Aug 16, 2016
As the mid summer heat wears on, I find it difficult to crave anything that isn’t cold, light, and refreshing. So naturally when I was given the opportunity to shoot Julia Moskin’s recipe I was ecstatic to add another dish to my summer cooking repertoire. Southern cooking has revealed another hidden gem that I was proud to photograph: The best chicken salad.
I’ll be the first to admit that mayonnaise at midday in the summer isn’t usually my first choice, which is why this revamped classic is so appealing. A unique method for poaching the chicken adds texture and moisture back into the meat, while the sour cream (or homemade crème fraîche) lightens the load that traditional mayonnaise-based chicken salads will bring to the table. What is so great about this recipe – besides its versatility – is the easy preparation, as the core cooking competencies required include cutting veggies and boiling water. The contrast between crisp bits of celery, nuts, and melt-in-your-mouth chicken is reminiscent of your grandmother’s cooking, except that you made it all by yourself. She would be so impressed!
This recipe brings life to a classic yet simple fan favorite, and offers a cool and refreshing break from the hot summer sun. Make your grandmother proud and try out the recipe for yourself.
Jul 7, 2015
I love color. It simply makes my heart sing. And if you follow my work, I guarantee you've seen a theme of color shine through in many of my photos. I love working with Kristin because she shares that same love of color. I've photographed her home countless times for features and her book (Crafting A Colorful Home) and I always get so excited to spend time on her beautiful farm and play with all the color in her house. She recently started making her pottery again which really excites me! (I love everything she makes). So we spent some time photographing a few of her pieces when I came for a visit back in May. Look at her tremendous artistry...I can't decide if I want to eat off of her plates or hang them up on my wall!
You can purchase these beauties at Kristin's Etsy shop.
Jun 16, 2015
Spring is probably my favorite time of year. It's such an exciting feeling when the weather starts to get nicer and warmer and all of the flowers and trees start budding. There is nothing quite as beautiful as fresh spring grass and leaves that have just started growing and are that vibrant, iridescent, green color. Oh I love it! And how fun is it to find a robin's nest filled with these bright blue eggs...seriously!? Nature is amazing.
I was traveling a lot this spring but made sure I had the time to stop and enjoy all the beautiful spring views, so here are some of my favorites.
Above 3 photos: pottery by Lucia Pottery
Above: Fresh eggs from Leyden Glen Farm and a new background I painted/distressed!
Below: Quick shots from a styling job I did of Kristin Nicholas's home for an upcoming video feature!
Mar 23, 2015
Some outtakes, uncropped images and my favorites from Kristin Nicholas's, Crafting a Colorful Home
When people see Kristin's home they usually have one of two reactions, woah I love it, or woah that's not my style. The first time I saw it, I was in photo school and was using Kristin's beautiful outdoor landscape as a backdrop for a shoot for my final portfolio. It was a busy time in all our lives, so admittedly, I had tunnel vision the first time I was in Kristin's home. I walked in quickly with my friend, Sarah, I used the bathroom, we played with one of the little lambs that was being bottle fed, chatted for a few moments in the kitchen, then went back outside to work. I didn't get to explore the house or really notcie anything different about it. At that point I had no idea that for the next few years I'd be spending a lot of time in this place.
A few months after I graduated from school I started working for Houzz, I was talking with Sarah to see if she knew of any good homes I could feature and Kristin's name came up (Sarah was obviously a lot more observant than I that first day we saw her home!). So, almost a year after graduating we went back to Kristin's home and that's when my eyes were finally opened up to her world of color. And this time my reaction was a bit different. I explored into some of the other rooms and I realized it was the most unique place I had ever seen and immediately I thought, how am I going to photograph this to portray the beauty and unique-ness?! I saw it as a masterpiece, a work of art, which is exactly what it is. An artist's home is their blank canvas and Kristin has transformed hers into some of her most amazing work.
When people see the photos of Kristin's home they always ask me, what is she like? I got to know Kristin and her home really well as we continued to work together. To describe her I'd say she's down to earth, realistic, bold, honest, to the point, eager to learn, extremely hardworking, kind, accepting, humble, strong, confident and animated. She's worked in the creative world all her life. She went from working for a large creative company to being her own boss as a freelancer. She's dabbled in almost every art form I can think of and has fine tuned her eye for years. Kristin is amazing.
When those first photos we took of her home went up on Houzz, those two reactions that I mentioned earlier came out of the readers like fire and ice. Her home went viral and caused such controversary that it blew us away. Some people were all for it, others admitted it wasn't for them but still appreciated it and then there were others whom flat out disliked it. Houzz is known for having readers who speak their minds without a filter but I wasn't quite prepared for the arguments that were to follow in the comment section. Those whom didn't like it were saying appalling things, and even accused Kristin of needing psychiatric help (yeah, some people are just plain rude). Retaliation was quick on the draw by those who simply adored Kristin's home and fearless use of color and pattern. The arguments went on and on so much that these comments had to be monitored, the interent is a crazy place. Needless to say, her home truly moved and impacted a lot of people.
Months after the bang and boom Kristin's home made on the internet she brought this idea of a guide to decorate your home with color to her book agent, Linda, and they put together a proposal for publishers. Next thing we knew, Roost Books picked it up! I remember when I got the phone call from Kristin, it was a quiet day, mid-December and she sounded really excited when I answered the phone. Once she told me it was approved and that she wanted me to photograph her book I could not stop smiling. It was probably one of the most exciting moments of my career.
Ten months later we started shooting. Another question I get asked often as people are thumbing through the book is: how long did it take you to shoot this? Six days. That usually shocks people. And then I tell them, six looonngg days. Six creatively and physically strenuous days. But they are six of my favorite days.
We split the shoot up into two blocks of three days. One block in September and one block in October. The first block we worked on most of the DIY projects and intro photos, as well as the sunflowers and garden because they were in full swing. We had help on one day out of the three but for the most part it was just the two of us and it worked out really well (luckily we weren't moving too much furniture around this time). We collaborated and bounced ideas off of each other and got to chat a lot. It was very fun. For the second block Sarah came along with me. It was wonderful having her help. We shot the full room shots this time and these called for a lot of furniture moving and styling. I'd say that these shots were my favorite because I love how Kristin is up for anything. She let us rearrange her home and pull different pillows, fabrics, books, everything and anything out of her shelves to make the shot. This was probably the 4th or 5th time I've shot her house so it was a good challenge to see how we could get different angles and styling. I had a blast. And we couldn't have asked for more perfect, picturesque, New England, fall weather. The trees were so beautiful and the temp was just right- not too cold and not too hot. With all the color inside and all the color outside it was incredibly inspiring.
(Pictured Above: Uprooting and moving sunflowers to bring them in for the next two shots below. The fun part of styling!)
After we wrapped everything up and celebrated, I went home and edited all the photos and turned them in (over 300 images) within the next couple weeks. At this point it was November of 2013. Many months later, around Easter, we got a rough PDF copy of what the book was like, this really got me excited. I think I saw it one more time as a PDF before it arrived to me in December 2014 all finished, printed and looking beautiful...two years after I got that phone call from Kristin.
Crafting a Colorful Home came out in stores, officially, on January 20, 2015. Luckily enough, I was speaking at the Alumni Rountable at my school that exact day so I got to swing over to Kristin's the next day. We spent it together, celebrating our labor of love, going through page by page saying things like, "I wonder why they cropped this photo like that" and "Oooo I love this page!" and "Remember what we had to do for this shot!". And of course, as always, scheming up our next project together!
You can read about Kristin's process of writing this book here. The process is truly amazing and I'm so happy she shared what she goes through as an author.
Most of these photos are outtakes that didn't make it into the book and uncropped images from the book so there are a lot more colorful shots and DIY projects to explore. Oh, and before I forget...yes the kitten on the cover is real!
Some really quick thank you's:
My photo school and all the instructors who taught me, thank you (and for being located in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts which led me to Kristin!). Shelley, thank you for letting me stay with you while I shot this and for cooking me delicious meals- I had a great time with you. Thank you Linda for making this happen and Beau for coming to help us shoot for a day. Thank you Jenn at Roost (and the whole team who worked on this) for being the nicest and easiest editor to work with, ever. The whole Houzz team for giving me the platform to share Kristin's home and help pave the way for this book. All my family and friends for their encouragement about my photography and this book. A huge thank you to Kristin for believing in me and letting me photograph this book, for being a wonderful lady to work with (seriously, I love working with you), a huge inspiration and most importantly a wonderful friend. I can't wait to see what else we can do together. And of course, another huge thank you to Sarah. Without you this would have never happened. Thank you for being such a great friend (more like a sister) during photo school and still to this day. All your support and love means so much. And thank you for introducing Kristin and I, which essentially made this all possible, and for helping us on all these shoots. Couldn't have done this without you!
Nov 24, 2014
I photographed this delicious, vegetarian, Thanksgiving menu that the wonderful ladies at Oh My Veggies are sharing. The spread includes traditional sides with a twist, gravy and a main dish!
Click on the dish titles to get the full recipes and even more photos. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Oct 29, 2014
So there's this hill, it's pretty magical, especially this time of year. When I think about it, this hill kinda sorta means a lot to me. It reminds me of my time spent at photo school where I first had been introduced to this beautiful spot, it reminds me of my best friend Sarah whom is almost always with me when I'm there and it reminds me of another great friend, Kristin Nicholas. This hill is along the windy, dirt, country road that leads to Kristin's house. Sarah and I got to know Kristin while we were at photo school and have kept the relationship since. Last fall I photographed Kristin's most recent book, Crafting a Colorful Home (in stores January 2015!!). Sarah came along for one of the shoots that was in October, she is such an amazing friend and travel companion, and we were driving to Kristin's home early in the morning to start the day of photographing. It was an eery, extremely foggy morning, absolutely beautiful. It was the best foliage I had seen in a long time (this year may have trumped it though!). Sarah and I were in shock at how beautiful the fog and colors were. We ended up stopping multiple times to whip out our cameras and get shots of the landscape. I'm so happy to say that some even made it into the book!
A couple weeks ago Sarah and I took the same trip, a little get away to see the New England colors, and we ended up in the same situation: driving down Kristin's road with fog, just starting to lift, unveiling the most vibrant leaves I've ever seen. This time we came across some friends on the hill, these beautiful cows. The perfect photo-op.
Kristin's hill (which is just as breathtaking, especially when dotted with her sheep):
There was even a monarch butterfly (see it on the flower!?) fluttering by, my favroite, thrown in there to make it all the more surreal. Shouldn't he be migrating for winter? No complaints here.
Aug 15, 2014
At the end of July I was invited to photograph the launch party of Hudson Woods by Lang Architecture in Kerhonkson, New York. Growing up in the Hudson Valley has lead me to become a huge supporter of all things upstate NY so I said yes in a heartbeat.
Imagine driving through windy, mountain roads with gorgeous scenery and views of the Catskills, (some paved, some not), hardly any cell service, just you and nature. Then you pull down a stone driveway that opens up into a beautiful home that has a modern cabin feel, chock full of beautiful wood tones, handmade furniture and fixtures and complete with a salt water pool that has a backdrop of the surrounding woods. My only question- when can I move in?
The launch party for the model home was styled by my friend, Meagan Camp. Meagan also styles the home every weekend for viewings, using pieces from local antique stores and makers, as well as high end retailers such as West Elm and Hammertown. For a complete list of the makers and pieces in these photos click here!
Jul 21, 2014
The Holiday House Hamptons presented by HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) showhouse this year was something really special. It took place in an 1881 historic Watchcase factory in Sag Harbor, NY. The home itself was split into 3 buildings: a loft, a bungalow and a townhouse. The designers did such a great job of creating a summer/beach inspired palette of rooms, here are some of my favorites (see more photos and read more about each space in my article for Houzz):
Huniford Design Studio:
Tamara Magel Home:
West Chin Architects & Interior Designers:
Elizabeth Dow Home:
Jen Going Interiors:
ID Creations by Iris Dankner:
And of course some beautiful Hamptons scenery:
Jun 13, 2014
This past winter I photographed Dana Worlock's home for the current issue of Pure green Magazine. Everytime I go to Dana's I leave feeling so inspired! Her home is bright, creative and fun. She decorates with pops of color and always has her children's sweet artwork displayed in each room. Dana is also a floral designer and I simply love what she can do with some fresh blooms. You should definitely pick up a copy of Pure Green to read about the Worlock's home and the article is in good company- there are so many great stories and photographs amongst these pages!
Mar 26, 2014
Last week I got to photograph Julia Mueller's bibimbap recipe that's up today on Oh My Veggies. I had never had bibimbap before this and I was really excited to make it and eat it! I love that Julia's version has sweet potatoes in the dish, it makes the whole meal really hearty and satisfyingly filling.
Go check out the recipe on Oh My Veggies!
Jan 15, 2014
Last week I started off the new year right by shooting 4 delicious and healthy smoothie recipes for Kiersten over at Oh My Veggies! Kiersten and I have been scheming up ideas together for over a year now and I pounce on every opportunity that we get to work togther.
With the start of this new year some very exciting changes have come to her blog. Kiersten now has 4 awesomely talented contributing writers, Julia Mueller of The Roasted Root, Karen Troughton of Kitchen Treaty, McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped and Meg van der Kruik of Beard & Bonnet. In addition to Kiersten's recipes and posts, each of these 4 ladies will be sharing their own as well. How exciting!? I can't wait to continue working with this greatly talented bunch!
Get the recipes:
Feb 14, 2013
Back in December I was asked to make my editor a cake for his birthday. When he sent me the recipe for a red velvet cake I was so excited! It happens to be his favorite, just like mine. I've been waiting (ever so patiently) since then for another excuse to make this recipe. And Valentine's day is always the perfect excuse for me to eat all the red velvet that I can.
Every year I get so excited for February because it seems to be the month of red velvet. You can find it anywhere and everywhere, in all sorts of shapes and sizes...ice cream, whoopie pies, cupcakes, cookies...you name it.
What I really love about this red velvet cake recipe in particular is the frosting. It isn't the traditional cream cheese frosting that you so often see paired with red velvet. It's a sweeter, lighter and more subtle frosting. Basically, it's perfect.
To get the recipe head on over to FOLK Magazine's blog.
I hope you all have a wonderful, red velvet filled Valentine's day!
Nov 26, 2012
I love that my job takes me to some really unique and beautiful places. Yeah, always being on the run can get a little crazy, some weeks it feels like I'm living out of a suitcase. But when it comes down to it all, I wouldn't want to change a thing about that.
A couple weeks ago a test shoot brought me to the North End in Boston. Ugh. This city is just one of my absolute favorite places. I fell in love with it over the past 2 years and plan on making it my permanent home one of these days.
When asked to photograph my favorite neighborhood in Boston, I immediately gravitated towards the North End. It's like the Little Italy of Boston, so I fit right in. There are pizza places on every corner and beautiful brick buildings in every direction. There are ice cream shops filled with gelato and pastry shops that have some of the best desserts (I, of course, had to enjoy a red velvet cupcake from Mike's Pastry!). All of the cafes, bistros and high end restaurants give off a delicious aroma of garlic and Italian cooking. I don't recommend walking the streets of the North End on an empty stomach, I don't think I've ever craved a bowl of pasta & meatballs more in my life! And not only is the food and atmosphere great but the history of the North End is incredibly intriguing. The Old North Church, the Freedom Trail, the Paul Revere statue, Copp's Hill Burying Ground... there's so much more. Seriously, what isn't there to love about this place?
Here are some outtakes from my trip...
Cheers, to doing what you love!
Aug 28, 2012
I haven't found the time for a formal blog post yet (what's formal anyways?!), so I'm leaving you with some shots that I snapped from where I was and what I worked on this past weekend. Hoping to be back in the kitchen later this week as the busy-ness winds down for just a little bit :)
Two of my favorite final shots of the dishes I photographed this past weekend.
Aug 24, 2012
Last weekend my friend Sarah and I took a trip up to Western Massachusetts, right near where we went to photography school. I was photographing 2 interiors for work. The first was the most amazing eclectic farm house built in the 1700s. The homeowner is an incredibly talented artist and her home is a true reflection of that. The second home I photographed was completely the opposite, but just as beautiful. It was a traditional Victorian that was built in the 1800s. A gorgeous house that had a lot of original decor with modernized touches done so tastefully. I can't wait to share those with you!
On the way home we stopped in Northampton, MA. A quaint little, artsy town that is a dream come true for photographers. Back when we were in school one of my instructors always told us about these botanical gardens at Smith College and how wonderful a setting they are for photo shoots. Sadly, despite all our trips into Northampton, we never made our way to the gardens until just last weekend. Even then, we practically (and accidentally) stumbled upon them and said, Oh yeah, these are the gardens Joan was always talking about.
Well, gee. If I could go back in time to when I was a student I would go straight to these gardens. They were SO beautiful. They are placed right on the picturesque campus of Smith College. There are a bunch of flowers and gardens outside as well, as you'll see at the end of this post. But when you walk inside you are transformed into a whole other world. There are plants of all different varieties, from all different continents covering literally the floor to the ceiling. I guess not only is this a dream come true for photographers but for botanists as well!
I just had to share some of the beauty with you all....
Look at the outside view of the building-amazing.
If you'd like to read more about these beautiful gardens, visit their site.
Jul 15, 2012
When most people hear Cooperstown, NY they immediately think baseball. Which they should, after all the first baseball field (ever ) was there. It’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as Dreams Park where baseball teams travel from all over the U.S. to come and play there for an intense week of baseball tournaments.
I’ll be honest...I’m not a fan of baseball, it’s one of the very few sports that I simply cannot bear to watch. So why was I in Cooperstown? Well, while everyone who visits there is busy at the baseball park there is a tiny little town to be discovered that is as quaint as ever, filled with wonderful boutiques & cafes and placed conveniently along the shore of a beautiful, picturesque 9 mile lake.
From where I live in the Hudson River Valley you take an incredibly scenic drive north, passing through the Catskills all the way up to Cooperstown. There were antique shops & farmers markets scattered along the way throughout the whole trip. And one thing I learned... I live really close to the middle of nowhere. It was farms galore and maybe every once in a while you would pass through tiny, tiny, little, rundown towns that consisted of maybe 10 buildings at the most. But when you finally make it you practically stumble across this town that has one little stretch of main street. So yes, it’s tiny too, but what it lacks in size it sure makes up for in beauty.
The first night we ate at the the Blue Mingo Grill. It was right on the water, so we ate outside and enjoyed the spectacular view. The restaurant is named after an Indian tribe that once lived there.
Every Thursday night there are fireworks.
What enthralled me the most was the architecture, the old buildings and history that flows throughout the town. The Clarks & Singers, (yes Singer sewing machine), two BIG family names have originated from and lived in Cooperstown forever. They generously fund the town and keep it so beautiful, it really is a gem.
If you're looking for something sweet, Schneider's bakery is the place to go. They had a delicious assortment of cookies, cakes and breads. (And may I suggest their red velvet cupcakes?). The window displays were enough to convince me.
There are the most amazing Victorian homes on every street corner. A lot of them have been turned into the most darling Inns and Bed & Breakfasts.
All of the homes hold such beautiful character and are immaculately kept. The flowers, the paint, the architecture...it’s all too much to take in, you have to walk by each one 5 times a day to really soak in all the beauty.
Savor New York is a wonderful boutique that has all American, local made products. We spent hours in there sampling the treats they had in the back and the owner even writes her own cookbooks. Out front was a perfect little spot to stop and rest surrounded by beautiful flowers.
And then there is the lake. It’s breathtaking. We sat out there for hours in the evening. There’s a beautifully landscaped park with a small walkway and lots of benches right by the docks. And the best part about all of this is that it’s so un-commercialized and quiet. It’s not busy at all because it’s such a small town and the locals know of the beautiful spots but everyone else who visits consumes their time with the baseball park and hall of fame.
Another of my favorite stops there was the brand new Council Rock Brewery. Named after a popular landmark of the area, this microbrewery is a new venture for the owners Roger & Maureen.
They are currently experimenting with new beer flavors and in addition to that they have an assortment of different Italian sodas that are made near by at Cooper's Cave Ale Company. They're not overly sweet but full of flavor, just the way they should be.
Their beautiful bar is handmade by a friend. It holds a variety of different woods and a unique geometrical shape.
Roger makes all of the beer himself and was kind enough to show me around the back and talk about the whole process he goes through for making beer. Roger is a chemistry teacher which plays a big role in the process.
He first started making beer when one of his sons came home from college and said, "Dad, let's make some beer", his response, "But I don't even like beer". So, they bought a beer making kit, tried it out, loved it and the rest is history!
And who knew compressed hops look like rabit food!?
Apr 22, 2012
Last week we went to a little local farm that's less than a minute down the road. I've been going there since I was little and I've spent many days there taking pictures and watching all the animals.
We picked one of the hottest days to go (it was 90 degrees outside!) but it was just as beautiful as ever. There were lots of baby goats and they were so friendly and cute!
They make their own fresh cheese and sell it at their little market as well as a bunch of stores in the area. While I was there they let me try all of their different kinds. They are each incredibly unique and delicious.
They have a window through the shop that looks into the area where they make the cheese. The lady who was working there was so sweet, she explained and showed us the whole cheese making process. I even got to meet Colin, the cheesemaker. He's a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and he makes all of the cheese at Sprout Creek Farm.
I bought a wedge of their cheese called Eden. It was one of my favorites that I had tried. After talking to Colin, he kindly gave me 3 other types, Toussaint, Batch 35 and Madeleine, to photograph.
Head on over to their website (click here) and check out all the other types of cheeses they have and to read all about Sprout Creek.
Sep 19, 2011
This weekend my grandparents came to visit and we went to my favorite farm across the river, the DuBois farm. They have every type of apples you can imagine, grapes, pears, plums, peaches, tomatoes and more. They even have pony rides! It's the perfect place to go in the fall.
We ended up picking figi, gala, macintosh and honey crisp apples. All of which were delicious! I even found some peaches that were on the trees too, which made me excited because they're my favorite.
Soon to be a golden delicious apple, those weren't ready yet unfortunately.
My grandma, caught between two apple trees haha isn't she cute!
My mother between the apples and the peaches.
Grandma, grandpa and mom between the bosc pears!
They weren't ripe enough yet, but when they will be they're going to be delicious! I don't eat a lot of pears because I seem to forget about them but I actually like them quite a lot.
My bosc pear in a bowl!
They even had white ducks there swimming in a pond. But then they came ashore and were looking for apples to eat and got kind of mean!
...so did they...
But the sweet little baby cow was just as cute and friendly as ever!
Lastly, we went to the grapes! I picked a ton of these concord grapes. They're always my favorite to pick because they are so beautiful and they taste just like Welches grape juice.
That blue-ish, purple-ish color is just so beautiful. Not only do they taste good but they smell so incredible too.
These will soon be grape jelly! (or wine haha)
I'm sure there will be lots of apple pies and apple crisps coming soon; Just in time for fall this week. I am sad to see summer go but I love the apple and pumpkin picking that comes along with autumn.