Being a Type A planner, I tend to map out what I want to do and how I want to get there, taking fairly predictable steps along the way to my goal. When I decided to leave my K-12 teaching career and transition to instructional design and information technology, I set a plan for myself and followed the plan.
Food blogging and food photography have been the total opposite for me. I started this site on a lark three and a half years ago and had no idea what I was doing when I picked up our little point and shoot camera and snapped my first food photo. I didn’t sit down with a photography book in an attempt to cram all the knowledge I could into my brain, I just experimented with mixed success. It was a hobby, after all, just something fun I did for a creative outlet without any professional aspirations. Never in my wildest dreams did I think someday I would have food photos published in a cookbook, so I now find myself at a loss for words to express my delight that some of my food photos were chosen to grace the pages of the newly released The Gilded Fork Entertaining At Home: A Year of Dinner Parties by Jennifer Iannolo and Chef Mark Tafoya.
When Chef Mark tweeted about looking for recipe testers for the book, I threw my name in the hat. Over the course of a month I tested four recipes and sent in my feedback as well as photos of the food, all the while thinking how much fun I had doing the testing (and tasting) and wondering if any of my photos were good enough for the book. You can imagine my surprise when Jennifer and Mark said they wanted to use three of my photos! When I received the published book in the mail yesterday and saw the kind notes Jennifer and Mark had written inside the cover and my three photos in the book as well as one on the back cover, I got a little lump in my throat.
None of this was planned, I just jumped in for the fun of working on a cookbook, and for taking a chance I got a lot of personal satisfaction and a little recognition. The project boosted my confidence and motivated me to continue improving my photography and writing. To Chef Mark and Jennifer, hugs and thanks for opening this project up to bloggers and for giving this amateur a chance.