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Entries in Halifax food photography (64)

Wednesday
Apr092014

Lighting Practice : Eggs

You may remember I bought myself a small studio strobe kit just after Christmas. For the last three months, I've been trying to teach myself how to make artificial light look like natural light and let me tell you - it ain't easy. Sure, I own some great books on the subject, and have Pinterest boards full of inspiration, but the only thing that seems to really work for me is practice.

I practice almost every day.

Some of the photos I take with my strobes look like absolute shit.

Some look like the egg photo above (inspired by this). I am pretty happy with this shot.

I'm still at the very early stages of learning, but I do have a few tips for anyone else that is trying to learn food photography with strobes:

- Keep a notebook - I have a thick, spiral bound ruled notebook that is PACKED with notes and diagrams of what has worked, and what hasn't worked for me, for every set-up - I use it as a reference and a starting point for every shot

- It's all about the shadows - You can buy a big beautiful softbox and get some really nice clean light on your subject, but if there aren't any shadows your photo will look dull and lifeless - shadows add depth which makes artificial light look more natural

- Study light everywhere you go - Seriously. Everywhere. The way sunlight streams onto your table in the restaurant at brunch, the way the gloom of a rainy day settles into your living room when you're reading a book in the afternoon, the way the sunset breaks through the trees in the park at dusk. Look at it. See it. It will change the way you look at lighting.

But of course, none of it matters if you don't practice.

Friday
Apr042014

Catered : A small afternoon wedding in Halifax

A friend of ours approached Sean and I a couple of weeks ago and asked if we would cater his brother's small informal wedding reception. I don't have much experience with catering but we figured, with only 12 guests, we could pull it off.

And pull it off we did.

Barely.

Sean's shopped for ingredients and prepped all of the food yesterday while I washed dishes and assembled platters and props from my collection. We arrived at 12:30pm today to set up the food, thinking we had about an hour until the guests arrived. Turns out we actually only had 30 minutes

But we did it.

The cupcakes pictured above were made by Lori MacAskill, Pastry Chef at da Maurizio Fine Italian Dining in the Brewery Market. I texted Lori on Wednesday and asked if she'd have time to make the cupcakes for me because I was afraid of running out of time. Her response was 'Consider it done!!'. I picked up the little vanilla cakes this morning and they were the first thing I set up on arrival. I bought some carnations (I LOVE carnations - they're so ruffly and pretty) knowing the bride's wedding colours were purple and white. I also knew the purple carnation on the white frosting would pop against my green milk glass cake stand. I think Lori may have swooned when I sent her the photo.

 

Scallops pan-seared to golden brown then chopped and stuffed in pastry cups with crispy bacon bits and green onion, topped with a mini Frico.

 

This is a version of an appetizer from da Maurizio that Sean and I LOVE. At the restaurant, the salmon is rolled, like the picture below, with Mascarpone, lemon, capers and red onion and then served with tobiko caviar, baby greens and beet vinaigrette. It's fantastic, in no small part because Willy Krauch's smoked salmon is THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

 

This appetizer was invented by Nora and Peter Hiscott, old friends of ours who own Divine Dishes Catering in Dartmouth. Nora is an incredible cook and the last time we made a version of her Pear, Brie, Mint and Pecan Crostini appetizers the crowd went WILD. In need of a fantastic, experienced caterer in HRM? CALL NORA at (902) 240-5534.

 

 

 

The bride has her own small business selling homemade preserves, so we thought it would be a sweet touch to add a jar of her delicious pear butter to one of the platters.

 

 

Sadly, we ran out of time so I can't show you the Sausage-stuffed Dates or the Goat Cheese filled Mushroom Caps Sean made but TRUST ME when I say they looked amazing.

Great.

Now I'm starving.

Guess I'll go make a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Or something.

Tuesday
Apr012014

2014 Taste of Nova Scotia Culinary Guide

I've been shooting the 2014 Taste of Nova Scotia Culinary Guide for the last three weeks and today I FINALLY get to show you a sneak peek! 

Of course, what is more quintisentially Nova Scotian than lobster?

Well, maybe seafood chowder, lighthouses and sou'westers but whatever.

I photographed this gleaming little guy with Christine White from Taste of Nova Scotia and Chef Ray Bear at Saege Bistro this past Sunday and today, Taste of Nova Scotia uploaded it as the cover photo on their Facebook page!

I AM BEYOND EXCITED.

The 2014 Taste of Nova Scotia Culinary Guide will be released on April 28 and I can't wait to share the rest with you!!