Choreographed food fight nourishes RIT photo tradition

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Photo provided by RIT Production Photography class

RIT’s Production Photography class produced this image as part of an advertising core elective in the advertising photo program taught by Doug Rea, professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

The course entails third- and fourth-year students working in both small and large teams to produce theme-based images. Projects involve reenactments, fictional journalism (events that were never photographed), still theater and storytelling (go to to see previous Production images). All projects are unfunded initiatives.

This marked the 12th year of the popular photography class at RIT. The project is run entirely by students, in which the group learns about concept development, design, lighting, choreography, budgeting, scheduling and the technical portion of the shoot.

The food fight represented our final production shot. It was easy to agree on a photo concept because we wanted to create 
a timeless image that was also very youthful and reflected us as a group. Since we couldn’t find any still images of a food 
fight, we knew it was meant to be.

We were given four weeks to brainstorm, conceptualize, plan and create this image from start to finish. By collaborating with Monroe Community College’s photography program, we were able to make use of MCC’s cafeteria for the shoot as well as gather the help of faculty and students. Since our class size was small (seven students), we all had to take on multiple roles to make the shoot a success. I served as production manager, choreographer’s assistant and retoucher, for example.

Every model was given direction for their expression and actions. After a few choreographed dry runs, we were ready to shoot the food fight for real. 

The final image is a composite photo­graph using more than 12 different images pieced together from the shoot. The final image is currently hanging in the Imaging Systems Lab in a 30”x40” light box inside James E. Booth Hall.