Choice fatigue

Here are some shots of a lovely farm in Madison County that I spotted on my way home. I hate choosing from the final “choice” shots from a shoot, so I’m uploading them all here — potentially boring for you, but interesting for me: which perspective do you like better?

Also, any guesses as to what these yellow flowers are?

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Madison County farm

 

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Spring!

Spring!

Spring cows — Madison County, VA

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Spring!

Spring!

I found some spring hiding under the snow — taken with my iphone, Crocuses, VA 2013

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Oooh the treasures of a forgotten memory card.

I grabbed my little point and shoot before a recent trip, to find some old photos that I had forgotten about! These are from a beach trip with some of my favorite NC folks :)

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Marge heads to the beach!

 

 

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Born ready.

 

 

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Smallest bird.

 

 

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She had no idea, but within a day of this photo, they would be engaged!

 

 

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We made a friend while shrimping.

 

 

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What hipsters.

 

 

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Bill. Kids — Smoking is not cool.

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B&W or CoLoR?

There are some photos where black and white is the way to go, no question. But others…. I’m not so sure on. This is one of those. I think avoid B&W because I think it is overused — One of my professors made us explain why we chose to do photos in B&W vs. color, and I think that mentality has stuck with me.

child holds a rose bud

 

child holds a rose bud

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Local Food, Post Production

Another great part of my job (aside from getting to meet local farmers)? Getting to meet local chefs and then taking pictures of them making delicious food (and trying it!). These photos were taken at L’etoile in Charlottesville for a feature I wrote for PEC’s upcoming Buy Fresh Buy Local guide. I haven’t gotten to eat at L’etoile yet, but after the interview and sampling some of their delicious food… It’s on my schedule. As in, I’m going there next week.

My favorite part about it is the owner made it very clear that, while he uses the “Country French” style of cooking, he does not run a French restaurant. L’etoile, according to him, is a Virginian restaurant with a French flair. When you see all of the locally grown food on his menu, you know what he means. L’etoile does not go out looking for products to meet the demands of a French menu. They buy fresh, local food and then use French techniques to enhance the local flavor.

AND, when I say they use local food, I don’t just mean local farms. They work with a number of farms, but they also encourage local residents to bring in some of their home-grown goods and L’etoile will cook ‘em up for you! Not to mention that the restaurant has it’s own garden out back, and the Chef is known to forage for things such as fiddleheads. Not sayin’, just sayin.

This is L'etoile's Beet Salad with Pistachio Encrusted Goat Cheese. Micro greens from a local farm, radishes from L'etoile's garden, slivered asparagus from a local resident's home garden... need I say more?

L'etoile's Spring Salad -- featuring local greens and veggies wrapped in a cucumber bowl. And the Fiddleheads you see there? Foraged by the chef.

The Chef (artist?) Ian Redshaw sprinkles some house made chive reduction sauce (or something like that... I forgot) on the plate for the finishing touches on his Spring Greens Salad.

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I’m that old person.

You know — the old person who would come up to you as a kid and say, “Oh my gosh! I remember you when you were this small! You’ve gotten so big! I just can’t believe it!” Yeah, I’m that person now.

The Yates kids are turning me into that person. I lived in the basement apartment of the Yates’ home last year, when I first moved to Charlottesville. They have been family friends for years, and have been such a blessing for my family. I’ve had the privilege of watching these kids grow up over the past few years — and it’s amazing. There’s no other word for it.

These photos are from a day last spring. John B, Mae Mae and I (Ellen and Ben weren’t there that day) were playing outside, and I snapped a few pictures. Now, I wish I had gotten 100 more — because these two kids (and their two siblings) have grown so, so much. It simultaneously breaks your heart and brings so much joy.

 

Sweet John B.

 

Oh, Mae Mae-- that girl. She'll steal your heart if you're not careful.

 

"Look what I did!"

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Gearing up for some good eatin’

I came across these photos I took last summer while working on a video featuring Whisper Hill Farm in Rapidan, VA. Seeing these photos got me all excited about spring, summer, and fresh, local food!

Whisper Hill Farm is run by James and Holly Hammond — a young, hardworking, and inspiring couple. I really enjoyed my time with them, and learned a lot about what it is to be passionate and put your heart into your work.

The more I’ve learned about local food over the years, the more I’m amazed that this is still considered to be a novelty and not a norm. Besides tasting better (seriously, eat a tomato from a good, local farm, and you’ll remember what tomatoes are supposed to taste like. Case and point: the Hammond’s Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes. I about died.), buying local food is often healthier/more nutritious, better for your environment, and helps bolster your local economies. In Virginia, if every household bought just $10 worth of local food each week, it could bring $1.65 billion back into the state’s economy per year (learn more here). A pretty simple way to better our communities.

James and Holly Hammond on their farm, Whisper Hill Farm, last summer. It was incredibly hot, and amazing how well these two kept their spirits up despite working in a heat wave!

Sortin' all sorts of tomatoes (and a rare chance to sit down).

Maters.

Cherry tomatoes like you've never had before. The orange ones on the right are called Sun Golds -- and I swear I've never tasted a tomato that good in my life. And I've had Sun Golds from Whole Foods before. Not sayin', just sayin'.

Peppers that are almost too pretty to eat.

An example of Whisper Hill's CSA.

The Hammonds grow flowers on their farm that they sell at markets. They are gorgeous. Holly has even done flowers for a wedding!

Some pretty barn weeds (Chicory-- thanks dad!)

Some more of Holly's fresh cut flowers.

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This cold morning reminded me of….

… A chilly, winter hike! Or, I just found some of these photos on one of my memory cards. BUT, I found them! It’s a pretty great feeling –  putting your card in your camera, looking to see if it’s clear… finding photos that bring back great memories (it’s also a reminder that you need to get your shit together and clear your cards after every shoot.)!

This was an awesome day, too. It was mid-December, and Brandon and I decided, kind of off the cuff, to make the short hike up Humpback Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were cutting it close, and got up there as the sun was going down.

It’s crazy to look at these photos now, because now I’m looking out my window at the newly green, spring trees! But winter trees have a clean beauty of their own. I love their silhouettes against a colorful sky.

A stand of trees at the base of the trail.

Brandon summits Humpback Rock!

Brandon takes in...

...the winter sunset.

Loner.

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A Year of Joy

A Year of Joy

Emma turned a year old on February 25th! This is one lucky baby, and two lucky parents. So much love! Also- Emma is killer on the harmonica. (In case you don’t know… Left to right: Brother in law, JW Randolph; Sister, Elizabeth Randolph; Niece, Emma Randolph)

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