Let’s Prioritize

I spent last weekend at a food photography workshop with Andrew Scrivani (to read more about the awesome course check out my earlier post. Better yet, to watch to course check out creativeLIVE) We learned so much during this time that I couldn’t possibly implement it all at once. I’ve decided to start with three things:

First, I want to start collecting interesting surfaces, dishes, napkins etc. to photograph on. I’ve always had a thing for textures and interesting designs on objects, but now I have a reason to actually hoard…err, collect…them (friends, if you’re ever struggling with gift giving ideas for me, pass on a cool plate you found at a garage sale and I’ll be happy as a clam).

Next, I need to sit down with my husband and discuss plating. I’m thinking we should start preparing separate dishes; one hot dish that is all about the flavor for him, and one not-so-hot dish that is all about the presentation for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious hot spread, but we need to prioritize here! (Andrew taught us a few great tips on how to work with spaghetti, dollops, and herbs but I’m really interested in learning more techniques. If anyone out there knows of a great resource, please let me know!)

Finally, I will work on my lighting to discover a style that works for me. So far, most of the shots I’ve posted have been in my backyard, with fairly flat natural light. Now, I’m not sure that my style is quite as moody as Andrew gravitates toward, but it could certainly use some improvement on handling the shadows and highlights to create a more interesting image.

Here’s my first image since ‘graduating.’ Fried green tomatoes, topped with smoked salmon and a honey mustard sauce.

I’m not entirely happy with the shot. For one, I think I started with a difficult dish and the color is less than appealing. I also really need to get on collecting fun plates. The one I used for this photo is from our kitchen cupboard and is very shiny and not all that interesting to photograph. Plus, I find the blue edge distracting. But, it’s a start!

fried green tomatoes

Food Photography: “If the door is open a crack…”

The idea of being a ‘food photographer’ is new for me. Sure, I’ve photographed plenty of dishes over the years, but it was until quite recently that I thought, ‘hey, maybe I could really do something with this?’ Andrew Scrivani’s course at creativeLIVE emerged at the exact right time. On a whim, (and with my husband’s encouragement) I sent in a video to request being part of the live audience.

I was thrilled to have been chosen to learn tips and tricks from a renowned professional. But I could never have guessed how incredible the entire experience would be.

I was part of something truly special. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how to adequately describe this experience and I’m at a loss. Sure, I learned a ton about food photography, but it was more than that. Between our incredible instructor, stellar CreativeLive team, and of course the other audience members, there was such an amazing, dynamic energy in the air. That’s not to mention the inspiring quest contributor, Shauna Ahern, who deserves a post of her own.  I’m just so thankful to have been a part of it all.

So now what?  Well, I believe it’s time to start photographing food in earnest. I’ll start small and keep shooting the interesting dishes my husband and I create, continually working on improving my style. Right now my images are okay… but they are not great. But as Andrew said at the beginning of the class “you are as good as the last photo you took.”

Thank you again to Andrew and everyone at CreativeLive. This meant the world to me.

And finally, to leave you with my favorite quote from the weekend (paraphrased because I can’t remember word for word what was said): “if the door is open a crack, don’t just peek in, crash through.”

My fellow audience members. You all rock!

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

The CreativeLive Crew. I have so much respect for this team, I can’t wait to join you for another workshop!

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Thank you

For the past two days I have been attending a food photography workshop with Andrew Scrivani at CreativeLive. I’m not even sure where to begin to describe this experience. I’m inspired. I’m intimidated. I’m excited. I have much more I want to say and share about the course, but for today I just want to say ‘thank you.’ Thank you to Andrew, to CreativeLive, and to guest food blogger Shauna Ahern, of Gluten Free Girl. Thank you to my husband who convinced me to apply to appear live, and to the other audience members for your shared enthusiasm. I can’t wait for tomorrow, although I’m sad it’s the final day.

Thank you


Got Tomatoes?

Got Tomatoes?

Got tomatoes? Sadly, this is an actual question and not just a commonplace slogan. I certainly HAD tomatoes. Delicious orange sun-gold tomatoes. And tons of little green buds full of tomatoey potential. Just yesterday I was excitedly photographing the first few ripe berries to prove that I did it! I grew something!

And then today, I come home to the plant on its side and the pot smashed. Thank you, wind, for messing with my gardening dreams.

I am off to the gardening store to see what I can do to save my plant. Hopefully a simple repotting will do the trick. Keep your fingers crossed!

One year ago

Boards_Anniversary Bouquet

One year ago yesterday I married the love of my life.

To celebrate he gave me a bouquet of sunflowers (a main piece of our wedding decor) and then we went to the zoo. Yes, the zoo. Perhaps a strange place to spend your anniversary, but we had a lovely day walking around, checking out the big cats and laughing at the gorillas eating lettuce. I decided not to bring my camera, because sometimes it just nice to be together.

Afterward we went to the Walrus & the Carpenter for dinner (great name, right!). I think we have found a new favorite Seattle-area restaurant. Now this is a bit of feat as we consider ourselves a bit of food snobs, but this place was fantastic. From the atmosphere sitting at the bar, to the perfect oysters, to the beautifully crafted dishes. I’m just sad that I was too full to eat more than three. Guess we’ll just have to go back. – And side note, I am absolutely obsessed with the building they are located in, a newly-renovated, old brick, marine supply store, I dream of living/working in a place like that some day. It makes me happy just thinking about it –

We ended the day back at the house with some chocolate covered strawberries, sprinkled with Heathbar crunch pieces. I wish I could say we came up with this divine concoction on our own, but I must give the credit to the Wicked Spoon buffet in Vegas (another must try spot for you foodies out there).

Overall it was a pretty nice day.  A little calmer than last year’s hoopla, but very nice!

Boards_Anniversary Strawberries

Finding my voice

Finding my voice

I’ve had this blog for about two months now and I’ve been struggling with finding my voice. I started it as a way to encourage me to photograph anything and everything in my day-to-day life, and while I have been doing that, I never really know what to say about the photos that I post. I suppose I want the photos to speak for themselves, but really every photo, no matter how simple, has a story. Perhaps this exercise may inadvertently improve my writing skills as I work to tell these stories?

So what does this have to do with bruschetta? Well nothing, except that it happens to be another image that I wanted to post but didn’t really know what to say about it. Made from heirloom tomatoes, basil and a garlic spread we picked-up at the farmer’s market, it was another delicious meal a-la my fabulous husband/personal chef.

Soup & Salad

Soup & Salad

On the menu this week we have a delicious soup and salad combo.

The taste of this soup is indescribable. Made from pressure-cooked butternut squash and coconut milk and topped with caramelized onions, it took all my will power not to lick the bottom of the bowl…Okay, you go me, I licked the bottom of the bowl, but you would have too.

The apricot salad was also pretty scrumptious, mostly because the market apricots have been divine these last few weeks.