I have been designing and ordering a lot of these cute little 5x5 coffee table books lately for clients and they seem to be a big hit. They're the perfect size to put in your purse or take to work to show off your pictures. Or, in the case of boudoir sessions they are small enough to tuck away in a sock drawer for his or her eyes only! Plus, they come in 33 different cover options. This book features Erica, a senior I photographed this fall. Books like this are great for senior moms. Happy Monday!
I didn't take very many photos this week. I couldn't help myself though from photographing this pizza. I don't know about you but I've been on this constant search for years for the perfect pizza dough recipe. Although this one may not be perfect, it was pretty darn close. Aside from the fact that we had the wrong yeast (therefore it didn't rise correctly) and that our "oven" is far from normal, it was surprisingly chewy instead of thick and bready, and the perfect thickness. Plus, the toppings I chose were just the icing on the cake. The key? Fresh basil leaves on top of the sauce, fresh tomatoes, diced yellow pepper, and three cheeses (parm, mozzarella, and feta.)
Chewy Pizza Crust
adapted from Emma on the From Scratch blog
(makes two medium pies)
3 cups flour (we used 2 white, one whole wheat)
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Stir together warm water and yeast until dissolved. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour in water/yeast mixture and olive oil, stir until a dough ball forms. Remove dough ball from bowl and knead once or twice (just so it all holds together). Lightly oil the bowl and replace the dough ball inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and store in a cool dry place for 2 hours. Punch dough down and knead for 2-3 minutes. Put it back in the bowl and allow it to rise again for another hour. On a floured surface roll dough out into a large circle (or you can divide this into two smaller pizza pies). Bake at 350-400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Add toppings and bake again until cheese and crust is golden.
A little over a week ago our living room was a mess. Chad and I made a deal that if I cooked dinner he would cut my mat board. I realized later that instead of making vegetarian pasta salad I should of made him a five course meal, starting with fresh mushroom caps filled with fancy cheese and ending with creme brulee'. Cutting mat board is a lot of work on top of the fact that the day had already started out rough and it wasn't getting better. The prints we ordered came in late and were too dark with an weird orange cast. It took three trips to the local printer to try and get them fixed with no prevail. The frames we ordered barely showed up in time and the two of us spent hours just trying to clean 4 small pieces of glass. Seriously people, how hard is it to clean glass? Newspaper, Windex, water, cotton t-shirts, air blowers, and a roll of paper towels later they were streak free. And, by the next morning our prints were matted, framed, signed, and in the hands of the gallery ready for opening night.
The Open Shutter gallery is a beautiful space located on Main St. in downtown Durango that showcases photography of all kinds. People like Steve McCurry and Joey L have recently appeared there and Chad has now had work hanging in there three times! Every January they invite local photographers to submit work based on a designated theme for a community show. One of Chad's prints (the black smoke) sold the first night. The three remaining prints are still for sale and will be there through the end of the month.
My images are on the left, Chad's on the right.
I've never had "spring fever" so early before. It started the first week of January and just wont leave me alone. I've been itching to go thrifting for summer dresses, read books about gardening, eat salads, and take my pup on walks while wearing a tank top and shorts - all without feeling like I'll fall and slip on the wintry ice. I've been wanting to jump in the river so bad and the smell of cedar burning in the neighbors' fireplaces oddly enough has me aching to grill kabobs in our backyard. The violets on my desk aren't helping either. They are in FULL bloom and are a sweet reminder that warm weather is just around the corner. The most ironic part of it all is that the days here in CO. have been beautiful with clear blue skies and lots of sun. And, instead of pretending that it's spring I've actually been partaking in some pretty winter-like activities. We went on an awesome night hike in the snow at the beginning of the week under a bright almost-full moon. I've been enjoying wearing my boots and "Padddington Bear" pea coat, as my boyfriend likes to call it. And Friday night I even took my first try at ice skating. Emphasis on the word try. No, really, I did better than I thought I would. Sorry there aren't any pictures of that, because I'm sure they would be hilarious. I was too busy holding on to the guard rail and trying not to fall. (Success!)
I've struggled the last few days, knowing that Sunday was approaching, with what to say here. (Yes, I know, it's sort of pathetic thinking of my blog this way so far in advance.) It's just that it's been the weirdest week. And for as many of the thousands of thoughts and words I have swimming around in my head I couldn't think of one appropriate thing to say that summed it all up simply. So, I decided to not say anything and just let the images speak for themselves. But even that wasn't really going to work. None of the images I've taken in the last seven days put an accurate description on the way that it's felt.
There's only one word, really, that keeps coming to mind.
The week started out good. It's a new year. I wrote down goals. I cleaned my workspace extensively. I painted my fingernails with a new-yearsy, sparkly, pink. I started a few new projects. I received a call to do a food photography job. I did said photography job. I got a call from a past client who wants to order prints. I put things in order for my Valentines Boudoir Special. Sounds great right? And then it all went downhill. I suffered this week with disappointment and heartache too personal to explain here. But it was enough to make all the sweetness turn bitter. There were tears and confusion and huge moments of doubt on my part as a person, and as a photographer.
And what's the conclusion? What's the ah-ha moment that wraps it all up into a happy ending? There really isn't one. Sorry folks. But there is strength. And if there's one thing I've become very well acquainted with over the years, it's strength. It's the most admirable quality, and equally the most difficult to maintain and possess. But it takes strength (and a LOT of patience) to be a photographer. And it takes even more strength to remember who you are, because it's too easy to forget.
There's a quote from a book, Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland that I found quoted by a good friend yesterday that really hit home with me:
“To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process.”
What matters is the process.
So here's to a new week, knowing myself, and being strong. Here's to being an artist and loving the process, regardless of the outcome. I think I'll go re-paint my fingernails sparkly pink again and start over.
Here are a few photos.
Since living in Durango I've learned there's a big difference in the South and the Southwest. The biggest difference? Green Chili. It's in Everything. Baked Potatoes, burgers, breakfast burritos, scrambled eggs, soup, salsa, and gravy. Yes, I ordered Green Chili biscuits and gravy at a local diner and it was to die for.
So when a graphic designer for a local establishment, Rylee Mac's, contacted me about getting a food shot for them, I wasn't surprised when she said they needed a picture of a bowl of Green Chili. Rylee Mac's is located in Durango, CO. and offers homemade yummy goodness of all kinds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition they also offer cooking classes. How fun!
It feels like just yesterday that we were standing in her bedroom the summer before 7th grade trying on her clothes. Everyone's closet always seems more exciting than your own. There was a lot of laughter because I couldn't get any of her shirts to button and all of her pants were ridiculously short and tight on me. Oh how things change. We share clothes all the time now, that is when we're in the same town. And yes, her closet is just as exciting as it always was.
Here are a few boudoir photos I took of one of my best friends. Out of privacy I can't share them all, although I'd love to because she's absolutely gorgeous.
Now through January 21st call me and reserve your chance to book a spot in my VALENTINE BOUDOIR SPECIAL for 2011! It's the perfect gift for the mr. in your life. Boudoir sessions can be booked all year for anniversaries, birthdays, or just because. But this Valentine's Day is a ONE DAY EVENT and there are only a limited amount of spots available!