19 June, 2010

the blueberry or the muffin? you decide























Might I interrupt whatever exciting activities are occupying you, dear readers, at this moment, and ask your opinion?

I am about to meet with a simply SUBLIME food photographer here in London, about possibly (so exciting!) taking photographs for my eventual "book." Now here are some things I am wondering. And the reason I am asking you? Because she said, "You must ask yourself who your audience is to be."

I am hoping it will be YOU.

So. Do you like to look at/read/use foodie books that include photographs of ingredients, or of dishes in progress, or of finished dishes? I suppose the ingredient-based illustrations are more artsy, more for the joy of looking, where the dish-in-progress or finished dish might be more instructional. Does that make sense?

For example, the photographs above give you an idea of the sort of choice I am imagining. What do you like? One or the other, or both, or something else entirely?

If you have an opinion on this subject, do take a moment to let me know. It's all getting stupendously thrilling. And thank you!

16 comments:

Ivy said...

the blueberries, definitrely the blueberries- very elegant!!!

Renée said...

Personally, I like photographs of the finished recipe. I know how to follow a recipe so I don't need photos of ingredients or steps, but I love when there's a picture for me to see how it's supposed to come out. I love cookbooks that have a photo of every dish. Photos of ingredients are always nice though, but for me, not always necessary. However, the two photos you have of the blueberries and blueberry muffins are beautiful together. I find recipe books with step by step instructions for beginners. So to add to the confusion, are you aiming at beginners or seasoned cooks?

Kristen In London said...

Renee, Renee, I feel the same! I like them both... I like the atmospheric "blueberriness" but I also like the satisfaction of seeing what they become...

Speaking of satisfaction, when shall we see you this summer, darling?

Renée said...

I'm pretty much free the rest of the year. So whatever is good for you.

Kristen In London said...

I'm trying to decide if this is good news or bad news, Renee: why have you cleared your social calendar? Because everyone must be moved aside in favor of us, or because you are trapped under something heavy? Late July work for you?

Nick said...

I still count myself as somewhat of a beginner or advanced beginner cook and Iike a few photos for each recipe and definitely one of the finished product. I don't like a photo accompanying every step, it becomes a bit arduous for me but I do love pictures of beautiful or unusual ingredients (like black kale of an unusual seasoning so I know what I am looking for in the grocery store or green market). I think it also helps to use a picture if an unusual method is being used so I can visualize it. I don't know if I have been of much help but I do find your news so exciting and I know I will enjoy the book no matter what you decide.

Renée said...

Late July is perfect. Don't worry about my social calendar. I don't need to make plans, people just show up here. Last week was my pregnant niece, her husband, her 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old. You might wonder how many times one can play Elefun in a week. Let me tell you, many many times.

A Work in Progress said...

I agree with you that the ingredient photos are more arty. I do appreciate a beautifully art-directed cookbook, but I tend to buy, and actually use, the ones that are more instructional. So I would go with the finished product. Honestly, I like the muffin photo from your earlier post better: the one that shows the inside of the muffin. Texture is such a big problem with muffins - I want a photograph that almost lets me feel the texture, inside and out.

Kristen In London said...

Min, I totally know what you mean about wanting the guidance. And Work, yes, indeed, I prefer the inside texture photo... so I think a better and more revealing texture-y photo for each dish is the way to go.

Renee, Renee... Elefun? You'll have to tell me more!

MoChi said...

I definitely fall on the side of showing the finished product. It gives me comfort to see that my end result is somewhat similar (in looks at least, if not in taste!).

Cassandra said...

The blueberries are beautiful, but I love to know what the recipe is supposed to look like.
I have to agree, though, the blueberries looked absolutely delightful!
I have a French cookbook written by the author of Chocolat (I am sure you have seen the movie, if not read the book!) that, for each recipe, has a photo of the final product, but whenever there is extra space, a beautiful picture of fresh produce or of a particularly scrumptious-looking baguette completes the page. That kind of artistic balance, I think, is perfect for a cookbook.

Kristen In London said...

Cassandra, I couldn't have put your comments more succinctly myself if I'd thought about it for two weeks with both hands on deck. You put it perfectly. All these thoughts are now in my mind for the eventual meetings with photographers...

And guess what? The web designer reports that the recipe index is FINISHED! Exciting LIVE reveal of new blog coming at the end of the week, I think!

Cassandra said...

That's great! I can't wait to see the new layout... I love getting all sorts of new ideas from your recipes!
And speaking of which, I absolutely cannot wait until you all get back to Connecticut! When do you arrive?
(Oh, and I do hope you know that this is Cassandra, Erik's daughter, because if you did not, the question above may have seemed a little odd!)

Kristen In London said...

Of course I knew it was you, Cassandra, once I looked at your fabulous blog! I love it that you're getting ideas. We can't wait to see you in the States too. I don't suppose you're a Doctor Who fan? It's Avery's latest obsession!

john's mom said...

Life cycles! At the same age John was probably the only Dr Who fan in Iowa. I have no idea how he found it but he totally got the humor. Are they bonding over the old episodes?

Nonna

Kristen In London said...

Indeed, John's mom, they HAVE bonded about Doctor Who, or as Avery insists on saying, "The Doctor." Who knew!?