Lights, Camera, Action… A Day on the Cracker Barrel Photoshoot

When you walk into almost any store, you’ll immediately find posters or pictures showcasing the merchandise they’re selling. Whether it be walking into The Cheesecake Factory and seeing your favorite cheesecake or passing by Nike and seeing the latest workout clothing, it’s all about making your products look attractive. Everybody knows it’s all about the perfect angle and the perfect lighting, and the only way to get these products to look that good is to have a photoshoot.

Some might know Cracker Barrel, a redpepper client, as a restaurant, but there is a retail side that many people forget about. Cracker Barrel sells all kinds of items, such as furniture, home decor, accessories, and much more. Just like any other company, the products that Cracker Barrel sells are constantly changing with the seasons. In just a couple months we are nearing two of the biggest holidays of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In order to prepare for these major holidays, Cracker Barrel teamed up with redpepper to hold a photoshoot to get that perfect picture for all their new retail items.

Waking up at 7am never felt so good as I was extremely pumped to get to the photoshoot, which had a start time for 8am. I finally arrived at the address and was taken aback when I realized we were at someone’s house… we were going to be taking pictures at a random home. Weird. I quickly realized that Cracker Barrel items are household items, and they wanted to show consumers how they can style their home with Cracker Barrel products. Anyways, getting back to my day. After arriving, the redpepper crew and the photographer’s crew were briefed on all the shots that will be taken on that day, giving everyone a heads up to plan accordingly. For me, this meant making sure I knew where all the products were and ensuring that they would be in the right place at the right time for the shot. This day happened to be the Christmas shot day. When I think of Christmas I think of one big green tree filled with ornaments and presents, but when Cracker Barrel thinks of Christmas, they think FOUR different trees, hundreds of ornaments, presents, lights, room decorations and much more.

Now, one might think, how hard can it be to decorate some Christmas trees and take some pictures? The answer is… VERY HARD! When it was time to decorate the first Christmas tree, out came five boxes of ornaments that all needed to be put on the tree. On top of that, the room needed to be set up with garland along with other items to look Cracker Barrel ready. Each shot took about an hour, sometimes longer, to set up. Once the room was set up, we made sure to get approval from the Cracker Barrel team. After their approval, the real shots of the tree/room came and it was amazing to me how the set up process took over an hour, but the pictures took less than 10 minutes. After the shots, you can only guess what was next. Packing! We had to strip the tree down, put ornaments back in the boxes and get ready for the next shot.

With so many themes needing to be shot, we started to fall behind schedule. There were four different shots for different aspects of Cracker Barrel being shot at the same time, with four more to go. Levi Brandenburg, the Account Executive, juggled to reschedule shots constantly due to time constraints but managed the situation and had us interns setting up in advance, always on our toes, and ready to assist in any area he needed. After a full day, almost 9-10 hours at this person’s house, we finally got all the shots we needed. Most importantly, we got the clients approval on all of them. Just when you thought it was all over, remember, we were in a random person’s house. So, on came the cleaning process as we had to make this house presentable for the family that was coming back to it. After a 30 minute cleaning session, it was finally over. We did it.

Overall, my time at the photoshoot provided me with a variety of emotions, but in the end it was extremely rewarding. There was no better feeling knowing that all the hard work we put into this would soon be showcased at every Cracker Barrel. My miniscule role played such a major part in the process and final product. Can’t wait for the next one!


Karim Pradhan, Accounts Intern