Coffee Shop Photography
Walkie Talkie Coffee
If you know anything about Mikayla and I, we love coffee. But it’s not what you think; it’s not Starbucks coffee love. It’s real coffee love. Not that burnt garbage that’s roasted to death and revived by a butt load of sugar and 2% milk. No, I’m talking about coffee that was roasted with love and the consumer in mind. We’re talking about our favorite neighborhood coffee shop, Walkie Talkie Espresso and Coffee.
So, Mikayla used to work for this restaurant in Downtown Canton called Deli Ohio. She had a co-worker named John King, who, for one, is an awesome sandwich slinger, but is also an amazing musician. He’s played in many bands, but Mikayla and I’s favorite is his record called, The Warmer Winds. If you’re ever in the mood for some calming jams, John King’s got ya back. But John is married to Lindsey, who happens to be an award winning barista. She’s worked in the coffee industry in Canton for over 16 years and makes the best lattes you’ll ever drink. Ever.
They both had a dream to open up their own neighborhood coffee shop, and might I add, the only neighborhood coffee shop in Canton. Every other coffee shop is either downtown, or is a Starbucks/Dunkin placed on the outskirts of a neighborhood. Walkie Talkie is placed in the heart of Canton right in the middle of Vassar Park neighborhood. It’s surrounded by houses rather than businesses.
Back when the idea of Walkie Talkie was beginning to form, John and Lindsey reached out to Mikayla and I to help create their logo as well as a Kickstarter video to help get people to fund the starting costs of the coffee shop. They renovated an old filling station and needed funds to help purchase equipment, like an espresso machine. We were a little caught off guard because we aren’t videographers by a long shot, as you can see by the kickstarter video, it’s not the best quality haha.
We bought a stabilizer, reached out to a videographer friend and asked for advice and we winged it! We tried our best with the equipment we had, but in the end, John and Lindsey nailed it and met their goal, and then some.
On the other hand, we had the opportunity to create their logo! This was super fun because we got to collaborate with a dude named Cory. He made the very first walkie talkie that the logo was based off of. He laid the foundation and we built the house on top of it! His original walkie talkie was amazing. We added an outline effect and created 2 more walkie talkies to flank the original. We added the typography and the Walkie Talkie logo was born! If you want to see any more of Cory Windland’s work, feel free to support him!
So with the Kickstarter completed and renovations all done, they opened the shop and it was a huge success. Walkie Talkie was the talk all over Canton. They received many praises on the quality of their drinks as well as customer service. All of their employees, John, Lindsey, Cory, Jamie, and Jordan, are the best. They’re all so caring and share a universal love for people.
Working alongside John and Lindsey, and being so pumped at seeing how greatly Walkie Talkie was succeeding, we asked them one day to do some coffee shop photography with all their employees. We were feeling a little bit of creative burnout and wanted to do something fun! They were all for it. This creative shoot was so fun that Mikayla and I were like, dudes, we’re gonna keep doing this and it’s only going to get better. It did, and it got way better.
I’m going to talk about every photoshoot we’ve had with Walkie Talkie, how it went day of, and what the inspiration was behind them. But first, here’s some of the very first shots we took of John and Lindsey for the Walkie Talkie launch.
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #1
So, we’re starting off with our first photoshoot we ever did with the Walkie Talkie crew. We call this the orange shoot. We brought a huge roll of orange paper and a C-stand and took the image below. The inspiration came from when Mikayla and I took photos of our cats through yellow paper. We placed their heads and bodies through the paper and made a weird family portrait. Yes its weird, and yes it really is something else haha.
So naturally, we had the employees place random body parts holding different items (coffee cups, milk, coffee beans, etc.), as well as their heads through paper making weird and funny faces. We did some funny group shots that involved confetti and a blue background as well as individual shots that made every employee look fun and inviting. The confetti shot made everyone look like they were apart of a Kpop band. Check out some shots from the shoot below!
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #2
Alrighty, we had the taste of a fun creative shoot and we wanted more. We really wanted to push the boundaries of what a typical coffee shop does. We wanted Walkie Talkie to stand out and be different from all the others. They pushed this narrative with their love of music, and modeled their seasonal menu drop after a physical album drop. So, John thought of the idea of creating a physical vinyl/vinyl cover as their actual menu displayed in the shop. So, we brainstormed with John and Lindsey about what to do next. We were like, ‘dudes, say no more, 70’s theme here we come.’
We asked, and they delivered, hard. Check out those mustaches and all those vintage clothes. We looked up some of the cheesiest poses we could and they rocked every second of it. I did the editing on all the photos and I NEVER edit, that’s how adventurous we were being with this shoot. John ordered paper and we designed and printed out the vinyl covers and they turned out epic, check out the vinyl below.
This photoshoot helped Walkie Talkie feel MORE than just a coffee shop. They were pushing away from the norm and becoming something creative and unique. These were on display in the coffee shop and seeing the smiles on people’s faces reading the menu was priceless. Check out some more of the shoot below!
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #3
Oh man it’s Christmas time. You know that means? Freaking presents. John and Lindsay wanted to sell more merch for Christmas presents. So we brainstormed different ideas on what we could do and the idea popped up for them to open up their own merch. We brought our own Christmas tree into Walkie Talkie, decorated, and wrapped up all the merch. We set up our profoto lights and shot some of the cutest photos. I mean, look at baby Max being an elf. How freaking cute is that? We had Jamie opening up gifts and had them do the most over-reaction reactions to their gifts, it was a shoot to remember.
We also set up our lights to do hero shots of each seasonal drink they were offering at the time! This was a simple shoot on white with different props to showcase each drink. That Hartzler’s eggnog never looked so good. We shot many different angles so they could use these for multiple different social media posts, check out the shots below!
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #4
It’s kind of weird that we’ve done 4-6 different photo shoots for Walkie Talkie over the past months, but we hadn’t actually shot the Walkie Talkie building or shown any process of someone making a drink. So we grabbed our profoto lights and some reflectors, and created a standard lighting set up. We were able to showcase their space in a nice clean way.
We did some over the shoulder shots of them making drinks, as well as latte art. They wanted to showcase every part of the drink making process so that in the future, they could have content to share on social media. With all the different angles, and with the lighting being fairly consistent, it can look like it was shot day of rather than months prior. Not only that, they can have future social media posts that can talk about a specific process, or just announcing their hours for the day, it’s great filler content for the feed.
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #5
Okay guys, Covid hit the fan around this time and as with everything in America, things slowed down. After a couple of months Walkie Talkie is doing curbside only, and was about to drop the fall menu. They needed a refresh in content and with Covid still being an issue, we decided to bring one of our wooden table tops to Walkie Talkie and did the whole shoot outside. We kept a 6 feet distance as well as wore masks to be as safe as possible. We used the sun as our main light source and created some standard hero shots.
This was less on the creative side and more on the content heavy side of things, but sometimes it’s okay to not be as creative and just get the photos needed for launch. But, because we couldn’t get creative on the photo side of things, we decided to do some illustrations for the drop! It was all dog themed and we matched the drinks with the dogs. It was so much fun. Check out the photos as well as the illustrations below.
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #6
John really wanted to emulate a series of photos from the late 80’s/early 90’s bands. So the style would be very high contrast with lots of overly cheesy poses. We loved it every second of it. Apparently we did a trendy thing as well with Lindsay being a ghost and holding things. We’re hip guys.
Along with that shoot, we did hero shots of all their seasonal fall drinks. Because we did a darker/moodier photoshoot with John and Lindsay, we wanted to keep that same feel with the hero shots. We brought a lot of black reflectors as well as a black sheet to create this dark day window effect. We for sure brought the dark fall mood into their drinks. Check them out below!
Coffee Shop Photography – Shoot #7
Welcome to the present, or the past if you’re reading this in your time period. Walkie Talkie for Christmas wanted to photograph their gift boxes in a creative way. So we grabbed our lights, the back of a black colored paper and made a mini studio in our attic. We used this holographic plastic as the backdrop and it got trippy real quick. We wanted something to elevate the boxes rather than just shoot it on a white background.
We’ve done a couple other shoots with Walkie Talkie where we’d go to an event or two, do a random photo shoot here and there, but these were some of our most creative and fun shoots we’ve done. These guys are our creative outlet. Like we stated in our other blog about getting out of a creative burnout, do something that’s really creative in your field. Do something for yourselves that is fun and makes you remember why you’re doing it in the first place. For us, creative coffee shop photography was our outlet.
And here’s something that will make your face cringe, we don’t do it for the money, we don’t even ask for money. We do these shoots for free for Walkie Talkie. WHAT? FOR FREE? Yep. All for free. We were of course paid in the beginning for our services for the branding and the videography, but everything after, is completely free. We don’t and won’t ask for money because in a way, it’s like they’re paying us. We get to have fun, be creative, and our work gets to be enjoyed by so many people who love Walkie Talkie. If we were getting paid, there would be so much more pressure and we feel that the creativity would be lost.
Photographers/designers/artists, you need to create art, to create art. Art is an extension of yourself and you need to enjoy it again. Reach out to your local coffee shop, bar, restaurant, etc etc. And see if they’d be down for a fun collaboration and see where it takes you. You could make amazing friends, and you may discover the love for your craft that you once had.
John, Lindsay, Cory, Jamie, Jordan, we love you and are happy to call you guys our friends. You guys are the bomb, and thanks for putting up with us and our demands. K bye.
Interested in your own coffee shop photography? Or a last minute COVID-19 wedding? Or just in need of some rad photographers to grab some ‘za with and socially distance hang? Shoot us a message and talk to our cats (aka the office administrators) for information! Now booking for the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021.