Colin Cooke gets his artistry and inspiration from food glorious food. Sometimes a dish that looks fairly easy to create can be deceptive with intricate preparation for a photo shoot. But Colin's love of food, the care of getting the details right and his highly skilled lighting abilities all combine to make him one of the top food photographers working today.
The Japanese soup dish of Ramen has been popular with people all over the world for years. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish-based broth often flavored with soy sauce or miso and uses a variety of toppings. In the 1980s, Ramen became a Japanese cultural icon. It came to the national markets and was a big hit for budget-conscious college students, people traveling and on the go and a satisfying, healthful and fun family meal.
The popular noodle dish got Colin’s juices going to create a book project in collaboration with Art Director Heidi North, whom he had worked with for years on similar projects. With food stylist Glynis Cotton, he did a fantastic job of prepping everything so he could be ready to shoot quickly and effortlessly the next day.
It was a five-day shoot, and Colin and his team powered through a variety of recipes each day. Photography was done on site at his home in Yonkers, using his own props from previous jobs. “Heidi was present each day and did a great job of directing the art and helped in creating really delicious looking images,” says Colin.
Many of the Ramen bowls were donations from friends who had them in their cupboards. Friends and their children as far away as Tokyo who heard about the book, all wanted to contribute their unique selections.
Shooting was off the cuff and informal. Locations as Colin’s front and back porches were used with natural light and an array of props laid out each day for the recipes. As Colin likes to say, Ramen is all about the prep and is very time consuming. Everyone loved the results, and the food at the end of the day was delicious.