Pretty Dishes

Personal Project Idea: Mock Cookbook
February 18, 2010, 10:37 am
Filed under: Mock Cookbook, Photography

A great skill-development project occurred to me this morning, and I thought I’d share. It would be fun and challenging (and motivating) to create my own “cookbook” by selecting recipes, doing a formal photo shoot for each dish, and then flowing the final content into InDesign to use as a portfolio piece.

The recipes could come from multiple sources since it’s for my purposes only, though I think it would be best if they were from cookbooks or websites that did not already have a photograph of the finished dish, so I wouldn’t have any reference/bias for styling my final shot. Obviously it would be ideal for them to be recipes with ingredients I especially enjoy and won’t mind making a couple of times as needed.

I’m thinking twenty-five recipes with photos or thereabouts. Since I would be selecting recipes without existing photos, I might have to do a fair amount of testing to determine which ones will result in interesting and diverse finished dishes. I could start scoping out kitchen shops, Goodwill, etc. for inexpensive props/dishware that could be used in the shots as well.

And in the vein of a typical cookbook, I would expect to end up with a handful of appetizers, a couple of salads and at least one soup, some main dishes (perhaps lighter lunch fare as well as full-on dinners), a few desserts and/or baked goods, and maybe one beverage.

This isn’t something I would do all at once on a short timeline, but perhaps over the course of the coming months (maybe with a final deadline of July as a mid-year goal) I could document my process here and get feedback on specific recipes and photos contending for final selection.

I’ll be looking through some of our older cookbooks at work as well as those I have at home, but I welcome and appreciate any suggestions you might have for cookbooks to check out, web recipes, or dishes you think would photograph well. Thanks and wish me luck!


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