-up action shot like this is focus and depth of field. I won’t bore you with all the technical camera jargon, but it is difficult to capture motion AND keep the whole image in focus. You have to have a fast shutter speed and small aperture. Usually in low light you sacrifice one for the other. I realized that this could be a problem so halfway through the pour over I flipflopped the camera settings to see what would give better results. I’m glad to see that the trick worked- the scene was in focus and the flowing dressing had sharp detail. Yes! Take a look below.






On another day we came in to take photos for Peg Napralla. Peg makes various jewelry, bowls, saucers, plates, etc. all out of glass. The detail and variation in these hand-made pieces is exquisite. We experimented with various lighting angles- from behind, from the side, but ended up just ditching the lighting altogether in favor of natural. Having too much lighting tends to cause glare and completely blow out the detail. These weren’t action shots so we could just setup the tripod and get the angles we wanted. We also experimented with different backgrounds. We used her manikin for some, but also used a white sheet and a cookie sheet (courtesy of Kim’s kitchen). My personal favorite was the cookie sheet. The scratch marks and reflection of the sheet created an interesting backdrop for her jewelry. It was a nice contrast to her smooth, round necklaces.





Not only was it fun to take photos for Mila and Peg, but it was very interesting to learn about other businesses in the Portage area. We look forward to some of these photos showing up in print materials and on the web. It’s nice to know the images are being put to good use. Click!


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *