I thought it would be fun to show you a behind the scenes look at my preparations for Challenge #10 of Project Food Blog.
Sometimes it is fun to see what craziness is ensuing behind the posts. It isn’t always glamorous behind the scenes!
My kitchen wept.
Quotes centered me when I felt frazzled…
Santa watched over me in the kitchen…
Let’s just say that this year I am getting coal in my stocking.
I didn’t leave the kitchen for over 9 hours on the last baking day. There was not a second to spare.
I ate many meals standing up at the kitchen counter.
and by meals, I mean whatever scraps were around that were quick!
The night before the challenge #10 photoshoot, I planned the Holiday ‘set’…
One of my goals for my last post in Project Food Blog was to try some new things with photography and really push myself out of my comfort zone.
In the morning (aka: good lighting) I began.
I printed off my photo and put it on the window beside me for inspiration of how I wanted the photos to look.
When I was having a difficult time getting the photos to look a certain way, I looked at the picture to guide me.
It didn’t really help, but I pretended it did!
After a couple hours of some crazy shooting, I had some decent shots to work with. I had to keep rushing the bars back into the freezer so they didn’t get all soft and melted for the pictures. It was a lot of running back and forth, back and forth. I must have ran 2 miles in my kitchen that morning.
I concluded it was worth skipping a couple workouts for!
I have so much respect for food stylists because it is not easy work. Food doesn’t stay fresh for long (in my case, it melted) so I had to be quick.
For example, I had this candycane sitting in my Peppermint Nog for so long, the candycane dissolved and fell onto the white tablecloth leaving a big red stain.
It was actually really funny (despite the mess).
I grabbed a handful of candycanes, bulbs, ribbon, and a tree ornament and put it in the background for the props.
I used square mirrors (from our wedding) to give a beautiful reflection.
I especially loved this one with the Peppermint Nog (it is just 1 glass, reflected 3 times, using three mirrors)
One of the props I made was this small red dish filled with marshmallows. In the background it looks like snow and fit in well with the holiday theme!
This photo below was made using wrapping paper reflected onto the mirror that the bars rested on.
Very fun, but a bit dizzying so it did not make the final cut for my last post.
My favourite bar to photograph was the Mint Chip Nanaimo Bar shown below. The green really pops and the crushed candycane is gorgeous in a photo.
I had the most difficult time with the pom-almond bar, so I sprinkled some icing sugar on top and that helped with how it looked in the photo.
I also liked how the three flavours looked all stacked up.
By the end of it all, I was ready to collapse.
The kitchen table looked like a bomb went off…
- The Nutcracker was too creepy to use in the background of the photo (hehe)
- I had to Windex the mirrors a million times from smudges and crumbs
- Wine was opened when I hit publish on my post at 4:30pm on Sunday
- I jammed to music from Eric’s laptop to keep my energy up
- I am a bit crazy
When my post was uploaded, I enjoyed wine. Eric enjoyed beer. I went to bed early and then stared at the ceiling until 3am that night.
When it was all said and done, the ‘set’ looked like a depressed reception hall the morning after a wedding…
I had that strange ‘it is all over’ feeling like I feel after Christmas Day is over.
Only chocolate and candycane stains, crumbs, ribbon,
confetti, and a few sad looking decorations were left.
The table partied hard and it looked a bit hung over the next day…
Here is another behind the scenes shot taken from my challenge #4 shenanigans:
Clearly, I did not make as much of a mess back in challenge #4!
Ok, maybe I did…
And for fun, a photo timeline of the seasonal changes during the contest…
Challenge #7…(bye bye leaves!)
Challenge #8…(another big change)
And finally this is what it looked like for Challenge #10…! It has been a long journey.
It was a crazy few months, but I truly had a blast along the way and I hope to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone and using new skills in new ways. If there is anything this contest has shown me it is that this is truly what makes me happy. Sometimes it takes a few wrong turns to figure it out, so never lose hope if you are currently struggling with a career choice. If you keep following your passions, they will never lead you astray!
I spent 7 years in university pursuing something that ultimately did not make me happy (research) and I had to figure it out the hard way. That is a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes we just don’t know until we experience it first hand. For the longest time I had so much guilt about not enjoying what I was doing, but what I realized is that life is too short to beat myself up. We all make decisions that might not work out for us.
No one has all the answers and sometimes we have to admit to ourselves that something isn’t right for us so we can create a new path and start a new journey!
The beauty of life is not in being perfect or never failing, but in learning from our decisions and following our hearts. If you are doing this, you are moving forward.
Keep on truckin’ on.
‘Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.’~Ralph Waldo Emerson