Friday, December 28, 2012


2012 was the year...

•our home finally felt like our own
•i shot a book all about milkshakes
•i spent 5 weeks on the road with my family
•i started meditating
•i connected with new people from all over the country
•i co-taught 3 multi-day workshops in charleston
•i started a garden and it was actually successful
•i shot a book about the "secret life" of desserts
•my previously-shared photo studio became my own
•i got some pretty great new clients (like them, them, and them)
•i remembered who i am as a photographer and stopped comparing myself to others
•i took a trip with some of my favorite people to whidbey island
•we transformed our house (here, here, and here)
•i spent a week in vermont shooting apples for a book by this awesome guy
•i taught a 3-day workshop about my favorite topic
•i actually made something (2 things!) on my sewing machine
•i let go of some old baggage in my family
•i went prop-shopping in oregon, california, colorado, wisconsin, ohio and many places in between
•i took many hikes in beautiful places
•i helped my niece learn to read
•i learned that grains are not my friend
•i made christmas dinner for the first time ever (and it kinda rocked)
•i got to spend the holidays with my favorite people
•i spent a lot of great weekends in olympia, hanging out with this fabulous person
•i went antiquing, had sewing dates, took walks, took a class, and made pie with this amazing woman
•i remembered how much i value integrity
•i took a home creamery class with my friend....before she learned she has a dairy allergy
•i took many, many photos of dogs for this guy
•i spent a lot of time on my favorite island
•i played with wax
•i saw 5 of the books that i photographed hit the stores
•i remembered just how much i love my city
•i spent time with my enormous extended family in myrtle beach at thanksgiving
•i read a lot of great books
•i got an intern
•i fell more in love with my husband, family, and home than i ever thought possible

happy 2013 to you all.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

tickets are on sale now!

The 3-day/4-night Gulf Shores food photography workshop I am co-teaching with Helene Dujardin is on sale now!

Click HERE to get your ticket. Space is limited to 12 participants.

Hope to see you there!


Friday, December 7, 2012

food photography workshop & retreat in gulf shores, alabama


Helene and I have picked the dates for our next workshop and I am thrilled to announce it will be in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama on April 25-29, 2013!

Like our previous workshops, this multi-day food photography retreat will cover how to utilize natural light and tell a story through images, as well as composition, exposure, styling, and choosing props. Students will stay in a beautiful house across the street from the beach, and will have ample time to relax and enjoy their surroundings in addition to participating in the multiple photo shoots and assignments we have planned.

When: April 25-29, 2013
Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama
Fee: $1850 which includes-
4 nights accommodations (PLEASE NOTE that some rooms are shared)
•3 days of hands-on classes, photo shoots and assignments
•all meals, beverages, & snacks

For more info about the workshop, click HERE.

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, December 11th at 11am Eastern time. There are only 12 spots available. We hope to see you there!

To read about some of our past workshops, check out the following blogs written by previous attendees:

Annie's Eats
Savor Home Blog
Julie Le Clerc
Elle & James
Stacy Able Photography
Pink Parsley
Savory Nest
No. 8 Photography
Claire McCormack
Food. Life. Zen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


This time of year is always the same for me; I go more inward, I make plans, I journal, I reflect, I dream, I re-evaluate. I think about my personal life, as well as my business, and I decide what I want to change, how I want to evolve things, and what I want to keep the same. As a very head-strong Aries, I am always looking forward, thinking about what's next. It takes a very concerted effort to be in the NOW, but I try to do that, too.


In all my musings, I have been thinking a lot about how I want this space, this blog, to look. I always stop people when they refer to me as a blogger. I am not a blogger, but I have a blog. There is a difference. I started this blog when I was still shooting weddings, and it was basically a must for every wedding photographer to have a blog that showed their current work. It was just a smart business move. Then, the direction of my work changed, and the blog became a handy place to share some of the projects with which I became involved. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this type of work, I often can't share photos because of contractual agreements with my clients. In addition, I have found that somewhere along the way, I created some very limiting parameters in my head about what I should or shouldn't post on here, and those self-imposed "rules" are incredibly constricting. And, because of those rules, I am less and less inspired to come here and post.
I follow a very small number of blogs and the ones that most inspire me have nothing to do with food photography or recipes or any of that. The blogs that inspire me are more open-ended, less defined. They have great writing, art in all mediums, funny stories, and always honest words.

I am not too fond of writing so I don't envision a blog with more of my words, but I am motivated to shift this blog into something a little different than what it has been. As I write that, all of my inner voices get louder, reminding that I have always made this blog whatever I have wanted it to be-- sometimes very personal, sometimes all about business. So maybe the change will only be noticeable to me, and that's okay. I think the important thing is that I am deciding that there are some things that are changing for me-- about how I brand myself, about how I share who I am, and about what I want to share.

I am not a food blogger, I am not a writer, I am no longer a wedding photographer. I am a food photographer, but my passion definitely lies in telling stories more than just taking pretty photos in my studio. I want more of those stories here, on my blog. I want to share work stories, of course, but also personal stories, stories that involve collaborations with other artists, quiet stories, and moody stories. And, because I am a photographer, these stories will be primarily comprised of images which is, hopefully, why you come to this space in the first place. :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2013 farm to table workshop!

I am psyched to announce that the 2013 Farm to Table photography workshop date has been set!

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This past September's workshop was such a blast, I have been chomping at the bit to get next year's dates on the calendar. And now they are!

When: May 23-26, 2013

Where: Whidbey Island, WA

What: 3 days of photography, 2 (maybe 3) farm visits, a trip to the farmers market, delicious meals, lessons in natural light food photography and how to tell a story through images, ample time to play with lots of fun props, and last but not least, time to relax with like-minded people in a beautiful setting.

How much: $1350, which includes everything-- all workshop instruction, 3 nights accommodations here, (please note that rooms are SHARED), all meals, beverages, and snacks.

Click HERE to register.

Hope to see you there!!

UPDATE 11/30/12: Just booked one of the farms that will be participating...I am so happy to announce that we will be visiting and photographing The Little Brown Farm. And the best part? There will be baby goats at that time of year. BABY GOATS!!!! :)

UPDATE 3/15/13: The other farm we will be visiting is Willowood-- a gorgeous organic veggie farm located on Ebey's National Reserve. It's a stunning location with so many great photo opps.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a whole lotta apples

Life has recently sped up in a huge way and my previously mellow Fall has turned into an incredibly busy shooting season involving a lot of travel, some new book deals, and a bunch of new clients.
It's an exciting time for sure.

One of these new adventures involves apples. A LOT of apples. Bloomsbury is publishing a new book called Uncommon Apples by award-winning author, Rowan Jacobsen, and it's all about the diversity, history, and flavor profiles of over a hundred varieties of apples. 

To give you a better idea, here is an "official" description:

"Seven years ago, in his James Beard Award-winning classic A Geography of Oysters, Rowan Jacobsen changed the way America thought about oysters. Now, he does the same for our most iconic fruit. The apple is the most diverse food plant in the world. A century ago, 16,000 varieties existed in the United States alone. Today, thanks to industrial agriculture, only a handful appear in most grocery stores, but hundreds of the most interesting varieties still exist, and now, with a new apple renaissance under way, many are making a comeback. From the explosively crisp Pixie Crunch to the dark and moody Kingston Black, from the lychee-scented King of the Pippins to America’s oldest apple, the Roxbury Russet, and from the shy, delicate Maiden’s Blush to the massive Wolf River, Uncommon Apples introduces you to 120 of the most exotic, colorful, delicious, mysterious, and downright strange apples you will ever  meet. Some have played key roles in American history. Some have languished in obscurity for decades, then swept to national dominance, only to be knocked off by the new apple on the block. Some deliver flavors no Red Delicious ever dreamt of. And some are coming soon to a market near you with brand-new surprises up their sleeves. Uncommon Apples profiles the best and the brightest, the oddballs and the old veterans, and through their stories, tells the story of the apple in America. With their incredible diversity, apples once empowered Americans to make some of the finest wines, brandies, vinegars, desserts, and savory dishes in the world. They were a year-round well of creativity for farmers, home cooks, and chefs. Through its profiles, stunning photography, recipes, resource section, and explorations of the worlds of cider, apple breeding programs, and heirloom “apple detectives,” Uncommon Apples reveals a world every bit as magical today as it was two centuries ago."

As a photographer who loves shooting on location (and as someone who eats at least 2 apples per day) this project pretty much rocks the free world. 
So far, I have shot over 120 varieties of apples, various hard ciders, and 3 orchards-- one in Eastern Washington, one in Vermont (which, as you may remember, is one of my all-time favorite places in the world), and one in New Hampshire. And there is more to come! :)

I am amazed by the diversity I have encountered so far-- both in the apples themselves and in the landscapes in which they grow. I can't wait to see how this book continues to unfold in the year to come, (it's not out until 2014.)

Anyway, enough talk. 
Here's a little visual sneak peek...


Friday, September 28, 2012

the whidbey island farm to table workshop- a recap

Last weekend, I held my first multi-day Farm to Table food photography workshop on Whidbey Island.
While I teach day-long workshops regularly, and I have co-taught multi-day classes a number of times, this was the first one I've done on my own. And, for many reasons, this workshop holds an incredibly special place in my heart.

As I have mentioned time and again on this blog, Whidbey Island is one of Joe's and my favorite places in the world. We got married there 9 years ago and we make a regular point of visiting. We love the beaches, the tiny towns, all the wide open spaces. Our dog adores the off-leash beach in every season, and there is nothing more happy-making than watching her leap and play in the water.
So, needless to say, I was thrilled to find 2 Whidbey farms who were willing and excited to have visiting students photograph their land. I was also extremely happy to be able to hold the workshop on the very same property where Joe and I got married.

Over nine years later, it is even more beautiful now! See for yourself...


Below is the house we stayed in, the gardens, and the attached barn that served as our workshop space for the food-photography component.

There are tree-frogs that hang out all day in the dahlias! They were a big hit with everyone.

There were 10 students that signed up for the class. Amazingly, only one of them was from Washington, (and happens to be one of the owners of the fabulous Skagit River Ranch!) The other students came all the way from Canada, Taiwan, Colorado, California, Ohio, and Oregon.

I really cannot say enough good things about this group. They were AWESOME.
There was so much diversity, so many great conversations, so much laughing and collaborating and helping one another-- I could not have asked for anything better.

Also, I flew my brother in from Florida to manage the kitchen and prepare the meals alongside Joe. The two of them rocked it! This group was well-fed.

After weeks and weeks of beautiful sunny weather, our day for visiting the farms was rainy and foggy. While at first it was a bit daunting, it could not have worked out any better. The misty weather made for the most beautiful and moody photography.
On top of that, the farmers at both locations we visited were so gracious and welcoming. Thank you, Georgie, Loren, and Patti!

Here are some of my photos from Willowood....

And here are some from Quail's Run...


The next day, we headed off to the Bayview Farmers Market, where both Willowood and Quail's Run sell their veggies.

After 2 days of overcast weather, on the last morning we woke up to a gorgeous sunrise.
A perfect ending to the weekend.

A huge thank you to David Liao for taking this group photo.

In the car on the way to the ferry, my brother and I were talking about how ending the weekend felt similar to the ending of my wedding weekend years ago. At both events, there was such a sense of community and connection and it was a little sad to see it end. Overall, though, my overriding emotion is one of gratitude-- that I had this experience with this particular group of people.
I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I am in the planning stages for next year's Farm to Table workshop (which will probably be in May), and we'll definitely be returning to Whidbey.

Stay tuned for details.

UPDATE: The 2013 dates have been set! The workshop will be May 23-26, 2013. Go HERE to register.