Life has been a whirlwind lately. From late December until a month ago, I was unemployed and looking (somewhat desperately) for work. Fortunately, in early March I received a wonderful job offer, which I gladly accepted. I started two weeks ago and am loving it. It’s a wonderful company, and I get to be creative all day, every day. While it’s more designing than I’ve ever done, I love the challenge of it and know that I have nowhere to go but up. (The new job is part of the reason I’ve been quiet around here lately; I’m still getting used to the early mornings and trying to set up a rhythm. I promise I’ll get back to posting more often, once I settle into a routine.)
During that time where I had secured a job but hadn’t yet started, I spent several days in Texas visiting family (more on that later), helped create content for a site that recently launched, went on a few glorious bike rides, read a few books, and took some pictures. Some of those pictures were for EatAroundOKC, an organization that highlights dining establishments in and around Oklahoma City. The writers visit the restaurants (anonymously and a couple of times, to get a good feel for it), write up their reviews, and then send me out to photograph the dishes. Everyone working with EatAroundOKC does so because they love good food and these local businesses, and they want others to know about these places. The organization also partners with the Regional Food Bank, making regular donations from the sales of special offers. So, members of the community learn about great restaurants, local restaurants get more publicity, the Regional Food Bank gets donations, and the contributing authors/photographers get to share their talents and passions. It’s really a situation where everyone wins, and I love it.
I thought I’d take a minute to share some of the favorite photographs I’ve done for EatAroundOKC. You can click on the photograph to see the review for that restaurant.
You might not guess it by looking at the pictures, but most of these restaurants are rather dimly lit (excellent for ambiance, but not so good for photography), so I’ve really had to make sure my settings are right and my hand steady. I think photographing the single bite of food (such as the lasagna, as shown above) in such low light is one of the hardest things I’ve done, since I’m taking my second hand from steadying the camera to holding the fork. From these pictures, it’s apparent that I prefer shallow depth of field and vertical orientation on my food pictures.
So, that’s part of what I do with my free time, and part of how I challenge myself and hone my photography skills. Have you ever tried food photography?
Photographs © Nicole McDaniel and Nicole McDaniel Photography, in conjunction with EatAroundOKC, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.