This ‘Weekend Cookbook Review’ is looking at the food photography in The Fabulous Baker Brother cookbook.
A colleague of mine recommended that I watch the TV program of the that goes with this book as he said the said the way it is filmed is really lovely and thought I would really like it, however as I don’t own a telly I got the book instead and he wasn’t wrong the photography is really beautiful.
The books has a lot of shots of bread being made, behind the scenes with the brothers Tom and Henry Herbert (Tom is the baker and runs the family bakery and Henry runs the butchers next door) as well as food photography.
The food shots are very dark and rustic, which I am really into at the moment and really works well with homemade bread photography. I was surprised at how simple the styling was, in most cases just the bread on black slate with a scattering of flour, not even sliced or torn into, but it worked well… so simple, the bread is the main focus and the textures of the bread really stand out.
My favourite shot in the book is on page 218 for the recipe Toms Full English, the shot is set on a wooden kitchen table, coffee mug and a breakfast plate with only the sauce swirls and bacon rind left of the plate… it’s brilliant, you know what’s been on the plate and it makes you feel like you’ve just eaten that breakfast… I love it. Great photography by talented photographer Chris Terry.
I love my job, especially on days when I am told that ‘today we need you to shoot cookies’. I had four different types of cookies to shoot, so I had to come up with four different setting for each, yet keeping the same look and feel for each of them so that you recognise that they are all part of the same range. I loved researching for this job, I also really enjoyed styling each shot to tell a different story. The fun part comes with breaking bits off and letting the crumbs fall naturally. These are a few of my favourites from the shoot.
Yesterday I had a photo shoot for the bakery, we had ten shots of various breads and accompanying meals. One of the shots was for a the whole range of bread and I was dreading it, I was envisaging a shot filled of bread and looking rather random and unrealistic, but after rummaging through the props cupboard I came across a gorgeous wire basket and it really bought my shot to life… turned out it was one of my favourite shots of the day.
This ‘Weekend Cook Book Review’ is the wonderful Small Plates & Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga. This book is one of my all time favourites, Aran’s food styling is so inspiring, every shot is absolutely beautiful.
I first came across Aran’s work from her beautiful award winning blog Cannelle et Vanille, which she started in Jan 2008. Aran is a freelance food writer, stylist and photographer, her blog is filled with her own (gluten-free) recipes and photography.
Aran also runs amazing food photography/styling workshops all over the world in really inspiring locations, teaching people about the subject in locations which really enhance the photography by helping to tell the story of the food… you really need to check out her blog. Her lighting is always very bright and natural. Her styling is stunning, very honest, lots of crumbs and delicate use of scattered herbs that never feel over styled they just look like they have naturally fallen in there place… I love it, this is one of the book I carry around in my props bag.
We’ve been shooting new recipes all week, which has been exhausting in this heat and mid week I totally lost my appetite (it’s back now… dinner is cooking as I type). We’ve shot some lovely recipes including roast chicken, butterfly cakes, pavlova, and even jam.
My favourite shot from the week was a recipe for a summer rice salad, which involved cooking the rice in stock, herbs and mushrooms, then once cooked adding, kidney beans, shredded chicken and raw courgette ribbons. We garnished with lemon zest and basil leaves, keeping the food looking very natural as if just served. The whole look of the shot was to feel summery so I used a lovely lilac washed surface, with rose napkin and a glass of iced lemon water.
This weekend I visited my parents and we spent our time together enjoying the cafes and shops in Rochester. In one of the many cute independent shops in the high street I found a lovely vintage school milk bottle complete with paper straw… one of the many things I see when I’m out and about and know immediately I need to add it to my forever growing props collection.
Last week I was challenged to shoot a meal for Bonfire night, a Sunday roast with a difference and a Duck which wasn’t served with oranges. For the Bonfire Night shot I used a warm gel over my light to suggest the warmth of night time bonfire. The roast with a difference I chose a Zesty Roast Chicken recipe from Tesco Real Food website and for the duck… Delia’s Crispy Duck with Morello Cherry Sauce.
On Saturday I went to the annual Letchworth Food Festival with James and his family. The streets were lined with stalls selling food from around the world. Shame we’d had lunch before we went but it was still lovely looking around and taking in the lovely aromas.
Last week we had six chefs come into the studio for a photoshoot. They’re all creators of signature dishes for Tesco and were in to have portraits taken with their dishes… here’s a few behind the scenes shots.