April 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
FINALLY! I’ve finished the book, gone back & forth with the printers & I’m finally happy with the finished product! A few people have already gotten their early versions, but now I’m happy to announce that it is available to everyone! And right now, all the proceeds will be going towards the new studio! I’m embarking on a new adventure with other creatives & starting an artist co-op space! Pretty exciting stuff! Won’t you help my dream come true?!
A note about the price….I wish I could give this to everyone for 5 bucks (because thats about all I make per book sold). But unfortunately since I could not afford to buy a large amount of books upfront for less, I’m having to go through a company called Blurb, which is a print on demand company. Its wonderful that they can print books one at a time as the orders come in, but unfortunately that means they cost a smidge more to produce. So hopefully if sales go well enough for this book, I can bring it to a real publishing company & do the second book at a better price point!
But for now, I’m pretty excited & very proud of my book. I hope that you enjoy it so much that you decide to buy 20 for your closest friends & family A girl can dream, right?!
You can get to the book from my website
Or directly from the Blurb ordering page
Or by clicking the image below!
February 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Intro: aka: part to skip if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to hear my mindless drivel…
Photoshop & I have been an item for about 3 years now. In all reality, I probably do spend about as much time editing photos & working in the Adobe program du jour than I do with my husband! [ Side note, I'm known to exaggerate slightly. ] 3 years doesn’t sound like long, because it isn’t, but thats the beauty of photoshop, every one learns at their own pace. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the program at my first photography based job [ Photo Reflections in Newport News, VA ] where I was dubbed the “Image Artist” and most of my job revolved around photoshop, retouching images, photo restoration, creating marketing pieces, a little bit of everything… So I was able to pickup my ps skills rather quickly just due to the fact that I had to use it every day, and it seemed like every day I would learn something new to add to my arsenal.
On my first day at that job it took about 2.5 minutes with the program & a wobbly wacom tablet to realize that I was hooked & wanted to master this program! Now 3 years later, I’m pretty pleased with myself (why else would I be writing a blog post about it?!) but still consider myself FAR from an expert….not sure that I’ll ever get there, there is always something new to learn! Also, I’ll never be an expert because of paths. It’s just one thing I’ve never needed to touch & never wanted to. But hey, even superman had his weakness, right?!
Moving on…I want to teach! I love photoshop & I love helping others learn! I feel many people are intimidated by the sheer size & capability of the program. There IS a lot to learn, but rome wasn’t built in a day people! Tool by tool is how I learned, and its how I want to teach you! Thus I’ve created the series “Photoshop Goodness!” I want to help others while simultaneously indulging my sense of showing off what I know….its a balance. But I really hope that I can help out a few lost souls in desperate need of shortcut skills, color balancing techniques, selections, masking, composites, restorations, anything & everything (except paths, I mentioned that right?)! So if you have anything in particular that you have been dying to figure out or learn, let me know! Send me an email or a message below & I’ll do my very very best to get to it, maybe even do a post on it!
Part 1: Shortcuts
In life, not always the best motto….In Photoshop, a necessity for a my workflow! In my college days I had a professor who was obsessed with shortcuts in Microsoft Word & before we wrote a single paper he held an entire class on keyboard shortcuts to help us become more efficient at writing. At first it was just irritating, I wanted to do things the usual way, the way I had been doing them for years! But I had to do what I had to do, so I learned them. I’m guessing you know where this is going….when I got used to the shortcuts, I loved them, never looked back.
So naturally when I started working in Photoshop years later, I had the same mentality. Quicker is better. Less time on the computer means more time shooting & working on other aspects of my business. And it truly helps my workflow, not having to look at the toolbars, or move my curser up or over to a menu item, helps me keep focused on the image & really is much quicker! Its a pain in the butt to learn, so don’t try to memorize everything, just pick 2 or 3 that you use on a regular basis & try to incorporate those into your workflow, the rest will come with time.
So today’s post will be short & sweet, I want to share with you a PDF I made a while ago for some friends/clients who wanted to learn more about photoshop. Its all of my favorite shortcuts with explanations. It is by no means a comprehensive list (not even close!), it is simply something I add bits & pieces to whenever I figure out a new command or shortcut that I can use with my work. So take a look, download, use however you like! And if you’ve got some good ones that aren’t on my list, let me know! Put it in the comment section down below & I’ll add it!
ps. I’m pretty sure all these are good for CS4-CS6. Aaaaand they’re for a Mac keyboard. If your using windows, I think you just replace command with control…I think? Anywho, enjoy & good luck!
January 9, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I know you’re tired of hearing my empty promises of a recipe book thats “just around the corner!” or “almost finished!” but I’m truly working to finish it up right now & I’m making the commitment to release it in early february! To show that I’m not just all talk & no show, I’m releasing the title & cover to you right here! You may have already surmised the title from my post title, but just in case….
Yep, the book is square, how about them apples? I’m a fan of the square format & the spreads create a lovely ratio for my images when opened. I almost didn’t use this photo, it is just too familiar to me, but some goading from a friend & a few other opinions swayed me. So now you know, there it is! But thats it for now, trying to keep at least a few images secret, but my desire to post everything I shoot on FB is squashing my secretive efforts!
Some specs on the book thus far…its a 7×7 square format, softcover, about 70-75 pages, nothing huge. A full spread photo for almost every recipe. I think I’m around 30 recipes? Which might not seem like a lot, but I gotta tell ya, coming up with those recipes, testing them, tweaking & testing again takes forever! But hopefully you’ll find them to be 30ish quality recipes!
I’ll post more about the ordering process soon. As much as I would love to order hundreds & sell them directly so that I can package them adorably & hand letter each package & yata yata I’m trying to keep the cost as low as possible for you! So you will be able to order directly from the printing company. More on those details later…
September 30, 2012 § 5 Comments
Food | Art | Love I think I’ll make it my new tagline…it is simple & perfectly represents how I feel about what I do [want to do]. I know its cliche, but I really do have a passion for food. Not just eating it (although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my favorite part!), but the process of making it, the way it makes people feel, the smell of nostalgia filling the house. My passion for food creates in me the desire to make something beautiful, create art. I’d like to think there’s a market out there for fine art in the food photography business.
And it doesn’t always have to be about the food. I also have a fondness of the tools & utensils used…especially anything with some age behind it. Not just because vintage is the style right now, but because I like to imagine the delicious batters an old rustic wooden spoon has stirred over the years, or the bakers who have used it before me. Although don’t get me wrong, I am indeed a fan of the vintage/antique style, I find it quite adorable.
Most people just put photos of their family up on their walls, and thats great, especially for the portrait photographers of the world! But my husband and I choose to only do small images of family, and on our walls we have large images of things we love, memories, places, experiences. Why not food? We certainly love food, and I wouldn’t mind having a big canvas of a juicy, warm, 5 guys cheeseburger gracing the walls of my kitchen…..but that might just be me.
For now, I guess I’m just happy that there are people out there like me that are overly obsessed with food, photography & art. People that would prefer to spend hours photographing a warm bowl of tomato bisque than an adorable cooing baby, or a happily engaged couple. And I want to believe that there is a glimmer of hope that the fine art side of food photography will be a growing trend. I highly doubt that a food photo will ever grace the walls of The Louvre, but a girl can dream right….
pssst. wanna help my dream come true?! Order a print of one of my pieces, help me keep the faith that fine art food photography is alive & well! Just click on the contact page to the left & we can chat!
September 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Who doesn’t love smores?! Just TRY having a bad time while eating smores….literally impossible. not. possible. As with many things in life, if 1 is good, then 2 must be better, right?! It is with that mentality that I present to you my latest creation…
This gooey goodness didn’t make it in front of the lens while it was still pristine & beautifully layered (hence the overhead view) This one was already 1/2 eaten by the time I swiped it for a quick shot! But it will do for now…
My husband and I have had a hankering for smores with nutella for months, but just never got around to making them. But this weekend we happened to have a poker night with a few friends so we thought we would try out this feat of gooey engineering on them! And when I indulge, I tend to overindulge, so I figured lets keep those layers coming & just put the whole darn thing in a jar! Worked out nicely since no one could actually finish their individual serving, they could just put the lid back on & take them home!
Since I don’t have a lovely layered shot of my creation, here’s a play by play:
Are you drooling yet? Longing for a crisp fall night & a crackling campfire? Me too…but I live in Fl, so campfires are few and far between. Alas, here’s the recipe, happy eating!
(Recipe creates 8 – 1 pint mason jars)
Here’s what you’ll need….
Graham Crumble (recipe follows)
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Marshmallow fluff (recipe follows)
1 small jar nutella
4-5 hershey’s milk chocolate bars (for nostalgia!)
- Layer your jars however you like! I recommend starting & finishing with graham crumble, but mostly just because its traditional…Enjoy!
1 box graham crackers
12 TBS unsalted butter melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all the graham crackers in a gallon size ziploc bag & break with rolling pin until well crushed. Add brown sugar, cinnamon & salt to the bag, then shake until combined. Add melted butter to bag, mix & massage butter until it is entirely incorporated. Spread mixture out onto a non-stick (or parchment paper covered) cookie sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until just golden brown.
8 oz heavy cream
16 oz semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- Heat cream in a medium sized sauce pan until boiling. While cream is heating, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. When cream is boiling take off heat & pour over chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes until chocolate starts to melt. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is completely melted & mixture is smooth.
Easy option: Buy marshmallow fluff
Or if your feeling adventurous, I like to use Martha Stewart’s recipe for Vanilla Marshmallows, but only use 1 packet of gelatin & only mix for 2-3 minutes instead of 12 (We want fluff, not actual marshmallows!)
September 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
Waffles are just awesome. Definitely top 3 in my list of favorite breakfast/brunch/anytime treats. But they have to be good waffles, not just any old soggy, diner waffles. The problem with this, I am not a morning person…So on a sunday morning when I want to make waffles I’m not really in the mood for a super complicated recipe. I need a recipe that is quick & simple so there is minimal time between waking up & sitting down to a golden plate of syrupy deliciousness! I try a different recipe almost every time I make waffles. I’ve found some really great recipes that were too complicated for a morning recipe, and I’ve found some recipes that are easy & quick but were lacking in quality or flavor.
This morning however, I stumbled across a recipe entitled “Waffle of insane greatness” on food network’s website. After getting over the initial jealousy of not coming up with that gem of a name first, I decided to give it a go. The recipe turned out to be pretty simple & I was able to get the batter together in about 4-5 minutes. The only downtime was the suggested 30 minutes of rest for the batter. So I spent that time putting together a delicious blackberry syrup! And if you’re as impatient as I am, they were just fine with 15 minutes of rest.
I have to admit, for being a simple recipe, these turned out great! My advice on these is to amp up the vanilla a smidge, and definitely use buttermilk (the original recipe says buttermilk or whole milk). And I also doubled the recipe which made 8 regular sized waffles. I always use the darkest setting on my waffle maker which created a lovely crunch, and they were still light & fluffy on the inside! I don’t know that I’m ready to profess that my waffle search is over, but I’ve definitely found a great default waffle! It is indeed “greatness!”
*Waffle recipe & awesome title adapted from Aretha Frankensteins “Waffle of insane greatness”
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with topping of choice!
I didn’t exactly measure everything, but here’s the gist of it…
In a small saucepan over low heat combine 1 package fresh blackberries, about 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (optional, I just had it lying around and wanted a little extra tartness) about 1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on taste) 1 teaspoon corn startch, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla & just a pinch of salt. Mix and allow to simmer & thicken while you make the waffles! Serve warm.
*Mom’s recommended topping: Peanut butter with the blackberry syrup…its like a pb&j for breakfast!