Monatsarchive: December 2012
It’s been a long time coming and took a little bit of juggling and re-adjusting positions and schedules but my family is here. My parents, my brother, his wife and my two nieces arrived late Thursday night after a long day of traveling. It’s been nothing but laughter and catching up since then. And it feels good. Real good.. We get to spend a Christmas and New Year’s Eve together. The first time in many many years.
There was no Birmingham in our future when we started planning this family vacation last year. There was no new position in my photography career, no new house, no old house full of moving boxes. No being long distance relationship for me and Bill thrown in the mix. Needless to say, it has taking everyone a lot of giving in, giving up, selflessness to make it happen and have everyone feel good.
That’s my family. Tight. Together. Tighter after the last year mourning so many close loved ones in short periods of time. Tragedy struck us hard many times over the years. But we came out stronger. We came out better and with such an expanded amount of love and "do – live – go" attitude. I know they give me strength.
I had my "this is so worth it" moment this morning when Bill and I took the dogs for a jog on the beach. After the horrendous week that we all felt as a nation and community, sharing the sorrows of so may families, I could not wait to hug mine. My nieces, so beautiful, so young and innocent. Their parents, their fears as caretakers and educators. My parents, for the many many good things and tough lessons they have brought us over the years.
The next few days will be all about cooking together for Christmas, hanging out and just be together. We have decided to mix American and French traditions for Christmas dinner and I am looking forward to breaking into the foie gras and at the same time have my nieces have their first go at sweet potato casserole. One thing for sure, there will be Buche De Noel. And Spiced Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cream. And definitely my grandmother’s Riz au Lait, or rice pudding will be made over the next few days.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, filled with good cheers, lots of love and great food. Keep up with traditions or make new ones but most importantly, take care of yourself.
It’s been a couple of fast paced weeks but I would not change a thing. Work is fairly busy as everyone is preparing to take some time off for the holidays. I am still getting acclimated to all the parameters of the job. Addressing everyone’s expectations can be quite tricky at times but at the end of the day, I think that everyone comes out feeling that they gave or got the best they had.
The daily collaborations are really inspiring and downright fun. There is always lots of laughter and discombobulated moments while being completely focused on the task at hand. I am around serious creative minds allowing me to be as well. I am still learning to let go and just go for it. Whatever "it" may be at the moment. Going for more contrast, an unexpected angle, a bold choice of color.
It’s been a little over two months since I started and I am slowly stopping to feel like I am on borrowed time. Seeing the change of season in a new place, new town is a nice way to feel anchored in new surroundings. After a few weeks of spending every evening and weekends with the windows wide open, it has finally started to be "Crisps and Cobbler Weather" around here. Time for some thick plush socks, a nice blanket or a cozy fire.
I have been enjoying quiet evening in the new house with the old dog but I admit, I am ready to head out to Charleston for the holidays and be with Bill. To top this good feeling off, my parents, brother, sister in law and two nieces are arriving in a week. It’s been too long since we last saw everyone! We rented a beach house for everyone, pups included and will be spending the holidays there together. To say that I can’t wait is an understatement.
I can’t wait to spend time chatting with my mom while we cook and bake together, see if my nieces are still enjoying baking as they did a couple of years ago. My brother is a fantastic cook also and it will be interesting to see what we come up with for Christmas dinner. Honestly, I just want to be with them. I’d be happy sitting in a corner watching them interact for a while.
One thing I definitely want to make when we are at the beach in a couple of weeks is this mixed berry cobbler. I dream of coming back from a long walk on the beach on a chilly afternoon and digging into a warm bowl of juicy and tangy cobbler. Maybe topped with a dollop of Chantilly. Maybe not. I plan to spend the holidays guided by the flow of the family’s rhythm. Too many people under one roof. I just want to be and enjoy them. With all their flaws and qualities and all of mine.
I am not sure the nieces ever had cobbler but I sure plan on fixing that!
Thank you everyone for the great response to the food and lifestyle photography workshop I am teaching with Clare in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I am happy to say that there are a few spots left but they are going fast! If you are interested, click here for all the details.
I am super excited to announce that I am teaming up once again with Clare to teach an awesome food and lifestyle photography workshop and retreat by the sea, in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
We have taught numerous workshops, both as individuals and as a team, and we understand how to guide students to develop their own style. Our goal is not to create cookie-cutter photographers, but to share with students our combined years of experience to support them in becoming the very best they can be.
Attendees will spend 4 nights in a gorgeous house located across the street from the beach in Gulf Shores Alabama, learning about exposure, utilizing natural light, composition, choosing props, styling, and how to tell a story through photographs. Lots of hands on time as well as plenty of relaxing moments by the ocean.
When: April 25th-29th 2013
Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama – Dream Big House (click here for pictures)
Workshop is limited to 12 students
Fee: $1850 and includes:
– 4 nights accommodation
– 3 days of hands on classes, photoshoots and assignments
– all meals and snacks
– does not include travel fare to the workshop
For more details about the class and sign up policy, please click HERE.
Registration will open Tuesday December 11th at 11am US Eastern time. Hope to see you there!
To learn more about the type of workshops Clare and I lead, here are some posts written by previous attendees about their experiences:
– Tiffany at Savor Home
– Julie LeClerc on her blog aptly named Julie LeClerc too.
– Danielle from Danielle Acken Photography.
– Lorie at A Savory Nest.
After quite many people emailed asking about the restaurant we seemed to always take our workshop attendees to when in Charleston, I figured I’d do a little special post about it and its wonderful crew.
The restaurant is Lana. Located a tad off the tourist path at the corner of Cannon and Rutledge in Charleston, SC. It is by far my favorite spot in town. Granted, Executive Chef John Ondo is not only a close friend but he is one of those "good people" with a heavy dosage of natural talent for his craft. It is easy to just walk in, sit at the bar and order blindly from the menu. And have a heck of a tremendous meal.
John and his staff focus their culinary talent on Mediterranean cuisine while infusing a touch of Southern flair by interpreting classic regional dishes through local ingredients. I love their respect for sustainable and local seafood, local business and the care they put into each dish. Classical inspirations with an adventurous spirit.
I love nothing more than taking a night off and grabbing my camera to hang out with those guys. They are a dream for a photographer’s eye. You can tell from the flow of the kitchen, the fast yet precise pace of their motion, all the intensity of their dedication to the meal being prepared. The whole restaurant crew make it very easy for you to fall in love with the food, the place, the moment.
My dream is to have John sit down long enough to compile his favorite dishes into one book. That I would campaign to photograph…of course! Not only I would cook from it every day, but I would still visit the restaurant for more.