Before I jump into the review let me say this "please, please, please don't be turned of by the word food!", because "Food Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots" is a book that is for anyone who owns a camera.
Even if you don't "shoot food" you should read this review (and more importantly the book).
I love Nicole's writing style, it is both disarming and very engaging. Often I read an educational book with anticipation, waiting for the next factoid, the next "learning moment" to present itself, but because of her writing style I just enjoyed reading and would be surprised when each nugget of knowledge fell upon me.
The first 80 pages of the book covers photography fundamentals, gear, and lighting that is useful and informative to any photographer.
Only after thoroughly covering these topics does Nicole move into food, and she covers it more in-depth than anyone else I have seen and does it with authority (I think) because she does it all, she shops for the right ingredients, she cooks it all, then does her own styling, and only after all this she photographs it. So she understands more than most how the ingredient or cooking impacts the final shot.
My mother has the habit of when she shares her recipes with others of "accidently" leaving out one small key ingredient so their final dish is never quite as good as hers, not so in this book. Nicole has held nothing back.
Wanna know how to take old pieces of fence and turn it into an interesting table top, it's in there. Which is better, real ice or fake? Nicole explains (in both words and pictures).
One of the (many) things I love about this book is "pouring over the picture" a segment where Nicole covers every aspect of a shot, gear, food, framing, color coordination, and camera settings... nothing is left unexamined or unexplained.
Only after covering everything under the sun about food does she move into Photoshop, both in general and specifically as it applies to food. And again, this area is thoroughly explained in both word and photo, each editing step shows both the image being edited accompanied by the Photoshop dialog box so each step is easy to follow and understand.
And did I mention she discusses monitor calibration? I love this woman.
The final chapter "Behind The Scenes" takes you through multiple photo shoots (from start to finish) including 50 images (or more) from the food prep, styling, lighting, shoot, tips, and post processing.
From soup to nuts as they say (sorry, I just could not stop that from coming out).
"Food Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots" is such a good read, I got from cover to cover in just 2 sittings, which if you know me, is really quite an accomplishment and it's so full of useful information you can barely pick it up.
A GREAT book.