Monthly Archives: November 2015

ROE Caviar

ROE_Caviar_02

I recently entertained for the first time with caviar. Of course I’ve had caviar on many occasions at parties, but in very small amounts and without a story of what it is or where it came from. It’s funny, every time I think about caviar served at a party I remember the scene from “You’ve Got Mail” where Tom Hank’s character takes all the caviar garnish at a party during the middle of a quarrel with Meg Ryan.

I’ll be honest, I never really knew what all the fuss was about with caviar. Maybe I just never had good caviar? Or maybe it is the fact that I was raised in Texas, far from the glittering crowd that would appreciate such a delicacy, instead, as children, making fake “chocolate pies” in the mud with my brother.

When my friend introduced me to ROE Caviar, a sustainably farmed California caviar only available in November & December,  I decided it was time to focus and decide where I stand on this glossy little black wonder.

Well… now I know.

It’s heavenly. Salty, delicate, fresh, delightful… it’s like the joy of champagne in solid form. It was thrilling to try and even more delightful to serve. How shall I decide on a beautiful way to present it and what to serve it with! Our guests loved it. To my surprise, they loved it more than I even expected, and I think more than they expected as well.

One of our dinner guests is Swiss-German, something I like to call him when he begins to fix anything broken in your apartment or builds the perfect autumn fire, taught us to put a dab of caviar on your skin between your thumb and pointer finger and taste it off the flesh. Sounds weird at first but hey, I didn’t get to where I’m at in life by not trying new things. So I did and tasting the nuances of the caviar was pure luxury and experiencing the cold, wet texture of the caviar against the contrast of your skin and wetness of your mouth was frankly… sexy. I am thankful I do not have a drug habit but I am fearful I might have a caviar one which could possibly be worse!

So here’s to trying new things and sharing it among friends. Below is the recipe from our friend Jared (who also makes Salt Box Cookies) for homemade blinis we served alongside sour cream and chives for the perfect holiday hostess platter of my new love, caviar.

Caviar Blinis

1/4 cup potato starch

1/2 cup flour

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 tbsp melted butter, plus more for skillet

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, lightly whisk buttermilk, egg and melted butter.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk batter.

Place a skillet over medium/low heat and brush with butter.  When skillet is hot, spoon scant tablespoons of batter on to the skillet about 2 inches apart.  Once pancakes rise and bottoms are golden brown, flip and brown the other side.

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Snapshots of Autumn

Snapshots of an Autumn

On this holiday week I’m looking forward to wrapping up projects and going for quiet walks in Central Park. I love the city over the holidays, the way it smells like roasted nuts and hot apple cider. How your face feels the newly crisp air kiss its cheeks. Everything sparkles in the clear, golden, autumnal light and there is a thickness of hope that presents the city at its most charming. On Thanksgiving we choose not to leave, we instead choose to have it as our own moment to breathe and be thankful for the lives we have found in New York together. We so often get carried away in the day to day stresses of running a creative studio it’s easy to forget all the things we are thankful for. But one thing is for sure, I’m thankful for these autumn memories, for this beautiful fall and to have spent another year of my life making photographs.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. 

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Salt Box Cookies

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Living in New York you make friends with the most talented people in a variety of fields. Our friend Jared has a talent for making cookies. Those perfect, warm, soft, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, addictive chocolate chip cookies that take you back to your childhood of sweet innocence. I will never say no to a fresh baked treat, but one of the reasons Jared’s is so good is that pinch of textured salt that balances the sugar. The last time he sent me a batch not only did I over-eat them for dessert, I had one for breakfast every day for five days. So that happened.

The cookies were in such demand that Jared decided to make it a business, Salt Box Cookies. The business of freshly baked cookies, handmade in Brooklyn using the highest quality, all-natural ingredients and delivered right away through Uber Rush in NYC or shipped overnight out of state. So now, it’s like being able to call up mom or dad and say, “Hey! Make me some cookies!” and just like that, a fresh batch arrives and the sugar rush commences.

Considering the holidays coming up, this is a really easy way to send a homemade gift to friends, family, work colleagues, or bring fresh baked cookies to a party that I promise will be a hit. Honestly, after you have Salt Box Cookies you can never by packaged store-bought again. 

… and hey, you might recognize the photography and cinemagraphs on SaltBoxCookies.com, we did it in exchange for a lifetime supply of cookies. I think we came out on top in this deal.

Now, who wants a treat?

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FEED + Adobe

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

For this year’s FEED holiday campaign they partnered with Adobe for an open call to the creative communities to come up with a unique concept over a seven-day challenge. The winning design would be chosen as the new campaign — talk about pressure!

The Challenge

There where three creative teams brought to the challenge. First they were briefed, then they got to work building their concepts, presented to a panel of judges (this is where I come in!) and a winner was chosen… but that was only the first half of the week! The winning team then had to produce the shoot and execute the final copy, layout design and retouched selects which ultimately make up the campaign you will begin to see online and in print magazines this December. All of this happened in a single week and all of it was captured on camera in a mini web series showing the true nature of the creative world and how teamwork, concepts, talent, branding and vision all to come life as ads and images we are surrounded with on a daily basis.

I had the amazing experience to participate as one of the judges in choosing which creative team had the best vision and message which in the end was Follow my Lead with a social media activation: #LeadFEED.

Each creative team presented between two and three concepts which were completely flushed out, from what the message was to how that would look digitally, in print and through social media activation. As a photographer, I found it fascinating to see the amount of thought and options that go into putting together a campaign. One team’s idea was visually more engaging to a photographer’s eye,  but another team’s concept hit a stronger emotional note. It was also interesting to see how each of the different judges reacted based on their own industry expertise.

In the end, we put it to a vote and a winner was chosen. You can see the entire process here! Below are some stills from the pitch episode with my fellow judges: Lauren Bush Lauren, Jean Batthany, Ariel Foxman, and Joel Giullian.

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

The Campaign 

After the winning concept was chosen I thought my job was done… then Lauren asked me to actually be in the campaign which, as you might guess, is a really weird feeling for someone who is used to being behind the lens (aside from informal snapshots of my life I share here with you guys). I’ll admit I was a bit nervous. You never know what a photographer is going to do to you or if they see you differently than you see yourself. Luckily for me, FEED is all about authenticity and captured me in my city with the thing that is most important to my being- my camera.

I carried the FEED Daily bag which provides 50 school meals for children around the world which you can see below in the resulting campaign photo photographed by Gus & Lo in New York City’s west village. Also wearing shoes by Ralph Lauren (similar), boyfriend jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren, organic cotton sweater purchased on a recent trip to Amsterdam from Marc O’Polo, scarf by Mulberry, hat by Satya Twena, Portofino watch by IWC, and my trusty Canon 5D Mark III, 50mm lens and leather hand strap.

See all four final campaign shots here and perhaps you will recognize Caroline who makes frequent appearances here on the blog as she is not only one of my favorite New Yorkers but also personal muses.

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