Working in restaurants on and off for seven years, S became somewhat of a foodie. In college, she went off the meal plan her freshman year so that she could cook for herself, though her culinary range was admittedly limited, consisting mainly of frozen veggie stir-fries. She went through a Michael Pollan-inspired phase, eschewing all things packaged, experimented with a month-long vegan and gluten-free diet, and after giving up meat in sixth grade did not become a full-fledged omnivore until we started dating. Early on in our relationship we came to the tacit understanding that we would both be happier if S cooked while D’s forays into the kitchen were limited to doing the dishes.
After we moved to Nairobi, S began experimenting with new recipes. This was partly due to the unavailability of some ingredients, partly to a desire to learn to cook meat, and partly because she at first had extra time on her hands. That Nairobi has no decent Mexican, Thai, or Mediterranean restaurants also factored into S’s expanding repertoire. She started reading food blogs and dabbling in baking, something she never had a knack for before. To her own pleasant surprise, a few mishaps aside (like the gin & tonic cake that blew up all over the oven), her experiments turned out well. Challah, scones, pirogies, quiche, galette – there is a sense of satisfaction at feeling confident that any dish one craves can be made at home from scratch.
Reading all those food blogs spawned a growing interest in food photography. Unfortunately, the recent events we’ve hosted failed at producing any respectable food photos. Part of the problem is that we’re not good at being on time. S would very much like to be the kind of hostess who finishes preparations well before her guests arrive and has time to shower, dress, and pour herself a glass of wine. Even with the occasional assistance of our part-time cook and four hands at work, however, it is always down to the wire, with a dish or two lagging behind.
S cooked up a storm for D’s birthday soirée, but guests started arriving before we finished setting the table. Likewise, she wanted to photograph our contributions to the Thanksgiving feast, but it was too dark by the time the cooking was completed to take pictures. With this in mind, we decided to host brunch soon after we returned from the coast. We had been talking for a while about inviting some people from the office we don’t typically see socially, and it gave us the opportunity to practice capturing our nosh in technicolor.
As we’re just getting acquainted with our one prime lens, we’d appreciate any tips from those of you who are more experienced photographers.