Meet Adrian Mueller
- Adrian Mueller: A photographer & tabletop director based in New York, Adrian grew up in Switzerland, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, delicious food, and a culture of simplicity in design – elements that are reflected in his visual sensibilities.
- Motto: Developing true craftsmanship and reducing everything to its essence.
- Client list: Adidas, Evian, Prada, Ciroc, Microsoft, L’oreal, Macy’s, Chase, American Express, Exxon Mobil, Novartis, Snapple, Kraft, Jim Beam, Bacardi, Roche, Siemens, and more.
- Awards: Among others, Adrian’s recent awards include appearances in: Archive’s 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide 2020/21, PDN Photo Annual 2020, Gourmand International Cookbook Awards – Best Food Photography (USA) 2019, and the FoodPhoto Festival Denmark 2019.
- Work: Adrian enjoys connecting making deep connections through his work, and over the years he’s had the opportunity to collaborate with many amazing creatives and companies in: New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, LA, Miami, Seattle as well as in Europe and Asia. In particular, spending time in Japan influenced his creative approach and aesthetics.
Case Study Breakdown
Client :: Casse-Cou
Creative :: Matthew Kenney
Job Description :: Shoot a series of images for Casse-Cou Chocolaterie, the latest brainchild of plant-based Chef Matthew Kenney. Matthew and his team operate over 40 different restaurants worldwide. The vegan chocolates are now sold in a new store location in Manhattan as well as online.
The Project :: I’ve worked with Chef Matthew Kenney on several projects since 2009, including 5 cook books. He commissioned me to create this series of images for his new chocolate brand, which includes 12 different pralines and 5 bars.
Behind the Scenes
- Since the pralines and bars were still under development during our shoot, we only had a very limited number available for each flavor. It was challenging to know that cutting, immersing, powdering or tempering the chocolate was very much a final proposition. Messing up would have meant the end of the shoot for that particular type of praline. Adding the fact that we did not have a prop or food stylist on set to rely on, I had to think things through before I committed to altering any of the chocolate pieces.
“Compared to my usual projects for clients such as Nestle, Snickers or Jim Beam for example, we did not have any crew, producers or creatives on set or on the broadcast with us. This was a solo project where I received a mood board and then had total creative freedom.”
All “Behind the Scenes” shots courtesy of Adrian Mueller
I enjoy this way of working a lot, since my other projects are usually highly structured and minutely scheduled, while taking direction from multiple people at the same time. Client management, time management and crew collaboration often take a big chunk out of the day. With this job, we settled on a two-day shoot. I spent 12-14 hours a day at the studio, basically playing with setups, compositions, light, surfaces, props, ingredients and the chocolates.
- The combination of needing to be focused and to work precisely while being unconstrained in regards to the creative direction helped a lot to really be in the moment, turning the shoot itself into a pleasurable experience. I also had the challenge of not being able to eat any of the chocolate during the shoot, which was probably the most difficult part. I’m looking forward to changing that this week.