Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Favorites

Earlier this week, I completed my first planned food shoot in over a year (for this post) and it was quite terrifying to start shooting again without knowing whether the old skills/sensibilities would flow back naturally or if the learning would be from scratch. In the end, it was a bit of both, with the added challenge of adjusting to the lighting in a new apartment. I realize professional photographers must constantly adapt to diverse settings for their shoots (among the many reasons that I respect them so and that I'll never be a pro lol!). I, on the other hand, am accustomed to quite the opposite: transforming the same environment into 20 different ones so my photos don't all blend together. If any of you have tips for readjusting to food photography/blogging after a long break or after a big move, please share them with me in the comments below!

Another topic on my mind this week has been the interaction between individual innovation and external inspiration from the work of others (such as the photos I share in these favorites posts). One of the reasons I enjoy perusing beautiful food photos is that different photographers can approach the same subject from drastically different angles. In the best circumstances, seeing such varied takes on the same subject helps me break out of a creative box I may not even realize I'm in. That's the best and desired outcome. Yet there's also the possibility that focusing too much on the work of others will simply impose new blinders that anchor your creativity to the ideas of another artist. I know I'm not the only one to feel this way. For example, I once read an article from a cake artist who avoided looking at other cake art so that she could ensure that her designs would be part of a unique, personal style. What do you guys think? Not just for food or photography but for any form of art, do you feel it's more helpful or harmful to look at other people's work while also developing your own? 

P.S. - Just want to make sure everyone knows that the photos I feature still link back to the source/creator if you click on the image.  One of the main reasons I make these favorites posts is to direct more traffic to deserving artists, so I'd hate for people not to realize the links are there. Enjoy!

Tomatoes Photograph by Local Milk
0 LocalMilk-Heirloom Tomatoes Ingred
Herbed Chicken Sandwich Photograph by Jeff Kauck
1 Jeff Kauck-Herb Chicken Sandwich, Burger Paper Wire Rack Blue Linen
Assorted Ingredients on Bread Board Photograph by Jeroen van der Spek
2 Jeroen van der Spek-Cheese Tray Round Wood Board Peas White Asparagus Mustard Ingred
Roasted Spiced Pumpkin Salad with Tahini Dressing from The Food Dept.
3 FoodDept-Roasted Pumpkin Winter Squash Salad Tahini Dressing Idea
Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps from Sips and Spoonfuls
4 Sipsandspoonfuls-Grilled Chicken Satay Wrap Ingred Paper
Great Gatsby Themed Wedding Cake by Sweet Cakes Bakery via Glamour and Grace
5 SweetCakesLLC-Feather Gilded Great Gatsby Brooch Flag Banner Fondant Wedding Cake Fave
Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Popcorn from Have a Yummy Day
6 Haveayummyday-Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Popcorn Idea Ingred

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Naturally Gluten-Free: Coconut Cassava Bars

Hello world! These are my baby steps back into the food blogging/photography world. A little scared...a lot clumsy (I swear I've somehow forgotten even the basics of how light works! =X)...and learning things again bit by bit (I hope) with each attempt!

Coconut Cassava Bars
For today's shoot, I chose coconut cassava bars inspired by one of my favorite nutrition blogs, Nutrition to Kitchen. Similar versions of this cake can be found in Vietnamese and Filipino cuisine. These bars are mildly sweet and just a little bit salty (partly due to the addition of cheddar cheese!); soft and chewy in a way that's reminiscent of mochi cake (not surprising once you learn cassava is used to make tapioca); rich with coconut flavor (from the milk as well as sweetened coconut strings known as macapuno); naturally gluten-free; and ab-so-lute-ly addicting to nibble on. Please do give it a go, and let me know what you think!