A few weeks ago, I met up with a fellow photographer and blogger, Tiffany Mitchell, of the blog Offbeat & Inspired . Tiffany is based out of Lexington, Kentucky, and inhabits a seriously beautiful third-floor walk-up downtown. The entire place is just drenched in light from the near floor-to-ceiling windows, the wood plank floors are painted in this pale, worn mint and the thick, layered plaster walls are the perfect backdrop for Tiffany's always spot-on food and fashion stills. Tiffany's easy way of decorating with large-scale, showstopper pieces (think oversized, cozy couches flanking one of the apartment's three fireplaces and a custom designed desk) keeps the apartment feeling open, inviting, and fresh. You'd think I was doing a post on Tiffany's apartment...which come to think of it, isn't a bad idea...
Tiffany invited me over to her apartment on a chilly fall morning, and we chatted about creativity, blogging, and photography as she created a spiced quickbread and skillet brown butter cake from the same pancake batter. I jumped at the chance to photograph her, her cozy kitchen, and her baked goods. Prior to the shoot, while discussing my vision for our time together, I spoke with Tiffany about wanting to show her in the place she finds rest, the place that fuels her passion and creativity, to capture her working with her hands and the movements of succession as she went from one task to the next. I wanted her to get lost in this place so I could meet her in this place of tranquility and paint her honestly.
I was thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Tiffany. She understands the patience it takes to create something beautiful, and didn't rush me through shooting. She let me get my hands in on the styling, and when I suggested we use some pretty greens, she was all for throwing on her Birkenstocks and running me across the street to a rooftop herb garden where we picked rosemary and lavender and something else I can't remember, and I styled the final shots with her. It was a learning experience as well as a photo shoot, and I truly enjoyed hearing Tiffany's story behind her blog, her wildly successful, gorgeous Instagram account, and her heart towards creating and sharing. Her hope is to inspire others to find, discover, use, and share their own passions.
I am thankful to not only have met Tiffany, but for what she reminded me, just through hearing her words on the reasons she creates and shares. Closing my photography business last winter was one of the most difficult decisions I've made. It hurt, it was terrifying, and it left me feeling lost. But my love for photography never wavered, my desire to share real, raw stories, my own or others', yet I barely touched my camera for eight long months after closing up shop. In many respects, right now, I am relearning so much, as I am out of practice. I find myself frustrated with my shots, angry when in Lightroom, and wanting to chuck my camera across the room because I let it all go, losing so much in the process, wasting time and skill because I was busy feeling sorry for myself. Like a fool for thinking I was any good. But I'm still shooting, even if my shots aren't exactly right yet, and I'm putting myself out there, even if it's painful and tough to do.
Being given the opportunity to work with two of my favorite subjects on this shoot (people and food) did a world of good for me, and for that, I am so grateful to Tiffany. Thank you, friend!
And if you're wondering how these treats tasted...yes, they were just as amazing as they look! The girl can bake. We had our share with rich, strong coffee at the table, and I ate every last buttery bite.