What is a Magazine Photoshoot Like?

One of my favorite experiences within The Diabetic Pastry Chef’s history, was when I was contacted by an editorial assistant at the now discontinued magazine, Diabetic Living magazine. Meredith Corporation was the publisher of Diabetic Living. I believe an Australian version of Diabetic Living magazine is still being published but the US edition was discontinued. Meredith publishes Better Homes & Garden and a host of other popular magazines distributed around the world.

I was told Diabetic Living was interested in featuring me in the pages of their magazine and wanted to know if I was interested. I thought to myself, what do you think? Yes, I was beyond elated! I was asked to develop a number of new sugar-free dessert recipes for them to review. I don’t remember how many recipes they wanted but I believe it was 10. I was told the recipes would be reviewed and I would be contacted. I was contacted several weeks after submitting the recipes and was told they were interested in proceeding. Woohoo!

The staff member asked me for available dates because they wanted to fly me out to Meredith Corporation’s headquarters in Des Moines, IA at their expense and put me up in a hotel for a couple of nights. The day of the photoshoot they would send a makeup artist and hairdresser to my room and they would choose the outfit I was to wear. I assumed the photoshoot would be in their studio, but instead I was told they had rented a house where the shoot would take place.

The day of the actual shoot it was raining, but this didn’t really matter because everything was being done indoors. I was first driven downtown to Meredith’s headquarters and was given a tour of the building. This had to have been the most exciting part of the day for me. I loved the place, it was amazing! The building consisted of several floors with a labyrinth of different passages and rooms. The top floor had beautiful windows and indoor gardens, another floor had a large test kitchen, board rooms, and dining rooms where recipes were sampled. The huge basement had a myriad number of rooms that contained an unbelievable assortment of home furnishings and accessories. It was explained to me that the rooms could be easily configured into different sizes and dimensions, repainted over and over, different windows and window coverings could be added and removed, and the rooms could be refurnished and accessorized at will.

I was told the Meredith compound also had an outdoor garden located nearby, but it was wintertime and I was not taken to see it. The experience left me with a greater appreciation for how magazines are designed and published.

The actual photoshoot took place in a rented house as I previously mentioned. The house contained a kitchen that had recently been remodeled. Someone in Meredith’s test kitchen had baked my desserts that morning and delivered them to the scene of the shoot. The staging of course was done by their employees. I was instructed where to stand and how to pose and smile. There were several photographers with cameras, lighting, and a number of computers brought in. Meals were catered for us. Hours of photos were taken and the photoshoot wasn’t over until about 9pm. Boy was I exhausted by the time it was over! I was told I could keep the clothes they dressed me in. I wish I had been consulted when it came time to choose the actual photos that appeared in the magazine, but that was not my place. I was very satisfied with the magazine article though. This was such a wonderful experience!

These videos are a few years old. The 2 photos are of 2 of my baked goods that appeared in Diabetic Living. No Sugar-Added Half & Half Muffins and Sugar-Free Hazelnut Roulade.

Sugar Free Roulade Recipe by The Diabetic Pastry Chef