We have an amazing staff here at Cooking with Paula Deen. And their talents are clear to see in the pages of the magazine, especially the pictures. (By the way, it’s easy to get a free trial issue. Visit cookingwithpauladeen.com.)
When it comes to photography, our work begins in a meeting of creative minds that includes art directors, editors, stylists (for both food and props), and photographers. The team discusses the message and visual concept we are after. The magazine page above is a good example. It’s the Hey Y’all page for our May/June issue where Paula shares with readers what’s in store in the issue. (It’s on newsstands now.) This particular issue is full of recipes that make the most of early-summer produce. Visually, we knew we wanted to photograph Paula where she was most comfortable and in a place she loves to be—the kitchen.
The logical location for this shoot was in her home. Art directors shared example images. Color palettes, clothing, and props were discussed until the vision was clear. At this point, editors prepared a list of desired shots, stylists began the search for ideal props, and art directors prepared templates. When the day arrived, we focused on executing the plan—and hoped that all the uncontrollable factors would be in our favor. And in this case, they were. Above is a pic of our team in action.
By the way, have you ever wondered whether the food in our pictures is real? You bet it is! Of course, our stylists are skilled, talented, and know the tricks of the trade to present food at its best. But I can assure you, every morsel is real and real good!