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  1. Photo & Video
  2. Lighting

How to Make Food Photos for a Cookbook Layout

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

As you move through this lesson, you'll learn how to create outstanding photos that will not only accompany, but also enhance, any step-by-step recipe. As an added bonus, I've teamed up with designer and Tuts+ Instructor Grace Fussell, who will be using my photos to create a cookbook layout in InDesign.

This type of project requires advanced planning and collaboration. Rather than whipping out my camera and taking pictures of whatever happened to be in my fridge, I reached out to Grace and we discussed the details of the project before a single photo was ever taken. Grace and I decided which types of food we wanted to work with, established the number of spreads that would be included, and planned out what each spread would cover.

A detail photo of dill used in the recipe.

In the following video, you'll have the chance to check out each of the different photo set-ups that were required for this shoot. You'll also learn how I lit each item, and gain extra insight as I explain the motivation behind all of the steps I take. Finally, you'll discover how to create dynamic detail shots and stunning images of completed delectable dishes.

Watch the Full Tutorial

If you have any questions about cookbook photography or working with a designer, please leave me a comment!

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