Like every classic homemade dish passed on from an aunt or bookmarked on your browser, a good DIY cookbook calls for a solid recipe. In this case, you need one part fabulous foodography and one part well-crafted scrapbook.
Part one relies on culinary skills and an eye as sharp as your kitchen knives. As for part two? Leave that to your PIXMA printer (and just a touch of craftiness).
Nailing the Foodography
When crafting a cookbook, the dish and background are just as important as the food itself (we have faith that the food is impeccable, though). Think about creating color contrast by pairing a green kale salad with a salmon pink bowl, or a German chocolate cake with a canary yellow plate. Be sure to grab a variety of angles, too. Get up close and personal with your panettone, or capture a bird's-eye of your brioche.
Plan to dish out your food photography while the sun's still shining. While automatic flash gives your food an unnatural hue, indirect natural light ensures an even, warm, almost glowing tone. Don't be afraid to branch out of the kitchen and find a gently sunny window. Wherever you are, always be sure to stabilize your camera. For a few extra bucks, even a smartphone tripod makes the results much tastier.
Avoid unsightly backgrounds (dirty dishes or cluttered counters) and don't be afraid to get creative. Use a vintage quilt or newspaper as a tablecloth, or take a snap of your famous cocktail in the hands of a friend wearing a bright sweater that matches the drink, for instance. Whether it's sauce or a sprig, add a little garnish or an interesting accessory, like a napkin or some textured glassware. Be conscious of filling the entire frame - cookbook photography isn't all about the food (it's just mostly about the food).
Committing it to Photo Paper
Now that your foodography is cookbook worthy, it's time to craft a DIY cookbook. To update that classic, binder-style cookbook without much fuss, go with a chipboard album. All you need to get going is a blank chipboard album, scrapbook adhesive, scissors, a hole punch, and your PIXMA printer.
- First, remove the chipboard's spine.
- Send your food photos to your PIXMA printer wirelessly with the Canon Print App.
- Print out your stunning foodography with your PIXMA printer. The PIXMA MG7720 printer's expanded color gamut makes sure those strawberries and sprinkles pop. Go with print sizes a bit bigger than the chipboard's pages.
- Print your recipes on glossy photo paper for a professional touch - choose Helvetica font for an uber-modern feel or Courier New for a vintage tone.
- Trim the photos down to page size (the full-page pics really make the food come to life), and punch holes that line up with the holes in the chipboard.
- Stick the trimmed-down photos to the chipboard with scrapbook adhesive, let the glue dry, and re-insert the spine.
Now you're ready to gift your new cookbook to a loved one, or let it mature on the shelf till it becomes your next totally handmade family heirloom.
- A Beautiful Mess: 5 Tips for Food Photography
- Serious Eats: The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography
- The Kitchn: Best Food Photography Tips from 3 Pro Photographers
- A Beautiful Mess: How to Make a Chipboard Album