These stories and photos from Emma Christensen, the author of the upcoming cookbook True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home next spring (Ten Speed Press, May 2013), were originally published on the author’s blog and are re-published here with permission.
Paige – Photographer Extraordinaire (with her Assistant Extraodinaire, Morgan)
The photoshoot was awesome. Cold and chilly up there in Petaluma, CA, as evidenced by all our scarves and parkas, but awesome none the less. All the photos for True Brews were shot in three days, which at first seemed like an exceedingly generous amount of time to dedicate to my wee little book. But once I saw how much styling, prepping, staging, switching, and general futzing go into each shot, I understood how three days is actually barely enough time to squeeze it all in.
Esther – Props Stylist to the Stars (and obviously a joker after my own heart)
Karen – Food Styling Magician
Paige, Lisa (my editor at Ten Speed), Betsy in the background (Art Director from Ten Speed), and Esther checking out the shot.
Where the food styling happens
Setting up for a shot
Serious discussions about the cover image
Paige getting her photo mojo on.
I can’t even totally explain how incredible it was to see this all come together. I’ve been working away at these recipes all by my lonesome for the past year, and suddenly, here were all these people who took my humble homebrews and made them look like rock stars. When we got the styling for the cover image just right and Betsy, the art director from Ten Speed, cropped it to cover-size on the computer, I actually got a little teary-eyed. You would have too. The cover is going to be beautiful.
A shout-out to all the folks who made this happen:
• Paige Green, Photographer - Your photos are stunning. Thank you for somehow telepathically receiving my vision for the book and transforming it into something even better.
• Karen Shinto, Food Stylist – Thank you for taking on the challenge of these crazy, wacky homebrews and making them shine. I’m also glad that no lambs, or yourself, were injured in the Great Watermelon Soda Geyser of 2012.
• Esther Feinman, Prop Stylist – You’re a hoot! Thank you for making me laugh all day long and for so tirelessly swapping glasses for bottles for bowls — magically finding the perfect one every time. I bow down before your tableware collection.
• Lisa Westmoreland, Ten Speed Editor – Our work together has really only begun and I am already grateful for your keen eye and ability to spot (and subsequently thwart) potential problems from a mile away.
• Betsy Stromberg, Ten Speed Art Director – I know True Brews will be in good hands with you and the rest of the design crew at Ten Speed. I can’t wait to see what you do with the book.
You were such a fantastic team of creative minds that I’m sad we don’t get to do this all the time. But apparently some of us have manuscripts that are due in a month and can’t just go frolicking about wearing pretty aprons and cracking jokes about homebrewing all day. Le sigh.
Christensen is a food writer, beer reviewer, and home brewer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the recipe editor for Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, where her writing and original recipes also appear daily. In 2010, she was selected as The Writer of the Year across all the Apartment Therapy network sites. She is formerly the beer reviewer for the Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio, and wrote a twice-monthly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services offering weeknight meal solutions for harried and hassled home cooks from 2008 to 2012.