This is Episode IV of my Book Update series, in which I share some behind-the-scenes aspects of my cookbook and the writing thereof, an activity that occupies roughly 99% of my waking and sleeping thoughts. And today kids, the topic will be: food photography.
I never really considered hiring someone else to take care of the photography, even in the early days of the project, when I was putting together the basic elements for the book proposal. Oh, I certainly don't fancy myself a professional photographer, not by a very long shot (haha), but here's the thing: I got into the whole food writing thing through this blog, and I feel that the pictures play an important part in conveying my excitement -- just as much as the story or the recipe itself. And this is an approach I wanted to keep for the book.
The proposal said, "photography by the author", and no one seemed to have any objection, or think me self-deluded. My personal wish was that we could include full-color photos throughout the book, but life and production costs decided otherwise, and the book will have some full-color, and some black-and-white pictures -- the upside being that the price of the book will be lower, allowing more people with smaller budgets to purchase it and finance my early retirement in Bora-Bora.
And so I bought myself a new">http://www.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB0001LFRIS%3Fv%3Dglance%26n%3D502394">new camera and a macro lens, and started shooting. The first few weeks of using that camera made me cry tears of intense frustration -- but then again I cry easily -- with a bit of swearing thrown in for variety. The colors were all wrong, the body was heavy and my wrists would cramp, I couldn't understand what on earth all those stupid little settings were for and why my pictures looked so sad and crappy, and what do you mean I should read the manual, I don't do manuals.