Christmas planning has begun early this year. After searching for a recipe that I have looked for a thousand times before, and should really have memorized, I realized it’s probably time to get organized. I have slowly gathered recipes from all over- websites, restaurants, magazines, friends and family. They exist in digital and physical sticky notes, emails, print outs, and dog-eared pages. My attempt at ordering the chaos materialized are far as a manilla folder jammed with chocolate stained paper and ripped magazine pages.
As our families grow and younger generations mature, cooking seems to become more a part of things. I know we all would appreciate knowing just how my grandmother makes her famous lazy lasagna or chocolate cake, just as much as my grandmother would love to know the southern cooking of my sister-in-law. So what better excuse to see all this to fruition then through Christmas presents for all in the form of a family cooking book. Once the decision was made, I knew I had to get started early, gathering recipes, baking/cooking and then doing the best part of a cook book (besides taste testing)- shooting the photos.
The first two photos were shot as intended cover photos. I’m not sure how I feel about them, but it’s still early. If the book is called ‘Family Flavors’, then the idea was to capture the raw, pure flavors of a range of produce. I threw in a few other kitchen objects to make them more of a still life shot. All the other photos are to accompany a recipe, the book being organized by the different meals of the day, breakfast through dinner. As you can see, there’s still a long way to go, but if I cook dinner nearly every night, it shouldn’t be a problem. The hardest part is cooking the meals early enough in order to shoot with good light.
As usual, I shot with my favorite lens, 50mm 1.8, using all natural light. The bokeh created by shooting with a low f-stop (say around 2.0) seems to be the welcomed cliché to shooting food, making for blurred, forgiving backgrounds. The cover shots were also shot through lace, to soften the image. Another fun thing to play with has been the dish-ware. I’ve been using a mix of plates I made, bought at bed and bath, or found at thrift stores.
Family be forewarned: this will not be a low-calorie family cookbook of any sort. It would just be too ironic.