May 31, 2013

A Photography Filled Weekend

I was lucky enough to have three photo shoots over Memorial Day Weekend! The families that I worked with were a ton of fun - and might I add, extraordinarily photogenic.

I'm still editing these sessions, but thought that I would share a sneak peek of some of my favorites here on the blog.

Belongia Family (Keegan, Tessa & Elias)

Hall Family (Joe, Sara, Nolan & Sophia)

Saine Family (Chris, Michaelle & Chase)

A great weekend grilling recipe is up on my food photography blog. Check it out!

May 24, 2013

Inside of My Head

You may have noticed that I've been posting a lot of food photos here lately. You see, it all really started with this blog. I've always loved cooking, but it wasn't until I started photographing recipes for No Place Lyke Home that I found my passion for food and beverage photography.

Since my stay at Penland, I've been doing my best to keep on track with pursuing photography. It's not always easy. The fear and the doubt seep in and grip me really hard sometimes. Usually it sounds something like this,  you didn't go to school for this, there are so many talented people that have failed at this, you don't know what you're doing, you aren't even close to being where [insert photographer's name] is. 

I constantly need to talk myself off of the ledge. To remind myself how far I've come and that the more that I do this, the more I will learn. Have you heard that saying about not comparing your beginning to someone else's middle? I do it all of the time.

I think the most difficult thing about taking the leap to start my own business is that sometimes it can feel very lonely. Regardless of how much support or praise I get, I alone am responsible. At the end of the day I have to answer to myself. Did I do enough to source new business today? Did I put my best work out there? Have I truly done all that I can?

Even though I feel the busiest I've ever felt, I can't help but shake the feeling that people on the outside looking in imagine that I have loads of free time and wonder what I do with all of it.

When I'm in the middle of one of my spirals of doubt and self loathing I ask myself, Is this worth it? The answer has been (and I feel always will be), Yes. Without a doubt. I come alive when I'm behind the camera. It's worth all of the questioning, all of the knots in my stomach, the worry -- all of it. The thought of possibly working as a photographer full time for a living has given me such a sense of anticipation and excitement for the future. It's lit a fire within me that no amount of worry and anxiety can extinguish.

Now that I've taken the leap, I hope to have more patience with myself. I want my inner voice to come from a more constructive and less hateful place. I'd like to keep my critical eye while still allowing room for the occasional pat on the back when it's deserved.

I'm laying it all out there with the hopes that one day I will look back on this post and recognize how far I've come. I'm all about documenting this journey, so I apologize for my angsty tone and jumbled thoughts. It's what the inside of my head sounds like these days.

May 20, 2013

Grapefruit Margaritas

It was rainy and overall kind of yuck here in Charlotte this weekend. Margaritas seemed like the perfect way to brighten up the day. I had some grapefruit juice on hand, so whipping these up was a cinch.

I've been working on building my food and beverage photography portfolio, so usually this means anything that I make that looks half decent is quickly brought out into my studio to be photographed. I hope to share lots of new recipes on No Place Lyke Home, as I find my footing in the world of food photography!

May 17, 2013

Grilled Artichokes with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Aioli

There's nothing quite like fresh, in-season artichokes. I'm willing to argue that they're the prettiest produce in all of the land. In fact, they are so beautiful that I photographed them before and after cooking them. This recipe is posted on my food photography blog -- so head on over!

May 16, 2013

This is Change

I've been thinking a lot about transition, as I'm right in the throes of some big changes. I think many of us in our twenties are in a perpetual state of change. Graduation, moving to a new city, entering the work force, moving in with a significant other or maybe even marriage and children.

Whether we feel ready or not, our twenties are when most of us evolve into actual adults. A heap of new responsibilities are piled on. In so many ways, I feel unprepared and overwhelmed. 

Each stage of our lives before the mid twenties is ushered in with lots of preparation. We're showered with advice and encouragement when we head off to college or land our first job out of school.

When we reach a certain age, others become far less tolerant of our lack of having everything together.

We're adults now, after all. No one is going to give us a gold star for showing up for work on time or for paying the mortgage. There isn't a participation trophy for life.

I hope that this doesn't read as whiny or dripping with naivety. I understand that this is the natural progression into adulthood. I have found though, that lot's of us twenty-somethings don't actually talk about it. Many of us pretend that we have it all together. We don't dare mention how scary it can be to make some of these big decisions without really knowing what the heck we're doing.

From the outside looking in, it may appear that I've got it together. Truth is, I'm just as confused and afraid as the rest of my generation. The questions and uncertainty don't end with the purchase of a house or a walk down the aisle. For me, those milestones have only brought about more questions.

"When is the right time to have a baby? How badly will I screw up my future children? Is it possible to do what you love and make a living doing it? Do I give my husband and marriage enough of my attention? How in God's name do you fix a dishwasher. No, for real -- can anyone come fix my dishwasher?"

I'm reaching out with a proposition; let's uplift one another through this time of transition. If we can find a way to relate to each other, I'm sure it would take some of the absolute panic out of our twenties. Maybe if we look hard enough, we'll find that no one really knows what they're doing. That most of us are a little lost and a lot confused.

May 15, 2013

Introducing: The BAP

One of my favorite sandwiches. Think bacon, arugula, roasted red peppers and spicy sriraca mayo. All of the details are up on my food photography blog.

Food and beverage photography is something that I've been passionate about since the creation of No Place Lyke Home. I believe Julia Child put it best when she said,

"Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal".
I hope that you'll follow my adventures in the kitchen and join me as I visit various Charlotte eateries and breweries.

May 13, 2013

Garage Studio Makeover

My hiatus from blogging has been due largely in part to this garage turned studio makeover. I've been wanting to take on more food and product photography work and felt that a studio space at home would enable me to get more done, especially at night. 

My hope was to create an inspiring space while still embracing the industrial feel of the garage. I dedicated a pinterest board and created a mood board before starting the process. It helped to have all of my ideas and inspiration in one place.

After painting and power washing the garage (I could go the rest of my life without painting another ceiling, letmetellyou), it was time for the fun part! Lots of decorating and re-purposing. My most favorite elements are my great grandma's vintage ceramic table and the painting on my desk created by my niece, Addie.

Without further ado, I present you with my new workspace!

I made most of the word art, with the exception of the lovely "With brave wings she flies", which was made by the uber talented, Danielle Burkleo. Rugs, wall ledge, picture wire and clips, white tables and graphic pillows are from Ikea. Most everything else you see was re-purposed from my college apartment.

Right now the other side of the garage looks like this:

I have some studio lighting and a variety of backdrops arriving this week that will need to be set up. I hope to use the table for product and food photography.

Some things I still want to do to the space:

- Put up new ceiling lights (maybe something on a track)
- Add a screen to the opening of the garage for when I work at night
- Paint the door that goes into the house black or a fun color like red or turquoise
- Paint the chairs to the vintage table a high gloss bright yellow

I'm really looking forward to working in this space!
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