How To Produce A Cookbook Photoshoot


I’m on a list roll, bear with me.

1. Start with a Hollywood legend. But only one that is concerned with health, good food, a well-balanced life and armed with the knowledge about all those things. If it’s fake it doesn’t work.

2. Hire a big-time famous Celebrity Photographer — I MEAN BIG TIME — who wears black everyday and screams at you at the top of his lungs and who can’t possibly make the time to learn your first name.  What an ass. I’m kidding, he knows my name alright. but I have absolutely fallen in love with his crass brilliance and colorful vocabulary.

3. Hire amazing food stylists.

4. Hire an amazing book designer with a heavenly creative vision.

5. Hire a short lil Mexican man to art direct and style the whole thing and fight with the man in item #2. Oh, and make sure this person is gay so you can tap into the genetic code that allows them to get along so well with beautiful women.

6. Leave a plate of extra food out for flesh-eating yellowjackets. They’ll thank you.

7. Hire nothing but the best assistants.

8. Have the thickest skin known to man.

9.  Prepare for the brutality of the elements while shooting at the talent’s home in the Canyon. Heat, wind, mud, insects and decreased reception on my iphone. That last part was the absolute worst I’m telling you.

10. Absolutely love everything you do and offer thanks to the man upstairs for making everything happen.

Special note: As soon as Harper Collins says it’s ok I’ll blog about the whole experience and interview the author and include links to all the wonderful people involved. It’s just, well, I’m so excited to have worked on this project and I had to blog something about it, ya know what I’m saying? I promise to start writing about food again very soon, I swear!


  1. says

    Ewww sounds so exciting !!!! Is that Mariel Hemingway? I went to a networking thing she spoke at a while ago and I know she is really into healthy and fresh foods! Healthy living from the inside out…, right?

  2. says

    That looks like Muriel Hemingway! I checked out her other lifestyle books and they’re from Harper too! 😉 So this is where you have been hiding lately! Sounds like a lot of fun! You must be having so much fun, despite it being work.

    P.S. I laughed when I saw Steamy Kitchen’s comment! [wink]


  3. says

    I love you and I’ll call you to get the dirt but you did not just say “the man upstairs” all my Grandma, like!

  4. says

    Lists are fine, just as long as we know life is good and keeps getting better. Thank god for that thick skin of yours!

    Can’t wait to read more.


  5. says

    I wish i was a gay man so I could get taken seriously about food writing and photography. Why is it that no one takes a fifty something dyke seriously!

  6. says

    How is it possible that I haven’t found you sooner! What a lovely/kick ass site! And food fluffers and lighting and cameras! And the Martha Stewart show!? So many amazing things are happening for you. Work it out! I’m so happy for you! I’ll be around a lot more often! Your site totally made my day!

  7. Stephanie says

    As a budding food photog, I love reading about you and your work. The more gritty details about shoots, the better! Thanks mucho, Matt. :)

  8. says

    I can relate to your comment about the yellow jackets. It seems like evertime we do something outside with food in the summer they swarm.

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