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Scenes From A Cookbook Shoot

Marmalade Cookbook Shoot

Studio wall with quick prints of the shots so far.

Friday already. We are on the last day of the shoot for "Marmalade" by Elizabeth Field for Running Press (Fall 2012) and as usual at the end of every book shoot, I am a little sad, a little tired, and a little excited to see what project I get to work on next. And reconnect with the rest of the world.

Marmalade Cookbook Shoot

Setting up one shot.

I truly enjoyed every minute of this shoot. The marmalades and the sweet and savory recipes using them. Working through each shoot with focus to get that giddy feeling inside my stomach that we had the shot.


Amanda, the graphic designer for Running Press.

Gilly - Marmalade Cookbook Recipe Prep

One of my kitchen assistants, Gilly, hard at work making Chinese Dumplings to go with a marmalade dipping sauce.

A cookbook shoot is a lot of things, little and big. Lots of minute details and large sketches. It’s a lot of fun too. It’s having the best group of kitchen assistants working through the recipes and tweaks needed. It’s collaborating in the studio space with Amanda, the graphic designer for Running Press who had flown in for the week.

Bailey & Tippy

My two office managers are worn out…

And this time it was also sneaking in a hug from my mom in between two shots. My parents are leaving Sunday but I am glad they got to be here during a book shoot. They now realize the investment it is for me, both in time and dedication. Plus, marmalades is one of their favorite subject so that shoot was really a propos!

I leave you with some snapshots from the shoot while I go rest my head on the pillow for a few hours…!

Marmalade Cookbooks Shoot

Work table.

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Maureen February 3, 2012 um 7:38 am

Just looking at those photos reminds me how much work has to go into getting them just right. Add to that having guests and I'd be like the two office managers. 🙂

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 3, 2012 um 8:36 am

I love the behind the scenes…I love this. This is what makes me feel like such an insider. Can't wait to see the finished product because I know it will be spectacular!

Kelly-Jane February 3, 2012 um 9:27 am

Need a 'like' button here!

berry lovely February 3, 2012 um 10:33 am

From the little shots I can already imagine how beautiful this book is gonna be. Plus I love to make jam and marmalade. When is it gonna be published?

Vicki Bensinger February 3, 2012 um 12:24 pm

Sounds like you're a busy lady these days. Hopefully you get to sample some of the luscious goodies while you shoot!

Vicki Bensinger February 3, 2012 um 12:25 pm

Sounds like you're a busy lady these days. Hopefully you get to sample some of the luscious goodies while you shoot!

Vicki Bensinger February 3, 2012 um 12:26 pm

Sounds like you're a busy lady these days. Hopefully you get to sample some of the luscious goodies while you work!

Unknown February 3, 2012 um 12:38 pm

I love when you show us scenes from shoots, thank you for sharing!

Also, your office managers are adorable 😀

Chef Dennis Littley February 3, 2012 um 12:48 pm

what a great insight into your set up and shooting process! Your two office managers are adorable, I have two Bernese Mt dogs and one sits at the kitchen entrance watching the entire cooking process.
Have a great weekend

Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free February 3, 2012 um 12:55 pm

I can only imagine how beautiful the finished product will be!

mellissa@ibreatheimhungry February 3, 2012 um 1:11 pm

Congrats Helen! Looking forward to seeing the finished product! I love making savory dishes with marmalade so I can't wait to try some of your recipes!

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots February 3, 2012 um 1:16 pm

Wow! This cookbook is going to be spectacular! 😀

Gaia February 3, 2012 um 1:40 pm

I love your under-the-scene pics!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 3, 2012 um 1:43 pm

Your poor office assistants, you must have really worked them hard!

Helene February 3, 2012 um 1:44 pm

Berry lovely: the release date is planned for Fall 2012 (October i think)

Mellissa: slight misunderstanding: i am not the author and these are not my recipes, i am just the photographer for the book.

Thanks everyone!

Seanna Lea February 3, 2012 um 2:34 pm

I love your photography. It makes me want to go and buy a cookbook even for things I wouldn't eat (like if you shoot a cookbook all about meat).

SkinnyMommy February 3, 2012 um 3:35 pm

So neat to see. I am actually in the middle of reading your book right now!

Rocky Mountain Woman February 3, 2012 um 4:59 pm

I can't wait to see the book!

The Cozy Herbivore February 4, 2012 um 3:26 am

Looks like exhausting, exhilarating, BEAUTIFUL work! Congrats on another project (almost) completed!

A@Bigcitykitchen February 4, 2012 um 4:38 am

Beautiful. Looks like fun and lots of hard work. I'm about to help photograph a cookbook for a friend and I'm hoping I don't get too nervous and throw up all throughout the process…

baker in disguise February 4, 2012 um 8:47 am

You have such a beautiful blog… the power of a beautiful photograph is best seen here on your blog!! it is such a delight to read you posts!!

Dmarie February 4, 2012 um 10:33 am

love the shots. LOVE the idea of knocking out so many dumplings at once!

Anonymous February 4, 2012 um 11:25 pm

I love the work table shot!

Michelle February 5, 2012 um 1:47 pm

Did you take these photos with a camera or with a phone? The effects are incredible!

Andrea @ LetLooseLittell February 5, 2012 um 7:50 pm

I cannot wait to see the finished product! Thanks for the glimpse behind the scenes – love.

Lisa C February 6, 2012 um 5:33 am

Love your photos!! Thank you for the "backstage tour"; can't wait to see the finished product. What kind of lens or filter are you using to create such rich, vintage feel? Are you shooting digital?

Helene February 6, 2012 um 2:44 pm

Michelle and Lisa C: except for the picture of Amanda, the graphic designer/art director on set, all the pictures were taken with an iPad2 and processed with the Snapseed app.

The Teacher Cooks February 6, 2012 um 8:11 pm

I can tell that this is going to be another good one!

Simones Kitchen February 7, 2012 um 10:07 pm

Love those grungy behind the scenes shots! Can't wait to see the final results…

gina @ gretchalina{food stories} February 8, 2012 um 1:24 am

i'm sure it's bitterwseet to finish up, but imagine how excited you'll be all over again when you are holding the 'live' book in your hands! how excited we will all be!

Willow Arlen February 8, 2012 um 2:09 am

Wow does marmalade sound good – now you've got my recipe gears churning!
Your photos are great as always, and I can't wait to see the book!

BriBriMX February 8, 2012 um 12:38 pm

hate de voir le résultat final !
pourrais-je connaitre le site pour vieillir les photos ainsi, merci

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides February 16, 2012 um 5:59 am

Thanks for letting us in to a "day-in-the-life" of Helene! I appreciate all these photos because they give me a glimpse of the reality of a food photographer and stylist. Again, merci beaucoup!

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