Friday, March 23, 2012

To The East!

I've got a little gem (ok, it's a massive diamond) of a project in the works that I'm just dying to spill the beans about! Over the last few months I've been working with the most fantastic team, being led by a fearless and sleep deprived Shawn Bailey, and every step forward just fuels my excitement. I can't give away too much, but I will tell you this: It's an iPad app for Massimo Bruno (who you may remember from this post). Essentially, it's a do-it-yourself-supper-club-bonanza packed with full cooking show episodes, recipes and mouthwatering photography (ahem...) for twenty different regions in Italy. Since I can't share the images we shot with you quite yet I'll tell you the story of a fun little day-trip Shawn and I took - pictures included.

Ever since Shawn and I sat down for our first meeting back in September he's been telling me about a handfull of places he likes to go to for props and other awesome junk. They're just outside the city, and I was told that they are the kinds of places where I would "lose my mind."  Since then, of course, I've been desperate to go. When we wrapped our second day of shooting last week Shawn announced that he'd be heading out of town to poke around for some extra props and invited me and the app's graphic designer Dana Harrison, who you may have met here, to tag along.

The morning of our road trip we loaded up on coffee and snacks (of course the snacks were mostly for me since I can't go ten minutes without eating), hopped into Shawn's truck and were on our way. First stop: Cobourg. We hit a place called Legacy which is in an old train station that has been FILLED from top to bottom, inside and out, with stuff. Mind blown. Dana and I were like kids in a candy store. Touching everything and shouting out from across the store to show off the cool things we had just found.

I quickly came to realize that maybe we weren't the best trio to be out on this excursion together since we all loved everything and all agreed that it was a great idea to get whatever it was the others had found.  Next time, perhaps we should bring a neutral party who will weigh the pros and cons of filling our homes with stuff we have no room for and serve no real immediate purpose. On second thought, screw that. Our way is clearly more fun.

Here's some of the awesome stuff we left behind:

From Cobourg we went east and north to Codrington, Morganston, Warkworth, and then stopped for lunch at a great little place in Hastings called Banjo's.

Some days I have moments where I truly understand that my love of food is "special" and different from others. I had a couple of those moments that afternoon. The first was when my drink arrived at the table and Dana lost it. Laughing and insisting that she take a photo before I drink it. What was it? Hot Chocolate with whipped cream... is that so weird? Sometimes a girl just wants a nice hot cup of "ice-rink" hot chocolate, and how could I refuse when the waitress offered me whipped cream on top? As if! The second moment was when I was telling Shawn and Dana about how sad I was to find out that Blondie's greasy diner in Gravenhurst had been turned into a gluten free bakery! I then went on to possibly say something along the lines of "that burger will forever be with me in my memory" to which Dana so kindly pointed out to Shawn that I was not kidding, and we all had a good laugh at my expense. Ah well, at least no client will ever doubt how much I love what I do. I just can't hide it for a second.

After lunch, Shawn stopped to show us his lovely cottage on the Trent River where I stood by the lake dreaming about the old Press camera I had found (and will go back for someday).

The last two stops of the day were in Keene. The first one was a little shop filled with cheap antiques, where I thoroughly made a fool of myself by actually loosing my mind as Shawn had predicted. While on set yesterday, Shawn likened me to the woman from the Ikea commercial who gets such a good deal that she feels like she's stolen something and runs to the car laden down with bags yelling "Start the car! Start the car!" When I told Dana she completely agreed and again had a good laugh at my expense. In my defence though I got all of this stuff for $16!

This I did not buy, but it was awesome none-the-less:

Our second stop was to take a look at Muddy's Pit BBQ:

By the sounds of it, that GIANT smoker they've got out front pumps out some proper Carolina-style BBQ all summer long. They don't open until April 18th, but rest assured, I've already got a group organized and we're planning to be there on opening day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Drink With The Queen

Last week I shot a job for Maclean's Magazine, and it was such a hoot that I can't help but share it with you.

My photo editor Liz told me that we'd be shooting a story about Dubonnet. I'd be shooting at The Drake Hotel because Mixologist Mike Webster makes a killer Dubonnet cocktail (I can now confirm that he does). Liz then told me that I would be shooting someone seated at the bar dressed as The Queen of England. YES! This was going to be fun.

My good friend Tammy is always willing to stick her gorgeous little hands in front of my lens, and luckily, she was available on the shoot day. I was a bit vague when I described the shoot to her and just sort of "forgot" to mention that she would be sitting in for The Queen. When she arrived, I handed over her wardrobe and she instantly broke out in laughter insisting that she wear the entire pink Chanel suit just to "get into character."

We spent a couple hours laughing, sampling some of Mike's amazing cocktails, and speaking in terrible British Queen accents - oh and we took some pictures while we were at it. Yup, these are the kinds of jobs that really make me love what I do. I've got to admit, I'm a pretty lucky gal.

Thank you, Mike and Tammy, for being such super-duper folks and letting me take over your Sunday afternoon! Thanks Liz for sending me such a fun creative!

For your viewing pleasure, here's the winning shot, as well as a few outtakes: