The photographs in Cookie Advent Cookbook, published recently by Chronicle Books, use the shapes and textures and colors of holiday cookies as visual elements, creating images that are abstract and modern. Written by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt with illustrations by Lindsay Gardner, the book’s recipes range from Chocolate-Edged Chocolate Chip Cookies to gingerbread reindeer with pretzel ears and candied cherry noses, all in a bright, cheerful palette.
Photographed by Annabelle Breakey and styled by Jeffrey Larsen, the images combine Christmas ornaments and patterned paper and cloth in a variety of plaids and stripes and polka dots. Chronicle art director Vanessa Dina wanted a lighthearted, surprising take on the subject. When she approached Breakey about shooting the book, “Her direction for the project was to have fun, modern and graphic backgrounds with a nod to holiday,” Breakey tells PDN by email. “I think that she very much wanted the traditional cookies to really shine in a supportive background. The images are sweet and it’s all about the texture and deliciousness of the cookie. So we highlighted the yumminess and kept props to a minimum. We shot the project in January of this year and the days were still really short. We used natural light and had to maximize the daylight hours that we had to shoot the images in.” Breakey says she and Larsen “worked closely together to match the cookies with just the right props and backgrounds to make the cookies stand out and show how special they are.”