Food Photography: Shooting a Cook Book

Food Photography: Shooting a Cook Book

We shot our first cook book!

For my first gig in the professional food photography world I took on a massive project – 100 recipes in 3 days. Thankfully, I had Alexis on board to style each plate. She was in the kitchen next to Chef Vera figuring out what was coming off the skillet and I was in the dining room changing one rustic laminate flooring pattern out for another. Neither of us had ever taken a single food picture, except for one regrettable moment in my life when I took a photo of my green smoothie ingredients and posted it on Insta. Thanks to good instincts and a couple of sets of keen eyes we got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Irina picked up a good deal of the plates from Sur La Table while we grabbed the backdrops from Home Depot. At one point, I had an 8 foot piece of cement board in the cart before we found the tile section.

The style we shot in was a combination of Japanese minimalism, OCD, and rustic farm-to-table aesthetic. Our client, Zlata, wanted the shots to be clean and her favorite colors were black and white. While I can’t argue with her taste in colors we did tryt to find ways to work in simple colors to compliment the food without it looking like a kid’s birthday party.

We setup on the floor in the living room of famous health and fitness personality Natalie Jill. Her house was full of windows so I built a simple c-curve white wall on the floor and up the side of two chairs. We kept our work space clean the best we could even though our great friend Bean the Yellow Lab found everything we were doing very interesting. I will admit that I fed her a piece of chicken at one point because I felt so bad and I did not realize at the time that I would be creating a monster. I’ve never pulled so many pieces of little white hairs off of plates in my life. Sweet little pooch she was though. Morale MVP.

3 days straight for 10 hours each day will make you question your skills. By the third day we felt like we were styling and shooting the same thing for every dish and began to get a little frustrated. But when the deed was done and we delivered the work to the client within 12 hours of wrapping the shoot and she shed tears and that made us feel very proud of the work we did.

We have already caught ourselves looking at the way food is served in restaurants and at our friend’s houses. I would say the best thing about being a photographer, and the reason why everyone could and should spend some time taking photos, is that you simply pay more attention to the world as it is happening around you.

I hope you enjoy these photos and you become very hungry.

If you find that you need our services please know that we are more affordable and work harder than anyone else out there, I’ll promise that.


Thank you.

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