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Not the week to give up sugar…

And thank goodness I never would… blackjetbakingcoNot as long as Gillian Shaw (of Black Jet Baking Company) is sharing her baking talent with the world.

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It was a fun day with a fun crew. Big thanks to Tessa Watson and Debbie Wilson for helping make this delicious day happen… a photo shoot with chocolate is my favorite kind of photo shoot.

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To purchase your own yummy Black Jet treats click here: https://www.goodeggs.com/blackjet

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the grass isn’t quite as green anymore…

For the last three years, or more, I have been talking about moving my photography to the “next level.”kellycollinsgeiser-1 Well, I had my first “next level” photo shoot on Monday of this week: a product shoot for a well known company.

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At first I thought it must be a mistake, maybe they had the wrong Paige Green, but the company assured me they wanted to hire me because they like how natural and realistic my work is.

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But sadly the photo shoot I did for them on Monday was as far from natural and realistic as you could possibly imagine… I had no idea how many phone calls, emails, texts, lights, photo stands, sand bags, retakes, late nights, early mornings and photoshop layers were required for commercial product photography.

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But it was a good experience and if I’m asked, I’ll definitely do it again because I like to step out of my comfort zone and learn new skills… and the money is hard to turn down. But I may never share those photos… because they aren’t my photos. They aren’t real and they aren’t natural.

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Today, however, I photographed real and natural and it only required a handful of texts, two people (Kelly and me) and a couple of hours editing to make it happen.

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The contrast between Monday’s photo shoot and Friday’s photo shoot made me realize that this level is pretty darn special and I am lucky to be right where I am.

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To learn more about Kelly, and how you can have her pretty darn special cooking in your home, visit her brand new website here: http://kellycollinsgeiser.com/

you’ve drunk their wine and eaten their food…

Now Sonoma Valley Wine wants you to know the people behind the good wine and food of Sonoma County…

sonoma1Aaron Piotter of Ferrar-Carano.                            Chef Ari Rosen from Scopasonoma2
Karin Warnelius Miller and Justin Miller of Garden Creek (left).
Jake Bilbro and Scot Bilbro of Limmerick Lane (right).
sonoma3Sarah Quider of of Ferrar-Carano.                                       Joel Peterson of Ravenswood.

Look for a fun new campaign coming soon, brought to you by Sonoma Valley Wine and The Idea Cooperative and photographed by me, with lots of styling and reflecting help from Morgan Bellinger and Debbie Wilson.

Day 23 – I did not see my family much today, but I did see this on instagram…

The first sighting of the Afro-Vegan cookbook I worked on with Bryant Terry last summer…

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Aside from the photos I print for my own family and friends, I rarely see photographs I have taken in print form. So to see photos I took printed in an actual book that other people intend to purchase is still mind-blowing.

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I am grateful to all the people who have pushed me in to this field of photography that I never imagined myself in.

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While I still can’t bring myself to call myself a “food photographer,” because that title puts me with a very intimidating group of extremely talented photographers…

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Seeing as this is book number 4 that contains only photos of food (that I took)… the idea is becoming a little easier to swallow.

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Huge thanks to the wonderfully talented Afro-Vegan Dream Team: Bryant Terry, Amanda Yee, Toni Tajima, Melissa Moore, Karen Shinto, Dani Fisher and Morgan Bellinger. Look for this book in a bookstore near you April 8th, 2014.

Banh Mi editing…

banhmi-cookbookI just submitted the final edits for the Banh Mi Handbook, a lovely book project I photographed last September for the wonderful folks at 10 Speed Press. As Andrea Nguyen, the animated author and chef extraordinaire, said in this fun blog post about our photo shoot (which includes behind the scenes photos,) photographing a cook book is truly a collaborative effort.

These photos could not have been created without the incredibly talented people we had on our team: superb editors Betsy Stromberg and Melissa Moore; Karen Shinto, the food magician; super stylish Tessa Watson; handy Morgan Bellinger and Elysa Weitala, the creative light mover.

Look for it this spring at a bookstore near you, or buy it here.

We Need You (and all of your friends)…

To put on something fun… something with stars, or stripes… something plaid or something plain…

To bring something fun… your dog, a hula hoop, a bicycle, roller skates, or a fist full of balloons…

And to eat some local, organic, seriously good, ice cream in front of a camera…

Today, Saturday May 21th, at the Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th Street in SF, between 2-8 pm.

Hope to see you (and all of your friends) there.

One of the Perks…

…of working on an ice cream cook book…

…is that I get to eat ice cream and other yummy treats all day long.

We just successfully completed day four of photographing for the Bi-Rite Creamery cook book. I am so grateful to be working on this awesome project with such fun and talented people. And I want to send a special ‘thank you’ to Sachi Henrietta for sharing her amazing sense of style with us.

If you want a chance to be photographed with your favorite flavor of Bi-Rite ice cream, we will be photographing at the creamery on Friday and Saturday and we need volunteers to come and eat ice cream. Remember to wear ice cream complimentary clothes, without logos or distracting writing, and you and your favorite scoop may just end up in the book.

I found the house that I want to live in…

In this house tea and cookies are presented, when you walk through the door, by Anna’s dear husband with a British accent.

I am a sucker for accents and cookies.

The house also comes with two very delightful kids and a little dog.

Love kids and dogs.

Homemade soda bread is effortlessly thrown together in just a few minutes, and before you know it… you are eating a steaming hot slice with the perfect amount of butter.

Homemade bread + butter = Heaven.

And all this amazing-ness was created by the lovely Anna herself… who makes you forget time with her piercing blue eyes, captivating stories and big heart.

It may be a little premature to say this, but I think I fell in love with this household and everyone in it… But since moving in with them is probably out of the question, I am happy to settle for the few moments that I had to document their lives last Sunday afternoon.

And I am even more excited about the possibility of working with Anna on her documentary project. A few weeks ago, I received an email from Anna that said:

I just got accepted for a proposal I submitted to Kickstarter and would love to have a few great photographs to add to the promotional pieces.

The project I am working on is a photo essay/documentary called International Lunchbox, it is a collection of narratives from people, talking about what they feed their children, the issue, the histories, the stories and recipes.  I am trying to make some contacts to people who may be interested in participating in telling their stories.  It is a photo essay/documentary giving a very personal account from the vantage point of the parent or caregiver.

I told Anna that her project is exactly the kind of work that I would like to be doing more of and to please let me know how I can help.

So we started with tea, cookies, conversation and soda bread… and I can not wait to see what comes next.

My Best Tip-Toe Forward…

Last week I received a phone call from a well-known company asking to see my portfolio. They wanted to see still life, food and some people (because they don’t usually do much photography of people.)

While that phone call was very exciting, the problem was that no one had ever asked me to send in an actual printed portfolio before… so I didn’t have a portfolio to send.

Inspired, I started enthusiastically dragging out the hard drives and digging though the archives. Eventually I came up with a portfolio containing my most favorite 137 photos.

Luckily my talented graphic designer and trusty adviser, Tyler Young, said 137 photos might be a tad too many. So reluctantly, I whittled the portfolio down and here it is… my best (abridged) attempt to tip-toe further into the commercial world of still-life and food… with just a few people.

The Final Push…

My food photography has come a long way over the past six months.

But my Town Hall cook book days are numbered.

It is time to turn in what we have and let the editors work their magic.

Thank you Bridget, Mitch, Mary and Michael.

We make a good team.

I will miss our long days fueled by sugary espresso shots and bread.

But who knows, maybe we will get to do this together again someday.

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