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Entries in photography (26)

Friday
Jul152011

animal rescue: lola

Nicknames: Little Legs, Lola Pants.
Likes: the park in Chicago just south of 31st Street beach—lots of open space and it’s her favorite view of the skyline…playing fetch in Humboldt Park, sleeping in…
‘Pet’ peeves: Getting her teeth brushed.
Guilty pleasure: Old Mother Hubbard’s Organic Char Tar biscuits…and fresh tomatoes.
Talent Show: she’ll roll over and “flop like a fish” for a treat.
Before she became famous: Lola was spotted at a local Anti-Cruelty Society—she came with lots of attitude, which is still with her today.

Cat and dog adoption fast facts:
…approximately 4 million pet dogs and cats are euthanized each year due to overpopulation.
…25% of pet dogs euthanized in animal shelters are purebred.
…adopting a dog or cat from the Humane Society, ASPCA—any rescue group—can save their life.
…and, being a pet owner can add years to your life too.
To find your next pet, check out adoptapet.com

Wednesday
Jul062011

animal rescue: thatcher

Nicknames: Honey Badger, Tootsie, Miss Maggie Thatcher.
Likes: Taking naps, sleeping, playing fetch, eating, lying around—did I mention sleeping?
‘Pet’ peeves: When you open garbage bags and getting out of the car—she loves car rides, but hates when they’re over.
Favorite toy: BALLS, BALLS, BALLS and chew-toys. She loves to chase balls and anything that she can chew on.
Favorite napping spot: Anywhere!—but mostly on her Union Jack blanket on the couch.
Guilty pleasure: She loves all treats, so we haven’t discovered her favorite yet.
Talent Show: She really doesn’t do any tricks yet unless you call sleeping and taking naps an admirable trick. She can fall asleep just about anywhere!
Before she became famous: Thatcher was saved by an amazing group here in Chicago called the Chicago English Bulldog Rescue. Read all about her rescue here.

Cat and dog adoption fast facts:
…approximately 4 million pet dogs and cats are euthanized each year due to overpopulation.
…25% of pet dogs euthanized in animal shelters are purebred.
…adopting a dog or cat from the Humane Society, ASPCA—any rescue group—can save their life.
…and, being a pet owner can add years to your life too.
To find your next pet, check out adoptapet.com

Monday
Mar212011

meet us: adam pearson

Meet Adam Pearson, a professional food stylist based near our photo shoot in LA and Palm Springs. He’s the creative genius of our Mexican Fiesta and his recipes will be featured throughout the season.

Who taught you to cook?
Growing up in southern California, my dad spent a lot of time with me grilling outside. He also taught me how to make biscuits and sausage gravy when I was about 8. The gravy recipe is so easy its ingrained in my memory—and those moments became more special as our family split up.

Has ‘California cuisine’ influenced you?
I was exposed to a lot of different, exotic cultures and cuisines at a young age—ironically none from my own family. I took bits and pieces from friends’ homes and what they were cooking, and now as an adult they finally make sense when I mix them together in the kitchen.

What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Spices. I love the flavor of ethnic foods but right now I’m obsessed with Korean. It’s warm, spicy, filling—very much like comfort food. I’m working with an assistant who goes to the Korean market with me, translates the staples, shares how they can be mixed—this opened a door to experimenting with Korean cuisine.

Got any food styling secrets you can share?
Instead of following a recipe, I’ll start by ‘deconstructing’ it—meaning I’ll cook ingredients so each looks its best. As for plating, I like them to look approachable…a little messy…perfectly imperfect.

Also, tools are my thing. I’m the tool kid. I’d be lost without a blow torch…a mandolin…but the most important tools are a sense of confidence and your hands. It’s so true that experience enhances your senses. The first food stylist I apprenticed under—all he needed was his fingers and spit.

Where do you find inspiration?
My partner Matt and I, we travel a lot and always bring something back that’s food related. Our first stop is usually a grocery store for local ingredients—like chick pea flour from Nice, France. Matt was recently in Singapore and brought back a suitcase and a half—our pantry is filled with international foodstuffs.

We like to shop for one-off serving dishes, special baking dishes made for indigenous recipes…in Spain we found local pottery shops with hand-made, lovely cazuelas which are very useful in preparing Spanish recipes.

And wherever we are, we’re dissecting and cataloging what was prepared for us. In Buenos Aires we had compound butters with fresh bread that was to die for! Like English muffins with pistachio butter—so easy to do at home.

What do you do for fun?
Matt publishes mattbites.com, and we often work on it together, so recipes, food styling and photography are a huge part of both our lives. There’s no way around bringing our work home with us—especially since his studio is part of the house.

Often one of us is on a shoot out of town, so when we’re both home we make lots of trips to farmer’s markets. It’s almost a cliche but we get what’s local and seasonal—we’re spoiled being in southern California where we get fresh vegetables all year. We go without a menu in mind, check out what looks good, and make things up as we go along.

Great looking plates, platters, and serving utensils add another layer. Dinner in our house is usually a small production and we love rotating pieces from our prop studio with our everyday slip porcelain from Australia. And we get just about every food magazine out there so—there may be a fine line between passion and addiction, but there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of free time for anything but food.

Friday
Jan282011

spring flower show, 2011

Towards the end of January, the days are getting longer but it still feels like winter will never end—and when its sunny in Chicago, that means its especially cold.

Which makes it the perfect time to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory for some humidity to soothe chapped lips, to bask in the sunlight for some vitamin D, and to visually feast on colorful spring blossoms for a nature fix.

Once inside, the beauty of nature creates a picture perfect view from any angle. The Victorian architecture of the conservatory is not only piece of local history, the ‘oversized greenhouse’ is inspiring to recreate on a small scale as a terrarium in glass cylinder vases. Search out your favorites plants, check their viability in a terrarium, and get your hands in the dirt. Once complete, these mini ecosystems are virtually carefree.

If you don’t have a green thumb, how about photography? The Spring Flower Show starts this weekend so consider investing an afternoon there. Get recharged and come home with some vibrant images that can be artfully cropped and frame favorites to display in your office or home.

Wednesday
Jan192011

todd selby exhibit: atlanta

What: Photographs by Todd Selby
When: January 21 thru March 25, 2011
Where: Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta

Opening reception with the artist, this Friday, January 21st, from 6-8pm.

There will also be an informal artist talk, Saturday, January 22nd, at 11am.

Call ahead!