Thursday, August 7, 2008

dream job, dream client

My friends are probably going to kill me because instead of telling them my very exciting news in person or on the phone or even in an email, I am announcing it here, on my blog, for all to read about at the same time.

Oh well.
Things are busy these days. I am sure my friends will understand. :)

Anyway! Remember that post back in June? The one where I said I was up for a dream photo job?
Yes, well, I am happy to say that it has become a reality.
I will be doing the photography for an AWESOME book, by an amazing person.

Let me explain....

Once upon a time, there was a man named Kurt Timmermeister.

Way back in the day, Kurt owned a lovely little establishment called Cafe Septieme. It originally opened in Belltown and was so successful that it changed location and lived on Broadway for many years to come, (for those of you have been there, remember the huge bowls of cafe au lait and the deep red walls???)

Kurt was passionate about his food, his customers, and his close proximity to both.
But after running his restaurant for 18 years, he decided to sell it in 2004 and spend his time on his land on Vashon Island, which he had purchased years before.
Kurt wanted to continue to make great food, but he wanted to be self-sufficient. He wanted to close the gap between the grower and the consumer, and make amazing food for himself and the people he cared about.

So he learned how to farm, and Kurtwood Farms was born.

Not only is Kurtwood Farms one of the few producers of Grade A Raw Dairy in Washington state, but it is the home to the famous-among-foodies, Sunday Night Suppers.
Every Sunday night, 20 lucky people gather around a table in the Cookhouse, (a fantastic, European-style open kitchen/dining area on the farm) to share an incredible meal.
With the exception of wine, coffee, flour, sugar, salt and pepper, every thing prepared for the dinner comes from Kurt's farm: the meat, the veggies, the cheese, the butter...all of it, except for those few things I mentioned. So, since things like olives and citrus don't grow in our climate, olive oil and lemons are absent from the kitchen. Instead, Kurt has an apple orchard and makes apple cider vinegar to use when something acidic is needed for cooking.

So, to make a long story longer, Kurt wrote a book proposal which outlined how he moved from being an urban restauranteur to a sustainable farmer. Just one week after submitting it to one of the biggest publishing houses in New York City, Kurt was offered a book deal.
So, now, in addition to being a very busy farmer, and over seeing his Sunday Suppers, Kurt is writing a manuscript that needs to be completed by spring of next year.

And I am doing the photography: documentary-style B&W shots for the book, and tons more color photos that will go on a blog about the book.


Not only do I LOVE going out to the farm and photographing the daily tasks and rituals that keep it running, but I wholeheartedly support and believe in what Kurt is doing.
He is so humble and so kind, and he isn't afraid of asking questions or admitting he is still learning about how to do what he does. I have so much respect for him.

This article succinctly describes the experience of visiting Kurt's farm.

And then there's the food. Oh, the food.
There is a reason why it's nearly impossible to get a seat at Kurt's table. The food is just THAT good.

Anyway, enough rambling. You get the point.
Since I will be spending quite a lot of time at the farm over the next several months, I will keep you posted with my progress, (or maybe just send you over to the book blog, once it's up and running.)

Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent emails and voiced their support for the new direction my business is taking.
I appreciate it more than you know.



Stephanie Cristalli said...

Hi Clare...I am so excited for you! It is great to see you moving forward with your vision. I can't wait to see more pics....they are beautiful!

Nikki said...

OMG, Clare! That's fantastic! Congratulations! And, yes, give yourself 2 slaps on the wrists for not calling first :)

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! You deserve it!

Smoochie, Whoochies,


Anonymous said...

I’m thrilled for you and very intrigued.

Anonymous said...

love the food shots sooo much
Yay - it sounds like you all are totally excited!
That cafe was actually the coolest in Seattle wasn't it...

Anonymous said...

Congrats kiddo! We're thrilled for you, how exciting!


Anonymous said...

awesome! congratulations! looks like an AMAZING project!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I can't wait to see all the photos and the book! Sounds scrumptious. And I love the food photos! :-)

But, um, you send me a link to your blog and no photos of Adela?? Wha?? She is like the cutest kid ever! Come on! ;-)

Have a great weekend!
Elisabeth, Russ and Adela

Anonymous said...

This is great stuff! I wish farmers in New York would take up some of his ideas. I'm stunned by your photos too. I will be checking in.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing! - I want to eat there!

Anonymous said...

I just spent the last hour at work checking out the pics on your blog! hehe -I LOVE the pics and the stories behind them. You do awesome work!!!! Congrats on your new project with Kurtwood Farms. I am so jealous- it sounds like lots of fun!

Anonymous said...

congrats my friend--- you deserve all of this and more!!!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures! Great story!

Congratulations! You are such a wonderfully talented artist!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Those Farm pictures are great!

Anonymous said...

That is SO cool - what an amazing place! I think we are really lucky to have you photograph our wedding before your career goes off in new directions.....congratulations!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing – I love the pics on your blog and what an incredible direction your career has taken you. On a Vashon Island farm to photograph a farmer for his new book…amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare,

If it's Ok with you, I'd like to use your recent blog & dream job as inspiration to my photo class as they prepare for their midterm. Is that OK?

Anonymous said...

Looks great!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you!! I have dear friends who have gone there several times and I can't wait to go! One of my bridesmaids Michelle lives right behind him on the island too!!! So cool!

I love you!!! xoxo Di

Anonymous said...

Clare, these photos, like so many of your photos, make me want to be part of it all, if not in Vashon then wherever else it is happening. Your photos bring me into the place your are photographing, like reading a well-written book. What a gift you have. I am in awe of Kurt's project and so happy for you that you are part of it. Congratulations! Lots of love.
Joan Leonard

Anonymous said...

I am always in awe of your work and thoroughly enjoyed reading about what you've been up to. And congratulations on the book. The photos that you've done so far are absolutely stunning.

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC NEWS!! These photos are really yummy...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations about the book - that's great!
James is a hardcore foodie, and while we haven't been to the vashon dinners, lots of his hardcore foodie friends have ..... and they absolutely raved about them.
That sounds like such an exciting project for you to collaborate on, and your blogged photos are great. How on earth do you make a cow look so good?

Shawna said...

Congratulations Clare! What an exciting project. I am excited to see the end results!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh Clare that is so awesome! I am so happy for you. Can't wait to see the progress of your documentation.

Anonymous said...

This really is a dream come true. To have a vision, enjoy the client, work with a creative team, have the ability to be in or outside inspired by weather, light, daily activity, and on a farm no less! Wonderful that these jobs even exist anymore. Congratulations on this project and on the wonderful images so far.