What originally began as a hobby in high school has blossomed into a 30-year career for Mexico City-based food photographer Yuri Benitez. Recently hired to take packshots for Kellogg’s of Mexico’s new line of cereal Panadería (bakery), Yuri’s images visually entice consumers in a way that draws out their cravings. With four unique flavors to choose from, the classic cereal brand brings a twist to a household favorite.
Kellogg’s introduced this new lineup of cereals which were inspired by traditional Mexican bakeries. Panadería’s four distinct flavors represent famous Mexican breads – Churros (Fried dough), Rollos De Canela (Cinnamon Rolls), Pan De Muerto (Bread of the Dead), and Concha (Shell), all significant to Mexican culture and way of life. Panadería is unique because it was created to pair the same way you would the delicious bread – with milk, yogurt, or hot chocolate.
“Pan de Muerto” is a traditional piece of bread that we share to celebrate “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) on November first; in remembrance of our loved ones. We usually eat the bread with hot chocolate during dinner or breakfast.
Yuri was offered this assignment based on his long standing relationship with both Kellogg’s and Mexico-based brand agency ID’ologie. He worked with Kellogg’s many years ago through the J.Walter Thompson (JWT) advertising agency, in addition to working with ID’ologie on projects for Unilever and Pepsico.
I have worked with ID’ologie for over 15 years and the CEO of ID’ologie was confident in assigning me this project.
In preparation, Yuri attended three meetings, one regarding ID’ologie’s vision for the project, a pre-lighting session, and a meeting about his technical and aesthetic approach for the final packaging.
The shoot took place in Yuri’s studio on two separate occasions. The first session focused on the Churros, Rollos De Canela, and Pan De Muerto flavors. After positive sales and social media feedback on the first three flavors, Kellogg’s of Mexico added Concha to the Panadería line, which Yuri photographed images for in one day.
Keeping a relaxed atmosphere and adhering to the Covid-19 restrictions, Yuri utilized the help of his assistant, food stylist Luis Bobadilla, and Luis’s assistant. With the client watching the shoot via Google Meet, it was easy to share the images using the live view feature on Yuri’s Canon 5D RS camera.
The client can see exactly what the camera sees, it’s like taking a glimpse through the viewfinder, but from the comfort of your own home.
As with any food photography, the goal was to visually capture the sweet and savory deliciousness of the staple cereal brand. Yuri accomplished this by combining his photographic images with graphic design elements. He used the ingredients from each bakery recipe as elements alongside the main image on the front and back panels of the cereal box.
Incorporating elements of brown sugar, cinnamon powder, cinnamon sticks, dried vanilla, butter rolls, and orange blossom, shows that the flavors of the cereal are true to the original recipe.
Yuri encountered creative challenges when choosing the right props for the images. It was difficult to decide which surfaces worked best for the placement of certain elements and how to best arrange the creative shapes for the images that would go on the back panels. This challenge showed Yuri the importance of good communication between himself and the graphic designer.
In projects like these, the photographic and graphic design images are equally important for the final product.
Yuri enjoyed working on this project with Kellogg’s of Mexico because it was an opportunity to share a taste of Mexico’s rich culture. With a twist on the traditional way of eating cereal, Panadería was inspired by the most delicious of the Mexican bakeries – taking four sweet traditional recipes and reinventing them for generations to enjoy.
See More of Yuri’s Images on Instagram.