Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Choosing Photographs for Your Family Cookbook

Do you have drawers and computer folders filled with family photographs? Choosing photographs for your Secret Ingredients cookbook project can be a lot of fun. Not only will you walk down memory lane as you choose the perfect photographs for your recipe scrapbook, but you will also see your cookbook project come to life as you tell your family's story through recipes and photographs.

Today I wanted to offer some tips to help you choose the perfect photos for your custom cookbook:

  • Include both old and new photos. This year I am creating a special Secret Ingredients cookbook for my sister, Whitney. I decided to alternate old black & white photographs of our grandparents and parents with more recent color photographs of Whitney's wedding and her two beautiful babies. This combination highlights some of our most favorite memories together and celebrates the people we love so dearly.


  • Be creative with color. If you are familiar with photo editing software or know someone who is, you can enhance your photographs by changing the color levels and cropping. Play with your photographs to find your favorite color settings. Use filters to sharpen the image or remove noise (scratches, specks, etc.) on your older photographs.

    If you do not have photo editing software, consider downloading Google's Picassa. This is a free program that will organize your photographs and make your life a lot easier! Picassa includes basic photo editing features that are easy enough for anyone to use. Picassa's features include the following: color adjustment, a cropping tool, and a red eye tool.


  • Groups: Make sure to include everyone. Ask your friends and family to send you their favorite photographs via email or snail mail. If you are doing a family reunion cookbook or a group cookbook, devote one divider to each branch of your family or social group. This works out perfectly!



  • Consider your divider set. Before deciding where your photographs will be placed in your Secret Ingredients cookbook, you may find it very helpful to look at our divider samples. Simply click on the name of the divider set that you have chosen to flip through an entire sample set. Your cookbook will look even better if your photographs match the backgrounds on each divider.



  • Think about creative placement. Consider matching your photographs with the divider category. For example, the Secret Ingredients recently finished a very cute heirloom cookbook for a young family. On the Pasta divider, the family included a photograph of their young daughter eating spaghetti- red tomato sauce covering her hands and mouth. It was so cute! The same family added a photograph of their two daughters in standing on the front stoop of their house dressed in their Halloween costumes.



  • Photographs of food, family meals and get-togethers, holidays, and celebrations are perfect for family cookbooks! In the sample photograph above, two sisters share tea time with their cousin. These are moments worth celebrating and documenting!

    If you have any difficulty uploading your photographs to your cookbook project, don't worry. We will be glad to offer you easier solutions. Just give us a call or send us a quick email!

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