Behind the scenes at an ATL mag photo shoot

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Color me green, but I went to my first magazine photo shoot a week or so ago and was riveted by the whole process. I’ve previously worked at newspapers in my food writing career, and while I’ve known some extraordinary photographers, I never spent much time closely observing how they worked. (Also, as a critic, I try to keep a low profile in restaurants and would never hang out while a photographer is shooting in one.)

A story in the upcoming September issue gave me an opportunity: We’re doing a feature on iconic Georgia cookbooks, and we thought it would be fun to photograph students from the culinary program at the Art Institute of Atlanta cooking some recipes from these books. The final dishes were snapped for the story’s opening photo spread.

With my blogger’s pocket-sized Canon PowerShot, I captured some of the behind-the-scenes action. I’ve cooked professionally, so the culinary aspects weren’t as absorbing to me. It was the detail and meticulousness which with the photo team—photographer Patrick Heagney, Atlanta mag’s art director, Eric Capossela and the food stylist, Angie Mosier (a Southern Foodways Alliance buddy)—all toiled to produce that final shot that fascinated me. Take a peek:

cookbook_Patrick

cookbook_lighting

cookbook_chefsatwork

cookbook_succotash

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cookbook_angiestyling

(Love Angie stylishly tussling a bowl of succotash)

cookbook_props

(These are all the props Angie brings to a shoot for a single photograph: You never know what you’re gonna need …)

cookbook_ponderingshot

(Deliberating over the picture. Nearly every shot was examined on Patrick’s laptop, until every dish was at an ideal angle, and every crumb looks delectable, and just enough space was left in the picture for a headline. Lots more to consider than I’d ever thought about.)

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How did the final shot turn out, and what were the cookbooks we selected? You’ll have to pick up a September issue in a couple weeks to find out!

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