Simple & Delicious Cookbook Photography

cheesy baked meatballs in tomato sauce

I’ve wanted to share some of the photography and styling from my cookbook with my readers for quite some time and so, thought today should be the day I do so.

Crab Curry

As I said in my ‘Behind the Scenes’ post, I wanted the photography and styling to be very casual and relaxed because in essence, that is the style of my food. I decided to use only very necessary props and to select them carefully as I have a tendency to ‘over-clutter’ my shots when I try to use too many props. I wanted the focus to be fully on the food. When it came to the actual styling of the food, I think it’s important to state that only natural foods were used. No paints, laquers, etc came near the food. I think people have this misconception about food styling, thinking that food stylists use fake food, etc. to create beautiful images. Although that may be true in some instances I have never used anything inedible in any of my photos. Even during commercial shoots I only use ingredients and products that is safe for human consumption as I hate to waste food and always allow the crew to dig in afterwards.

pasta with basil pesto, cherry tomatoes & ricotta

For the book shoot I used pan juices or canola oil to glaze meat, etc to make it look juicy (as after a few minutes of shooting meat can easily look dry) and sometimes used a toothpick or two to make things stick exactly where I want them to. But other than that, there was no strange trickery going on, I promise. You can create these dishes and make them look almost identical to what they look like in the book if you take a little time to make the food  look prettier, not that this is something you need to worry about doing, of course

oven-roasted prawns with peri-peri

I was very happy with the photography at the end of the day as I feel like it really conveys the message I’d like to send with my book. One that says that food is something to be shared and something to be enjoyed. I also adore the paper my book has been printed on. It’s matte and gives off such a casual vibe. Which is exactly what I wanted. Food is not serious (or at least it shouldn’t be). So don’t be scared of flops, don’t be scared of something not working. Go into it with absolute abandon and you will be surprised by the results!

millionaires shortbread

Simple & Delicious: Recipes From the Heart and Heerlik & Maklik: Hartskos are available in all good book stores and online. Visit my Buy The Book page for more information. There are some incredible specials at some of the online retailers at the moment!

vanilla macarons with chocolate ganache

And then, I have to announce the winners of the Taste of Joburg competition. The lucky winners are : Mischelle, Andrea, Greg and Herbert! Check your inboxes! You have mail!

Pork & Apple Burgers

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  1. Really tempting photos Alida! Impressed by your way of styling and the final shot.
    I recently started a foob blog and with photos I thought I was doing a decent job till I started reading your blogs and found I have much way to cover up. Yours are just awesome ones !!
    Please keep up the good work!

  2. Wow your photos and all your recipes are amazing!!!! Please never ever stop what you are doing, you are such a star, I appreciate a person like you so much. Thank you for what you are doing for people like us who also have a passion for food. Which you would start a full time TV Show I am sure it would be a very popular show. Well done Alida, you go girl!!!

  3. I’ve always been impressed by your food photography. You take great photo’s and cook awesome meals.

    BTW I made your Mozarella stuffed burgers last week for friends and they were a HUGE hit 🙂