Sunday, August 23, 2009

all about cookbooks

It's time to talk about cookbooks.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been contracted to do the photography for 3 upcoming cookbooks, all of which are being published by Sasquatch Books.

To say I am excited about these projects is an understatement. I am THRILLED.

In the past few weeks, I have been meeting the writers, discussing the vision for each project, and filling in shoot-dates on my calendar for the next year.

Photography for the first of the three projects is beginning now. The book is a re-release of The Northwest Essentials Cookbook, written in 1999 by Greg Atkinson, the former chef of Canlis
The original book did not include photos, but rather illustrations which were lovely and incredibly charming. In the re-release, however, my photography will replace the illustrations.

Each chapter features recipes that focus on an ingredient that is native to the Northwest. I have just begun reading the book and I already love it. I am truly honored to be creating the imagery for Greg's book.

The second book I will be working on is all about sustainable seafood. The writer is Becky Selengut, (you may know her as ChefReinvented on Twitter.)  

Becky is amazing. She is hilarious, unbelievably kind, generous, witty, as well as a kick-ass writer and fabulous chef to boot. Becky worked at The Herbfarm for 3 years, and now teaches cooking classes at PCC, is a private chef, and also a freelance writer. 
She and I recently had drinks at the fabulous Poppy, and talked about ideas for the photography, which is going to be SO FUN. I'll be sharing the process as I go, so stay tuned.

I am going to begin shooting for the third book next year. I have a really special place in my heart for this project because it's all about farms. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know my feelings about farms. 

The farm book is the brainchild of Leora Bloom, who, like me, is huge fan of farms and the people who run them. Leora is a pastry chef and a food writer, as well as a busy mom. She is also gracious and engaging and lovely. I have no doubt we will work well together.

Over the next several months, Leora is going to profile 12 (or so) farms in Washington State, writing about the ingredients each farm produces, the farmers who grow them, and the chefs who use those ingredients in their cooking. There will be a range of recipes in the book, contributed by chefs from all over the city.

There will be a lot of photos, because I get to do a mini-documentary of EVERY farm featured in the book! Plus, I'll be shooting finished recipes and ingredients. 
It's very similar to the work I have been doing for Kurtwood Farms, only on a much larger scale.

As I have already said, I am so happy and honored to be part of ALL of these projects. I couldn't have asked to work with a better group of people. Honestly.

Sasquatch has given me the go-ahead to share photos on my blog as I go, so I hope you will check back from time to time. :)

Now, after all that rambling, let's get to the photos! This is a photography blog, after all....

I have just started shooting for the Northwest Essentials Cookbook and, since it's summer, I am playing around with berries and stone fruit.  

Is this really my job? :)

**By the way, those are currants below, not grapes. Just in case anyone thought that I was photographing grapes and thinking they were in the berry family. :)


Tea said...

SO gorgeous, Clare! I am excited and happy for you. Yay, yay, yay!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you will be having loads of fun. I'm glad to see you get to enjoy your work day in and day out. -Tim Rowland

Sharlane said...

The first shot is PERFECTION!

Nikki said...

I want to eat your photos.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the first photo of the grapes hanging out of the glass. Gorgeous! And congrats on scoring such an awesome opportunity, Clare!

-Jordan DeWeerd

Unknown said...

Woot Woot Clare! You go girl! So happy for you that you're taking control of your shooting life and really honing your clientele to fit what makes you happy. They'll benefit tremendously in the end, as you're wonderful at what you do. Just plain delightful. XO!

Teddi Yaeger said...

Dream jobs! So excited for you, Clare!

Joan Leonard said...

I'm so happy for these great opportunities for you, Clare! Your work is so gorgeous, and each of these photos makes me appreciate that food even more than I ever have - and I love wonderful fruit.

I'm also thinking that those books will be powerful advertising for the chefs and restaurants that prepare and use the foods e.g. from the farms. Your food photos make my mouth water, and when I see the photos of fresh, fabulous, well-prepared foods, I'm going to be on my way to TASTE it.

Congratulations for again creating the tangible realization of your dreams. Do you give lesons in how to do that?