Welcome to The Family Cookbook

Welcome! If you’ve ever done family photos before, you know they can sometimes be chaotic and a process to put together. Throw in the fact that a Family Cookbook session involves food, recipe prep, and the creation of an actual cookbook, I wanted to put together a brief rundown on how the whole process works. After booking, you’ll receive the full prep guide with instructions, timelines and tips on how to get everything and everyone together and have a fun, relaxed day cooking your favorite foods with the people you love.

So, let’s get started!

What is The Family Cookbook?

Long story short: It’s a hybrid family photo album and recipe book.

Many families have some sort of food heritage, whether it’s from immigrant parents or grandparents or from holiday recipes passed down through the generations. The Family Cookbook aims to:

  1. Capture you and your family cooking and eating together, creating new memories around the food you love.

  2. Preserve your family recipes in a custom cookbook alongside the photos we make during your cooking session/feast.

This is a chance to bring you whole family together for a unique experience that results in amazing images that will last a lifetime.

Portland custom family cookbook
The Family Cookbook Portland Family Photographer

The Family Cookbook’s style is a cross between documentary family session and food magazine. Since cooking with your family involves so much more than just the food (conversation, stories, mementos and family heirlooms like platters and china), I encourage you to relax and just be yourselves during the shoot.

When the dishes are done, I’ll put my food styling experience to work and have fun with your personal details, like tchotchkes, silverware and plates.

During the weeks leading up to your session, you will send me your recipes to help determine how long your final cookbook will be. Some families have a few short recipes, and some have long, detailed ones. Everyone is different, which means each cookbook is unique.

Cookbooks start at 40 pages long, and in general, that length can hold 10-15 recipes depending on their length. I encourage all my clients to have some flexibility when booking so I can accommodate all the photos and recipes you want in order to create your perfect book.

The Family Cookbook New York Family Photographer

You have complete control over how you want your session to go!

All that needs to happen is a little planning and prep work. The first step is to let me know where all your recipes are. Are they stored on handwritten recipe cards? Are they in old cookbooks? Sticky notes pasted to your computer monitor? Or are they not written down at all? My years copyediting and shooting for food magazines has given me the skills necessary to help you gather and process your recipes so they can be printed up in a book. If they are stored away in Grandma’s memory, we can work with that, too! Translating decades of intuition and practice into a written recipe can be challenging, but it’s a wonderful multi-generational bonding experience for the whole family.

A Brief Family Cookbook Schedule

Read through the information guide (get yours below!), book your session.

Read through the entire prep guide and start gathering recipes.

Send your recipes to me via Google Docs or other service, and I give you an estimate of how long your cookbook will be.

Decide which recipes to make during your session.

Plan our a timeline for cooking during the session.

Gather your family and any props or dishes you want to use during the shoot.

Let’s shoot!


Between the day of your session and when you receive your physical cookbook is a minimum of 7 weeks, so if you are planning on giving the cookbook as a gift, please plan accordingly! I say that 7 weeks is a minimum because sometimes printing and shipping times take longer than expected, especially when my printing company is very busy during the holidays. You might also want to make additional changes to your book after receiving a proof, and changes can take up to a week to implement.

Three weeks after your session: You’ll receive your digital gallery where you can go over the images and choose which ones to print in the book.

One week after you submit your image choices: You’ll receive your first electronic proof of your cookbook. Go over it with your loved ones and decide on what changes you’d like. Up to three rounds of editing take place before the book is sent to print. You’ll also customize the cookbook’s cover picture, material, and spine text.

Shipping can take at minimum three weeks. I’ll let you know once it has shipped!

Thanks for reading! Documenting family food stories is something of immense joy, and I would love to tell your story. Get more information about The Family Cookbook as well as pricing by filling out the form below.


Name *
I get inquires from all over the country, so it helps me to better plan your session if you provide your city and state.