We build the styling and the look around the
story and around like, each dish individually. So you can see that every recipe in the book
has a different photo, a different feel, but it all makes sense together. Alright Gemma, what’s going on. We’re in the first day of our photoshoot
for the book, first recipe is chocolate chip cookies. So they’re looking pretty good, did you
see them over there? I am a visual person and a visual learner,
so I need to be able to see what a recipe looks like. Ever since I was young, if a recipe didn’t
have a photo attached, I wouldn’t make it. I didn’t know what it was supposed to look
like I didn’t know what it was supposed to turn out like. So I only ever make recipes and still to this
day as a grown woman, I only make recipes where there’s a photo attached. So I wanted to make sure that every one of
my recipes had a photo. We’re pouring caramel over steamed banana
pudding. I treasure my cookbooks that have beautiful
photography and I wanted people to buy this book and to also treasure it. So I wanted to make sure that the food photography
like, really stood out, was crystal clear, was just really in your face like grab you
and pull you in type stuff. And I think that we really nailed that over
the 2 week process. The food styling and the food photography
was the first time where I really got to work with a bigger team around the book so a food
photographer, a stylist. So I was very fortunate to work with an LA
based photographer named Carla Choy. I really liked her style I followed her on
Instagram I looked at her website. She was bright and colorful and bold and that’s
exactly what I saw my photos being. One thing was that she’d never photographed
a cookbook before, she had done food, but she had never photographed a cookbook so this
was also a learning experience for her. But that didn’t, that didn’t sway me either
way I knew she’d be a rockstar. She had a lovely demeanor and kind of put
me at ease throughout the whole process because, you know, you go in and you’ve got a lot
of photos to get through, a list to check things off you know, she just stayed cool
and calm and just went with the flow and got everything done. My food and prop stylist was a very unique
lady called Kate Martindale and we have become good friends. She has a beautiful style, she has a fantastic
eye and she has been doing this for 20 plus years. So luckily Kate allowed us to shoot the photography
of the book at her house. And that was in Los Angeles and she has this
amazing amazing home, beautifully styled as you can imagine. And it was just the perfect place for us to
display our food, so we used corners of counters we used all her tables, we went outside we
went inside. Anything that we could to make it look different,
to make it look unique. And also, to just make it stand alone. Food styling and prop styling is really just
another way to tell the story of a recipe. You dress it up, you dress it down, you plate
it, you put it in an environment that best reflects the recipe. So even before we take the photo, we choose
the recipe, we have to style it, does it go in a plate does it go in a bowl, what is the
story we’re trying to tell with this recipe? Is it comfort food, is it more fine dining,
is it fancy? And we build the styling around the look and
around like each dish individually so you can see that every recipe in the book has
a different photo, a different feel, but it all makes sense together. One tip that Kate gave us before starting
the shoot was to get a small portable printer, and as we shot each recipe we would print
off the best photo. And it just gave us a really good way to look
overall at the book to make sure that the recipes were matching each other that we kept
the same theme all the way throughout the book. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t repeat
props that we didn’t repeat styling, you know that we didn’t put all our cookies
on a tray that we put them on plates and platters and we held some. We tried to embody each personality of the
recipe, each recipe differently because you know they all are different, I love them all
equally but differently and they all tell a different story. It was really fun because it got to open up
my eyes to different ways to style and you know got me to be a little more open minded. With Kate’s house we shot cinnamon rolls
in a cabinet like we shot straight into a cabinet and I’d never done that before I
didn’t know you could do that, and so many different things like that that I did with
Kate, I really broadened my view. So a little bit like children you love them
all equally but then you do have your favorites. So some of my favorite photography from the
book is of this recipe, Irish Fairy Cakes. I adore this because Kate really captured
how whimsical this recipe is. She placed the buns on top and got a few little
shrubs from the garden and placed them into the cupcakes. The colors of the green and the little pink
throughout. There’s a little pink flower throughout
one of the buns. It just really pulls together and tells a
really lovely story like these are Irish Fairy Cakes and I think that this photo depicts
that perfectly. Homemade Jelly Doughnut I was amazed the day
that we shot this because I had no idea what to do and Kate, without even thinking, went
and got a newspaper from her front porch, she brewed a fresh cup of coffee and she put
the doughnut right on top and I adore it. I think it’s simple, it says so much, I
think it just tells a lovely story. Another one of my favorites is dinner party
chocolate profiteroles. I adored this because this photo to me says
classy, and when my mom made these when we were young, she used to make these for dinner
parties and like grown up guests coming over and everything so I just thought that these
were the fanciest classiest things that you could ever make. So we went to style them, we kind of played
them up, made them a little bit more formal made them a little more sophisticated so we
put some brandy in the back, some gold goblets that I actually picked up at a thrift store
in Ireland. And once we piled the profiteroles we also
poured chocolate ganache all over them so it looks like they’re being presented as
one big tray of profiteroles at a dinner party or any kind of special occasion so I just,
I think that is really really beautiful. You know going into something blind and working
with a new stylist and a new photographer I just wasn’t sure how it was going to turn
out but it was an amazing two week experience and I got a crash course in food photography
and food styling. I was more so excited to send the photography
off to the publisher and to see what they thought because I just knew as a team how
much work we put into it and you know I sent them the manuscript and they read the titles
of the recipes you know they knew the names of them but these photos really told the story
of the recipe and when we sent them off to the publisher I was excited to see and they
absolutely loved them. (CHEERS) That’s a wrap! How does it feel. Relieved. I feel relieved. Super proud. It’s going to be gorgeous. I don’t think I could have imagined it was
going to look this good. Carla, your favorite. Mine is easy, it’s this one. Absolutely. I’m just gonna start off by saying as a
Libra… This one has been my favorite since we did
it. I love it because it like kind of like embodies
all the things that I am, the red velvet and the tray and everything. I think it is the coconut semifreddo. I think the pineapple upside down cake. That one’s so fun. I would say, out of all 115, sticky toffee
pudding. It got in Gemma’s head that that was my
favorite and it was from day 1 and so that became my favorite. But I would actually say, just for sentimentality,
I love funfetti cupcakes because that was an episode zero Bigger Bolder Baking episode.