May 29, 2014

Behind the scenes

Over the past few months, I've had the pleasure of working with Food Network and Cooking Channel to shoot recipes for their online archives. I know I always enjoy behind the scenes posts from other photographers and stylists, so I gathered some (albeit shitty) iPhone snaps from some of the shoots in hopes it will be fun for you to see what goes on during these.

I've met a number of great food stylists through these shoots - you can see some glimpses of them below. I seriously admire them, because it is no easy task planning out and making 50 recipes in one week and keeping calm through any kitchen malfunctions (in fact, it sounds kind of like my worst nightmare). They also have the daunting responsibility of setting the pace for each day and making sure the shoot is on schedule. We can only go as fast as the food is able to be ready.

This first set was taken at Some Studio, which is a small cozy studio but has pretty nice natural light. In retrospect I should have used the studio stand, because at one point, we precariously put my tripod's legs on apple boxes to get more height!

And these were taken at Highlight Studio, a newer studio that's also quite spacious. I switched to strobes for shoots in this space, as I found the natural light a bit tricky to achieve consistent results with, especially on those cloudy days. I almost always shoot with my Canon 100mm macro for these shots, except for wider overheads, where I switch to my 24-70mm version II.

Huge thanks to all the wonderful stylists (Mariana Velasquez, Cyd McDowell, Micah Morton, Kira Corbin, and Courtney de Wet) and my digital tech/assistant (Josh Dickinson) for making these shoots so smooth and fun. And of course to the Food Network and Cooking Channel online editors who are super chill and feed us well.

May 22, 2014

N + A New York

Step into Noriko and Akiko's light-filled Tribeca jewelry studio and you can't help but feel a sense of ease. The sisters behind n+a new york are some of the kindest people I've met and really made me feel at home when I visited their studio a month or so ago. I first came across their jewelry at Still House and also have featured one of their rings in my Daily Rings post. All of their jewelry is perfect for daily wear. It is subtle, sophisticated, and right up my alley.

It's always a treat to visit other creatives' spaces, to find the little nuances and quirks of the space, and to see what their spaces say about them. (And one man's "mess" can be another's treasure for sure!) Let's have a look at theirs.

Noriko and Akiko graciously answered a few questions about their craft and background for me.

Where are you from?
Both of us were born in Tokyo. We spent our early years in Niigata where there was abundant nature surrounded by rice paddies, the Japanese sea and mountains. We enjoyed a lot of outdoor activities, playing music, and we were fortunate to be surrounded by treasure-troves of books. We still have great memories of growing up there and feel that those experiences have shaped us and play a part in who we are now. We then spent a few years in Chiba and finally moved to Yokohama where we went to collage.

How long have you been working in jewelry?
We started n+a new york 7 years ago. Before that Noriko had been making art jewelry and showing her work at gallery and exhibitions after she graduated from FIT. Akiko was inspired by Noriko's art piece and became fascinated by jewelry making.

How long have you been in your current studio?
Two and a half years. We make all pieces by hand here except for casting.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspirations come from everywhere. We care about subtle but beautiful details of both the city life and from nature. For example, we were inspired by details of the historic buildings in NYC, and when we went hiking and encountered interesting things such as the textures of rocks and leaves.

What do you like to do when you're not working? Other hobbies?
Noriko : I love spending my time making things beside my work. lamp shades, door pulls, clocks, furniture, sawing and knitting projects... I also collaborate with my husband who is an antique furniture restorer. Right now we are working on designing and making processional torches commissioned by Trinity Church!
Akiko : I like knitting, swing dance, playing piano. Also food is my passion. I like cooking, baking and exploring good food. Recently I am interested in photography.

What's the best and worst part about working with a sister?
We can trust each other, it is the best part. Our enthusiasm for n+a is very strong, and we think it is surely based on the trust and love of our sisterhood. It is a good thing to be honest and say straight to each other what we think, but sometimes when we do it too much we feel annoyed... We are getting better at it!

Thank you to Noriko and Akiko for providing this glimpse into their studio!

May 21, 2014

Buly 1803

Now here's a seriously beautiful shop to add to your next Paris itinerary (h/t to my friend Kristy for bringing it to my attention!). Buly 1803 is one of those shops that's almost too much. I really didn't know where to look first. And it's not that it's a large space, it's just that there's so much attention to detail. Glorious detail.

Although Buly 1803 is a newly opened shop, it's actually a nod to the beauty brand Bully, which was founded by a perfumer in the 19th-century. When a couple found the archives of Bully, they resurrected the brand and modernized the name. I had a fun and hard time choosing a few goodies to take home. I ended up with the hand cream, a soap, and scented matches. Not only is it difficult to first select the scent of the soap, they make it extra difficult by letting you choose the design on your packaging. And of course, I wanted everything.

Buly 1803
6 rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris

May 19, 2014

Le Palais-Royal Roses

In early May, J and I took another quick trip to Paris. It was our third time there together and we had really hoped to be better prepared this time with plans. Nope, we couldn't plan a trip if our lives depended on it. We stayed in the 1st again (to be close to Télescope Cafe of course) and spent many mornings walking through the Palais-Royal. I was determined to shoot the stunning roses that lined the paths before I left.

On the last night, we both got food poisoning and had a flight to catch the next morning. We dragged ourselves out of the AirBnB to the gardens so I could shoot these in between bouts of stomach pain. Sounds crazy, but I know I would have been more upset if I had missed the chance to shoot these. Getting lost in the folds and petals of these with my camera was very soothing. I only wish I had more time with them.

I plan on making a few prints of these. All of these are available as fine art prints from 8x10 up to very large sizes if anyone is interested.

May 14, 2014

Museo del Novecento

On my last day in Milan, I managed to squeeze in a short visit to the Museo del Novecento, a modern and contemporary art museum near the Duomo. Then I regretted having only such a short time to spend there. But alas, I had a flight to catch. I tried to take in as much as I could and shoot all the pieces that inspired me (only a few are pictured below). I really feel that there's nothing quite like a walk through an art museum to get the creative juices flowing again.

May 5, 2014

Whisper Editions

As a freelancer, I can easily get caught up in client work and not even touch my camera (not counting my iPhone, of course) when I have free time. When photography was simply a hobby, everything was personal work. Now less and less of it is, and I have to remember to pause and shoot things for myself. I welcome any opportunity to create more personal work, so I was pretty excited to be creating an exclusive limited edition print for Whisper Editions. Whisper has a rockstar line-up of artists, and having not come from a fine-art background, I was more than slightly intimidated.

But working with Kristen from Pretty Streets Botanicals was relaxing and fun. Kristen's home in Greenpoint had the perfect amount of old charm and texture. Although we had loosely planned to shoot arrangements, the peony Kristen had set down on the mantle was too poetic not to shoot on its own. And so our print was born.

Below are some more iPhone snaps from the day.