New blog home! :: Seattle Food Photographer

Since the redesign of my website last year, I've been weighing the pros and cons on how to move forward with my blog.  

I don't blog often - mainly because I - a) don't have a lot of time these days (that's a good thing) and b) writing is not my forte.   But that's not to say that I wouldn't like to get better at it - there's so much to share!

In an effort to simplify my life and yours...I'm officially moving my blog space to my website! (that's where you are now!)  Yay! 

 

A few blog posts have successfully transferred their way onto this site, but if for some reason you'd like to check out the old digs, here's the link: http://charitylynnephoto.wordpress.com/ 

 

Thanks for looking!  

More to come soon, 

Charity

Art Culinaire :: Seattle Food Photographer

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

In the studio, pt 2 :: Seattle Food Photographer

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:

In the studio :: Seattle Food photographer

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.

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

Welcome to Oaxaca :: Seattle Food and Travel Photographer

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:

Culture, and well...culture!

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!

Update and Review on 'My Dream in Prints', etc...

Hello all - boy has it been awhile! If you couldn't tell, I've kept myself pretty busy since my return. Not a lot of time for blogging these days.

Photo projects, photo assignments, updating my website (well, that hasn't happened yet really, but it will soon!), and getting involved in some pretty cool Seattle organizations (more to come on that soon too)!

I wanted to update everyone on the final tally for the Make A Wish Foundation donation. A HUGE thank you and hug for everyone who was able to contribute, and raise a whooping $370 for a very special child in the Pacific Northwest! So exciting!

Okay, back to it! More soon - hopefully!

Take care, Charity

Best Restaurants in Paris 2009 :: Paris Magazine

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

Perspective :: Seattle Food and Travel Photographer

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!

A New Year :: Seattle Food and Travel Photographer

I made a conscious decision last year to make 2009 all about me.  I know it sounds selfish, but I feel it was the best choice I could have made at the time.  And honestly look at where I am today?  Had I not worked towards what I really wanted for myself, I am quite positive I would not be typing this and looking out the window at the Eiffel Tower all in the same instant. But, nice as it is, to be in the little world of "me, myself, and I", it's time to shake things up a bit.  Bring in some balance.

2010, for me, is all about giving back.

This last month, I participated in a portrait project called, Help Portrait.  Best to have a look at the site, but in a nutshell, it was inspired by a photographer named Jeremy Cowart, who felt that the world needed to smile more.

For one day, photographers from all over the world organized an event and shot portraits for people in need (of a smile, of some inspiration, of a new beginning...) asking for nothing in return (in fact, we were instructed to delete the images from our hard drives once the images were printed and given to the subjects).  I participated in the Paris community, and had such a wonderful time.  In a world so full of complications, it was nice to be reminded of the genuine human spirit.  It was something I knew I had to keep pursuing.

So, I begin this year with an idea, a project of sorts (the first of many, I hope).

I've never done this to such a capacity before, but I think it is about time that I have an art print sale.

*UPDATE* Cut off to order prints is February 22nd 2010!!! So please get your order in before that date.  Thanks! :)

I'm calling it "My Dream in Prints" - and all of the images available for purchase are from these last few months (aside from one, which I decided to include because it helped me get to Paris).   I can't believe I've managed to come up with a whole catalog!

Here's just a taste...

With each purchase, 25% of art print and postcard sales and 30% of canvas sales will go straight into the hands of the Make a Wish Foundation.

There are PLENTY of charities that I have my interest in working with, everywhere from the topic of breast cancer, humane societies, to art enriching programs (all of which will likely get my attention at some point this year and beyond).  But Make a Wish struck a chord in me when it comes to what I am doing here.  Without getting too sappy like some previous posts...(you probably already 'get' the story) it is a foundation that exists to make dreams come true.  Everyone deserves the experience that I have had - no matter what their dream is.

So, I am using the outcome of my dream to hopefully help fulfill someone else's dream.  Simple as that.

Here is a link to the catalog gallery.  The images can also be seen in 'full' scale at www.charitylynne.com, select 'client proofs', and the password is "dream". (image numbers for ordering purposes are at the top left corner).

At the bottom of this entry you will find the Price list and Order form in PDF format.  I tried to make the Order form as user-friendly as possible - you can fill it out on your computer (with Acrobat Reader), and if you click on my email address (see form), it will actually mail your completed form directly to me (I was impressed).

I encourage you to pass this around to your friends, tweet, blog, facebook, or good old-fashioned email.

Thank you so much for your continued support - it really has been very overwhelming!

Here's to a new decade - may it be full of love, laughter, and fulfilled dreams!

Thanks so much for looking.

*UPDATE* Cut off to order prints is February 22nd 2010!!! So please get your order in before that date.  Thanks! :)

Take care,

Charity

Pricing and Details

Order Form

Weihnachtsmärkte :: Seattle Food Photographer in Berlin

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!

Bits and Pieces :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris

Time is beginning to fly over here!  After this week, I'm going to be in Berlin for the Christmas holiday, back to Paris for New Years, and then off to Italy, London, and Amsterdam on the 12th, before I head back to the states. Looking back, it boggles my mind on how much you can fit into nearly 2 months.  This has been such an amazing trip, I can't believe all that I have done in my time here, and all that I still have planned to do before I leave - I'm truly blessed.

My hard drive is certainly feeling the weight of my adventures, LOTS of images to go through, LOTS of things to share.

I thought I would post a few of those images, giving you a glimpse of what I've been up to these past few months.

Bits and pieces of what I've seen in Paris:

itty-bitty, round, legumes :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris

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)

Angelina :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris

If you have been to Paris, it is likely you visited/experienced, Angelina. If you didn't, well, then you must book a flight back immediately.

Famous for their "De L'Afrique" Chocolat Chaud, they've been perfecting this wonderful cup of hot chocolate since 1903 - and boy, do they have it right!

Best.

And I mean, BEST.

...Hot Chocolate you will ever taste. (period)

This is both a blessing to find, and a curse...because now every other hot chocolate I try, tastes like sugar-water.

Another wonderful thing about Angelina - their pastries.

One in particular, that I was required to try: the Mont Blanc.

A meringue base, filled with whipped cream, and covered with chestnut paste.  Very unique, and not as sweet as you might think.

I wouldn't say it was the 'perfect' paring with my chocolat chaud, but it was certainly a treat!

I came home with the worst sugar headache EVER after all of that.

But I went back for more a week later.

Excuse #467... :: Seattle Food Photographer (back in the day)

...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.

Cranberries :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris (Thanksgiving Special)

Thanksgiving is slowly becoming one of my favorite holidays...next to Christmas and Easter (can't beat fresh Easter candy!) Over the years it has become a holiday where adventure, experimentation, and tradition comes together into one very large, over zealous meal.  My family doesn't serve your average green bean casserole, stove top stuffing, or cranberry jelly out of a can...we make chipotle apple soup, oyster stuffing, grapefruit-mint vinaigrette on a spinach salad...sometimes we'll even have themes, like last year we had a plethora of apples and mint in the garden, so we created a menu to compliment those flavors (ie, chipotle apple soup and grapefruit-mint vinaigrette).

One recipe that I found last year that I absolutely fell in love with was a Cranberry, Sour Cherry, and Grapefruit chutney from MarthaStewart.com.

I've never been a fan of cranberry sauce (too much sugar maybe?) - but make a chutney with cranberries and citrus, and I will swoon for days...or in this case, years.  Make that citrus, grapefruit, and I'll be your friend for life.  J'aime le pamplemousse!

Being in Paris this year, I didn't need to make much, in fact, I didn't have to make anything.  But I couldn't ignore the Thanksgiving buzz in the air, and I had to have this cranberry chutney, turkey or no turkey.

 

 

There is something about cranberries that makes me feel very 'girly' - they glitter like little jewels - makes my heart flutter!

And it's so satisfying to stir them in a warming pot - that hallow sound that they make when they clink together, it's like mixing a bowl full of gum balls.

 

Now, I'm not sure if cranberries are a common thing to find in Paris, my guess is that they are not.  It was something that I pondered while I was putting my grocery list together, and thought it best to google before I left and became frustrated when I couldn't find the main ingredient in my one simple craving.  And in my search, I found this store, Thanksgiving.  Well that's fitting...

It's an English grocery store, that carries all of those undeniable cravings from back home that you just can't find in your everyday French market.  Cream cheese, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Black beans, Tortillas, Chipotle/Jalapeno, American Oreos, Popcorn, and yes, Cranberries (whole, canned, or jellied).

Homesick no more...for just 3,50 euro, you too can feel the comforting pleasure of Kraft powered cheese...or a bowl of black beans.  An absurd price to pay in the states, but in France, priceless.

 

Back to the cranberry goodness...

 

 

You can't beat fresh, whole, cranberries.

Patrick Roger Chocolate :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris

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.

Montmartre (part deux) :: Seattle Food Photographer in Paris

So, I am very behind on my blogging timeline here. Because this next string of images is from almost two weeks ago - at the Butte Montmartre.

Montmartre, itself, is a great neighborhood that I recommend you visit if you are ever in Paris - full of old world charm, small shops, and classic cafe's (aside from the Starbucks of course).  There's the Red Light district (Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir...), the fabric district (I wish I knew how to sew, I would be in heaven), and even the cafe featured in "Amelie" (just looking on IMDB, I guess that is the neighborhood the whole story was based...like I said, great neighborhood).

So the "Butte Montmartre" is kind of the icing on the cake.

Montmartre is north, and is the highest point in Paris (to find out 'how high' and all the other technical details, go here).  So when you reach the top, or the "butte", you can see all of Paris.  Kind of like the Eiffel Tower, except free.

At the top, there is the Basilica Sacre Coeur, a Roman-Catholic church.

and then on down there are a multiple number of stairs to lead your way towards the city...

The most famous being a staircase called, The stairs of Rue Foyatier.

I did not climb these stairs, there have been enough stairs for me to climb since I've been here, and I've already lost a good pant size as it is...but it looks like a good trek - yes, a good trek indeed.  In fact, if you are unwilling to take the stairs they do have a solution - a gondola-like ride right next to these famous steps (I did not photograph that wonderful eye-sore).