Alas another extremely challenging shoot! I love jobs that make me sweat and solve problems! Faking soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt is really challenging. It’s no wonder there are stylists out there who specialize on ice cream alone! When I heard that the peeps at Photokitchen needed to get their sights on some frozen yogurt for a company in Colorado (yes people, the US is starting to outsource to the talented islands of the Philippines!)…I was in…and we didn’t even have the machine to make the frozen yogurt! So we had to make our own.
Day started roughly at 9am…into the kitchen I went to try out the formulas I’ll be using. RTS topping comes in a range of flavors here in the Philippines, but they seem to be lacking in one needed color: white (which was Vanilla). As I found out, Duncan Hines had a whiter mixture than Betty Cockers…what sucks is that they only had 2 tubs of Duncan Hines on the grocery shelf (I blame this on the lack of people who actually use RTS here in the Philippines, I was a little surprised that they had about 6 flavors in two brands that day…there are times when there are ZERO RTS toppings on the shelf for months!). And so I had to make do with these two DH tubs and 1 Betty Cocker tub (which was a little yellow).
To extend the fake soft serve mixture and to ensure that my fake yogurt wouldn’t be too yellow, I had to make a very soft batch of fake ice cream…the soft version to mix with the RTS formula…I think this is what caused the increased amount of air pocket holes in my mixture. Still, the show must go on!
When we got to the studio, we got right down to setting things up. Though the cup looked a little large, I was hoping the Frozen Yogurt height would balance it out a bit. And so came swirl attempt 1….and then 2…and then 3…and then 4 before we got our first hero shot out. It would’ve been much easier if we had more of the same cup, but since we just had 1, it was a day of patience and slow swirl making! The trick I did was that for every swirl I made, I would hold my breath while I was in motion. This was hard because I had to stop once in a while to ensure that I wouldn’t get too light headed! Yes, the swirls really made me stop breathing!
You really do need steady hands. And depending on your chosen tip, you will either have to avoid pulling the mixture too much as you extrude or else you’re going to end up with a swirl that looks really thin and messed up!
Anyway, as we did more shots, my hands were able to adapt and it would take only a few before we could get another hero into the set-up..I really still need to work on my soft served…and maybe find a bunch of good piping tips too. This was a really challenging shoot and I’m hoping that the client would be happy with our output.
I know my fakes are still far from perfect but I’m going to get there eventually. I think for a first commercial shoot, we did pretty well. I really should get a day where all I would do is practice this and improve my formula. So here are the finals for the client: