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Archive for the ‘Food Styling’ Category

Charity_Burggraaf-Books-Seattle_Food_Photographer

Okay, guys – here’s the beginning on what’s new (or in some cases, old)!  I was about to make up a huge long post about everything, but instead you get a bunch of mini posts…to start:

Cookbooks!

To say the least, I’ve been busy in the studio this last year, shooting lots of amazing cookbook projects!  The first to release was ‘Plum‘ (back in April) and it has been quite the jumping off point.  With rave reviews from the likes of Oprah.com, Amazon.com, PBS.org, Eater.com, Shape and Laika magazine – just to name a few – it has been pretty surreal to be a part of it all.

Aphrodisiacs, with a Twist‘ will be out next week, and I’m super excited to see where Mark takes it!  He’s probably one of the most tenacious people that I’ve ever known – with a pretty cool book, to boot (if I do say so myself…).

August you will see the release of the ‘Gluten Free & Vegan Pie‘ book by Jennifer Katzinger, and in the fall the re-release of Sharon and Julie Kramis’ best-seller, ‘Cast Iron Skillet cookbook‘ will be out with an updated selection of images and recipes.

It has been an honor to work on all of these projects with amazing stylists, Julie Hopper and Kimberly Swedelius, and wonderful designers, Anna Goldstein and Stephanie Hansen, and it’s proving to be just the tip of the iceberg – as I have at least 3 other finished books up my sleeve, and hopefully many, many more to come.

~Charity

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I had the distinguished honor to work with the Art Culinaire team last fall, which in turn put my camera and I along side 3 very accomplished chefs.

The issue was just released earlier this month, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite photos from the assignment.

This will be a short photo story of these 3 unique individuals, and the diverse environments in which they work.

Blaine Wetzel; Willows Inn/Lummi Island, Wa:

Blaine in the kitchen.

Blaine foraging along the shores of Lummi Island.

Smoked Tequila Oysters (to die for!).

King crab and the beginning ‘snacks’.

Halibut “chop” and Grilled celery root w/ horseradish mousse and chestnuts.

The smokehouse.

Organic grains with pickled mushrooms, and Blaine in the kitchen (once again).

Jason Franey; Canlis/Seattle, Wa:

Jason and his crew, in the kitchen.

A breakfast ‘style’ dish “Smoked” salmon with maple syrup on the left, and a Froie gras and rabbit torchon with pine ash dish on the right.

Jason and his crew on the roof of Canlis overlooking South Lake Union.

Matt Dillon; Sitka + Spruce, Corson Building/Vashon Island, Wa:

Matt Dillon and his piggy friend.

Whole beets in spiced brown butter with pickled rose petals.

Matt in his home kitchen.

Smelt with grated beets.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~Charity

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I had planned to write this post about a week ago (maybe four five weeks now?), but it had proven to be more difficult to put into words than I had thought.  I’m not the best with words.  If you knew me personally you would probably chuckle and nod your head in agreement at that statement.

After going over and over what it is I want to say, I will simply say this:  I never thought I would have so much fun working with a crew of people in the studio.  Photography can be such a lonely art form, and Kimberly inspired a collaboration that felt more like a ‘dream team’ sport.  I’m pretty sure we could conquer the world if given the chance and proper tabletop.  I’ve learned a great deal from her over the past few months, and she has inspired me to grow in directions I didn’t know I could even sprout.

Movement is happening, people.  So are shadows.  It’s a beautiful thing.

glassware // studio view

You might remember in the last post an image of us building the shot?  Well, here’s the final:

cardamom // hibiscus cocktail

simple syrups

and…a new favorite:

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2012 has started off with a BANG!  I have found myself in a new ‘home’ also known to many as a studio.  It’s a cozy little place.  There’s a full kitchen, props galore, a coffee pot (all necessary staples to keep one sane and productive) and cocktails….lots and LOTS of cocktails.

Outside of the normal cocktail consumption on a shoot (kidding) the abundance of said alcoholic mixtures is because I am shooting a cocktail cookbook written by Mark Sexauer.  It has been a crazy fun experience thus far (just a few more days in the studio before it’s a wrap), and I’ve learned a TON about angles, glassware, ingredients, my tripod, and well – cocktails.

By the time we are finished, we (Mark, Kimberly Swedelius, and myself) will have created, styled, conceptualized, and lit close to 100 aphrodisiac delights.

And yes, we do drink them afterward.  😉

(or at least taste them.)

Here’s a little behind the scenes action that I have documented with my phone over the last few…well…months.

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Kimberly working her magic…

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Textures, textures, textures!

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The styling table…

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…and building the shot.

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More sneak peeks to come!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful winter season ~

C.

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Being in Paris, I feel like I’ve been living deep in the mind of a photographer…everything is new, interesting, or just simply asking to be photographed.  This of course can be experienced anywhere, even Seattle, but sometimes when things are seen on a daily basis as routine, their beauty can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

Because I have food on the photo-brain, naturally, I find grocery shopping to be a very important task.  Everything is scrutinized, examined, and asked the question “would I want to photograph you?”

p.s. yes, I am that strange girl in the market spending way too long looking at a single piece of fruit from different angles and heights…sorry.

Cut to my Parisian friend, Celine, introducing me to LaFayette Gourmet.  Think, Whole Foods ‘Paris’ – this was my kind of grocery store!  I love being surrounded by beautiful food.

Coincidentally, I was all out of food at home, so I decided I would do a little shopping.  Given the price tags (again, think Whole Foods) I had to make an agreement with myself – whatever I buy I have to make into a photo.

After taking into consideration colors, textures, shapes/lines…and what I actually wanted to eat…I finally had a basket full of mouth-watering things that I couldn’t touch until the sun was shining…oh, the woes of being a natural light photographer.

So, the first food to get the spotlight were these great little vegetables!

Again, this is something I could have easily found at the grocery or market in Seattle…but because I have photography on the brain 10-fold, somehow they finally grabbed my attention.

Afterwards, I cut these puppies up and roasted them with olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh basil leaves, a dash of salt, and some sharp cheese layered on top.  I love cooking veggies until they brown a bit along the edges – so good.  (by that point, I was so hungry…I did not photograph…sorry…next dish)

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Not to toot my own horn, but I am in lust with this photo right now…I’d say it makes me want to eat those chocolates right off the page, but I already have…

in the order of which they appear (l-r): dark chocolate/espresso, dark chocolate/basil-lemon, dark chocolate/saffron-almond, dark chocolate, dark chocolate/chestnut.

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Life has been pretty chaotic around these parts this last month or so…actually all summer really…but who’s taking score?…
I feel like I’ve been networking my little tail off, and meeting a LOT of great people in the process – it has been very enriching!
I almost feel weird leaving it all in the next two weeks…but I’m taking what I know and have learned, and I’m bringing it with me to Paris.  Yup, I’m going to Paris.

And, yes, you will get to hear all about my adventures, travels, and *fingers crossed* work, right here on this blog.
I give you permission to live vicariously through my “wide eyes”, in fact I encourage it!

But in an act of playing catch up – I present to you a few images that I took nearly a month ago now (back when Italian plums were just starting to fall off the trees from ripeness)
I worked with a gal named Sarah, who is looking to start her own business making yummy pastries and cookies. I was very happy to be there to taste test 🙂 I think she will do just fine.

Our theme for the shoot?…well, plums of course.

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And while we are on the subject of plums…and being really busy…

CharityPlums-11One of the people who has been keeping me busy this last month is, Lara Ferroni.  Man, can she crack the whip!…just kidding.

Quite the opposite, Lara is one of the most down-to-earth and fun people whom I’ve ever had the chance to work under.  She was so very generous with her time and equipment and insight and doughnuts…just everything. (not to mention her pup, Leo, such a teddy bear.  Leo is the best!)

I feel very honored that she took me under her wing like she did, and allowed me to be a part of her world for a better part of a month.  I learned so much, and even better yet, found out that I was already doing a lot of the things that she does on a regular basis.  It’s little things like that which help ease the mind, and make me feel as though “I’m going in the right direction”…

These last two plum images are from me playing in Lara’s studio, with her pretty 90mm tilt shift lens, and overwhelming supply of props(!)…I settled for simple, because that’s what I do.

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So, stay tuned – I may have one more post out before I head to ‘Paree’, and then it is all about the ‘little American girl in Paris’ for a few months.

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As you may remember, I was a part of a food photography workshop that went on this past Friday, called FoodSnap.

I had a great time hanging out with all of the contributing photographers – a wonderful bunch of people!  My favorite part of the whole event was not actually at the event, but the night before, wining and dining with the photo crew at Olivar.  Yummy food + a couple bottles of fine wine = happy food photographers.

Well, I didn’t take any photos of us enjoying ourselves at dinner, but I did take some shots during the event.  There were lots of great vendors, who donated their time and products for the event.  And we were lucky to have Tyler Rebman (a food/prop stylist) there to help design and set up the tables for the attendees to shoot and become inspired.

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Here is Tyler and Jonathan Schmidt (in the background) working on the Frost doughnut table.

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The space was beautiful, and a big hit – Georgetown Studios aka Kathryn Barnard‘s photo space.

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more Frost doughnuts, they were quite tasty…and they had some interesting flavors – I didn’t try these myself, but I heard that the Tang doughnut was good, as was the doughnut with bacon, yup, bacon.

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the Wink cupcakes were absolutely delightful!  To look at and to eat…

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Kathy Casey’s gelee’s were impressively flavorful and almost had me drunk with two!  Talk about jello shot cocktail – can’t go back to the old-school recipe after trying these.

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In Bloom Design from Bellingham, Wa arranged some lovely vases for us – they were great, very colorful and unique.

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Teaosophy and Emily’s Chocolates had a great selection of yumminess too!

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Red Ticking offered a different flare to the set ups – I ‘helped’ Tyler organize this table…and when I say ‘helped’, I mean that I started it…and realized that it was a mess, and asked for ‘help’ – Tyler made it pretty 🙂

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Thanks to everyone who participated!  It was a great exercise, and I hope those that attended now have a better grasp of what goes into food photography, and can achieve more successful pictures because of it!  Have fun!

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The story of a homemade huckleberry pie…

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The huckleberries were hand-picked by the baker herself.

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A letter “J” for the birthday girl – Janea – and a healthy sprinkle of sugar completes the crust.

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Nothing like a perfectly sweet/perfectly tart huckleberry pie with a flaky/buttery crust.
I normally need a heaping scoop of ice cream to go with a piece of pie, but this was perfect just by itself.

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…those last two bites were gone soon after that picture was taken.

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Yesterday afternoon, Janea’s sister Erinn, whom is visiting from Eastern Oregon, made a lovely huckleberry pie from scratch for Janea’s birthday (which was also yesterday). She was gracious enough to let me document her as she baked, which I’ll hopefully get to post about here soon. But for now, I’m going to show you what we made with the left over scraps of the pie crust.
There was just enough for something small and sweet, and that is when Janea and I remembered that we had a bag full of fresh figs in the fridge…that were quickly becoming less and less fresh as the days pass (the green ones especially).
So, we went with it. We got out two little ramekins to mold the pie crust into, and filled them to the brim with figs cut in half.

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We added some yummy raw chestnut honey from Spain to the figs, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar – just to see.

And plopped them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350F.

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et voila’…

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It was a fairly successful experiment…it was kind of like eating an oversized fig newton.

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