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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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One more Top 10 list for you to soak in… :: Seattle Food and Travel Photographer

Wow! What a whirlwind of a year?!  Plenty to catch you up on, as it seems I never took the time to sit and write in 2011 – so I thought, why not pick 10 things that happened and rank them accordingly?  Play a fun little game of catch up!?…I don’t blame you if you skim through the whole thing…it’s a doozy!

Here you have it:

“My Top 10 Favorite Moments of 2011”

#10:  Isaac Marion; Seattle-based Author of “Warm Bodies”  aka  …a little something different.

Over this past year I’ve worked on a handful of assignments for an iPad publication called, The Daily, they’ve sent me on some great adventures, but this one was pretty unique from what I’ve grown accustomed to shoot.  Strictly a portrait session, I was assigned to capture author, Isaac Marion and the RV that he called home – it was a fun/interesting/enlightening change of pace.  I’m sure it helped that Isaac was an easygoing gentleman and Baleen* (his RV) was a bad-ass homestead; making the shoot remarkably painless.  You should check out his book, “Warm Bodies”, which has impressively been made into a film (coming to theaters summer of 2012).

{*Note: the link attached to Baleen is a really silly video that I helped Isaac make about his blue whale of a home.  – updated note – he no longer resides in Baleen.}

#9:  Doe Bay Fest; music, nature…aka Seattle migrates to an island.

Otter Cove :: Doe Bay Resort

I was able to take a little time off this summer, and brought my camera along, of course.  Two of those adventures are included in my Top 10 list because they brought inspiration in ways that can only be found when ‘playing’.  Making #9 is the 4th annual music festival at the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island – the music festival to forever ruin all other music festival experiences.  Combine a line-up of brilliant local musicians, a Pacific Northwest summer on the most beautiful San Juan Island (in my humble opinion), and a crowd of 1000 Seattle artists (musicians, photographers, writers…baristas)…you get a community setting that is nearly too good to be a reality.  Camping, bonfires, music floating into the air during the wee hours of the morning, beautiful vegetarian meals at the resort’s cafe, a community vegetable garden, and everyone taking the time to smile and say ‘hello’…it was beautiful.  From start to finish it was a long weekend to cherish – even while we waited for the ferry to take us home, Sam Anderson (the cellist from Hey Marseilles) played Bach on his cello, the notes wafting into the sea as only a few of us sat close enough to listen.  There must be some way that I can live in a world like that always…

Kelli Schaefer & friends finish out her outstanding set.

Misty morning on Otter Cove

#8:  Local Faire; mini adventures…aka seeing my city in new ways.

The Sitting Room :: Monorail & EMP

It tends to go without saying that you often overlook the things that surround you on a daily basis, so it was an interesting challenge to play the role of ‘Seattle tourist’ on a number of occasions this year.  I’m still baffled by the number of ferry rides that I’ve taken in the last 12 months!? (silly, but true.)

Recently I heard the line “it’s like having a key to the city” and that is exactly what having a camera/assignment is like.  I felt honored to be given the key so many times in 2011.

Top Pot doughnuts

The Coterie Room

Sitka & Spruce + Calf & Kid cheese class

Beecher’s cheese

Victrola Coffee Roasters


#7:  Port Townsend; mini escape…aka the first time I seriously considered buying a house.

I have no interest in settling down anytime soon, but Port Townsend is tempting – has been for a while now.  I took a weekend trip there with my dear friend, Stephanie, and we found that we have a mutual daydream to one day move to this quiet little town by the bay.  Upon arriving we were greeted by a busking bluegrass band alongside people dancing on the sidewalk to their music, we sat down to a happy hour of wine and freshly shucked oysters harvested that morning, took in the local coffee shops, attended a jazz festival, visited their lovely co-op, and of course strolled the beautiful coastline.  We spotted a few homes for sale while we were driving around and tried to reason with ourselves why buying a house right now would not be a good idea.

#6:  An Incredible Feast; Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance…aka ‘hanging out with the cool kids’

I was asked to photograph the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance’s annual event/fundraiser this year – which meant I got to hang out with all the cool kids in the Seattle food community.  Farmers, fisherman, chefs, and those that dedicate their time/energy to the local bounty that makes up our neighborhood markets – it was a fun night, a delicious meal, and a group of people who I’m honored to be acquainted with.

Each table was represented by a farm and a celebrity chef that would incorporate the local faire onto the tasting plates.

For the first time the event was held at Swanson’s Nursery – it was pretty much perfect.

#5:  MacaronsLilli-Pilli…aka the pretty little treats return.

Of all the macarons that I’ve experienced since I’ve been home from Paris, Rhiannon Devine’s have made me the most homesick for my little apartment in the 20th arr.  She takes great care in her technique, and I absolutely love how she experiments with flavors and color.  They are the perfect little treat!  I met her while working at the Bellevue Farmers Market, and was in awe of her dedication to keeping her ingredients seasonal, local, fair trade, and as best she can – organic.  I was thrilled when she asked me to come into her kitchen and document her process, we even had the chance to re-vamp her website – www.lilli-pilli.com.  At just a year old, Lilli-Pilli has a bright future up ahead.  I’m so excited to see what 2012 has in store for her and her magnificent little treats!

#4:  Covers; Edible Seattle and then some…aka surreal moments in the grocery store and people recognizing me on airplanes.

This wasn’t my first image to make it on a cover of a magazine, but something about this instance was slightly more significant than others.  Perhaps it was because it was being presented among my Seattle peers, or maybe it was because I had no clue I was shooting for the cover…true story.  Or perhaps it was my run in at the grocery store that made this cover experience so strangely unique?  It’s not everyday that when I buy a magazine with my groceries the gal ringing me up stops, looks at the magazine cover, and says “Isn’t this cover just so great!? My co-workers and I have just been going crazy over how beautiful it is!”…at which point I awkwardly laugh and say, “oh wow, really? I shot that.  Thanks!?”.  This then proceeded into a moment I didn’t think you could experience as a food photographer – her announcing to everyone around her that I took the photo, trying to find her co-worker that she said, “would love to meet you”, announcing that she was ‘star-struck’…fumbling…it was a moment.  It was a good moment.  A moment that you never expect to happen, and a feeling that once it’s over you know you need to tuck it into your ‘once in a lifetime’ pocket.

Right up there with the feature I contributed to Delta Sky Magazine on the San Juan Islands.  I have had spreads before, but never one that included a contributor photo and info section at the beginning of the magazine.  Nothing is more surreal than having a passing acquaintance approach me and say ‘Hey! I was on a plane coming back from China and I saw your picture and realized – wait!? I know that girl!?’

Neat.

#3:  Farms; Farms, Farms, Farms…aka FARMS! Yay!

It’s no secret my love of farms, especially cheese farms.  Having worked with Culture Magazine for so many years, I feel like I’m almost obligated to say that?!  Joking aside, I do find myself at a lot of farms that produce cheese, to the point where my friends call me the ‘cheese photographer’.  I’m okay with that.  This year, I’ve managed to visit a handful of farms (cheese or no cheese), and it truly is a pleasure to meet the farm crew, roll in the dirt with the animals, and take in the richness of life that encompasses the farmland.  The photos you see here are of Yarmuth Farm, a goat farm in Darrington, Washington.  Owned by Louise Yarmuth and her husband, they (with the help of a dedicated farm staff) raise, milk, and produce a delectable selection of cheeses that are sold in shops like, the Calf and Kid in Melrose Market.  I went up to visit Yarmuth Farm with Sheri LeVigne, the owner of Calf and Kid, while working on her 2012 Cheese Calendar. (Yeah…this is why I’m called the ‘cheese photographer’).  We had a grand time taking a tour of the farm, seeing the up-coming cheese experiments in the cellar, and getting chewed on by goats.

#2:  The Willows InnChef Blaine Wetzel…aka best culinary team around? (quite possibly)

A bit of a ‘sneak peek’ here (Thank you, Franz for the permission to share!) – I just recently finished a Seattle feature for the industry magazine, Art Culinaire, (due to come out this February) that literally had me pinching myself, I couldn’t believe the beauty of the experience.  There’s plenty to be said about the 3 chefs that I had the honor to photograph, all were a pleasure to work with, all made beautiful and delicious dishes…but Chef Blaine Wetzel and his crew at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island stood out.  Never had I witnessed so many ingredients being foraged to make the meals at a restaurant.  The team would head out with baskets under their arms making a trip to the beach or to the rose garden to gather what they needed for prep that evening.  Humble to a fault, Blaine and his team are some of the most easy-going, down to earth guys I’ve ever worked alongside.  With the inside jokes, weekly culinary experiments, and a mutual respect all around, it made me want to move in and find my niche within the crew (I can wash dishes with the best of ’em!).  At the end of the shoot, Blaine made a point to invite us out for an oyster bake on the beach – moon hanging low in the sky, bon fire at our feet, stories being passed across the flames, and the Willows Inn culinary team making a meal out of  a six-pack of beer and 120 oysters paired with tequila sauce…Everyone’s day should end like that.

#1:  The San Juan Islands; Delta Sky Magazine…aka the beginning of something great.

When coming up with this list there was no doubt in my mind what was going to be #1.  Back in May, I went on a 3-day/3-night adventure island hopping the San Juans, ‘capturing the magic’ for Delta Sky Magazine…welcome to this little photographer’s dream come true.  I was given the liberty to scout what I thought best described the feeling of the Islands, and was given access to some of the top destinations on Orcas and San Juan Island. (thanks, camera.)  I got to tromp through farms, chase orca whales, hang with a harbor seal named ‘Popey’, say ‘hello’ to a camel and a herd of llamas, comb through a low tide with a young family, photograph and eat amazing food, and stay at two of the most distinctly charming Inns on the Islands (Turtleback Farm Inn on Orcas and The Island Inn 123 West on San Juan).  If there was any one thing that I could be assigned to do for the rest of my photo career…this would be it.  Send me out to ‘find the magic.’

It has been a tremendous year!  Thanks to all who contributed to my many adventures in 2011 – without you, my camera and I are pretty insignificant.

And if you have read this far, well then, you’re probably related to me. (Much love.)

Cheers to a new and highly anticipated year – 2012!

Take care,
Charity

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I realized this morning that I had all sorts of things I could update you all on!

So much in fact, that I will probably have to break it up a bit.  Yay, blog posts!

First things first – I have to send a little love to the wonderful people at Culture Magazine!  I absolutely LOVE shooting for them, and I’m blessed that there is so much exciting cheese stuff happening in the Seattle area to have the chance to work with them so often.

Their summer issue is out right now, and they have a whole feature about places to go in Seattle for the cheese connoisseur.

I had the pleasure of photographing some great cheesemongers, chefs, and even a goat farmer/activist!…love my job!

You will have to pick up the latest issue to get the full scoop, but here are some of my favorite shots from the assignment (some you won’t find in the magazine).

John Sundstrom working in his kitchen at Lark on Capitol Hill.

…and some of the dishes he created for me (purple potato and smoked trout on the right; prosciutto, young truffled peaches, and sharp cheese on the left.)

The pizza oven at Delancey in Ballard

…finishing touches of the much-sought-after Delancey pizza pie.

Poco Wine Bar on Capitol Hill and Delancey in Ballard

A baby goat, barely 24hrs old – SO lovable!

It may have thrown you off a bit when I included the term ‘goat activist’, but that is kind of what Jennie Grant is – she is the creator of an organization called, The Goat Justice League.  Her and other goat-loving Seattle residents, work to make it legal to own goats within the city limits of Seattle.  So, like chickens and bees, you can also have your very own ‘herd’ of goats in your yard!  It is all about sustainability, and the love of animals.

With her goat, Snowflake, she is able to produce milk and cheese for her family and friends.  I tried the milk – it was quite delicious!

I will have a feature in Culture’s up-coming Autumn issue too, which I am working on this month – I can’t wait to share those images with you in the fall!

And speaking of culture, in the non-cheese sense – I will be throwing myself into some culture next month when I travel to Oaxaca, Mexico for two weeks!  I’m joining Witness for Peace, an organization working to support and sustain local economies and social justice in Latin America and the Caribbean.  A group of us will be going on a delegation to learn from local small-scale farmers and activists about the roots of migration and how the present free trade policy affects their economy – advocating for fair trade and human rights.  Not only am I excited to learn more about these issues, but I’m excited to have the opportunity to document the experience and share it with all of you!  This trip is a volunteer effort, and is certainly not a vacation – so raising funds is necessary to make it a success!  If you are interested in supporting me, my photography, and the work of Witness for Peace, I would appreciate any and all contributions!  You can pledge your support here, and please stick around for photos as I share with you a piece of Mexico in months to come!

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Let me just start this blog post by saying, Paris was good to me.

Really, really, really good to me.

It’s not very often that you can go into a foreign country, (let’s be honest) not knowing the language, with little to no contacts, with just 3 months to spare, and actually make something of yourself.

I managed to do just that.

Call it luck, call it happenstance, call it the place where I’m meant to be…it. was. pure. bliss.

The sequence of events, from one point to another while living in Paris was so fluid.  I almost can’t explain to you why or how, but I can certainly show you some of what I did.

About two weeks in to my stay in Paris, I got a call from Marie Puleo of Paris Magazine (a new Anglo magazine based in Paris) asking if I would be interested in shooting their January feature about the “Best Restaurants in Paris of 2009″…are you kidding me?…my assignment, to photograph chefs and restaurants (some of which have a wait list months long)…someone pinch me!

It. was. fabulous.

And now that the issue is out on Paris newsstands, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite shots from the assignment.

Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie

5 rue du Nil, 75002

M: Sentier

Caffé dei Cioppi

159 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 75011

M: Faidherbe-Chaligny

Owner/Chef Stéphane Delleré of La Cave Beauvau

4 rue des Saussaies, 75008

M: Saint Augustin

Chef Yariv Berrebi of KGB

25 rue des Grande Augustine, 75006

M: Saint Michel

Chef Aymeric Kraml of L’Epigramme and Chef Daniel Rose of La Table 28

Chef Daniel Rose prepping his famous rotisserie meal.

La Table 28

28 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 75009

M: Anvers

Le Meurice

228 rue de Rivoli, 75001

M: Concorde

Au Boeuf Couronné

188 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019

M: Ourcq

Husband and Wife team, Chi Wah Chan and Adeline Grattard of Yam’Tcha

4 rue Sauval, 75001

M: Louvre

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…why I don’t delete things off my hard drive (hardly ever).

I know, it is something that I need to work on, but I have a really hard time deleting even the most ‘blurry’, ‘blinking’, or ‘hard-to-distinguish-what-it-even-is’ photos…most of the time, they are in fact, just taking up space.  And I even had the grand idea of just going into Lightroom, selecting every image that has never seen a flag, star, or color code in its little existence, and pressing the delete key – and I’m not talking about the “remove from Lightroom” option.

But while I was in search for a particular food image on my hard drive, hoping that maybe just maybe I was crafty enough to include it on my travel drive, I came across an image I had never given a second glance…

(the one on the left)

It was one of the very first images taken during the photo shoot (isn’t that always the way?), so I’m sure I just dismissed it as a test shot.

But seeing it now, it really got me inspired.

So I went through a few more of the images, to see what else I’d been missing.

 

Now, you’re probably wondering – wait, what’s with the ballerina?!…

Yeah, I know – “Stick with food Charity”…this was a shoot I did years ago, back in school, in fact.

Pictured is Trista Kite, a (retired) ballerina – now dance instructor in the Seattle area.

 

Here are a two that made the cut, even during the first round of editing, still favorites of mine.

 

Why I had these images on my travel drive and not the food image I was searching for, I don’t know…just fate, I guess.

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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.

plum_cake

plum_pie_CharityLynnePhotography

pie_slice

tarts

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.

CharityPlums-7

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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I was given a wonderful opportunity last June by the creative director of Culture Magazine, to shoot their centerfold cheese of the season called, Ewe Bloom.  The issue just came out this month, and I thought I would share a few extra images from the shoot, and tell you a little about my experience.  The detailed story about the cheese, written by Matthew Rubiner, will have to be read when you pick up your own copy of the magazine – found at most Barnes & Noble bookstores and a few fine cheese shops in the Seattle area.

I was still in Illinois at the time, and I was to shoot at two locations – Prairie Fruit Farm and Creamery, in Champaign, IL (which is where the cheese is made and based out of) about 80mi outside of Springfield, and a sheep farm in Arthur, IL, home of the most populated Amish community in Illinois (which is where the milk for the cheese comes from) about 63mi outside of Springfield.
amish

Arthur, IL is absolutely fascinating!  There are yield signs for horse-drawn carriages (and yes, horse-drawn carriages), old men with long beards and suspenders riding bikes, every person I talked to was very soft spoken and very helpful, all of the simplicities were amazing – the simple handmade clothes, hats and bonnets, all the way down to their farming equipment – most of which were horse-drawn as well.

The interesting challenge about photographing an assignment in an Amish community, is that you are not allowed to photograph the people (their faces must not be recognizable).  It is against their rules.  Luckily, I was there to document the sheep, the farm, and one of the employees of Prairie Farm (who is not Amish) – but I certainly got a few nervous looks.  The idea of photographing them though, became a very interesting thing to contemplate.  I drove home that evening trying to come up with book ideas on how to photograph the Amish in a way that was not against the rules, yet still told their story.  I have a few ideas bouncing around, that I might pursue later on.  I think it could be a really beautiful piece.  I was very moved by their lifestyle – it’s quiet breathtaking.

sheepfarm

Filling up on sheep’s milk.

milk

lamb

The next day, I made my way to Prairie Fruit Farm and Creamery.  A small farm on the outskirts of downtown Champaign, where they grow fruit of all kinds (on trees and bushes), harvest honey, and have goats-o-plenty.  It is owned by a lovely husband/wife team – Wes and Leslie – who both have a part in making the cheeses that they produce.  If you are ever in the Champaign area you should visit them at the local farmers market, or better yet, join them for one of their ‘dinners on the farm‘ – where you can enjoy all of the luscious local treats in a 4-5 course meal created by their chef Alisa DeMarco (yep, they have a certified kitchen too).

details

cheese_making

Who knew making cheese was such a long process?!…okay, probably everyone did.  I honestly didn’t know it would take so long.  The image above of Wes pouring the milk into the cauldron was at 7am, the image of Leslie below cutting the curds was taken at around 2:30pm…and that is just the start.  They then have to pour the curds into molding containers, let them rest, and then flip them a handful of times (it helps them drain all the excess fluid as the cheese curds combine together).  And even after that, they are put in a small, temperature regulated room where they age to perfection…I did not wait that long…I’m pretty sure I’d still be there if I did that 🙂

curd

cheese_resting

What was fun about the waiting process – was what we got to do while we waited – test cheese.  There was a “dinner at the farm” meal that coming weekend, and they were hoping to premiere some new kinds of cheeses that they had been experimenting with.  Two of which had a paprika dusting on top, and one was a raw sheep’s milk – Leslie was cooing over that one.  They were all quite tasty.  I love my job!

cheese_sampling

well…okay, we didn’t test cheese during the ENTIRE waiting process.  I had plenty of time to take in all of the sites and sounds of the farm…and sun (there was actually an extreme weather warning that day, due to the heat…and I didn’t put on sunscreen that morning – I’ll just leave it at that).  They had two sweet little kitties on the farm, this little guy was a stray that adopted them a while back – very sweet, and very blind.

kittycat

and of course the goats – you can’t deny the goats!  They were very hot that day, and they let you know all about it.

goat

goats

wagon

flower

and behold! The final product – Ewe Bloom cheese, herb and original.

You can actually become apart of Culture’s centerfold cheese club, and try some yourself!

cheese

Have a look at the new Culture Magazine Autumn issue, it’s pretty fantastic! – even one of my all time favorite food photographers, Matt Armendariz, photographed a piece for the issue…I’m honored to be in the same pages as his work.

windmill

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