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


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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Venice Beach

Last month my sister and I went down to LA for our annual sister trip and stayed in Venice with the plan to get some sun. To our surprise and dismay it was the worst storm that they had seen in 10 years. There was flooding and it rained like crazy  (torrential downpour) with only a tiny bit of sun the first day we landed and the day we were leaving. Since we hadn’t planned for it, it threw off our plans slightly. We had a great hike planned in Laurel Canyon and were going to be riding bikes each day, which obviously neither happened. We did have a great time still, but the flooding was pretty crazy and even a sinkhole opened up in studio city.

The first night we went to dinner at Bar Marmont and the duck breast I had was phenomenal! The next time I will definitely try to get a reservation at Chateau Marmont. I had hoped to catch the glimpse of a star, but I think you have better luck in the restaurant. We also had breakfast at Gjelina again, which was so good. We did try to get reservations there for dinner, but I think it has a few month waiting list for dinner, not so hard for breakfast though. We also got to try Salt & Straw right on Abbott Kinney and we both, after tasting all the ice cream flavors settled on the black olive brittle & goat cheese. OMG. We also had dinner at the Rose Cafe. I would say the dinner was ok. The pizza was great! However there was just one pizza on the menu.  The restaurant has so many different things you can try there, and it’s gigantic and almost takes up the whole block. You can basically order anything you might be in the mood for.

My favorite place we went to eat was Cafe Gratitude where the waiter came up to us and told us the topic of the day, which that day was how were we making a positive impact in the world? And then the food items all had names like Brave or Courage, and then he would say, YOU ARE COURAGEOUS.  It was pretty amazing. And the food was fantastic too. We of course always go to was Moon Juice, I actually made my sister go twice and I picked up some Spirit Dust for the road. For our last night we went to this amazing dinner at Erven in Santa Monica which is basically fine dining vegan food. We got to try kimchi gnocchi and black truffle chickpea fritters.  It was really quite an experience! Until next time LA! Well hopefully the next time I go it won’t be flooding. 😉

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nine + = 15

Gather Seattle: Design Your Plate Luncheon

About a month ago, (I can’t believe it has been that long!) I attended the Gather Seattle: Design Your Plate Workshop at Aran Goyoga’s studio. It was so great. Gather Seattle, founded by Chloe puts on workshops and lunches that bring together women in the PNW food & design industries. They have women speak at each event and share their stories. I was so inspired, and not only that, I met some really fantastic and successful women creatives that I am sure I will be in touch with for a long time. I had fun photographing too, since the studio was set up so beautifully.

The speakers were wonderful. Caroline Hinchliff spoke on nutrition and the importance of savoring your meals. Ashley Rodriguez, author of Date Night In and the blog Not Without Salt, spoke about how that book and her blog came to be. Kari Brunson, owner of Juicebox & Frankie and Jo’s, talked about how a dancer became the owner of two successful restaurants (of which I am obsessed with both). I loved hearing their stories, and can’t wait for the next one. It was really fun and came complete with a fully vegetarian meal and vegan dessert.

It seems fitting that on International Women’s Day I am posting about an event put on by women, at a women owned photo studio, where successful women spoke to a group of (mostly) women.

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Winter Hiking in Snoqualmie

My sister and I went hiking a few weeks ago along the Snoqualmie Middle Fork River. As a word of warning, even though my car has AWD you may want to take a truck to get out there if you want to go down the whole road. We ended up stopping before the actual trail head because there were so many potholes. It was so pretty though. I really love hiking and being able to get outside during these dark, cold, winter months is really important to me. I love Seattle but have always had a hard time with the short days and wet, cold winters here.

A few other things that are saving my sanity are my upcoming trip to LA in a few weeks, and I have more restaurant shoots coming up for Amazon Restaurants. I also signed up for a few classes. One is at Gather Seattle, it is a plating class which I am excited for.  I am also excited about taking a class at Book Larder, I just have to pick one! I am pretty sure it will be the Spring Vegetables Class. I also have signed up for a Creative Live class.

In work news, I am super excited to be a second shooter at an upcoming event I was already looking forward to. Eek. And also, I found out that the book that I am a contributor to will be published this Summer, rather than this Fall! I am so excited to see the final product soon!



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6 × = eighteen

Homemade Pasta Shoot with Beth Batson

I had the pleasure of shooting with Beth Batson a few weeks ago. We always end with with such pretty images! I am obsessed with the images of the pasta and the egg process shots. She definitely took on a project with making the pasta from scratch (twice at least) since she tested it prior to our shoot. Thanks Beth! They turned out so good. I hope you enjoy them as well.

In other news, I am glad things are getting more busy so I have been working on a few upcoming projects and back shooting for Amazon Restaurants. Also I am really looking forward to going to LA in a few weeks. I have my list all made of which restaurants to go to and have reservations for a few I have never been too.  Can’t wait to do a post on that when I get back. So far I have Moon Juice, The Rose, LudoBird, Bar Marmont, Gjelina, and Shake Shack.  Phew! I think it can be done in 4 days. 😉 My sister and I will have to go biking, jogging, and hiking while we are there.

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× 7 = fifty six

Canning & Pickling

Before Christmas I had a few friends over to work on a canning/pickling project. I know this is from something I did over a month ago, but since the holidays there has been a lot going on. I found some pickling recipes in a few of my favorite cookbooks, Twenty Dinners, Gjelina, and Hartwood. Most of these recipes call for a quick or cold brine, which didn’t work for what we were doing because one of my friends was going to have to travel with them.  The vegetables would have to be preserved for at least a few weeks and not refrigerated, so we did need to find a recipe in which we boiled the jars to seal and sanitize them. I did use the books I had on hand for wonderful photo inspiration! Here is a link to pickling different types of vegetables if a cold brine is ok for what you are doing. Here is another link on how to do the canning with the sealing process, if you do chose to go through the preserving process. I am certainly going to do this next year because I have a great garden plot and I ended up with a lot of extra vegetables, particularly peppers and would love to give them away. I also think a great idea I read to sterilize the jars is run them through the dishwasher. Super easy! We boiled ours which was a bit tedious since the pots would only fit a certain amount of jars to boil at a time. I would say that we used a ready made canning spice when we pickled our peppers and for me that turned out a bit too sweet for me with their being cloves and allspice in the recipe. I might just use individual spices like a few of the recipes I posted above, or this one from the Hartwood cookbook.

In other news I am super excited to go back to LA next month. I am already started on my list of places to go and things to see. Including Gjelina, listed above! Time to make reservations. I can’t wait to be biking down the beach in Venice and eating breakfast on the beach.  Particularly after just seeing La La Land. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should!

Also, I went to the Women’s March yesterday and it was amazing! I couldn’t be there for all of it, because of some other volunteer obligation that I had. But it was so amazing, and I am vowing to try to do this 10 actions in 100 days. It is great because it is not an unrealistic goal to achieve and it makes it really manageable by breaking it up that way.

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