cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bakery Shoot

So a week ago i shot photos for a bakery feature in an English travel website My Destination Sao Paulo. The bakery was beautiful--classic and quaint. I shot all of the sweeties on a table next to the front door with a curtain pulled around my back. I loved it. It was so nice getting back to on-site shooting for publications. Something i really missed (remember, no you don't, but pretend you remember when i worked for those magazines back in 2009). I felt alive again. And the hot chocolate you see in the photo---damn! it tasted like a s'more. I doubt any Paulistas read this blog, but if there are any of you out there, go get some of this hot chocolate.

Sorry to watermark the photos (i hate watermarking the photos) but they were shot for the travel website, not the bakery, so unfortunately i have to protect them. But you can still get the vibe of the photos.

You can see the rest of the photos and read the article about the bakery over at My Destination. And if you haven't yet (shame) visit my photography website already. Sheesh! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An Odd Ice Cream

 Some people find photographing ice cream to be unpleasant. You set up your scene, you get your little camera all ready, and then your model starts moving...rather starts melting. You must be very quick about it. Personally, i like it. I usually spend way too much time photographing a single subject. I remember older posts here at Salty (way back when, we're over six years old now...that's geriatric in blog years) that would require me to set aside the entire day to do a post from start to finish. Yes, an entire day. I can not so fondly remember waiting until well past midnight to begin a paper on King Philip II for an archeology class. Well, i suppose sacrifices have to be made. But in professional photography you cannot spend an entire day shooting a cupcake while everyone else involved stands around twiddling their thumbs. Set up your shot and get in and out. Just like with ice cream. So photographing ice cream is a superb way to practice for on-site photography (or a wedding. blink and you miss it.) You have to act fast.

I'm only drawing such a connection because yesterday (yay!) i had an on-site shoot at a bakery. Usually i photograph inside my studio. Studio being my shanty-set up of living room curtains. Either way, the bakery was uncommonly cute for Brazilian standards. To be blunt, traditional bakeries in Brazil are similar to traditional bakeries in Portugal-- they're kinda ugly. The purpose is to get in, get your bread and get out. Not to sit on an antique piece of furniture covered in hand made cushions while sipping nouveau coffee with house made marshmallows. This bakery, on the other hand, claims to be an American style bakery and suffice to say, definitely hit the "Starbucks Standard" of ambiance. I shot as quickly as i could. With three servers behind the counter and both shop owners staring at you, taking your sweet time isn't exactly a professional option. The trick: pretend the scone is melting... like ice cream. We still took almost two hours to shoot all of the items, but in my defense i had to wait for a few things to cook. I love bakery shoots...particularly because i am quite familiar with nearly all the models. Madam cookie, i know which side of you photographs best--please turn your cheek. Also, bakery owners seem to be genuinely happy people. And how could you not be; perpetual sugar-high bliss.

I made ice cream Sunday morning before going to the gym. The gym doesn't open until ten on sundays so i had time to do such a thing. It's an odd style of ice cream i had seen on tv--made by whipping cream and condensed milk together. Not exactly ice cream but well, i don't have an ice cream machine (yet). The recipe literally contains only cream and condensed milk. I added amarula liqueur to add a bit of flavor. As usual, i added a bit too much liqueur so the cream wasn't able to whip to fully whipped status (stiff peaks). It was a little soupy. So i whipped another quarter cup of plain cream until practically crunchy, then folded it in. To be honest, it kinda tastes like frozen whip cream covered in amarula. Which, i suppose, isn't bad at all. It's an alright option for people without ice cream machines. Next time i will add a stronger flavor to try and mask the whip cream flavor.

An odd ice cream is always better than no ice cream. 

The ironic thing about photographing ice cream is that usually the most enticing shots arrive just at the melting point. You spend the first ten minutes frantically shooting the perfectly balled scoop--racing against the clock.hen, when you're about to give in, you realize how all of a sudden you really want to eat it. oh yeah. luckily that pot is quite small. 

So far this month i already have both a catering event and photography event lined up. Sao Paulo city is definitely treating me better than Indaiatuba ever did. Wish me luck. 

ps. i know i've been posting a lot of photos of flowers lately, but these coral roses are just too fluffy to not share. I received them last Friday as a surprise gift from H.  C'est tres chouette, non?