Behind the Scenes… cookbook shoot

I always mean to show more behind the scenes pics
but I'm usually so busy on set that I don't get a chance.
A few weeks ago I was styling a cookbook and the nature of those allowed me a bit of a break to shoot behind the scenes. So here you go a peak behind the curtain...
This was an 8 day straight shoot in which we rented a house upstate. The food stylist, her asst. and the author stayed in the house and basically cooked non stop the entire time.
On a food shoot the main pressure is on the food team giving the prop stylist a bit of breathing room. There is some downtime between shot's while the food is being prepped for the next shot.
I've worked with the photographer Jennifer May quite a few times, most recently on the Chelsea Market cookbook. I hadn't worked with food stylist Kendra McKnight before but her humor, boundless energy and delicious food made her a fab member of the team. Being cooped up in a packed house for 8 days during endless snow storms and a huge amount of pressure to produce over 100 shot's and dishes is not easy.
The living room started off looking like this-
Until we took over and there was barely a walking path.
These are just some of the props I brought in.
Along with some surface's for backdrops and tables.
And a small portion of the grocery's Kendra brought. The amount of organization needed for these shoots in daunting. The food stylist and I make endless list's and notes of what's needed and then we work back and forth to make sure everything is in place by the time we show up on set.
A bit of last minute heat gun cheese melting. Most peoples impression is that food for shoots is treated with all sorts of nasty stuff and inedible. In reality these days it's all not only edible but delicious and eaten on set all day long by the crew. Which is why I always seem to gain a few pounds on a cookbook shoot.
It all looks perfect and glamorous when it's done but the reality is we are often shooting in crowded places and even on the floor.
Some "perfect" eggs awaiting their moment on camera.
This is the corner of the living room where most of the book was shot. I took this after the tables of props were packed away so you don't really get a sense of how crowded it really was.
On the wall are pics of each shot we did in chapter order.

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