I recently traveled to Ohio for a second time. This visit, like the first, revolved around photographing food as well as affording me a long overdue catch-up with Kate. I traveled south by car with Lisa and Nicole, and what fun we had! We have a shared love of food, photography, and prop hunting—so deciding on what stops to make along the way was a breeze. The three of us, along with Kathy, stayed with Kate who generously hosted us. I hadn’t seen Kathy since last summer in Portland, so it was great to be able to give her a hug and catch up. On the night of our arrival, we dined in the garden—feasting on Lisa’s out of this world spicy Curry, Kate’s quinoa, and Nicole’s refreshing and filling Chickpea Salad. My contribution to dinner was dessert, of course: chocolate cake—made by the Irishman.
We spent a magnificent Saturday rubbing shoulders with a group of photographers who had come together to participate in a workshop run by Clare, hosted by Kate in her beautiful home studio. I love watching photographers do their thing—and it was fascinating to see how vastly different the work produced was despite the fact that the group was shooting the same food and using the same pool of props. I tend to like to take my time setting up shots, so for me the steady pressure of styling and shooting 7+ different dishes in the space of 4 hours was an excellent personal exercise. That’s an even faster pace than the one we set during the shoot for Jae Steele’s Ripe From Around Here. When I’m shooting or styling for clients, I will up my pace as needed. When I’m working for myself, I’m a little more mellow.
Kate baked nearly all of the entirely plant-based menu for the shoot herself, as well as a beautiful breakfast for everyone on the day consisting of vegan quiche, baked oatmeal, and berry danish. Even though my breakfast Danish (pictured above) wasn’t officially part of the shoot, it was the first thing I styled and photographed that morning and became one of my favourite images from the day.
The girls and I, wanting to take some of the load off of Kate with all that food prep, offered to help by making the tomato soup and quinoa salad which were on the to-do list for the shoot. We split into teams, with Lisa and I making the Quinoa Salad and Nicole, Kathy and Kate making the soup. The salad turned out extra delicious (under Lisa’s sage direction) and was really easy to throw together. All you need is cooked quinoa and some colourful, flavourful veggies to throw into mix. We used cherry tomatoes, chives, fresh peas, corn, and red pepper–seasoning it all with lime juice and salt. Fresh, simple and delicious—I plan on making it regularly.
It was a delicious weekend filled with my favourite things: good food, friends, and cameras. I’m looking forward to having many more adventures with these talented ladies.