Why Drew Barrymore Used Her Own Photography for ‘Rebel Homemaker’

When Drew Barrymore chose the pictures for her lifestyle book, Rebel Homemaker, the acting icon says it was vital she didn’t come off “too polished” and hard to relate to. So, she mostly used photos she’d taken herself instead of hiring a professional photographer to capture and enhance every image.

But eventually, she realized she thought someone with practiced experience should shoot one crucial subject.

Drew Barrymore sits with her legs crossed and a drink in one hand, flashing a peace sign with the other
Drew Barrymore | Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore wants to redefine homemaking with ‘Rebel Homemaker’

Barrymore says she liked the word “rebel” for the name of her book because it’s “totally bombastic without being angry.”

She shares in Rebel Homemaker it describes someone “just like” her.

“I can’t stand rules, and even when I try to create them, they blow up in my face,” the mom of two daughters writes. “We need structure, we need social agreements, but we also need societal openheartedness and progressive ways to take care of one another.”

She realized she’s a “Rebel Homemaker through and through” because she grew up in an “unorthodox way” where she traveled a lot and didn’t settle until her twenties. But she also adds the term “homemaker” could use an update.

By the traditional definition, women would be homemakers, meaning they would stay home and not work. So, she thinks it’s time to “modernize” the term for breadwinners who also care for homes and children.

“I am a passionate homemaker,” she writes, “but I’ve also been a lifelong worker bee.”

Drew Barrymore used her own photography to create something different with ‘Rebel Homemaker’

As Barrymore shares in Rebel Homemaker, she wanted the book to be a “messy and real” representation of her way of life. Notably, she didn’t want to come off like the “late ’90s lifestyle guru” she never related to. “I don’t wanna be a fraud,” she declares, “I wanna be utterly myself.”

So, she started printing out photos from her “real life” and using them for the book “instead of having every image taken by a professional photographer in a studio and then airbrushed.”

The beauty big wig writes she knew the project could be unique by doing this one simple thing. But there was a specific subject she eventually decided required a professional lens.

Drew Barrymore thought a professional should photograph the beautiful food in ‘Rebel Homemaker’

Since Rebel Homemaker is a lifestyle book and cookbook, Barrymore shares she wanted it to be “messy” in some aspects. She felt that was a better representation of what life can be like.

“… Later,” she notes, “after living with just my photos for months, I realized, you know what? Some professional shots of the food might be nice …”

So, she and her collaborator and cook, Pilar Valdes, hired “the best” photographers. She wrote the stories, and Valdes “worked tirelessly” with her on the recipes.

Though Barrymore continued to take her own pictures of their food, she shares, “… We got to take it prime time to the professionals and have a bunch of our dishes photographed as well.”

In the end, she was happy with what they were able to put together for the book to show a “healthy, delicious, and joyful life through her own rebellious brand of homemaking.”

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