Growing For Good
You may remember seeing some interesting pictures of mushroom kits on my social media just before lockdown, it was a really fun and dynamic commission by YMCA Newcastle’s Calvin Bateson. Calvin is Marketing Communications Officer at YMCA Newcastle and he got in touch with me needing product photography at my studio in Newcastle for the Urban Mushroom project. Urban Mushrooms pioneers ethical and sustainable food production and provides jobs and training to disadvantaged young local people thanks to investment from Sage Foundation and Social Investment Business Group. Production was booming before lockdown and the team needed updated imagery for their website.
The enterprise has been developing it’s tried-and-tested approach to urban farming here in Newcastle with used coffee grounds to produce new, speciality hot pink oyster mushrooms to join their pearl-grey mushrooms in the fresh cap and grow-at-home kit product range. They’re also developing dried mushroom products along with a line of speciality powders and salts. Urban Mushrooms are also supplying ‘chog’ (or stalks) of the oyster mushrooms to Field and Forrest- a producer of vegan convenience food as a meat-alternative. Many of the products supply our local restaurants in Newcastle for high end dishes and creative menus.
Previous to this Urban Mushrooms product shoot, I had captured documentary images of the mushroom production, portraits of the youth employees and volunteers on the urban farm. The brief for me this time was to capture images of the produce and so Calvin arrived with a basket of the weird and wonderfully shaped, colourful mushrooms they grow at the YMCA Mushroom farm. Below are a select few images from the shoot that show the mushrooms ‘in situ’ of food prep, display and macro close up shots of the fungi as the main event! Just feast your eyes on this lot of fun-gi! Soon to be on the Urban Mushroom’s website.