Archive for the ‘Food Styling’ Category

After having a lovely happy hour meal at Pesos Kitchen on lower Queen Anne, Janea and I waddled our little stuffed and tipsy behinds to Metropolitan market with the grand idea of buying ingredients to create fresh tequila bliss at home. All we needed were the limes! (the rest of the necessities were conveniently in our cupboard at home – including a choice of tequila)

Janea made the simple syrup (sugar and water), and I was in charge of squeezing the limes. Giada from the Food Network (love her!) taught me this trick where you roll the limes with some light force on the counter before cutting them open – I believe it is to help loosen them up a bit inside, to get the juices flowing – it worked pretty well. We only needed about a lime each for our drinks, and quite honestly, we had some ingredients left over…no complaints here, just means more for later 🙂


Now, in my humble opinion, the margarita is all about two ingredients: limes and salt. Tequila, yes…but if it is not tart and salty, then I’m not impressed.  I always ask for LOTS of salt when I order a margarita.




Quite refreshing on a warm summer evening in a west facing window apartment!  I used up the left over ingredients the next day, except that time it was enjoyed out of a mug…I hope that is not too weird.

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I was given a very unique and privileged opportunity earlier this week that I said ‘yes’ to without even an ounce of hesitation.

Keren Brown, creator of FoodPortunity, and known around the blogosphere as “FranticFoodie”, has out done herself yet again with a Food Photography Workshop in Seattle, called “FoodSnap!”.  It is the first of its kind in these parts, and I’m proud to say that I was asked to be a part of it.  I will be standing along side Lou Manna (man of the hour), Lara Ferroni, and Rina Jordan, in Kathryn Barnard’s studio!  It will be a true honor.

I can not wait to spend a day in the studio filled with food photographers and stylists, sharing our skills and techniques with one another!  What a treat!

Here is the Press Release:

Keren Brown Media and Foodista Present


SEATTLE, WA  (August 29, 2009) – Seattle’s first of it’s kind all-day workshop for food photography, titled FoodSnap! will take place September 18th at the historic Georgetown Ballroom (inside the former Rainier Brewery) at 5890 Airport Way S.

The event, organized by Keren Brown Media and Foodista.com, will feature New York food photographer Lou Manna, (LouTheMan.com), the Olympus Visionary and New York Times photojournalist, commercial photographer, educator and author of Digital Food Photography. Lou is an associate professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York and a consultant in the Food Studies Program at New York University. He also teaches digital food photography workshops in his studio, and accepts students for private, hands-on classes.

Lou will lead the workshop with the assistance of food photographer and blogger Lara Ferroni (platesandpacks.com) as well as Seattle’s top food photographers and stylists, Rina Jordan (rinajordanphotography.com), Charity Burggraaf (charitylynne.com )and others.

The location, known as Georgetown Studios, is an ideal venue for photography and is often rented for commercials and advertising shoots. It is owned by Kathryn Barnard (kathrynbarnardphoto.com), a professional photographer whose work has been featured in top publications such as Seattle Magazine, NW Home and Garden and Ladies Home Journal.

FoodSnap! is open to anyone interested in food photography. The target audience of FoodSnap! is food bloggers, food-related social media, food companies and food photographers. Cost is $159 which includes all fees for registration before September 4st. (Price will be $180 thereafter.) Attendance is limited to 75 participants.

Tickets can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets

The sponsors, whose products will be used in the displays to be photographed, include Emily’s Chocolates, Frost Doughnuts, Fooducopia, Wink Cupcakes Teaosophy and Red Ticking.

Kathy Casey will be serving a Foodsnap Gelee signature cocktail that will be used as photo inspiration as well.

The organizers will host a photography contest immediately after the event, providing participants with the incentive to upload pictures taken at the event and further enhancing the visibility of the photos and food products.

Please check website periodically for details on contest and where to upload pictures to be reviewed.

The Mayflower Park Hotel is offering a special rate for out-of-town participants, $139 plus tax for a classic guest room.

Media: To request an interview with Lou Manna, please email :kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

SCHEDULE for FoodSnap!

No Experience Required


5890 Airport Way S.

Hours: 10 am -5 pm


Lou Manna will review and critique each participant’s food blog or photographs. He will show his own blog, Digitalfoodphotos , and social network site DigitalFoodPhotography .

Following that he will use a Power Point presentation to provide an overview of the basics of digital food photography and tricks of the trade. He will review the different features found on most digital cameras, highlighting how they can be used correctly to photograph in any situation.

LUNCH BREAK- lunch will be provided


The afternoon will be dedicated to hands-on practice.

Groups of participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at food photography with the help of Lou Manna and Washington State’s own food photographers and stylists.

Lou will demonstrate how to work with each specific light source, how to use mirrors, diffusers and small white cards to create mouth-watering photographs with a simple point and shoot camera.

Participants will utilize new skills learned in the workshop to shoot each set up while Lou and his associates offer individual guidance to optimize each participant’s photographic techniques.

I’m not sure if tickets are still available – they went on sale yesterday afternoon, and from what I understand they were looking pretty slim this morning.  But if you are reading this, and are interested, go to http://foodista.com/foodsnap and see if you can snag a ticket before they are gone!

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My mother turned 50 last week.  And as a part of her birthday celebration, my mom’s best friend, Janea and I put together a menu fit for a queen.

It started with a molten chocolate cake, and quickly turned into a conversation about lobster tails, beets, and barbecued peaches.

To make matters far more decadent, we then became inspired after watching “Julie and Julia” to make Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (‘one of the best dishes concocted by man’, is I believe how she put it?!)

Our menu was mouth watering.

On a personal note, this wasn’t just a celebration about turning 50 (at least not in my eyes).  Even though turning the big 5-0 does generally call for a big to-do.

My mother was diagnosed with type 2B breast cancer back in November of last year.  She weathered through surgery, chemo therapy and radiation all within the last 10 months – and she is doing great now!  Her hair is growing back, her energy and sense of adventure is thriving (possibly more than it ever has been before – don’t even get me started on what she did with her friends on her birthday!), and there is a sense of strength within her that is hard to ignore – she was always a strong woman in my eyes, but now, I think she knows it too.

This wasn’t just a birthday celebration – this was a celebration of life, a celebration of sticking to your guns and staying strong through all of the battles and all of the hardships that life can throw our way, this was a celebration of my mom, Laurie Leigh Wilson-Smith.

So, nothing was too good for this dinner – we wanted epic – we wanted “my mouth is doing a happy dance x 10 100″.

The meuu for the evening:

Raw oyster shooter in a lemon cucumber cup with shallot and champagne-vinegar mignonette

Chili-lime crab salad with fresh garden grape tomatoes and avocado

Roasted rainbow beet salad with frisee, candied maracona almonds, and a hard nutty cheese (never can remember the name!) with a Dijon/vinegar dressing

Lobster tail bolognese pasta

Lobster tail with a decadent butter sauce (it has such a long list of ingredients, I won’t even try to remember it all – but it was gooooooood)

Boeuf Bourguignon

and as a palette cleanser aka taste explosion…

Date filled with chorizo wrapped in bacon accompanied with an oven broiled peach coated in cinnamon and rum sauce paired with fresh mint.

for dessert…

a dark chocolate raspberry fallen souffle‘.

And everything had a pairing of wine/champagne – it was fantastic!

and of course, I took a few pictures…




Janea went to Pike Place Market to retrieve the lobster tails, and asked the guy there “which one of these says ‘I LOVE YOU!’?”  This is the one he chose:






Oh yes, and it didn’t stop there.

For breakfast (!) we made smoked salmon deviled eggs (I will never use Mayonnaise again – this was a recipe from the Herbal Kitchen cookbook that called for sour cream and it was AMAZING!), raspberry and strawberry fruit cups with honey, cinnamon, and fresh mint, freshly peeled shrimp paired with lemon cucumbers, and a lovely vidalia onion tart served with Fran’s hot chocolate.  Once you get us started…we just can’t stop 🙂






It was a very nice weekend.  All about food, family, and celebration.

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It was pretty toasty around here last week – 100+ degrees doesn’t happen in Seattle very often.  I was really missing our crappy air conditioner in Springfield, as it would have made life a little more comfortable.

So, what better way to pass the time, then to photograph things that melt quickly?!…yeah, let’s just say, it was a good thing that the effect I was going for was a nice puddle of dessert…




This last one is in direct sunlight/100+ afternoon heat – it didn’t last long.


Needless to say, I inhaled these suckers as soon as I put my camera down…or at least, I had what was left of them.

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At this very moment, I’m registering myself into the International Culinary Photography Festival set to be held in Paris, November 6th-15th of this year.

It has me so nervous, I’ve been putting it off all month long!…that makes perfect sense right?!…just go with it.

The theme for the event is “seafood” – which is great, except that I needed to register with images of seafood before June 30th.  I don’t have any archived photos of seafood, and I am in the middle of the US, fast food nation really…fresh seafood is not in abundance here.

So, I had to get a little creative, and hope that this is just a place holder until I can get to the good stuff at Pike Place.

Here’s what I came up with (I know I can do better…)





Let me know what you think?  I may have a chance to redeem myself later on – any ideas of what I SHOULD shoot for Paris?! 🙂

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My BF is pretty amazing.  For many different reasons – one of which being that he loves to make things from scratch.  We have fresh homemade bread in the house nearly every week, and there’s always the chance of finding a new concoction for dinner every other night.

So it was no real surprise when he decided to make ice cream on a Friday afternoon.  We voted on mixed berry over lavender/coconut – although I might convince him to make the latter in a few weeks.  And we made sure to grab some raspberries at the store later that evening, to accompany his most recent creation.

The results were pretty heavenly!  This is not your “trying to watch your figure” ice cream, this is full fat – heavy cream kind of heavenly…with a few fresh berries to make you feel better about yourself.






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I had someone ask me not too long ago what has been the most interesting food item that I have shot so far in my career.  That’s one of those moments where my mind goes blank, and I suddenly forget what my middle name is.

But now I think I have my answer: cereal.

I’m not quite sure what it is about cereal that intrigues me… Maybe it’s the texture?… Perhaps it’s the countless possibilities it holds in composition and form?  Or it could just be fun to shoot, plain and simple.

Here are some behind the scenes images of a shoot I did this weekend in my daylight studio.



I have a new appreciation for Elmer’s glue, it looks more like milk than milk itself!  It’s a beautiful thing.

My cat however found out the hard way that “you don’t jump onto ‘mom’s’ set.”  Glue, water, and cereal went EVERYWHERE – he still has dried glue patches on his fur… no animals or dishes were harmed during the making of this photo shoot.

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I have yet to make that trip…you know the one where you backpack around Italy, stay in hostels, and have a diet of just nutella and toast?  Okay, maybe I’d include olives, pasta, and pizza in that diet plan…but you don’t need much else!

I’m a member of a photo group on Flickr called ‘Still Life with…:Remakes’ created by the lovely, Lara Ferroni.  I could go on and on about how lovely Lara is, she really is a superb role model in this food photography world – and she’s from Seattle!!! (about 10 extra brownie points!)

Our first challenge, nutella, and getting just the ‘right’ swirly spread action going.  Mad props to those that can get this right the first time!  But no complaints here, the more nutella that I had to spread, the more nutella I would get to eat! (just gearing up for my ‘trip’ – I’m ready for you Italy!)





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