Did you know that today is World Photography Day? I have to admit, it totally slipped my mind until I was sipping my tea and scrolling through social media this morning. <hangs head in shame>
In honor of today, I’ve decided to not only share this delicious and easy Raspberry Pear Mini Tarts recipe, but I’m also sharing five things that you may not know about me as a food photographer. Hopefully it inspires anyone who has an interest in picking up a camera to go out there and do it. We all start somewhere.
Be sure to check out EyeSwoon who decided to feature this recipe on their gorgeous, award-winning blog! Their comments are so flattering and have me swooning, that’s for sure. Thank you so much, EyeSwoon!
1) I didn’t learn to cook until I met my husband, Mike.
Yep, it’s true. My mom used to say I left for college knowing how to boil water. In college, I would stock up on ramen noodles and Kraft mac and cheese, so she wasn’t exactly wrong. When I met Mike in my late 20’s, he cooked for me on our second date. He made asparagus risotto and to this day, he still makes it for me. I remember watching him cook in my tiny apartment kitchen and was amazed at how much he enjoyed doing it and how easy he made it look. My favorite (besides devouring it) were the smells that filled the room. They reminded me of my Mom getting up at 5am to start preparing Thanksgiving dinner and my Dad’s homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove. My love for good food has always been there, but Mike got me to see that cooking was not only something I could do, but something I wanted to do.
2) I started taking pictures with my cell phone and lighting from a window in my apartment.
I didn’t go to school for photography. While I was learning to cook, I started seeing food differently and was drawn to how beautiful the ingredients were. I would be in the middle of chopping up scallions and would “see something” in how they were laying on the cutting board. I’d move everything into the living room where there was a large window and I would take several pictures with my iPhone. It sounds so simple, but I was starting to fall in love with the process of cooking and how beautiful it is. Then, my family surprised me with my very first DSLR (a Nikon D3100) and from there, I started to teach myself how to use it. Today, I love to shoot with the Nikon D750.
3) I always wear an apron during my shoots.
I love aprons. I wear them during my shoots because I’m constantly handling the food and I need to wipe my hands off a lot. I also like to switch between lenses on the fly, so I use the large pockets to keep them protected and near me. My Mom just sent me a new apron recently. The note said, “To my Saveur Photography Finalist. Love, Your Proud Mother.” I’ve been wearing it everyday.
4) I have a love/hate relationship with my tripod.
Do any other photographers feel this way? I love to move around a lot during my shoots to find the right angles and compositions. It’s faster to move myself than to move everything in front of the camera or adjust the tripod ever-so-slightly. However, sometimes depending on the light and my settings, my tripod is the best thing in the world to help me get the shot I want. See? I love it and yet, I find myself avoiding it.
5) I have three go-to resources for inspiration.
A big part of what keeps photographers dedicated to their craft is inspiration and a big part of what burns them out is the lack of it. Although there’s an unlimited variety of inspiration out there for me, three go-to’s come through every single time.
The first is my Anthropologie catalog that comes in the mail. I love the composition on each page, the colors and the mood. I am not a fashion photographer, but for some reason those catalogs feel like a guide for me as I continue to develop my own style. The shoots always seem to be somewhere exotic and beautiful too and I can’t help but feel inspired to explore (not to mention go shopping).
The second is simply walking around the grocery store or the farmers market. Sometimes, I just want to go look at everything with no intention and no plan. It usually inspires my next shoot or at the very least, something tasty to make for dinner.
And last, but definitely not least, people. I’m an introvert at heart, so this one was not as obvious to me in the beginning. Now, I realize how important it is to have a support system when I’m in a creative rut and even when things are going really well. Whether it’s Mike, my family, my friends or communicating with my readers through the blog and my social media friends, they’re all consistent with support, energy and love. I feel incredibly lucky to have all of you behind me.
I’m heading to Minnesota next week for a couple of restaurant shoots and to celebrate with my Mom. I’ll be back soon with more goodies for Up Close & Tasty.
RASPBERRY AND PEAR TARTS
3 medium pears, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Note: I used fresh raspberries.
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
⅓ cup chopped macadamia nuts
Optional: I bought 2 boxes of pre-made pie crust at the market (1 box has two crusts), but you can make your own if you’d like.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Press the pre-made crusts into the bottom and up the sides of a 6 mini tart pans.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon zest and lightly stir to combine.
4. Gently fold in the raspberries.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared crusts and spread evenly.
6. Place the mini tart pans on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Note: Placing the tarts on the baking sheet helps catch any dripping juices so you don’t have to clean your oven afterwards.
7. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest and macadamia nuts.
8. Remove mini tarts from oven and sprinkle over the top of the filling.
9. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the filling is bubbly.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.