Shooting My First Cook Book. Blackberry Cottage’s – Cakes with secret Ingredients from Aubergine to Zucchini

100 Recipes. 6 Weeks. 12580 Images. 30 Vegetables = 1 Cookbook

*Click on the arrows to view all the images in the gallery above!*

Kate from Blackberry Cottage was one of my very first foodie clients when I decided to specialise in food photography! When Kate told me she was ready to shoot her cook book (which we have been discussing for years) I was overwhelmed with excitement! The time had finally come, to shoot my first cook book!

Kate also knows my husband Chris very well, and when she asked him to be the food stylist for her book,  our dream team was born!

The plan was to shoot the cook book over 6 weeks, shooting 20 cakes a week. 

I am very proud to admit that Kate baked every cake fresh to shoot and we did not fake anything! Just good styling, natural lighting, props and plenty of creativity! Oh and lots and lots of laughter.  

Kate’s house became one big photo studio. The props took over her entire dining room and we used her conservatory as our main studio set up, as this was the best source of natural light.

Using natural light does come with very interesting challenges, especially as we went through every season throughout those 6 weeks. Rain, hail, snow, strong winds, sunshine, moody skies, bright skies, cloudy skies. Every possible weather scenario – We had it! 

The biggest lesson I have learnt from this whole experience is how to deal with ever changing light. How to manipulate it, soften it and enhance the food, and image I was creating.

Light is everything when you are shooting food, it can make or break a dish.

Over the 6 weeks we watched the props grow in collection, our waste lines expanded from “tasting” nearly every cake and our options how to cut and style each cake get more challenging.  

But nothing could stop our dream team! Fuelled by coffee, determination, laughter, and of course large amounts of cake and vegetables! 

For years Kate and I have dreamt of creating a vegetable tea party. So we came up with the idea to freeze every cake after it was photographed. So after 6 weeks we would have many cakes to host our dream vegetable tea party. 

The perfect end to a 6 week intense photoshoot.  

Wow! What a finale cake party it was. 

The pinnacle of was definitely the 7 tiered rainbow cake, that Gemma, Kate’s daughter made using only vegetables, creating it’s natural colouring.

It looked so amazing. I had tears in my eyes. Having envisioned this photoshoot for years, it was a dream come true!

Kate’s cook book is out NOW!!!! WAaaahooooooooo!!!!!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PREVIEW OF THE COOK BOOK

Kate, thank you for choosing me to photograph your new cook book. I had the best time ever!  

SLR xx

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE COOK BOOK!!!

The Dream Team:

Cakes: Kate Saunders – Blackberry Cottage: www.blackberrycottagefayre.co.uk 

Food Styling: Chris Williams – Veni & Son – www.veniandson.co.uk 

Book Design: Clare Sheffield – Stronger & Together – www.sandtdesign.co.uk 

Photography: Shannon Lee Robinson – SLR Photography – www.slr-photography.co.uk 

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