Pumpkin Picking in the Fall

This seems like so long ago now, with Christmas and New Years already come and gone.  I went pumpkin picking with a few close friends back in October, to Bob’s Corn. I love doing this and Bob’s is my favorite of the pumpkin patches in Western Washington.  There is a lot you can do, and the corn maze is crazy big, usually I will get lost, and have to find some edge to crawl out.  There is also SO MUCH FOOD and hay rides.  We had our first delicious serving of pumpkin pie of the season there.  Now that Fall is over, and Winter is here, I am looking forward to doing some snowboarding and snowshoeing. I haven’t been snowboarding in a few years, but bought my first new board in years from a friend and looking forward to testing it out!  Also, I am looking forward to planning some new shoots, details in the works.  It is always exciting to have something new on the books.

 

 

 

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Cidercraft Issue 2- Winter/Spring

I was really happy to have been able to photograph not one, but 3 stories for the Winter/Spring issue of  Cidercraft magazine.  Cidercraft, if you don’t know, is the only national magazine devoted entirely to cider.  The women who create the magazine are so awesome too, it’s pretty cool to be a part of their creation and on a shoot with them.  I photographed lots of different forms of cider for the 2nd issue, cider bottles, drinks made with cider, and food paired with and made with cider.  I really loved them all, but my favorite has to be the food story.   Enjoy the photos!

 

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2014, You’ve been great!

I can’t believe 2014 is over.  I had a fun and exciting year!  I started working somewhere new and met some really great people.  I was also able to photograph for a bunch of new clients and go on some much needed trips.  I feel very lucky and grateful for all the new friends I made and new experiences I had.  Doing new things for me isn’t always the easiest, so it has also been a bit scary, (ok really scary) but I have tried as much as possible to push those fears aside and the results have been very rewarding.  Much better than if I had chosen to back out, simply because I was afraid to do something new. There were some difficult times as well but what I am starting to learn, trying to accept, and almost appreciating is that there couldn’t be good without bad.

I was also able to do some traveling this past year.  I went to Chicago, Missoula, Las Vegas, LA, Denver, and Pheonix and hope to do more traveling plus at least one international trip for the coming year.  I am currently planning a trip to the southern coast of Spain for July.

Oh, I also moved, which was soooooo needed.  Moving out of a place where I could never sleep to a place that feels a lot like home, has been one of the best changes I made last year.

As far as  resolutions for the new year,  I usually don’t make a lot, but I just want to continue on the journey I am on.  I hope to do even more traveling for work and with friends. And cook more, and do more yoga. And see more music. Ok, maybe I do have some.  🙂 I am definitely looking forward to what 2015 holds in store.  Hope you have had a great year and wishing you a happy 2015!

xoxo

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Cheesestravaganza!

About a month ago, I did a test shoot with Rachel Grunig. We had been joking for a while about just photographing cheese because we both love it so much.  We had originally met on a shoot about a year ago and ended up bonding over the cheese, and our obsession with it. Well, we at least got a few shots out of the cheese before we ate it all. 🙂 I think at one point Rachel actually admitted just doing the cheese photo so we could eat it all later.

Rachel is just such an amazing stylist so everything ended up looking fantastic!   I had a job in LA a few weeks ago and knew immediately that I wanted to bring Rachel on board as the prop stylist, if I was able.  Always great to have familiar faces and trust in people, when you are in a new unpredictable setting.  More news on the LA job soon.  I really felt so unbelievably lucky that I am able to follow my dream and pursue what I love doing for a living.

Happy Holidays and enjoy the photos!

xoxo Amy_Johnson-0849 Amy_Johnson-0905Amy_Johnson-0879Amy_Johnson-0786Amy_Johnson-0820 Amy_Johnson-0929

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16 Course Modernist Cuisine Lunch for Massimo Bottura

A few months ago, I was asked to photograph for Yahoo Food.  It was a 16 course lunch for famous Italian chef Massimo Bottura at the Modernist Cuisine Lab. I was thrilled!  Massimo Bottura was touring the US for his recently published book, Never Trust a Skinny Chef.  I was a bit starstruck by the chef attendees along with Massimo.  Here is a link to the article and a few images below: A 16-Course Modernist Cuisine Lunch On a side note, I got to taste all the dishes, and they were amazing!

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16 Course Modernist Cuisine Lunch for Massimo Bottura

A few months ago, I was asked to photograph for Yahoo Food a 16 course lunch for famous Italian chef Massimo Bottura at the Modernist Cuisine Lab. I was thrilled!  Massimo Bottura was touring the US for his recently published book, Never Trust a Skinny Chef.    Here is a link to the article and a few images below: A 16-Course Modernist Cuisine Lunch On a side note, I got to taste all the dishes, and they were amazing!

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An Incredible Feast- Farmer’s Market Benefit

Back in early October, I had the opportunity to photograph the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market Alliance’s annual fund raiser for the second year in a row.  I asked my  friend and fellow photographer Rolan Wong if he wanted to join and he said yes.  I am the more shy, food photographer, and he is the more outgoing photographer,  so we make a good team.  It’s also helpful to learn from him about doing event photography.  In my line of work I also have to take photos of chefs, so this was  great practice for me.

The yearly event is a collaboration between amazing chefs and farmers and it helps to create emergency relief funding for farmers.   The 24 chefs and farmers work together to create dishes, and if you have purchased a ticket (or are working ;)) you can sample the many dishes that they have come up with.  The chef creates a dish using the farmer’s ingredients, then the guests get to sample and vote for the best one.  It’s a ton of fun, and there is so much talent that usually I am a little star stuck.  There are chefs from many of the top restaurants in Seattle, and they are always so nice and friendly.

I worked with the NFMA while I was in school.  I chose them to work with on our required Non-Profit advertising campaign.  They were a pleasure to work with and I still love to be able to give back to them.  They operate 7 of the Farmer’s Markets around Seattle and their main focus is education of the public and running food only farmer’s markets to help support local farmers.  If you haven’t been to one yet, you should go check them out.  The Capitol Hill Broadway Farmer’s Market recently became year round, so you can go visit them when all the others are closed! 🙂

Enjoy the photos!

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Vegetarian Pot Pie

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A few weekends ago, my friend Allison came over and we (she) made an amazing pot pie.  She definitely is one of my most favorite people to collaborate with.  The pictures always turn out lovely (in my opinion) and the food always tastes so good.   The recipe we decided on is from Bon Appetit, posted below.  Since Allison is a vegetarian, we simply omitted the chicken and added extra seasonal vegetables to make up the difference.  It tasted great, and we had plenty for leftovers all week.

In other news, I am so excited to go visit family over Thanksgiving! This will be my first Thanksgiving in Phoenix, and my first with my bro in about 10 years.   Since he lives in Phoenix, we typically save our visits for spring or summer, because the weather here is so much milder. Also, in work news, I am gearing up for a very exciting shoot in LA next month!  Wow, I can’t wait and I feel so honored to have been asked to do this shoot, more details to come! xoxo

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-pot-pie-2

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2′ cubes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

CHICKEN

  • 2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3-pound whole chicken
  • 4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons dried chanterelle or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup 1/2′ slices peeled carrots
  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
  • 1 cup red (purple) pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, halved if large
  • 1 cup 1/4′ rounds sliced fingerling potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten to blend
  • Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, optional

PREPARATION

CRUST

  • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor. Add cubed butter and shortening and process until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. With machine running, add 1/2 cup ice water and process, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry, until dough forms. Form dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12×9 1/2″ rectangle, about 1/4″ thick. Place on prepared sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

CHICKEN

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place carrots, onion, and leek on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large pot fitted with a lid. Add chicken, breast side down, celery, thyme sprigs, wine, salt, and peppercorns to pot. Add 8 cups water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover, and poach chicken until cooked through, about 35 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool. Reserve broth. Shred meat; discard skin and bones. Set a large strainer over another pot. Strain broth into clean pot. Stir in tomato paste. Return to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 5 cups, about 40 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool. Cover chicken and broth separately; keep chilled. Rewarm broth before continuing.

FILLING

  • Place dried chanterelles in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes; set aside. Reserve soaking liquid. Cook carrots in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Add peas to saucepan; cook for 1 minute; transfer to bowl with carrots. Add onions to saucepan and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside; let cool. Peel onions.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Whisk in herbs and warm broth from chicken. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chanterelles to saucepan. Pour in soaking liquid, leaving sediment behind. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Set a strainer over another large pot. Strain broth into pot; discard solids. Add chicken, carrots, peas, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Spoon filling into an 11x8x2″ or 2 1/2-qt. round baking dish. (Add pie bird, if using.) Top with pastry, pinching edges to seal. If not using pie bird, cut a 1″ slit in center of crust for steam to vent. Brush pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Place pot pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

 

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Chicago

Back in the end of August I went to Chicago to photograph a dear friend of mines wedding. The couple couldn’t have been lovelier or nicer, or more in love.  I had an exceptional time.  Having had spent a bit of time in Chicago in my twenties, it was fun to go back and visit friends, walk around the city, and eat amazing food.  I was very glad to spend time with old friends who live in Chicago, as well as old friends from Seattle who flew out too.  I got to see the Art Institute again, which I always love, and this year I took an architectural cruise down the river, which was a first. Enjoy the photos! Amy_Johnson-9543Amy_Johnson-9556Amy_Johnson-9674 Amy_Johnson-9914 Amy_Johnson-0092 Amy_Johnson-0107 Amy_Johnson-0143 Amy_Johnson-0098

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Hammersley Inlet, WA

About a month and a half ago I went and stayed at my parent’s house for our annual family reunion near Hammersley Inlet, WA, which is about 20 minutes east of Shelton, WA.  I love spending time down there.  It is a nice break from the busy Seattle city life.  I grew up in a bit of wilderness, so it is always nice to get back to it. Their place is right on the water, so plenty of beach walks and kayaking took place.  It is so nice too when my brother & his wife fly in from Phoenix, and I get to spend time with them and my adorable niece!  Not to mention the rest of my family on my dad’s side of the family.   We don’t see each other enough, so spending the whole day catching up and eating good food is always nice.

In other news, this month has been so crazy! I moved and also have been sick while doing it.  Not exactly the way I wanted to spend the last month of summer, but I did get to do enough summer activities that I am very much welcoming fall.  I can’t wait to go pumpkin picking and start celebrating Halloween! My favorite holiday. 🙂  I also have some shoots coming up, which I am very excited about, and tests for fall treats, which I will be posting once they happen.  Hope you are enjoying the beginning of fall as much as I am! Enjoy the photos.

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