Food Photography Tips for your Custom Recipe Photo Book

Last Updated: October 5, 2017

Creating a custom cookbook with your best recipes is one of many creative ways to use Costco photo books. It allows you to capture all of your favourite recipes in one beautiful format, rather than worn out writing on individual recipe cards. 

A custom recipe book is great for any cook, and it’s a particularly perfect way for parents or grandparents to share recipes with the next generation. To get started, try these food photography tips and cookbook design ideas from the Costco Photo Centre.

Gather Your Recipes & Plan Your Photo Book

The first step in creating a family cookbook is pulling together your recipes. All Costco photo books start at 30 pages, which – assuming each recipe is a two-page spread – could fill nicely with 10-14 of your most delicious concoctions.  Of course, more ambitious cooks can add up to 100 pages or allocate one page per recipe to create a truly comprehensive culinary resource. Once you’ve selected your recipes, mock-up a book outline to determine the order. Then, get cooking. 

Take the Photos: Food Styling Tips

Photographing food for your recipe photo book is a fun, creative process. Make it a page turner by photographing more than just the finished dish. Snap some photos during the prep and cooking process, including a shot of the measured ingredients. Although consistency in overall tone and lighting will tie the book together, coordinate certain elements like the dishware or kitchen accessories to complement particular dishes. You can also add contextual elements like a glass of wine with seared sea bass, or a cup of coffee and a book with a slice of your famous lemon tart.

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Food Photography Tips to Make Mouths Water

Photograph each dish in a variety of orientations and layouts to give yourself flexibility when creating your personalized cookbook. Increase the “Mmmm” factor of your photos with these food photography tips:

  1. Some dishes demand a certain perspective. Pizzas need that overhead shot to capture the toppings, while a stack of pancakes looks best from the side.
  2. Although monotone meals can be delicious, colour is essential for visual interest. Garnish with fresh, flavour-appropriate produce or herbs.
  3. Keep the food looking fresh during your photo shoot with a basting of cooking juice or spritz of water.
  4. Ambitious? Speed up the shutter speed and capture icing sugar falling onto a cake or pepper ground onto pasta.
  5. To make your book even more appetizing, photograph food as it would be eaten – gooey baked pasta as it’s pulled apart, layer cake with a slice taken out of it, or spaghetti spun onto a fork.

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Custom Photo Book Tips for a Polished Look

Give your DIY cookbook a cohesive finish by using no more than three font types and page layouts throughout the book and by including a table of contents and page numbers. Personal touches make the book your own – like photos of the cook(s) in action, stories behind the recipes, and a message that shares why you love to cook for your family. 

Our family recipes are our traditions and memories. When your cookbook is done, you’ll be so proud of the finished product. Order a copy for each member of your family so that comfort food is never out of reach.