SHOOTING A BOOK – A DREAM COME TRUE
When I got a phone call early spring last year, I had no idea one of my long time dreams would be about to come true. The person on the other end was Johanna Kullman, extraordinary book publisher. She’s in charge of the cook book department at Norstedts Publishing Group AB in Stockholm. She asked if I would like to photograph a book together with the ladies at the dessert deli Holy Sweet. Holy Sweet is a small patisserie at Östermalm, specializing in luxurious cakes and dessert tables catering to weddings, parties and special occasions. I was over the moon happy and probably rambled, I can’t remember what I said exactly apart from a BIG yes and thank you, think I said thank you a million times over. Linda and Christina are dear friends and I’ve been working with them on numerous wedding and nothing could have been more thrilling than to shoot a book with them. So at that first meeting, with Johanna and our project manager Michaéla, I just sat with a big grin on my face and trying to grasp the whole thing. We were doing a BOOK!! A real book, that world be available in book stores through out he whole of Sweden as well as online.
And not any old book, a lush dessert book filled with goodness and amazingness for everyone to enjoy!
We started to plan and eventually shoot during June of 2013 and the philosophy behind Holy Sweet is that there are no limits to what a sweet can be – pastries and artwork in one. There is something unique for every special occasion : wedding , birthday and anniversary , but also for that very ordinary everyday life that craves the silver lining.
It was in the middle of my peak season, I shoot mainly weddings,, but since this was perhaps the coolest and most fun assignment I’ve ever had, I quickly moved around things in my calendar to make it work.
We had insanely fun shooting this book, laughed so I cried, sweating like a pig and learned a ton along the way. For instance I learned the workflow of how to make a book from a photographers point of view is not that different from how I shoot weddings but I have to wait so much longer to see the finished product. I learned what’s worth spending extra time on and what’s not so important. I learned that I can do better, always. I learned that it os ok to put your foot down and say no if something doesn’t look right. I learned that if you put your heart into what you are doing and do it with a passion you can achieve almost anything. Ok, I won’t ever run a marathon, but not because I don’t want to, for those of you who don’t know, I have no legs. I have prosthetics legs, on both legs. I was born with a handicap, (oh also, I only have one arm) tough luck.
But, I have learned that even if you have disabilities you can do what ever you want, almost, if you just trust your gut and roll with it.
I won’t bore you anymore with my life but I do want to take the opportunity to once again say thank you. To Johanna, Linda and Christina who trusted me with this project, I’m forever in your debt. THANK YOU!
The Holy Sweet book is an inspiration bomb filled with recipes and lots of practical tips. How to make world-class macarons, optimizing flavor combinations or create dessert table based on different themes. You can order it HERE and I swear to you, you won’t be disappointed. You will certainly salivate and thinking about what kind of dessert table you’ll make for the next big occasion in your life.
To life, love and Holy Sweet’s!
xx / Isabelle
As I’m writing this I have just been commissioned by Johanna and Norstedts to shoot another book together with Linda and I can only tell you that that book is going to be killer!!!!!! Wiehhhho!
This book could not have been made with out Kodak Portra film. All images are shot on Kodak Portra 160, 400 and 800. I also had tremendous help from my peeps Erica and Christian at UK Film Lab, simply THE BEST lab in the world. They have developed and scanned everything to this book and they are wicked!!
Oh and since I promised some behind the scenes footage, here’s some awkward photos of me shooting this book, courtesy Christina Kokkalis and Linda Nielsen-Wermeling