Tuesdays with… Shutterboo!

What should I tell you about BooBoo? I should tell you her name isn’t BooBoo or Shutterboo, but Brooke. She’s got mad photog skills. She’s funny. She’s silly. She thinks she knows all about the 80s, bless her Gen XY heart. Anyway, I really dig this chickadee and I know you will too.

Here’s what she had to say about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Not really, this is way more interesting.

What is the elevator pitch for your blog?

My name is Brooke and I live in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky with the hubs (we call him Mike) and my two doggins (Chevy and Chase).  Chevy’s deaf.  It keeps things interesting.  Anywho, my day job is boring so I find refuge in the creative world be it crafting, photography or writing.  And I have my little blog: shutterboo

Why and when did you decide to become a blogger?

I decided to start blogging the summer of 2009 [so I’m only a year old myself].  I was already taking pictures of everything and sharing them five different ways.  And I was giving myself writing exercises at work to keep my environment more creative (I work with a lot of numbers).  So after some thought went into a name, shutterboo was born.  The best part of blogging are the people I’ve met along the way.

What’s next for your blog?

I really don’t know.  I guess just keep doing what I’m doing.  Oh, but I do plan to kick off a new Weekly Photo Challenge with the start of the New Year.  I’m hoping we can get loads of people to play along this year since folks are always looking for projects at the beginning of the year.

What’s your favorite infomercial?

The Cricut.  I get sucked in almost every time it’s on air.  Did you know they have one that cuts out fondant now?  Cool, huh?

If you had to be named after a country, which would it be?

Hmmm… if I could roll my Rs I’d say Morocco.  Because it’s exotic.  And I could roll my Rs.  But since I can’t, Christmas Island.  Because I love the holidays.  I really do.  A lot.  No joke.  For reals, yo.

What’s the most memorable thing you ever ate? It could be really good or really bad.

I had a bad episode with spiced gum drops when I was eight.  The smell of them send me into convulsions.  But  every time I eat my mom’s sweet potato bake, my heart beats a little faster.  It might also do that with bacon.

What kind of old person would you like to be?

The kind that can say whatever she wants and people don’t a) think she’s senile or b) give her the stink eye.  I pretty much say what’s on my mind now [with a few exceptions because inserting the foot is never fun] but yeah, to be open and loud and full of wit.  I want to be Ouiser from Steel Magnolias.

Didn’t I tell you she was uber cool? Do make sure you mosey on over to her blog and hang out, she’ll make you smile every time. Of course I had to put her to work, you don’t just get to be my friend and do nothing.

I asked BooBoo to share some photography tips with us. She got all excited and made it about food photog, which is appropriate for this blog and its perfect timing too. We have all the food madness coming fast, so sharpen your cameras and read on.

I love photography.  I really do.  But I’m here to tell you that I’m no expert.  Far from it.  I’m a hobbyist whose picked up a few pointers along the way and discovered what I liked.  So while you might read this and think “this gal is a total joke!” I can only agree with you – but I can only share what I know.  Now, let’s get started with what I know about photographing food.

I love my camera, whom I affectionately refer to as “the kahuna”, like I love food.  I love to eat.  And I’ve been known to take the stray photo of the plate in front of me.  Food photography has become so popular of late.  With the number of food blogs that grace the interweb and even special diets that require people to log their meals, everyone is snapping photos of their food.  I blame technology – the digital age has made is so much easier to take pointless photos.  But we can use this to our advantage to capture a great photo.

So while I’m neither a professional photographer nor a food blogger, I always have my camera in hand.  And I wanted to share some things I’ve learned while my photography has evolved.

Color is key. – Yes.  Yes, it is.  Your pot roast might be the best in the county but if your meat has a green hue to it, it will not look appetizing.  (Unfortunately, scratch-n-sniff photos aren’t available.)  Many of the foods we eat have bland colors that don’t match their flavors but paying attention to the color can make the biggest difference.  I find that browns and yellows are the most difficult to capture.  Which is why the next point is very valid:

Use natural light. – Flash photography is great and all but I still haven’t figured it out.  But what I’ve discovered with photographing food is that natural provides the best white balance for this particular still life.  Ambient or *gasp* fluorescent light just puts a funny spin on color.  Try shooting in an area that has a lot of natural light, a window that just brightens up the room.  Or do what some of the West coasters do: photograph your food outside al fresco style.

Try different angles and perspectives. – I have no idea what makes a good photograph; sometimes my “eye” is just a bit off and nothing is working.  So I try a difference angle.  Turn the plate, shoot from the front, shoot from above, get up close and personal – but don’t be afraid to step back.  Try cropping.  There are so many different things to make each dish look original.

Experiment with your settings.  – And not just your camera settings.  Be aware of your background, the colors of your dishes, your napkins, plate your food with style in mind.  Some people have a knack for food styling – this gal doesn’t, so I’ll try a couple different things before I find something I like.  But be bold!  Who says all your photos have to be taken inside?  Take it outside, photograph on the deck, on the grass, on the sand – you don’t know how awesome it can be until you try.

And now… the list of don’ts.  What?  You knew this was coming, didn’t you?  You didn’t?  Well, it’s OK you’re late to the party.  We love ya anyway.

–          Don’t be afraid to try new things.  We live in a digital age which means you can take as many photos as your little memory card can hold.  And you can delete.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

–          Don’t take pictures of people eating.  It’s unbecoming.  Even if it is George Clooney – I don’t need to see him chomping away on some Frito Lays… I think… the jury’s still out on this.

–          Be careful not to get too close to your food.  Hot foods will steam and fog up your lens and scraping cheese off the filter never makes for a fun afternoon.  Believe me, I know.

–          Don’t be afraid to share.  Flickr is a fun place to share your photographs and is filled with professionals and amateurs alike.  And everyone loves food.  Everyone.  Well, normal people do.

Here is Brooke’s super tasty Flickr stream. It’s really good food porn. Also, Brooke hosts a photo challenge, I participated for a while this year before life became nutty. But stay tuned, she promises to host a bigger and better one next year. Now go forth and BooBoo!
www.shutterboo.com
the bacon flavored blog

PS: Use lots of exclamation marks in your comments. She loves ’em. mmmmwwhhahaahahahaha.

Anamaris

A year in posts

I can’t believe it’s November already. began thinking about starting a blog back in September 09, decided it was something I wanted to pursue and in October began to write posts. It wasn’t until November 15th that I went live. So now I don’t know when to celebrate my blogiverssary!

Originally, my plan was to celebrate from October to November, but that was thwarted by life and work. This year has been certainly been event-packed for me. Lots of good things, a number of bad ones, but definitely a year lived. How about a trip down memory lane?

Here are some of the things that took place in the last 12 months.

I nervously hit the publish button for the first time.

I fell in love with pit bulls. The second time for keeps.

I took The Hubbz to my beautiful Panamá.

I discovered the joy that comes from reading a comment from a complete stranger.

I received the most awards and honorable mentions since my school days. Thanks fellow bloggers!

I let my competitive side run wild and had fun doing so.

I reconnected with my sister, even if it wasn’t under the best circumstances.

I made and continue to make new friends all over the world.

Yes, a lot has happened in the last 12 months, and a lot more is coming. I hope you will continue to visit my little blog, it’s going to be exciting. In the coming weeks you will see interviews, polls, holiday tips and more. OH MY! I’ll reveal the surprises one post at a time. Stay tuned.

Thanks for making this year such a memorable one!

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Drink me, I’m Irish!

Oh, St. Patty’s Day. I remember rushing out after work and commencing a night-long celebration filled with green drinks. No longer inclined to drink dye-colored drinks, I’ve decided to acquaint myself with a few traditional, or not so much so, Irish inspired drinks.

Feel free to pop open your favorite bottle of Irish Whiskey and whip one or all of these up. I can tell you we enjoyed the research!

Irish Buck


1 1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz ginger ale

Combine whiskey and lime juice pour over ice into a tumbler or Collins glass. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer. For garnish, top  with a lime wheel. The Hubbs and I liked this one, it was nice and refreshing.

Wild Irish Rose


2 oz. Irish whiskey
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. grenadine, to taste
2 oz. soda water

Pour all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir & serve. This was Hubbs’ favorite. We did add a bit more grenadine, probably a full ounce per drink. It was yummy!

Irish Kilt Martini

2 oz Irish Whisky
1 oz Scotch
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz sugar water
3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. This was my favorite. Lemony, sweet, tart and the bitters gave it a hint of clove. Oh yeah.

What are you longing for?

Today I find myself missing my Panamanian home. All the hustle and bustle that’s sure to be happening at my mom’s bakery scrambling to fill all the fruitcake and rum & raisin cake orders. Hovering over pots and pans to sneak a sample from the many party trays to be delivered. The smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and rum in the air.

Hanging out with my mom’s VERY large family: aunts, uncles, nieces, cousins, my Grams. Enjoying the potluck of dishes prepared by each of them. The availability of our delicious tamales, bollos and lechón. The sound of salsa, merengue and reggaeton emanating from every home on the block. The rowdy neighbors out on their patios sitting, dancing, eating, laughing, drinking and having a merry good time.

What are you missing today?