Tomato Month at Maude

Last night I dined at Maude for the first time. This tiny restaurant located in Beverly Hills is the creation of celebrity chef Curtis Stone. The restaurant is named after his granny who opened his eyes to cooking and food. As the website states: “Each month a single ingredient inspires a menu of nine tasting plates, and this celebrated ingredient is creatively woven, to varying degrees, through each course.”

I love tomatoes. I mean I REALLY love tomatoes. And when I heard September was tomato month at Maude I knew it was high time I check this place out. Happy to say I tucked my camera into my bag “just in case.” It’s fun to photograph restaurants, especially what happens in the kitchen. The flurry of activity. The syncronicity of movement. The plating creativity and precision. I found this tiny elegant space with an open kitchen impossible to resist and had to capture just a few photographs.

The tasting menu is meant to be a surprise. It’s so exciting to see these gorgeous plates set in front of me not knowing what to expect. That said, you will only see one food photograph below since September is far from over and I refuse to spoil any surprises. A listing of courses is presented to each guest at the end of the meal along with a special take-home gift made with the star ingredient. The three hour dining experience did not disappoint, absolute tomato-y heaven!

PS: In case you missed me bragging all over Facebook last month, another one of my kitchen photographs was featured by the Los Angeles Times. :D

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Jack Of All Trades

Photography has always captivated me. But my love affair with the camera blossomed a few years ago when I decided it was time to stop messing around and really learn how to shoot. Back then I thought to myself: Hmmm, how great would it be if one day I could offer photography to my clients as well as design? Most of my professional life I have gone out of my way to work with people who were the masters of their trade. That old phrase: Jack of all trades, master of none plays in my head whenever I see someone who claims to be the best in multiple areas. And sadly, that saying usually rings true. A generalist, not an expert.

Is it truly possible to be good, no… REALLY good… at more than one thing? Times are changing at warped speed in the creative fields. And it seems now-a-days being able to uniquely position yourself is more important than ever. I have been working with words and pictures my entire career so it was incredibly clear to me that this should be a natural progression. All I know is that it certainly feels right on.

One thing that has not changed is good old fashioned word-of-mouth. If anything, I believe a referral means even more these days. Through the referral of a dear friend who has championed this idea of mine from the very beginning, I was offered my first commercial shoot by a company who was more than happy to take their “chances” on me. Tsukihoshi children’s shoes are bright and fun and so were these kids. The shoot was fast and furious and full of adorableness, chaos, smiles, tears, inspiration and perspiration. And let me tell you, working with my own images while designing the catalog (don’t miss the interactive pdf at the bottom of this post) was pretty cool. I can’t wait to do it again!
 

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*Please note, the small shoe images with descriptive copy in the catalog were shot by a studio photographer. The lifestyle images are 100% mine.

 

My VOICE

 

OVER 8,000 ENTRIES.  268 SELECTIONS.  1 HAPPY PERSON (me!) 

A few months ago I entered the VOICE digital print competition. There were 14 categories and the judges (editors and image curators from the photography industry) based their decision on vision, originality, inspiration, creativity and overall excellence. 

My photograph, Venice Beach Serenade, was selected for the Street category. It goes without saying, I am honored to be included in such fine company. You can view a sweet little slideshow of the gallery here. Seriously great stuff. I’m at 2:10, don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

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A bit about the photograph: The sun was setting at the beach and the marine layer was rolling in. I had been out shooting with my friend Aurora and we were headed to grab a beer and a bite with some friends. This guy was strolling along the strand singing. He had the most beautiful voice and exuded such positive energy. The light was beautiful. I clicked.

Next month I’m headed to Salt Lake City for Click Away, a 3 day photography conference loaded with educational programming and shooting sessions. The VOICE gallery will also be on display. I’m looking forward to meeting up with some dear friends, some I’ve met before and some for the very first time. We’ve learned and laughed together online for a few years, proving the internet can be a truly wonderful thing.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I’ve been knee-deep in design work and photography classes. All good. I promise these blog posts will not be as few and far between as they have been. Lots to share… very soon. :-)