in photography

Photography 101: Pet Edition

Our family grew this year by one. One puppy that is. Yes, we are a family of five but three are furry and four-legged. To show how important they are to us, today I dedicate this post to them. And at the same time I’ll talk a little bit about my slightly improving photography and editing skills. If you are one of those people skilled in photoshop, you will laugh at my discoveries, but if you are brand new, hopefully this helps you with some really simple tasks.

Child #1: Katsu

I adopted Katsu on my own in college. I love animals of all kinds and as I have learned, a cat is the perfect companion when you are on your own and don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to them every waking moment. I adopted him as an adult, so he was mostly self-reliant.

Katsu is a little bit of a jerk. His default expression is a glare and he craves attention only on his own terms. But he is definitely the best and most handsome cat in the world.

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Photo Tip: I edited this photo entirely in Lightroom and all I did was crop it and use the “Split Tone 1” preset. Did you know that in Lightroom you just press “R” to crop or adjust the alignment of a photo?
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The best worst DIY Cheeseboard

We love to scroll through people’s blog posts, make snap one minute judgements about them, and then decide whether or not we want to like or pin them. What we don’t realize is how much time and effort might have gone into that blog post. For example, I did this just the other day when I saw a DIY Cheeseboard post on Coco + Kelley. I decided that was going to be my first DIY project. Even when gathering the materials that cost a grand total of $25 I made jokes about quitting my day job and becoming a cheeseboard artisan. Let’s just say it is a good idea that I did not do that.

$25 dollars of material

+ 8 man hours (due to my incompetence not because it should take this long)

= a product worth probably less than $10 (again due to my incompetence)

Having said that, I LOVE my cheeseboard. Mostly for the memories, the laughs, and the incredible amount of fun I had on my first real DIY project. You can find the original Coco + Kelley post here. And below you will find my personal interpretation of that post.

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Hostess in Training 1.6.2016

This week I made one of my husband’s favorite desserts, miniature clementine cakes. I got the whole idea of baking these the first time from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. From Kristin Wiig singing “Space Oddity” to Ben Stiller outrunning a volcano, the movie is so surreal and yet so believable at the same time that it really makes you think about how amazing life is. I would like to think we live in a world where those things could happen, a world where clementine cake could win the good graces of an Afghan Warlord.

Which is why I bake this cake. I took the recipe straight from the blog The Woks of Life except I substitute Pamela’s gluten free pancake mix for the flour. The only reason I started doing this was because at the time, my husband was trying to isolate an allergy and we started cutting out gluten. They were so delicious that I just always make them this way. And I tend to keep Pamela’s pancake mix in the pantry because it is just really good.

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The second element of today’s training was to try out a new technique of food photography that was inspired by A Brown Table. It was just so unique and such a huge departure from the normal bright, nearly over-exposed photos that are normally associated with baking. What do you think?

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Style Inspiration: NYC Restaurant L’Amico

These days no matter where I am, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a clothing store, a friend’s house, all I see are possible design ideas and inspiration. This was no different at L’Amico, a bright, modern farmhouse of an Italian restaurant with an open kitchen and wood everywhere.

What I noticed upon entering the restaurant was that I loved everything about it. It made you feel hip and yet at home at the same time. The front wall of windows had been retracted so that the whole restaurant was open to the busy streets of Midtown Manhattan and yet it still felt cozy. I began collecting observations so that I could understand how this ambiance was created.

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Open Kitchen: You can see the chefs hard at work in the background of the photo above. It was essential to me when choosing a floorplan for my own home that the kitchen be open to the family room. To me, a kitchen is a family room and they should naturally just be parts of the same room. This is how you achieve that feeling of warmth.

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