Commercial Photography Labriola’s Market

Here’s a little bit of a case study in commercial photography Labriola’s Market.

Family Business

The owners and the designer challenged me to come up with a fresh look for the website of a great chain of local specialty food markets. Leonard Labriola’s is a family-owned business that opened in the 1920’s in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills. Over the years Labriola’s expanded to 4 sites around Pittsburgh. The store is well known for their top-quality Italian food products. The market owners wanted a web presence that reflects their modern approach to marketing high quality grocery items and their growing business of prepared foods. When I was hired they gave me a brief to come up with a clean and cohesive look across the website. I had to draw from a few different skill sets in order to achieve the desired results. I needed to be both a product photographer and a food photographer.

Web Pages

Screenshot of a website home page featuring olives, pasta, sauces, and other prepared food items done for Commercial Photography Labriola's Market.


The lighting scheme I came up with was designed to show the foods in a complimentary, but still interesting way. My goal was to make sure that the food looked great in the photo – just as it does in real life. I was wary of getting too cute the lights since there were a variety of different surfaces. The main light was a large softbox while a second strip box with a grid provided the highlights and gentle shadows. Doing that helped to show depth in the images.

Screenshot of a web page featuring prepared foods in a market counter as well as individual photos of the different dishes available done for Commercial Photography Labriola's Market.

The products presented an entirely different challenge. First was to come up with an arrangement of items that fit the layout parameters provided by the website designer. Second was dealing with a number of different surfaces – some of which were highly reflective. I set up a main light fairly close and high to the items fired into a large umbrella. A gridded light behind the olive oil bottles ensured that they had an attractive golden glow instead of being dark bottles of liquid.

Olive oil, cheese, meats, crostini done for Commercial Photography Labriola's Market.

The images above are screenshots of the website. I love the design because it features BIG pictures. The site is a profoundly more usable and attractive experience for visitors. It’s scalable with a structure that can be expanded for different product lines and each of the stores.