Tag Archives: photography

Back to Basics.

I used to enjoy grocery shopping. I loved taking the time to plan a week’s worth of meals and think about what I would feature on my blog. I would spend an hour or two searching for recipes and perusing cookbooks to find the perfect things. Then I would head to the store and wander the aisles, choosing the best produce and reading labels. It was meditative and fulfilling for me. It got me excited about cooking and eating and blogging.

But somewhere along the way, I lost that joy. In an effort to maximize my time off, also known as “my time to take photos, edit photos, cook food, write blog posts, manage social media, watch tutorials, advance my photography skills, etc., etc., etc.,” I started going grocery shopping after my work day ended on Wednesday afternoon. That way, I had three full days “off” to do all of the abovementioned things.

But the grocery store is inevitably jam-packed with people on Wednesday afternoons — I have no idea why — which makes shopping frustrating and hurried. And because that’s when I’ve just completed my work week at a physically demanding job, I’m often too exhausted to do the recipe searching and planning that I should, resulting in not only half-baked (ha ha) cooking and photography plans, but also a tendency to forget certain things on the list or buy things we don’t need.

So, enough is enough. It’s time to get back to basics.

Don’t get me wrong; I love what I’m doing. I have been working very hard to improve my photography skills. I’ve started taking portraits and headshots. I’ve been researching photographic technique and lighting tips and applying them to my food photography. I’ve been cramming Photoshop skills and tutorials down my own throat.  Basically I’ve given myself a second job, so although I’m extraordinarily fortunate to have three days off, I spend much of them working. And although it is tiring and sometimes difficult, I love the momentum I’m building and the direction I’m heading. It’s just time to rebalance.

The start of a new year is as good a time as any a time as any to rethink how and more importantly WHEN I’m doing things. I need to keep myself focused on my photography goals, but get back to enjoying the planning, cooking and shopping aspects again. That means making some meaningful time for them. Some simple reorganizing of my schedule ought to do the trick. That, and reminding myself that doing things differently doesn’t mean they’re any better or any worse, just different.

So in the spirit of simplicity and getting back to basics, I give you these blueberry muffins. That’s about as basic as it comes. Simple and sweet.

Happy New Year! Here’s to finding balance for us all. A few of my recent portraits are below. For the muffin recipe, check out my other blog: Buried Carrots.

Where I Work. What I Do. Who I Am. Where I’m Going.

I didn’t leave my job to pursue my big dream. I still have a 401k and a uniform, an ID badge and a proxy card. So why am I writing a blog about changing my life and pursuing my dreams?

I work as a massage therapist at a big resort and casino. In my humble opinion, it is probably one of the best jobs a massage therapist could hope for in this city. I enjoy the infrastructure of a huge company, and we have the best equipment money can buy and all the supplies we need. I have health benefits and, as mentioned above, a 401k. I like my coworkers, I like the environment of the spa, and I like being an employee rather than a contractor. In addition, I am still a relatively new therapist — I’ve only been doing this for four years. At the spa, I work and work and work, and as a result my skills are improving every day. Because I don’t work for myself, I don’t have to worry about where my next client will come from, or who is going to pay for laundry detergent, or how I’ll pay the rent. I can just focus on providing excellent client care and customer service. I can continue to build my massage skills and concentrate on being a good team member. For right now, it is exactly where I need to be.

But massage isn’t the only thing that I love. I have a lot of interests that have become fairly serious hobbies over the past few years. Cooking, photography, writing and blogging top the list. My current job allows me enough time to pursue these interests (yet another big bonus of working there), and I’m working very hard to grow my skills in all of these areas. I don’t know exactly what that means for my future, but I know that expanding my skills and knowledge can only lead to good things — new opportunities.

My next big challenge is the 2011 Food And Light Workshop in Boulder, CO: a two-day food photography workshop. This is a big push for me and one I’m very excited about (when I’m not being nervous about it, that is). I’m basically self-taught when it comes to photography, so getting some real instruction is going to be great. I’m hoping to gain some insight into areas where I have been struggling, and overall I’m hoping to learn how to improve my photography for my food blog, Buried Carrots. I’d really like to build a bigger following for Buried Carrots, and one of the ways to do this is to get picked up by sites like FoodGawker and TasteSpotting. But that requires really good photos. So improving my photography is my first step toward pushing Buried Carrots to a new level.

So that’s it in a nutshell: where I work, what I do, who I am and where I’m going — for right now, anyway. I’m focused on pursuing my interests, working hard and following my heart on a path that is leading me toward my “next big thing,” whatever that may be. Look for updates (and photos) from the workshop coming soon!