Wow… that was a crazy week. I’ve spent all week going in early, working late and through lunch shooting so much food… I plan to go through all the work I did and share my favourites from the week, I definitely have a few additions to my portfolio this week!
So the weekend is here at last, yay and I have chosen Jamie’s Great Britain for this weeks cookbook review. I discovered this book about a year ago and it became my go to book for whenever I was shooting anything traditionally British like a Shepherd’s pie. The book is photographed by one of the most the influential and prolific food photographers David Loftus. The food photography in this book is shot in daylight and very honest and very masculine – I have this belief that you can often tell when something is shot by a male or female photographer just by the way it looks and feels… and this feels very male. The propping is very simple if any, food is definitely always the hero but when there is a prop it’s quite often a recognisable brand like HP or Worchester sauce, Marmite, Tiger beer, which really works, I like text/type in food photography.
The thing that I love the most about this book is all the supporting images that go with the food shots – the locations, the people the raw ingredients, the animals and the markets and shops, they all help to tell the story of the dish. I love photographing English seaside towns so it’s no surprise that my favourite chapter in this cookbook is Seaside! Lovely photos of grey wet England, beach huts, fish market chalk boards, shellfish and fishermen…. beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
It’s a visually delightful book, I find in most useful and inspirational when shooting meat, fish and British foods.
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.
For this weeks Non Food Friday, I’m going to introduce you to a wonderful British photographer called Kirsty Mitchell. Her gallery of work is split into three categories; Wonderland, My Angel and Nocturnal… all are equally beautiful.
I’m a huge fan of fairy tales, I love how dark and disturbing they really are when you read the original stories. Kirsty shares in her bio how her work is heavily inspired by the stories she was read as a child and I think her photos are wonderful interpretations, very whimsical and truly stunning. I highly recommend checking out her website.
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.
Tuesday evening my lovely boyfriend treated me to dinner at the new Ed’s Diner that’s recently popped up in Milton Keynes, as I do love 50s style American diners.
Ed’s silver trailer looks great and I was really surprised at just how lovely the food was. There were two veggie options, classic bean burger or Mediterranean veg & mozzarella burger (which it the option I went for) which was really nice. We shared a side of fries, onion rings and coleslaw. Everything tasted really good and homemade, I was really impressed. Sadly I had no room left after all that dinner for a chocolate malt shake which I have been craving for months now, but still it was the perfect way to spend a Tuesday evening.
I stumbled across the work of Marcus Nilsson recently on Pinterest, I’d Pinned a couple of images by him that day, but when I found myself about to Pin a third one that was enough for me… I had to find out a little more about this photographer. I was originally drawn to his meat shots, even though I’m a vegetarian I love the way meat photographs. He had a very honest way of shooting, not over propped or staged, just as it is… which I love. When I visited his site, that was it, he immediately became one of my favourite food photographers. Not only does he shoot great contemporary food photography for clients like Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart and the Gormet, but he also has an amazing collection of work which is based on Roadfood, chef portraits, cafes and kitchens…. this is the stuff that I’m loving the most. Great work, really atmospheric, real characters, real kitchen, beautiful lighting… fabulous work… what a great find!
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.
This weekends cookbook review is The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree.
I first saw this book in our kitchen at work and loved it immediately, so bought it for myself as a birthday treat last year.
One of the reasons I love it so much is because it is so much more than just a cookbook, its a guide to hosting your perfect tea party in a 1940s way and includes so much more than just recipes. Inside you find pages on invitation designs, a guide to sourcing props, decorating your china, making aprons and bunting, parlour games, picking the perfect vintage dress, hair and make up including a step by step guide to Victory Rolls… it’s amazing!
The recipes are very retro as is the styling (in a good way), which is done by Angel and photography by Yuki Sugiura. It’s a wonderful book as it’s just so very different to any other cookbook I own.
Most of the time this blog is all food food food, so I thought I might be nice to introduce a little fun on Fridays and share something that’s not all about food photography. So today we begin with the first of a new little feature called ‘Non Food Friday’ and I thought I’d start by sharing a couple of my purchases this week. The first is something that I’ve seen popping up in shops recently and I have totally fallen in love with. As a person who loves to write lists the idea of a week planner/mouse pad/note pad with tear off weekly pages PLUS cute design…was pure genius and of course I had to have one!
This really cute design is by Knock Knock (www.KnockKnockStuff.com) which I found in John Lewis, Paperchase also have some great designs too.
I’ve also treated myself to a couple of very cute necklaces that I found in Accesorize, which is currently having a 50% sale, the camera necklace was reduced to £3 and the specs were £2.50, love them both equally.