Couple weeks ago my friend Danielle had tweeted “BRIOCHE” and since I love brioche I clicked on the link that was in her tweet. That link got me landed right on Pastry Chef Chris Ford’s blog, Butter Love & Hard Work. Chris Ford is the pastry chef at Wit & Wisdom down in Baltimore, Maryland and most recently won the People’s Choice for East Region Pastry Chef at Food and Wine.
The 2 things that I love are both in Chris Ford’s blog. 1) Behind the scenes photos. As some of you may know I’m a little obsessed about that. 2) Big giant images. Beautiful images are meant to be shown as big as possible. That night I ended up going through his entire blog and I believe you will also.
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I have always been drawn to blogs that are very personal. It’s more interesting to read when you get to find out more about the person behind the camera and blog. So I was super excited when Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille agreed to let me feature her photos!! If you don’t know Aran she’s a pastry chef, writer, photographer, stylist and a mother! How does she find time for everything? Her photos are truly amazing and inspiring. She always adds a bit of childhood memories into her posts because as she mentioned in her about page “Why the name Cannelle Et Vanille? Because those are the smells and tastes of my childhood and this blog is very much filled with nostalgia.”
Q. What are you trying to capture when you take your food photos?
A. I try to capture not only the food but a feeling/ambiance. I am very inspired by seasons and I always try to evoke that in the images.
Q. What is your process from thinking about what to bake to posting the finished photos onto your blog?
A. The process varies really. Sometimes I start with the food in mind. Then I cook/bake it and then I just let the styling “happen” on its own. I play around until I find something that fits what I am trying to convey. Other times, I have a frame, composition or color scheme in mind and I cook around that. That’s the inspiration part. Then I actually make the food and photograph it as is. Everything that you see in my blog will be eaten by my family. The photos are simple. It never really takes too long as I want it to be as organic, spontaneous and simple as possible, When it comes to writing the post, I often times resort to past memories. I don’t do it on purpose but I think that way a lot.
Q. You’ve been blogging for 2.5years now, how has it been for you? Were there surprises in your life during these 2.5years because of your blog?
A. Totally! Blogging started as something fun for me to do, like writing a journal, but now it’s become my profession.
Q. What makes a perfect food moment? Like the moment when you open the oven to find perfectly baked bread or the moment when you take that first sip of morning coffee while the family is still sleeping…OR during big family gatherings and everyone is enjoying your food.
A. I would say all of those things. It’s hard to say what it is and I try not to overthink food too much. I want it to be magical.
All photos courtesy of Aran Goyoaga – Cannelle et Vanille
A little over a year ago Connie Thadewaldt started her blog, COOK, a oui chef journal, as a way to keep herself busy after being laid off from her job. I came upon her blog while searching for ramps and was quickly drawn in by her wonderful photos and writing. And when a chef offers a step-by-step on how to clean a soft shell crab or write about what equipment she uses, you better pay attention!
I asked Connie about her photos, process and being a blogger. Thanks again for letting me feature your work Connie!
When I photograph, I try to capture something intangible, something that explains why I get so excited about food and cooking. To not just see a French fry for example, but rather to see and taste “hot, crispy, salty” in one’s mind. If possible, I also like to throw in the element of “what is that/how was it made?” to my photos by playing around with different angles and plate-ups.
Its definitely a challenge to reflect something like taste and smell through a photograph (it never ceases to amaze me how differently food looks to the naked eye versus through a lens). I’m definitely not where I want to be yet, but its fun learning.
My process all depends on what is being photographed, where I am and what time of day it is. Shooting colorful produce at farmer’s markets in midday requires the least effort, and never needs extra equipment or processing beyond cropping. When I’m at home, I either shoot early in the morning when I have the best sunlight (doesn’t happen that often,) or in the late evening I set up a white board on my white table, counter or butcher’s block with a light. Sometimes I have to use a step stool to get the right height, and there’s a lot of running back and forth to the computer to load up pictures and see what I’ve done. The indoor shots generally need some processing. I usually just adjust the levels with photoshop elements.
First off, I never thought I’d still be blogging after a year, to be honest. Its a lot more work than I would have ever imagined. I wouldn’t really say that its changed my life, but it has definitely taught me a greater appreciation for writers, photographers, food stylists, recipe-writers and web designers. I’ve cooked for years, but always used my eyes and hands for measuring (with the exception of baking, of course.) I think I took for granted what it meant to actually create and test a recipe and get it written down. Not to mention take pictures, then write about it and post it on a website. But I love doing it, and there’s an amazing community of people out there which is always refreshing. I never actually read food blogs before I started mine, but now I read a number of them everyday.
- Connie Thadewaldt