Shooting for Finless Foods outside Monterey
December 15, 2021
I’ve shot lifestyle images on a beach before, but a shoot earlier this year for Finless Foods presented a new level of weather encounter. Crazy wind, crashing waves, blowing spray, and intense sun…the opposite of what you need for a shoot with controlled lighting and equipment that can be rendered useless by salt. How did we end up in this situation?
Pacific bluefin tuna is one of the most overfished species in the world, with a population less than 3% of its original size. That not-at-all-fun news is the reason Finless Foods exists. Finless is a Bay Area start-up that makes both plant-based and cell-cultured tuna, their core mission being to “create a future for seafood where the ocean thrives.” When the company hired me last summer to create some lively portraits of their leadership team, creative director Christophe and I agreed that it was important to visually connect the team to the ocean, even if only in the distant background. But what I really wanted was to photograph them actually in the water, in contact with sand and surf, while dressed for the office. It’s a real challenge to get permits to shoot on the coast in California, so I was thrilled when the Finless team booked the Sanctuary Beach Resort outside of Monterey Bay, where we could shoot on a private beach with no permits. We had the run of the place, from the lobby, to meeting rooms, to the upscale yet rustic seafood restaurant, which gave us lots of visual variety.