The point of the photography was brought up during the crit. Perviously I had not thought about this at all, but after thinking about what the purpose of photography is in cookbooks, and I have come to the conclusion that it used to help you select which food you want to make. Its to draw you in, perhaps even to draw you in before you had even purchased the book – while in the bookshop browsing through the pages you see some nice food and think “ooooh that would be nice!” so then you buy the book.
However I believe with recipes such as jam and the not to exotic or exciting even, you already have a visual expectation, you have seen what the food looks like before, you are probably making the jam (product) because you have eaten it many times before but you would like to make it yourself, its the smugness of being able to say “I did that” … anyway I believe that photography is not necessary of the final product as this does not help you when you are following the process. I have already established that I plan to create a set of visual icons that aid the process of cooking. Therefore I don’t want to over complicate it with photography. Plus photography maybe far to specific, how are you meant to depict and understand a photography while you have many other things going on.
So the long and short of it is – I don’t think food photography is really going to help during the process of making jam.