Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Story Behind My Cover Photo

I've been receiving a lot of compliments on the cover photo used on my book.  Of course, the praise is coming from people who know me and like me so they are a little biased.  Still I thought I'd share the truth behind my "close-up".  So you can see that I'm just an ordinary person on a mission.

Here's the truth - I took the above photo of myself all by myself.  I used a ten-second timer on my digital Cannon camera and would literally run into place and hold up that bowl and whisk in what I believed was the "center" of the lens. 

My husband wasn't around.  I didn't even have a friend over to assist me.  It was just me with Vivian or my dog occasionally trying to jump into the shot while I shoved them away.

To achieve that picture you'll see on the cover, I had to stack my camera on top of a wine rack and several of my cookbooks (I used the Five Dollar Dinner Mom and The Crockpot Lady's books for inspiration).  I stood in front of the only clean and bare wall in my entire house.  This was after failed attempts at taking "action" shots in my kitchen which contains too much clutter and not enough lighting for a decent photo.

At first to warm up to the silliness of taking an actual cover photo, I put on a viking hat and posed in goofy manners.  I even sent those pictures to a few friends who all promptly told me, "Don't use that for your cover!"   You gotta love their honesty! 

So you see, there is no glamourous nature behind my cover.  Just me and my own camera and my own determination that I could somehow manage to do it myself.  And I did. 

When I look at the photo, I cringe a bit.  Although it's engaging and fun, I see my roots, my gray hairs coming in, my wrinkles, how one eye is squinting more than the other and all the other imperfections on my face and body. 

But hey, that's me.  I have to embrace who I am.  I'm just your average person.  And I'm telling my stories and sharing my recipes.  I want them to be as "real" as possible.  So I also wanted my cover to be the "real" me too.  I achieved that.  Even though I don't look like a pin-up model, I'm happy overall with the end results.

There you have it folks.  The real story behind my simple cover photo.

However, I think the real credit should go to my friend Carrie who took my original cover design that looked like this (simple, plain and BOR-ING!):

But she turned it into this:

The vibrant colors and final "airbrush" touches are thanks to her.  Carrie, thank you for making little 'ol me look even better!  You're the best.  I hope my readers will like it too!  

And also a big thank you and shout-out to my very good friend Jen who personally hand-stitched that apron just for me!  She worked quickly to design the apron just for me so I could wear it and place it on my cover!  I love my apron.  Thanks Jen for making it for me!  I love it! 

Do you wear aprons in the kitchen?  Do you have aspirations of writing a cookbook or any kind of book?


  1. I didn't airbrush anything, you really are that beautiful! I just brightened up the original photo and that is it. Give yourself some credit girl! ♥

  2. The cover looks great! You look like everyone's friend up the street. So approachable and friendly. I do wonder how that viking hat would have looked.

  3. Awesome! Looks so professional. I'm so proud of you Mandy!!!!!

  4. She did a wonderful job with the cover. Of course you're just gorgeous!!

  5. It looks great. I can't wait to read it!

  6. Of course the apron was super cute too! ;o) Jen made two of them for me for Christmas and I wear them ALL the time! It all sounds like so much fun!