This is a case study about a photography project we completed for Choux Lab, a bakery established in 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. Our client was in the process of launching their very first website and needed professional food photography to showcase both their delicious menu items while also promoting their brand. Additionally, they wanted to utilize the images for their accounts on various take-out & delivery apps to stand out from the competition.
Who is Choux Lab?
Choux Lab is a French-inspired bakery in Toronto that focuses most of their efforts on choux pastries. Choux pastry is defined as a delicate dough, using only butter, water, flour and eggs. There are no rising agents and instead choux pastry has a high moisture content that creates steam during the baking process, and as the water evaporates the pastry begins to “puff”. Choux pastries are often referred to as cream puffs, and at Choux Lab, you can find a variety of creative & flavourful fillings – from the classic custard to my personal favourite: Hazelnut!
What makes Choux Lab different?
Toronto boasts an array of bakeries with scrumptious cakes, bars, cookies and other goodies. However, Choux Lab stands out from the rest due to their signature item – choux pastry. Offering a staggering 13 unique fillings along with inventive decorations that make each one distinctively different, it’s no surprise why Choux Lab is getting noticed for its original product.
If cream puffs aren’t your thing, they also offer a variety of tarts, slices of cake and eclairs. They can can even create custom cakes tailored to your specifications. The pastry chef and co-owner, Hana, introduces adventurous flavours like passionfruit, tiramisu, and pistachio, while ensuring each item is individually and meticulously hand decorated.
Why are website photos important for Choux Lab?
A website is the foundation for customers to comprehend a brand, form opinions, and create an emotional connection. Custom imagery for businesses that sell food items is an integral way to draw customers in and build consumer confidence. Choux Lab also worked with a web developer to include a consistent colour scheme, logo, and fonts for their website, along with the imagery we provided. Utilizing a branding package can be extremely helpful in making sure all assets are working together as part of establishing a strong & cohesive visual identity.
Choux Lab also offers an online-ordering system via their website and various delivery apps. In such a competitive market, it’s essential that images of their menu offerings stand out, look appetizing, and are authentic to how they actually look. Many competitors utilize stock photos, which detract from building consumer confidence. When customers are scrolling through delivery app menus, it’s not uncommon for them to find the same images being used by different businesses that don’t accurately reflect what their menu items look like. As soon as consumers become aware of this discrepancy, any trust they once had is eroded and chances of a repeat purchase significantly drop. Custom food photography is a key tool in customer relationship building.
At Robert Lowdon Photography, we pride ourselves on originality and producing visuals that are unique. A popular trend in recent years is for businesses to choose a cutout look for their images on a white backdrop. This you can find across all industries from organizational headshots to food, clothing, and products. We believe this look has been overdone and become dated. We now recommend and urge each one of our clients to utilize unique and authentic images that properly represent their brand. We make it a priority to learn about our client’s businesses and collaborate with them on the best plan to achieve authenticity.
The Choux Lab team was incredibly accommodating, giving us full artistic autonomy for the photoshoot. We brought an array of backdrops and decided to utilize a new one for each menu category. The choux pastries are a really fun item and delicately decorated, so we opted for a pink marble backdrop that complemented them perfectly. Our objective was to make the pastries the highlight of each image, so we abstained from using any additional garnishes such as herbs, flowers, or fruits. To give it an aesthetic appeal and emphasize its freshness even more, we used the crumbs that were left behind after cutting them and squeezed the filling to overflow out of each pastry.
We decided to keep the tarts in one piece, due to their intricate decorations. To create contrast and draw attention to the tart we chose a black slate backdrop, then finished off with scattering around icing sugar for added texture. This combination of colours and textures truly made the tart stand out and pop!
Pivoting the Plan: Cutting the Cream Puffs
Halfway through the photoshoot, we felt that the choux pastries weren’t conveying their flavour adequately in the images. So, with a creative pivot in mind, we began to cut them in half – that way customers could not only view the flavours within but also witness how plentiful each pastry’s filling is. No one likes a filled pastry with not enough filling and Choux Lab delivers above and beyond every time. This inventive approach propelled us into a more fun direction for the shoot that best aligns with the spirit of the brand.
Authentic Owner Images
The purpose of the photoshoot was for food photography of Choux Lab’s menu items for their website. During the planning process, we discussed how we thought it was crucial to add some photos of the owners as well. Customers want to connect with your product and storytelling is a great way to bring people in and generate authenticity. Hana and Manny are both immigrants from Vietnam and India, and both bring different sets of skills to their well rounded business. Upon our first conversation it was clear that they are very passionate about their products and excited for the future. Their energy is inspiring and we felt it was important to bring that story to life through imagery.
The images will be used for Choux Lab’s website, social media channels, advertising campaigns, and various food delivery apps. The imagery was incredibly effective in capturing the brand’s core menu offerings while separating them from their competitors. Companies should not overlook the power of conducting photoshoots to capture their products and convey a sense of trustworthiness and reliability. These visuals create an emotional connection between customers and the brand, ultimately contributing to its success.
We hope that this case study has provided you with some insights into our approach to photography and how we work with our clients to achieve their goals. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.