52 sundays; october 16, 2011

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” ~ Ira Glass

We’ve been in the studio practicing lately as we’ve become a bit obsessed with dark photos and shadow; quite a bit of the photography in fall magazines have that deep, dark look we love . . . achieving that look is another thing entirely . . .

These aren’t the type of photos that will be accepted at Foodgawker or Tastespotting but that isn’t the point. This experiment is about trying something new and the discipline of practice; the experience has been challenging yet rewarding . . . and we still have a long way to go.

Textures, color, layering, depth of field, direction and focus of light . . . we’ll keep practicing until we’ve mastered it . . .

Until then we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor . . .

Happy Sunday!


  1. These are stunning! Remind me of Caravaggio and his “chiaro-scuro” paintings. I’d love to learn how to get this effect – I love the moodiness and emotion.

  2. Simply stunning. I feel like I’m looking through all of my favorite Art History books…only the still-life paintings have come to real-life. *sigh* Lovely.

  3. I want that first photo as a print in my kitchen! Love these. And foodgawker can suck it if they don’t like these. These are the kinds of pictures that get deemed as art and get passed down through families.

  4. Those are so gorgeous. They grabbed me and kept me looking and wishing.


  5. I love this post and I love the quote. I’ve been (as you may know) really frustrated with the world of food blogging as I find that many people do not takes risks nor do they seem to know themselves, their talents, their limits or how to take their time to develop, hone and understand their skills whether writing, styling or photography. There is so much imitation (it is safer and it is accepted and recognized by the community – as well as Tastespotting and Foodgawker) and there are too many who jump into the fray and think they have reached the end when they are, in fact, just starting. I think we all need to experiment, understand ourselves, dare… and push our own limits in that quest of evolving and improving and creating our own voice. Lovely photos and wonderful post.

  6. I’m with you! I love the shadows and play of light in these photographs. I especially love that pear at the bottom. Lovely!

  7. Pingback: So Much Talent | The Rowdy Chowgirl

  8. I think the smartest thing we can do in our progression to take better photographs is to not give Tastespotting or Foodgawker the weight they don’t deserve. They force us to crop images into shapes that we’re not setting the stage for and then fit into a standard that just doesn’t work for all of us. I want to explore different elements too; different lighting included so we HAVE to make this our own personal journey. Food photo sites be damned!! That is a lovely quote…I think we all need to read something like that on occasion.

  9. Gorgeous, you two. Seriously – looks like Vermeer. And the quote from Ira G. is particularly helpful to me today. So, in a word, thanks. xox

  10. Aww Deb, Beautiful mood photos. I know exactly what you mean by going this direction. More like art and painting. Donna Hay is an inspiration to me their photographs are dark with so much depth.

  11. Dark photos are my favorite – these are gorgeous, especially that pear shot!

  12. I love dark shadows too, Debra! Totally my favorite thing.

  13. I love the pear shot! What a beautiful still life portrait… should be on the wall!

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