Issaquah Interiors Shoot

A few weeks ago I got to photograph this beautiful home for HomeAway. I had photographed hotels quite a while ago with Amazon Destinations when it was around and have been really enjoying photographing more interiors again. I definitely enjoyed learning on this photo shoot (which I DID, a LOT).  This home was super dreamy and beautiful. I felt so lucky to be there and doing this as a job. Could you imagine staying there? It had 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a sauna, a Jacuzzi tub, a giant movie screen, and a hot tub.  I also photographed another interior remodel for M.O.I. Designs two weeks ago and had a blast. I am still working on my backlog of posts, which is great but hopefully by this weekend I will be done. Phew!

 

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Blackberry Basil Shaved Ice

I had been talking about doing a shoot with my dear friend Anne who is a wonderful cook and baker. Since she had recently been to Kauai for her honeymoon and also had a shave ice maker, she suggested the shaved ice idea. I actually didn’t even know what it was even though I have been to Hawaii a few times. I don’t know how I somehow missed this. It’s essentially shaved ice with syrup either over ice cream or with sweetened condensed milk on top.

I came across this cool and really refreshing recipe for Blackberry Basil Shaved Ice and we topped it with the sweetened condensed milk. Since blackberries are in season in WA we actually went and picked some locally, and I picked up a few others for the garnishes at the market. Anne made the syrup and shaved ice and it was delicious! I did make the basil sugar but thought that the picture for this was prettier without, though it definitely added a little something extra to the shave ice. I would highly recommend trying this, it’s a really great recipe from Kayla. We had the benefit of a shave ice machine though, so that part was really easy, and cut out a step for us.

Blackberry + Basil Shaved Ice
Author: Kayla Diercks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • SHAVED ICE
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 TB sugar
  • BLACKBERRY + BASIL SYRUP
  • 6 oz blackberries
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 TB lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 5-6 basil leaves / roughly torn
  • BASIL SUGAR
  • 1 TB fresh basil / very finely chopped
  • 1 TB sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat water and sugar over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the sugar water solution has cooled, transfer to a loaf pan or 8 x 8 pan. Freeze for 2 hours.
  2. After two hours, remove pan from freezer and scrape with a fork to form ice crystals. Return to freezer and continue to freeze and scrape every 2 hours until frozen through.
  3. In a small sauce pan, combine blackberries, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. Heat berry sauce over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until sauce comes to a simmer, let simmer for one minute. Remove from heat, stir in torn basil leaves, and let steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour blackberry sauce through a fine mesh strainer and transfer into a small bowl or jar. Refrigerate until chilled.
  5. When ready to serve, make basil sugar by combining 1 TB finely chopped basil with 1 TB sugar. Remove shaved ice from freezer and scrape again using a fork. Scoop ice into individual bowls and pour blackberry sauce over shaved ice using a spoon or jar with a pour spout (add water to syrup, one tsp at a time, to reach desired pouring consistency, if needed). Top with basil sugar and garnish with basil leaves and blackberries.

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Hot Dogs & Lemonade

A few weeks ago I worked on a shoot with Quinn Poer which was super fun! We were introduced by mutual friends and I thought it would be great to get together for a test shoot. She had the hotdog & lemonade idea and I thought it was fantastic. She did make the cutest hotdogs and drinks. 🙂 I tried to capitalize on the super hot sun we were having that day to create some extra harsh shadows in some of the shots. I felt like it was the epitome of summer. I definitely hope we get to work together on a project again.

 

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Summer Vacation

Well it’s been about a month since I last posted anything, but I have a ton to post now! I have been doing a lot of shoots recently both tests (unpaid collaborations with stylists) and paid projects that I will be posting about soon. I have been recently doing a lot of interior shoots, so I will be sharing some of those as well. I really like being able to go out and see different homes, and always have. I worked for an interior designer while I was getting my BA, and I loved it. It’s like being able to sneak into someone else’s life and see how they live. It is really fascinating to me and can make for some cool imagery!

As far as my family vacation goes, I went out to my folks last month for a week, while my brother and his family were in town and then we drove out to Ocean Shores & Pacific Beach. I originally wasn’t going to take pictures but decided to after the 2nd half of the trip. Which is why there are actually so few. Haha We spent 4 nights at first in Shelton and then drove out to Ocean Shores to camp. My brother stayed in the cute town of Seabrook, which is kind of amazing. It’s this little village of vacation homes and cottages. There are restaurants, a spa, a gym, and totally catered to having little children. Definitely worth checking out.

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Westport, WA

I went to Westport camping a few weeks ago with a friend of mine, and it was so beautiful. I only wish I had taken more photos in town with my camera, I got plenty with my phone. I didn’t really sleep that well while I was there, which I am super sensitive to and I don’t think as clearly with not enough sleep. The campground had put down these gravel squares that they wanted us to pitch our tents on, which were super uncomfortable.  It was only with some pleading that they let me move my tent. Haha

We did get to go to Little Richards House of Doughnuts, and I swear it was the best maple bar I have ever had. They were almost completely sold out by the time we got there. We also went for a nice walk along the dunes and ate at one of the strangest restaurants I have ever eaten out.  Next time we will check out one of the restaurants along the water and maybe take a surfing lesson! We had a few dogs with us at the time, which made it a little hard to go surfing.  We also visited this cool lighthouse.

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Interior Shoot with M.O.I. Designs

I had been thinking a lot about ways to expand my photography from just food, and I felt like shooting interiors would be the perfect addition! I had photographed some interiors while I was in school, and not quite sure why I never did more of it, since I really enjoyed it. I had also worked for an interior design company while I was getting my BA and for several years after I graduated school. It’s part of why I love food photography so much, the set up, the props, and the attention to small details.

I emailed Desirae Wilkerson, who owns M.O.I Designs in West Seattle, to see if she wanted to work together on a project. We had known each other for a long time, well before either of us were a photographer and interior designer. To my excitement she had a project coming up the next week. I love it when things happen like that. So I did some research and talked to some fellow photographers on some tips & tricks for interior lighting and shooting. Here are a few of the finished images. Isn’t this space so cute?? I had a lot of fun on this shoot and I definitely want to do more. Hope you enjoyed them! I think it went pretty well for my first interior shoot. 🙂 And you should definitely check out Desirae’s website, her interior design has such a fresh, clean, bright modern touch to it! Really pretty work.

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Spring Photo Shoot

I had the absolute pleasure of working with Alisha Dooley last weekend, who did all the styling on this test shoot. It’s funny because we actually know each other from a past life, just growing up in Seattle and going to shows, we have a lot of mutual friends and had spent time around each other quite a bit in the past. When she emailed me a few months ago about testing, I was really excited about it! She has been styling now for about 7 years and wouldn’t you know, look how cute these images turned out!

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New Orleans

Wow, for some reason it really took me a long time to finish this. I think because I was kind of traumatized by my rental car getting totaled while my sister and I were at the rest stop in Pearlington, Mississippi. But here is my post, which I started working on a month and a half ago! By the time I write this, my sister has already been back to New Orleans. Haha

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A few weeks ago I went to New Orleans with my sister. I had originally planned to do a road trip in the south to end in New Orleans, but it just wasn’t possible so we tried to do a shorter version and take a one day trip to Alabama. We stayed at Maison Dupuy in the French Quarter, which was so pretty, but also loud, filled with people in town for weddings and partying, even being on the very outskirts of the quarter, with Bourbon Street.

One of my favorite places that we visited was Erin Rose & Killer Po’Boy. It didn’t feel like we were right off of Bourbon Street, it felt more like we were in Seattle or Austin. We also went to Cafe Beignet and Cafe Du Monde of course! Of the two my favorite was Cafe Beignet, and that was because they were a bit lighter than the ones at Cafe Du Monde.  Also, the wait was not nearly as long.  Although when we did go to Cafe Du Monde, we went at 10pm on a Wednesday night, so there was no wait at all. The coffee was to die for though, with the smoked chicory. The Old Coffee Pot was also really great for southern cooking in the French Quarter, and the Callas Cakes were the thing to try.

We had also decided we were going to go on a swamp tour, which was so much fun. We went with Cajun Encounters and did a swamp tour of Honey Island.  We got to see a lot of alligators, and a wild boar and learned a lot of history about the swamp. Also that morning we did a food tour of the French Quarter by Free Tours By Foot. Which was pretty impressive, went over the history of New Orleans cooking, and places to not miss in and around the French Quarter. I would highly recommend it.

We also walked around the Ninth Ward, went to the Garden District and got a tour of a haunted mansion, drove to Alabama and ate at Wintzells Oyster House. Famous for their oysters, so we had those of course! I really loved going to Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi as well, it was gorgeous there. And the town of Bay Saint Louis was super cute, after we finally got there, and had to die for Po’Boys.  We had about a 4 hour delay after the rental car was smashed, until we got a new rental car, for our road trip, so what we had originally planned was cut short that day. What happened was that while we were at the rest stop in Mississippi, a giant Expedition speed in reverse into 3 cars at full speed. It actually pushed our car into the car next to it. But after getting that taken care of, we did enjoy the rest of our trip.

Another place I would recommend that we went to was Bachannal Wine in the Ninth Ward, which had a beautiful outdoor patio and live music, and a wonderful variety of cheese. I would definitely go back to New Orleans, but maybe next time I would stay in the Garden District of the CBD, and definitely go somewhere to try crawfish, and maybe try to stay in Alabama next time, for longer exploring, since it was only a 2 hour drive or so. I would also try to make reservations for Commander’s Palace. Hope you enjoyed the photos!

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Grapefruit Spritzer in the Studio

Last month I went to a class put on by Creative Live and Andrew Scrivani, an amazing food photographer who lives in New York. He talked about this lighting set up where he bounced a strobe head into a v-flat, which was then covered by a silk, which I really wanted to try.  I actually don’t have a v-flat at home, which is essentially a giant piece of foam core folded in two, which one side black and the other white. I don’t know how I would get something that big to my house without strapping it to the top of my car. What I do have is a very large umbrella which can be covered with a white silk cover. I had never used this light modifier before and was really excited to try it, the reason I hadn’t tried it was that the instructions were a bit confusing on setting up the mounting. After watching a tutorial I got it set up. The result was so pretty!  It is just a Paul C Buff 64′ umbrella which I got in soft silver and added the front diffusion fabric. I used a small, 2′ soft box for the fill. What do you think? It looks a lot like sunlight!  Which we haven’t really been seeing that much of in Seattle. I also really wanted to use blood oranges but it turns out their season is a week??  I saw them in the store and went back the following week and they were gone, so I ended up using grapefruit & rosemary.  On a side note, for styling, the ice cubes are fake. Hee hee. Could you tell?

In other news, I am hopefully planning a trip to the South next month. Which I would be super excited for. I have never been, but always wanted to go.  Crossing my fingers. 🙂 That way I would be able to hit Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi all in one trip.

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Seattle Magazine: Comfort Event

Last month I was asked to photograph at the Seattle Magazine Food and Wine Experience: Comfort Event, which I have to say was really fun and a great learning experience for me. I also went to the next day’s event, the Food & Wine Experience: Grand Tasting, and while it was really impressive and mostly fine dining, the food at the Comfort event was more up my alley. It was simple yet delicious, and may have veered toward homey but was never boring. It really was so good! And with all of the vendors, it would have been really hard to try them all even not shooting.  Luckily, I was definitely encouraged to try samples in between shooting and even during. 😉 I will definitely be going next year. A few of my favorites were Ezell’s, Rhien House, Trophy Cupcakes, Smith Brother’s, Brave Horse, the super cute wall of doughnut by Top Pot. And of course the Hot Toddy Bar, the S’mores station put on by Hot Cakes and the Bloody Mary bar were all huge hits. Hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite shots.

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