This was another exciting month in my kitchen! We shot the cover of my upcoming cookbook: The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South (The University of North Carolina Press) due out on September 12, 2011.
If you've ever wondered what goes behind the scenes during a photo shoot, I invite you to take a glimpse. There is an unbelievable amount of energy that surrounds shooting a cover and a thorough amount of planning needed beforehand. I am so lucky to have the most incredible design team at the Press. They started planning this photo shoot weeks ago.
Have you heard it said that the "devil is in the details"? Well, whoever coined that first, was right. There is so much to think about. For example, we needed to decide which recipe would grace the cover. Considering the fact that my book will feature 150 new recipes, this was no easy task. Asking me to select my favorite recipe, is like asking me to decide between my kids! After much deliberation, we made our selections based on color and theme.
My awesome book designers and I met a couple of weeks before the actual shoot to prepare the mockup. A mockup is akin to a dress rehearsal. We selected 8 possible dishes. That meant that I had to prepare and style at least 8 recipes for the actual shoot. In the meantime, we shot different scenarios and played with as many dishes as we could.
Since we shot it in my kitchen, every single angle of the room that could in any way make it into a photo, had to be meticulously re-arranged. Out went my fall dishes and in came my white china. Accessories were moved so that every space, counter, and see-through cupboard had the crisp, clean look that the designers had envisioned.
The next few days were spent chopping and shopping. Chopping the ingredients for the mystery recipes and shopping for clothes. Yes, clothes...because, guess who made it to the cover? So how does one shop for the cover of a book? The answer is: very carefully.
The day of the photo, the dynamic design team walked in. We started early in the morning, but everyone was excited to get to work.
I was so thrilled to meet Matt Hulsman http://www.dcube.com/ the very talented photographer selected to shoot the cover. Having seen his work before, I can't even begin to tell you how very excited I was to learn that he would shoot my book cover! I already loved his work. I was instantly blown away by his professionalism and enchanted by his personality, which made it so easy to stand in front of the camera.
Up came the shades, diffusers, lights, and the rest of the equipment. Matt and his assistant moved throughout the kitchen, setting something here, angling something there, until they were ready to begin the shoot.
We spent hours in the kitchen, laughing and working together as a team. You'll be pleased to know that even though only a couple of recipes actually made it to the final cover (I have seen the photo selected), none of the food went to waste. I am happy to report that (as has become tradition in my home when friends come over for a visit), we all sat around the table and broke bread together. After all, those who work together and eat together, stay together.
I am thrilled with the final cover! Stay tuned for its unveiling in a future post!
©Copyright; Sandra A. Gutierrez, 2011. All Rights Reserved. No part of this post (or post as a whole), nor any of the photographs can be used, copied, distributed, or disseminated by any means, without the express and written consent of the author.