For many years I avoided the kitchen. Having made my share of burned macaroni and cheese and starting spaghetti on fire, it was not my favorite place to be. Seriously, how does a person start spaghetti on fire? My guy is a fantastic cook and on one of our first dates he introduced me to the garlic press. Probably one of my favorite tools now. With his help my cooking and baking skills have improved over the past couple years and this week I decided to try my hand at making bread. Since I wanted to photograph the bread, and of course, eat it later, I thought about buying a beautiful crusty loaf at a local bakery. But we had all the ingredients at home and all I needed was rosemary so I thought it’d be much more interesting to make it myself. Interesting, seeing as I’d never made bread before, but trying is half the fun right?
I found this incredibly easy recipe for rosemary skillet bread on pinterest http://www.handletheheat.com/no-knead-rosemary-parmesan-skillet-bread/ Did it turn out perfect? No, but I like that about it. I think the imperfections make it more engaging to look at. The skillet added to the lovely rustic feeling of the images that buying a loaf wouldn’t have given me either. I love the colors, textures, and emotion that goes into food. The other reason I like photographing food is just so I can eat it afterward. I had a slice with olive oil and later we made super long panini’s for dinner. So, so good!!
There are families I get the joy of photographing over many years. The family of the Manthey’s happens to be one of these. It’s been so much fun to watch their children’s personalities grow and change from baby, to toddler, to child. They are some of my favorite little people. Wyatt is a laugh riot, he has the best stories, and such a sweet personality. Ariana is adorable and tenacious. Her eyes in the above image are just gorgeous.
Their dad chose the location and the outfits, wanting to go for more of a vintage feel. We met out at Hobbs Woods near Fond du Lac, WI. It’s been one of my favorite places to explore since my mom started taking my brother’s and I there when we were kids. As I became more interested in photography it’s become a favorite place for nature and portrait photography. Paths, bridges, a beautiful stream, and open field make for a variety of fantastic backdrops. It was the perfect place for these images.
We were lucky to get a beautiful August evening to photograph. I wanted to get some fly on the wall lifestyle photographs of the family interacting as well a some posed images. The gorgeous evening light just makes my heart all squishy. Finally, a funny little side story: Wyatt wasn’t too happy about wearing his newsboy cap (or posing with his sister) and as the shoot was ending Wyatt traded it in for his cowboy hat. Of course, I couldn’t get resist getting a few images of him goofing around in the hat and the one above was one of my favorite shots that night. When I later found the cap stuck in my equipment and alerted my friend, I was told “Wyatt would love for you to keep it”. I couldn’t help but laugh, thanks for the addition to my prop box Wyatt.
You know how a certain scent can remind you of a place or a person, like the smell of coffee and pipe smoke reminds me of my grandpa. One of my favorite scents and flavors is lemon. We use it all over the house, and I often will dab a little lemon oil on my wrists or on the diffuser by my desk. I recently had a delicious lemon scone from a local bakery and thought I’d try my hand at making some. It’s hard to get Trevyn to eat any baked goods that I make, not because I’m horrible at baking, but because he tries to avoid breads and sweets. It’s unfortunate because I enjoy baking a lot more than cooking. Ah well, more for me.
You can find the recipe for these lemon scones here: http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2016/06/recipe-lemony-lemon-scones.html
Not in the recipe, I added some lavender which is delicious with lemon. This spring, I bought a lavender plant to grow in our kitchen window and it grew like crazy all summer. My hopes hadn’t been very high since I have a notoriously brown thumb so I was so proud of myself. Then inexplicably, even with regular watering, a couple weeks ago it just dried up, turned brown, and died. I’m pretty sure the brown thumb struck again. I would’ve loved to use the flowers from my plant but the lavender, I bought at a local spice shop, was a great addition to the bright, lemony flavor of these scones. I also loved the color contrast of the orchid blue of the lavender and the buttery yellow of the lemon. I played on this contrast in my styling by adding the indigo blue plate and striped ticking fabric for the photograph above. The scones satisfied my lemon craving and this weekend I’m going to try some with raspberries for some of Trevyn’s friends that’ll be visiting.
We love our critters and probably would have a whole house full of them if we could… except Trevyn would probably end up in the hospital seeing as he’s allergic to both cats and dogs. Regardless, our menagerie consists of the two human types, Trevyn and I, our two dogs, and my cat. I am fortunate to have some of my favorite portrait subjects living right in the same house as me. I photograph them all the time just being their goofy selves with my iphone. But every once in a while I’ll set up a backdrop and try some fun portraits with them. They probably sit better for me than almost any human subject I’ve ever had, especially if I have some particularly tasty treats on hand. They are so much fun to photograph and I love all of their many expressions. I captured a more serious face on Trevyn’s corgi, Baxter, in the image above. He’s a laid back dog and I imagine would have a surfer like personality if he was a person. Below is his usual happy go lucky face. Lu, my min pin mix, didn’t want to sit as still for me since she was more interested in getting the treat out of my hand. I did end up getting a couple great expressions, this one showing how patiently she’s waiting for her treat.
I used a two light set-up for these portraits and a black backdrop. I had one light to the left acting as an edge light, powered a little higher than my main light. My main light was right next to me on my right slightly above and angled down at the subject. I had a white piece of foam core on the floor to bounce a little light into the shadow under the face. My camera was set to 125th of a second at f11, ISO 100, to get a little more of the face in focus.
I rarely photograph weddings. I prefer to leave that to those that love photographing them and are amazing at it. For example my old classmate and friend Karly Jo, https://karlyjophotography.com, out of Stoughton Wisconsin. She is a wonderful person and fantastic wedding photographer. Very occasionally, however, I’ll take on what I like to call more of a wedding shindig, laid back brides in laid back places. Usually family, like my cousin Adam’s wedding, or a friend.
I met Lindsay while working as a photographer at Nancy’s Notions. She came on a copy writer a few month’s before I moved away. I immediately liked her spunky, sarcastic sense of humor, much like my own. Lindsay and Michel had just gotten married, shortly before she started at Nancy’s. A few month’s ago she asked if I would interested in photographing their wedding shindig celebrating their marriage and one year anniversary this summer. You have to understand working at Nancy’s is like being a part of a close knit family, I was happy to be there celebrate with them and felt this event would be right up my alley as a photographer. Michel moved from Belgium to be here with Lindsay and the love of these two people is truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in life. I think theirs is the forever kind, the kind that few are lucky enough to find.