Tuesday, December 29, 2009

{Pregnant Pause}

Sarah's Belly to Blog

I know, I know, I said I'd post 12 days of Holiday Sessions, but I couldn't resist showing off my sister's beautiful belly. We had all of five minutes to shoot (a certain impatient 3 1/2 year old was itching to play). Still, doesn't my sister look amazing in her pjs?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

{Back in the Big Easy, Part 1}

new orleans cemetery

In my magazine life, one of my favorite shoots was a profile on Cindy Brennan, of the famed New Orleans restaurant family. The dinner party she threw in her Rue Royal apartment was humming with a jazzy energy (there was even a live trio pumping out brassy tunes), despite the photographer, food stylist, prop stylist, and writer (me!) tromping around disrupting the flow. Back then, I wrote that gathering over meals is what the people of New Orleans do best, and it’s at this intersection of food and friendliness that you usually find a Brennan.

This was the summer before Katrina hit—displacing thousands, including my cousin Lauren, a New Orleans transplant, and her husband Neil, a New Orleans native. It took years for them to get their house (and lives) back in action and this fall, I came back to New Orleans along with a gang of Greeks (aka my family), for a weekend of cooking, feasting, and another lesson in New Orleans hospitality.

Lauren and Neal managed to squeeze the seven of us into their tenderly restored cottage and still make it feel like we were in a hotel. (Neil graciously kicked himself out of the house, which was deemed an all-female zone for the weekend.) The kitchen—inviting and warm with its rich red cabinets—set the stage for our day of cooking. We were there to cook the nona’s recipes—bourekas, spanikopita, dolmathes and tzaziki, yesmista, prassa kefthedes—and remember the women who fed us well for so many years.

But before the cooking began, we meandered past the ornately-carved tombs of the Metairie Cemetery, wandered the French Quarter, taking in its texture and color, and visited Neil’s store—Royal Antiques, a glorious collection of French and English Antiques where I faux-shopped for my someday house.

And we ate. A lot. (Too much?) We experienced brunch at Commander’s Palace (and I do mean experienced—it’s a wonder just to watch their gracefully choreographed service, and they didn’t blink at our tables’ gluten-free and vegetarian requests). We filled up on powdered beignets at Café du Monde. And I had the most decadent pecan pie of my life at Brigtsens, a cozy restaurant tucked into an Uptown neighborhood where Neil has been a regular for fifteen years. And then, to set the tone for the momentous Day O’ Cooking, Lauren led us through a moving session of yoga set to a soothing soundtrack of Ladino music.








white wall blog


Royal Antiques1


elvis blog


New Orleans Wedding

Beignet Blog



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!




A Merry Eve to all of my Christmas friends!
Now, off to the movies and Chinese...

(PS, Doesn't my friend Beth just have the most stylish Christmas scene? It makes me want to move in.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

{12 Days of Holiday Sessions: Day 4}


I just adore the pompoms on these hats, don't you? Though the twins didn't seem to notice... More great photos from this session to post, but I wanted to make sure to live up to my one-post-a-day promise to myself.

Monday, December 21, 2009

(12 Days of Holiday Sessions: Day 3}




It was fall and these kiddos did an excellent job frolicking in the leaves, don't you think? Their graphic designer mom (she does work for Hammertown, the amazing furniture store in Rhinebeck and Pine Plains) is currently hard at work at their holiday card. I can't wait to see it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

{12 Days of Holiday Sessions: Day 2}

Here's a favorite from a mini-session back in November. I'm not going to post their pick for holiday card since they haven't yet sent it out, but I adore this one, in a non-traditional kind of way. They kind of look like they're in a Gap ad, no?

This would have been my favorite, if little R didn't look so forlorn!

Here's her idea of a happy family photo!

{12 Days of Holiday Sessions: Day 1}





When I was on staff at magazines, my worst nightmare was writing headlines. I was terrible at it. A 2,000 word article? No problem. But 3 snappy words? I was paralyzed. Sadly, my inability to write a decent headline is part of what’s made me neglect this blog. (That and the hours of photo editing I’m up against.) I feel all sorts of pressure to write a snappy header and…well…I’ve got nothin’. So I’ve come up with an easy solution. 12 Days of Holiday Card Sessions. That means 12 days that I don’t have to think of any thing witty or sweet or treacle or (heaven forbid) boring. Of course, one could argue that 12 Days is boring; if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

And, for Day 1, I present the A Team. I adored photographing these two kiddos, who came wearing their grins. They were goofy and sweet and I could have photographed them all day! And their mom just sent me their ultra-cool xmas card, which she got from Minted.) I love seeing photos in action. Thanks for the card!