Poirot’s Coffee: A Photoshoot Inspired by Hercule Poirot

This post is about the photoshoot for Poirot’s Coffee and Creme Puffs, a mock coffee shop I imagined in my head.

I used Hercule Poirot as an inspiration for this coffee and crepe photoshoot.

Hercule Poirot is the main character of a British series by Agatha Christie. He’s a Belgian detective who solves mysteries and crimes through his incredible intellect and ability to read people. Several common elements occur in each book:

  • The wealthy victim who was murdered, the murder scene is created with lavish props.
  • The family members/acquaintances who have motives to kill the victim.
  • Hercule Poirot is always eating—he eats eggs at breakfast time, has bangers and mash for lunch, and drinks hot chocolate while searching through crime scenes. 
  • The final reveal is usually done over dinner with all suspects present. 

Man with a large mustache wearing a white suit

How I created the mysterious atmosphere

The lighting for this shoot was moody and dark, almost as if it were an evening scene. This helped set a mysterious tone.

I used two off-camera flashes to create this look. One pointed directly at the roof on camera right, and another pointed directly at the food on camera left. The flash pointed at the ceiling provided a fill light while the other acted as the key light.

I adjusted my f/stop to f/16 and used a slightly slow shutter to create more dimension between the coffee and background.

I chose dark browns and blacks as the background colors and a deep brown wooden table to reflect the mystery theme. The texture on Poirot’s desk also matches his personality because it’s super dark and has a vintage look. Perfect for our mysterious detective!

The Finished Product

Collage of creme puffs and coffee

I really enjoyed the atmosphere created by the set design and props! And I think we may have started a new photoshoot series as a result! The idea of doing more photoshoots based on famous fictional detectives is too good to pass up, so we’ll certainly be thinking of ideas for future shoots.

If you’re looking for someone who can bring a balance of fine art and commercial photography to your project, whether it’s a branding campaign or an editorial shoot, please contact Mica McCook at


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