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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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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As I had mentioned in my last blog entry… I was headed to Oaxaca, Mexico for two weeks in July.

Well, I’m back now, and I will say this – my experience was good, INTENSE, but good.

A group of us went on this delegation with an organization called, Witness for Peace, where we focused on the topic of migration.  A very deep and unmistakably raw point of interest that has so many layers it’s hard to piece them all together.  I am working on a more in-depth, long-winded post about the trip on my Sustainable Plate blog that I encourage you all to read (I hope to have it up in the next few days – it has been incredibly difficult to write).

But for now, I’ll go ahead and share some of my favorite images from the trip:

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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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Evening view from my room in Paris.

Morning view from my room in Seattle.

Well, I’ve returned to the states.

And with this return comes a lot of reflection, a lot of plans/ideas, and a lot of images.

I have plenty to share about my travels, so I’ll be working backwards for a little while.  Hopefully next week this blog will get a bit more exciting.

Until then, have a great weekend!

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There are nearly 60 Weihnachtsmarkte (Christmas Markets) in Berlin (according to VisitBerlin.de).  I was told that if I did anything while I was in Berlin during Christmas time, it was to visit the markets. Kind of hard not to with so many scattered about town…

I was able to catch about 4 or 5 of them before Christmas came and went, and it was such a nice way to take in the festivities while also taking in some important German culture (Christmas is a big deal over here).   Being about a quarter German myself, it was interesting to see a piece of where my family comes from.  I recognized a lot of the decorations and Christmas treats, as my Grandmother celebrates Christmas in a very German way…something I didn’t piece together until this week.

While browsing the market stands, it is almost *required that you have a mug of Glühwein warming one hand.  A candied, spiced, hot wine (usually spiked with amaretto/liquor or rum).  A tasty drink, however I would almost vote for less sweet and more spice.

Most markets have a souvenir mug that you can buy along with the drink, which could lead to a very interesting collection…I only left with one (and it’s not the one pictured).

There was a certain theme when it came to the food available at the markets, this guy making what looks to be a savory bread was a bit more unique than most.  I didn’t try the cheesy bread yumminess that he is preparing, but now I’m kinda wishing that I had…

What you do find a lot of at the markets are sweets! Cookies, candied nuts, candy apples, cotton candy, chocolate covered…everything, doughnuts, and sweet breads. (the list goes on)

These cookies (pictured below), I am told, are like ‘little’ love charms (with a message scrawled on the front; ex: “I love you”).  They hang off of a ribbon, because the tradition is that your loved one will buy the cookie for you, and you can wear it as a necklace while shopping the markets (I’m guessing this is really popular with the teenagers).

The most unusual attraction/market that I came across was, Wintertraum or “Winter Dream” – which certainly lived up to its name…it was one part Christmas mixed with one part amusement park.

I couldn’t imagine going on any of the rides, the wind chill factor alone would put a damper on the ‘fun’.  But it made for quite a spectacle on the East Berlin end, right off Alexanderplantz.

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday – however you celebrate it!

I’ve certainly had a very unique holiday experience here in Berlin, a Christmas memory I will not soon forget.

Cheers!

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