A new candy store opened up in Cambridge. Mandarina Studio did the sleek, refined interior design work and the packaging design for everything in the store was created by Ferraro Studios. It was really a perfect team that Yalonda put together to help sculpt her company’s image. Yalonda is a lawyer by trade, but decided to pursue her sugary efforts after her experiences as a child. Her mother ran a candy store where she grew up in Detroit, which prompted her to start up Evelyn & Angel’s. Things are the same as when she was a child, only now she brought in her mother to work the store.
Hearing Yalonda’s story the first time I chatted with her on the phone helped make me realize I am not the only one who delves into nostalgia so deeply. It’s funny how much of my life is fueled by my mostly unconscious desires to seek nostalgic trips. I find the older I get, the more I see how important my childhood was in bringing me to where I am. I know we should try our best to be here now, but we desire a clear vision of the past to help us make sense of the present moment. I think our untrusting organic memory is one of the reasons why I have built a life around photography. Another reason is proof. I take photographs to show my interpretation of the past in a truthful, tangible way. The opening and closing of memories can make them unstable, not necessarily reinforce their authenticity.
It’s hard to not have a positive experience when working in this kind of environment. The smells, colors, sweetness, it helped open up a few scattered memories of my childhood summers in Lakeville, Ma. If for no other reason to step into a candy store, do it for the temporary feeling of childhood carelessness and overindulgence.
We started shooting in the cold, early morning at about 6:45am. It was important to capture the exterior shots while it was still blue hour, which is a small window to work with. Right before the sun peeked was the best time for this shot lighting-wise because we couldn’t have the window backlit. Timing is everything.
Most shots in the store were captured with at least one light. For the detail shots I used a single strobe and dialed down the shutter speed to help increase the contrast.
I thought it was valuable to capture the dimension in the wood molding. There was more intricate lighting and retouching done with the above counter shot than the rest. Minimizing reflection in the glass while still making the wood detail took a little bit of flagging with the three strobes I used. So much of the viewer’s attention goes to the colors, it was important to show all of the craftsmanship in all the other aspects of the store.
Evelyn & Angels is now open. Besides chocolate, they also have saltwater taffy, mixed nuts and ribbon candy. Soon, there will be 1950s soda fountain in the downstairs along with a seating area. The address is 1702 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge, MA.