How To Produce A Cookbook Photoshoot

by Matt on October 4, 2008

Matt-&-mariel

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!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn Sandomeno October 4, 2008 at 9:15 am

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?

Steamy Kitchen October 4, 2008 at 10:01 am

oh i love it! you were a food fluffer!

Avesta October 4, 2008 at 10:03 am

Gay & Mexican….that’s my dream man. :)

Tony Clark October 4, 2008 at 10:24 am

Amen my brother. I feel your pain and wish you well. Your images are beautiful and I look forward to seeing more of them.

Have a great weekend,
Tony
http://www.tcphoto.org

Melanie October 4, 2008 at 10:47 am

Lovely as always–I await your cookbook too-

christie October 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

yeah.. that totally looks like muriel hemingway.

Veronica October 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm

It takes a special person to work with food.All the chaos,but feel completely calm during all of it. Love it.

FoodieInDisguise October 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

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]

-scott

Meg October 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm

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!

foodwoolf October 5, 2008 at 9:52 am

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.

Brooke

Matt's Kitchen October 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Mariel Hemingway, gay food stylists, cookbooks… and here I am grading fourth graders’ Unit One math tests. Oh, well….

Matt's Kitchen October 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Mariel Hemingway, gay food stylists, cookbooks… and here I am grading fourth graders’ Unit One math tests. Oh, well….

Matt's Kitchen October 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Mariel Hemingway, gay food stylists, cookbooks… and here I am grading fourth graders’ Unit One math tests. Oh, well….

Rasa Malaysia October 5, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Can’t wait to read all about it when you can. :)

Steve October 6, 2008 at 11:17 am

RRRRRAD!

jtil October 6, 2008 at 11:33 pm

And you get paid to do all this?
Can’t wait to read the, er, juicy details…

jai carney October 7, 2008 at 8:24 am

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!

Reginald E. Warner October 7, 2008 at 11:37 am

first time on this site love what you do man

Derrick Johnson October 7, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Too damn funny!

Joy the Baker October 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm

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!

Stephanie October 9, 2008 at 10:43 am

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

La Traductora October 9, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Siento que te conozco! You remind me of my cousin Francisco Javier–only funnier. Saludos! Que me dices de la comida mexicana?

shelley October 10, 2008 at 5:50 am

*furiously taking notes*

Alvin Gill-Tapia October 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

Love it… – Keep up the great work!

Alvin

alexandra's kitchen October 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Oh, I can’t wait to hear all about it! You have my absolute dream job. I’m sure it’s so stressful sometimes, but seriously, I couldn’t imagine anything more fun.

alexandra's kitchen October 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Oh, I can’t wait to hear all about it! You have my absolute dream job. I’m sure it’s so stressful sometimes, but seriously, I couldn’t imagine anything more fun.

alexandra's kitchen October 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Oh, I can’t wait to hear all about it! You have my absolute dream job. I’m sure it’s so stressful sometimes, but seriously, I couldn’t imagine anything more fun.

lifeinrecipes October 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Those cheekbones can only belong to the Hemingway gene pool.

shuna fish lydon October 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Matt,

I have always loved you.
But today?
I love you the most.

xx

Bren@Flanboyant Eats October 23, 2008 at 9:30 am

so fun to find you! :)

Brassai December 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

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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