I know I don’t post on my blog very often, so you know it’s a good one when it makes it on to my blog (or rather I’m just able to find the time to post!)

Yesterday I photographed Lauren & Brandon’s engagement session-they are such a fun adventurous couple, they were so patient with me while I tried some fun stuff.  Ridiculously good looking too, check them out:IMG_4757-2
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The Stone Arch Bridge
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The Yellow Room at the Guthrie

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Playing around with a prism in the yellow room:
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Fun with double exposure image below
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Also known as King Cake, the Galette Des Rois becomes available in bakeries all over Paris starting in December in anticipation of the celebration of Epiphany, on January 6th.  This delicious treat is wonderful for breakfast with espresso or as a dessert anytime in my opinion.  It has a very light, delicate flakey crust and creamy custardy filling.  It disappears fast in my house!  It can be prepared the night before and popped into the oven in the morning to serve.  It’s so beautiful, it’s sure to impress guests.

Recipe:

  • One package of puff pastry (found in the freezer department of any grocery store)
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 7 T. of butter (real butter) sliced into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. of rum
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Egg Glaze:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. milk

Combine flour, sugar, & orange zest. Add slices of butter & mix in.  Add rum & almond extract, then the eggs, one at a time.  Place mixture in the refrigerator.

Place one layer of puff pastry onto a sheet of parchment paper. gently roll out a bit until the narrow side extends to the size of a plate.  Place a plate over the pastry and cut out the shape to create a nice clean round piece.  Place a piece of parchment or plastic wrap over it.  Create another round piece exactly the same way.  Place both pieces in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Place one of the pastry rounds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Spoon the almond mixture into the middle and spread, leaving an inch space from the edge.  Wet your fingers and moisten the space, so that when you place the second pastry round on top, it sticks and your filling does not leak out when you bake it.  Flute the edges as you would for a pie.  Any design works just fine. At this point the Galette may be covered and placed into the refrigerator until morning if you like.  Before baking, brush the top with the eggs glaze.  Run a knife across the top (about 1/2 way through the pastry) to create any kind of beautiful design you like.  Use your knife to poke a few holes all the way through to allow steam to escape.

Bake 30 minutes at 375.  Cool on rack, serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

In the oven, I love to see it puff up!IMG_4674

After it cools, it deflates slightly. It has a wonderful delicate flakey outside and delicious almond custardy filling.
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Are you planning a destination wedding and wondering if you should be bringing your own photographer with you?  Most couples who regard photography as an important aspect of their wedding do and here’s why it can be one of the best wedding decisions you make:

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Bringing a photographer from home with you can actually help alleviate some stress.  You’ll know this person, have a good relationship with them already and know exactly what to expect, AND you’ll have no worries about any potential language or cultural barriers.

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A Better Value-You will definitely get more for your money.  Chances are pretty good that your resort photographer will not be with you to cover as much as your home photographer will.  Everything from getting ready, family or close friends groupings, the ceremony, reception, the fire dancer you paid big money for, up to a fun, laid back day after session.  Your home photographer will also help with much of the planning for the day, which also goes along way in alleviating potential stress. In many cases it can even be less expensive to bring your own photographer! There won’t be any confusion about exactly what will be covered or what products you will receive after the wedding, and much more straight forward communication both before and after the wedding.

 

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Quality Photography.  Most (not all, but definitely most) of the photography I have seen from resort photographers is really poor quality.  Think underexposed, blurry, grainy, poor lighting, etc..  Sorry to say this, but it’s true.  The resort may have a handful of nice samples to show you.  Maybe they got lucky on a few shots over the years, but you should be able to view entire weddings by the exact person who will be covering your wedding.  Get it in writing that that is the person who will actually show up, how many images they promise to deliver, and the format (such as high resolution or low resolution jpeg files) at the very least.  Ask these questions beforehand.  Chances are they can’t or wont do this for you.  Your “home” photographer can and will provide you with all of your images high resolution and with a printing release.  Not just 5- poorly printed 4×6 postcard size prints. (yes, this really happened to someone I met at a wedding)

 

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hiring a resort photographer is much like eating at a fast food restaurant.  The food satisfies your need to eat then you come to regret eating it later.   If wedding photography is a priority, hire a photographer who you love and bring them with you to your destination wedding.    You can have your wedding in the most beautiful place on earth, however, if you do not have amazing images to re-live that day you will spend the rest of your life wishing you did.

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Still not convinced, see what Destination Wedding Magazine says.

Lastly, remember to be yourself and enjoy your day; the pictures will reflect the happiness of it!

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I had a wonderful mentoring session last week with a wonderful photographer who I have seen grow tremendously over the years. She confessed to me that she is self taught besides the two mentoring session she has had with me. I am so honored that she chose me to learn from. Here is her website: Heather Rose Photography Thank you Heather for spending the evening with me-I had a lot of fun and look forward to hearing how things went with the things we talked about!

If you are interested in a mentoring session, let me know, I love working with other photographers! (My availability is limited, I offer them during my off season times only.)

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IMG_4724On a visit to Monterey, CA last year, Trent and I discovered a delicious treat from a beautiful, tiny french bakery; Cannelés. I’ve been buying them from any french bakery I can find here in the Twin Cities…nothing compares to the ones we had in Monterey. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make them myself. My first attempt at Cannelés was pretty good they tasted almost perfect, I made some adjustments (added more sugar and extract) and I think I’ve nailed it! These little buggers are so good! Crunchy on the outside and custardy in the middle. They disappear fast, they are perfect for breakfast or a dessert with some espresso.

Ingredients:

1 c. milk
2 T. butter
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. rum extract

Directions:
Bring the milk and butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir the flour and sugar together in a small mixing bowl. Mix the egg and yolk into the flour mixture. Slowly add the milk to the batter, stirring until smooth. Add vanilla and rum extracts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pour batter into mini Cannelé mold, filling each only 1/2 full (batter will puff up quite a bit). Bake Cannelés 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees F. Continue baking 45 minutes. The cakes are meant to be quite dark on the outside. Unmold cakes and cool before serving.

Enjoy!

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