Behind the Scenes of a Cookbook Shoot


Sometimes all it takes is a simple email. That email hits all the right buttons and it clicks. That’s what happened when I got an email from Lisa Nieschlag a little while back. Lisa is the cookbook author for the Anni Kocht series and she is currently working on her third book. For both the previous books she teamed up with Julia Cawley who photographed the recipes. In Lisa’s email to me she said that this time they wanted to work with someone who would style the dishes with them.


I was excited about this project. Usually I am booked as a photographer first and then as a stylist. It’s a lucky combination as the clients seem to like having someone who can switch the roles easily and take both perspectives into consideration while working on their projects. If I had to describe myself, I would say I am a photographer first then a food stylist. Although, I will admit that I sometimes enjoy the styling part a bit more. So being booked exclusively as a food stylist was going to be a lot of fun.

I prepared many things in advance, working with Lisa to find the right feel and look for the recipes in her third book. I created a style sheet for each of the recipes and organized my props accordingly. Through all our email correspondence and telephone chats with each other I felt confident that we were going to work extremely well with each other.

Walking into Lisa’s home I was greeted with smiles and hugs, and we hit it off instantly. The location was Lisa’s lovely 1960’s house in Münster, which she and her husband had completely renovated into a light and airy home with lots of large windows allowing plenty of light to filter through. Crisp whites, warm browns and a lovely mix of modern meets country were the dominant colors and styles. It was the perfect, warm and cosy location to get our creative juices flowing.

I unpacked my props, got a quick overview of the props Lisa had organized and talked a few things over with Julia. Julia was so open and friendly. She pulled me in with her smile and her uncomplicated attitude.

Lisa and I prepped and cooked the recipes in the kitchen then I switched over to Julia, discussing the angle, idea and concept. We harmonized brilliantly.


The recipes in the cookbook are fun, easy and make use of lots of fresh, high quality products. Colorful vegetables and fruit were spread out all all across the kitchen counters, which was the hub of our weekend. It was also the place where we caught up on each other and listened to stories.


I was amazed at how efficient and productive we were on the first day, finishing up more than the recipes planned for the day. The next day we had a few adorable models to style and shoot, while Lisa was kept busy in the kitchen preparing more food for us to shoot ….


... and the best part of a food photo shoot is always the taste testing.

Lisa, Julia and I are working on our next project together and I look forward to working with them again. More to come soon.

Hope you enjoyed a little peek behind the scenes. Next week I am celebrating a big party here on WFLH, so make sure you come wearing your best party clothes - I will have cake for you!

Have a great week!

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. What a nice peek, Meeta! What a great time we had!

  2. So wonderful to read about your career taking off, you deserve it, both your styling and photography are great. If anything, I'd say it's the styling that pulls me in to your portfolio images the most - yes it takes skill to capture the image as a photograph, but for me, the alchemy, the creativity, of food photography, is in styling the scene to begin with. Wish I could do it!

  3. It sounds like you girls had a really great time there and it definitely looks like a fun shoot! I love the behind the scenes look Meeta.. Makes me wish I had been there too!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience Meeta. Sounds like you guys had an amazing time!!

  5. What a wonderful experience! I was lucky enough to go on a photo shoot recently (unpaid, just for experience) and it's fascinating what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing some insider knowledge!

  6. That is awesome! I am so happy for you. A very interesting job.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.



  7. Thanks for the BTS ! Looks like lots of fun! The models are adorable and the food is so colourful!
    Good luck with the book! :)

  8. Meeta, das ist ja super exciting. Ich wette, dass ihr bestimmt unheimlich viele Spass hettet.
    Ich habe vor Weihnachten auch einer local Bloggerin beim Kochen und Fotografieren ihres Buches geholfen.

  9. Sounds like you had a ball! Great when people just "click" and the room is full of synergistic energy :)

  10. I think its wonderful that your blog and motivation has led you to such interesting career opportunities where you can work with creative, like minded people. The taste testing is a perk too.

  11. What a beautiful WORLD !!! like the song... I love't your kitchen and all "behind the photos".. I like to be one moment in this amaizing "angle" :)))
    What you prepare so good??


  12. Meeta,it was so nice to see the behind the scenes look! I wish I could take one of your seminars one day! Looks like you girls had a blast! :)

  13. Dear Meeta,
    Thank you for presenting this look behind the scenes. I really enjoyed reading about how well you all worked together and I am excited to see the final pictures. It is always a pleasure to stop by here at your blog.
    Best regards,

  14. che ricetta deliziosa! complimenti, un bacio :)

  15. I loved this peek behind the scenes. It looks like you all had such fun. I'm surprised you were nervous though because your styling skills are fantastic, which is one of the reasons I keep coming back to your beautiful website.

  16. wow havin a great time bonding huh.
    really looks enjoying :)
    good luck dear. looking forward for the next post.

  17. Dear Meeta, first of all congratulations on the book. I think cookbooks come in handy and rescue you from unrelenting relatives. They are the answer to relatives who think you can’t cook well. But I love your cooking recipes and photography. I believe photography plays an important role in cookbooks and anything that goes with selling cuisines. It is also a fact that Indian cuisine is now a mish-mash of cuisines across the globe. What do you think about the future of Indian food industry, or specially the Indian cuisines?

    Divya Bhaskar

  18. That seems like a lot of fun!! I'll be back for cake:)

  19. Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing this behind the scenes fun!

  20. Glad you all enjoyed the little look behind the scenes. This was such a great working atmosphere and extremely productive. Also appreciate all your wonderful thoughts on my styling abilities!

  21. Meeta, I am so excited to read about this project which I think is so perfect for you! I love seeing you get professional recognition for your incredible talent and being asked to work on projects like this. I also love getting to see behind the scenes: it looks like such fun! Kudos to you, my wonderful, talented friend! I am so happy to be a part of your life and seeing you grow professionally xo

  22. I've just found your blog Meeta, and it's lovely. I've already found lots of recipes I've bookmarked to try! I also adore the photographers stripy sweater!


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.