Friday, January 27, 2012

a cookbook shoot, part 2

This is a continuation of yesterday's post.

For multiple reasons, the pace of this shoot is much faster than usual. It's pretty typical to get through 4-6 recipes in a day for a cookbook but, on this project, we've been doing 6-10 per day. Kim and Brooke have been able to do a majority of food prep the night before, which helps tremendously. By the time they arrive at the studio, most of the work has been done.
Also, we have a lot of creative freedom with this book, which is a photographer's dream come true. I have had the pleasure of being able to do pretty much whatever I want for each shot and, luckily, everyone has been happy, (knock on wood.) Most times during a cookbook shoot, each recipe needs to be styled and shot a few different ways and then the photos need to go through an approval process which often involves multiple people. Obviously, that can eat up a lot of time, and we've been extremely lucky to have a much simpler work flow. That being said, the publisher always has the final say on everything.

Today we are shooting 9 recipes. One of them, the Roasted Red Onions with Pumpkin Bread Stuffing, is a dish that I think might make a nice cover. So, I plan on shooting with that in mind.
I chose this recipe because it's pretty, it's a main dish, it's savory, (we don't want people thinking this is a dessert book) and it's kind of a "fancy" dish, (this is a book about meatless celebrations, after all!)

When choosing props, I wanted something slightly rustic because there is a rusticity to the dish. However, I didn't want something too rustic, because it might detract from the "special occasion" theme.

For example, I pulled the props below as possibilities, yet ruled out the casserole pan, the scratchy baking pan and the linen towels as too rustic.
Also, while I loved the color of the blue dishes, I didn't really want to put the onions on a plate.
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I also pulled the silver as an option. But, after thinking about it, the platter was too large and the shape was wrong.
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So, I chose this! I think this silver piece is a great combo of rustic and elegant. Plus, it's exactly the shape I originally envisioned.
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Then, because I loved the thought of using blue in the shot, (the onions are a gorgeous shade of purple), I decided to use this surface. It's already been used once in the shoot and I am always careful not too use the same props too often in a cookbook. However, since there a quite a few shots in the book, I don't think using the same surface twice is excessive.
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As for some of the other shots, I chose the props below to use for a photo of blood orange galette, (although I ended up switching out the patterned blue linens for something else.)
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I chose these props for an Indian-themed dish of pakoras with chutney.
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Here is Kim prepping the galette before putting it on set.
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That's it for today! Stay tuned next week for the final post. :)

2 comments:

Lynn said...

Claire,
I'm really enjoying the step-by-step breakdown of your process. o instructive for someone who struggles with this stuff. Thank you!

leeksoup said...

Me too! More please!