The Joy of Pursuing Your Passion

I’ve been talking about pursuing my passion as a foodtographer for some time now. After some soul search and taking the necessary steps (like picking up the phone and just call people) finally last week, I was able to make it a reality. I had the pleasure to shoot some food shots for Chef Patrick, owner of Cochon Catering. Prior to becoming a professional cook, Chef Patrick worked as a nurse. He soon realized that being a nurse wasn’t what he wanted and decided to quit nursing and pursue his true passion: Cooking. Chef Patrick has been cooking professionally for more than 26 years — with experience in high-end French cuisine to rustic Italian, and nearly everything in between.  Recently, he decided to strike out on his own and started his own business of personal chef and catering.

After the shoot, we sat down to chat and eat his delicious gourmet creations. Not only does his food look beautiful… they tasted absolutely divine — sending my taste buds into overdrive. Even though we have just met — I could sense there is something special about Chef Patrick, just by the way he assembled and presented each dish — it tells me a lot about his awe-inspiring cooking ability and creativity. Most of all, it was a delight to talk with him — sharing stories of our experiences as business owners.

One of the most difficult aspects we both agreed about having your own business is self-promotion — it will make or break the success of your business. You can have all the great skills, products, or services but most business failed because of poor marketing or lack there of. This is even more prevalent for us creative minded people — guess that’s why there is the term “Starving Artist”. Perhaps, we are afraid people will judge our work in a negative way… or worse… we judge our own work contemptuously. I know I have to fight with this inner demon more often than not. While I can blame this weakness on my childhood: my parents not being supportive of my creative talents, being born a girl in a society where boys are valued more or that I was the black sheep of the family… etc. However, I know in my heart, when all is said and done — there are no excuses other than my lack of self-confidence and motivation.

Well… my meeting with Chef Patrick and photo shoot experience gave me the confidence that I do know what I’m doing and will only get better with practice and time.

Here are the photos from last week’s foodie shoot. A word of warning: Do not look on an empty stomach. 😉

Mixed Greens w/Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette, Roasted Almonds, Beets & Goat Cheese

Charred Brussel Sprouts w/Lemon and ChilisSmoked Potato Gnocchi w/Morels & Criminis Mushroom, topped with Truffeled Pecerino

Seared Scallop Stuffed w/Andoullie Sausage on Goat Cheese Polenta

Pan Roasted Halibut on Asian Slaw w/ Shrimp Dumplings

Chicken Breast Stuffed w/Carmalized Onion & Brie, Served w/Potato & Spinach Hash on Dijon Sauce

For those who lives in the greater Seattle area and would like to experience an unforgettable meal, contact Chef Patrick. He specializes in creating customized meals to meet your dining needs — such as: romantic occasions, weekly meals for busy families, specialty diets, new parents (great, unique baby shower gift!) and other events…

Chef Patrick Frank
cochoncatering@yahoo.com
206.999.8251
www.cochoncatering.com

The Wheels On The Truck…

I’m sorry that I haven’t been visiting and commenting on everyone’s blogs lately. The graphics card in my computer burned out a few weeks ago. I’ve been trying to get it fix but have ran into some technical difficulties. Hopefully, when the correct graphics card arrives sometime this week, I will be able to get the problem solved and have my computer running normal again. In the mean time, I am running on the standard back up graphics card and needless to say, it runs very sluggish or would freeze with heavy graphic websites. It’s been tricky trying to get some posting up before the computer would crash if I make it work too hard.

These photos I took of a semi-truck’s wheels pretty much describes the road trip I went on yesterday. Without going into the long details, all I can say is that — the experience has left me reflecting and spinning my wheels. At first I thought the truck driver was nuts for driving so fast. We were already doing 70 miles and he was passing us. But when I saw the reflection of my car in the wheel’s hubcap, my creative light bulb turned on. Quickly, I grabbed the camera and started shooting at the wheels. At first the driver wasn’t sure what I was doing but once he understood, he played along with me and slowed the truck down so that I could get a better shot.

Even though the road trip didn’t turned out like I have planed, I’m sure there are life lessons to be learned from the expereince. I just need to have faith that things will work out for the best in the end. And to enjoy the happy moments because I am sure, the spinning wheels will eventually take me somewhere grand… Happy Monday Everyone!

POV of a Timeless Structure

Mike and I went on our last photo walk Friday. Since he is moving to Montana, we thought it be would fun to play tourist and visit one the most popular destinations in Seattle: The Science Center. We did the tour through the EMP (Experience Music Project) and the Science Fiction Museum. While some of the contents in the museums were interesting, it was the outside structures that I found most fun and exciting.

The Space Needle is probably the most recognizable and popular landmark in the Pacific Northwest. Located in Seattle, Washington, it was built for the 1962 Word’s Fair. At the time, it was the tallest structure West of the Mississippi River.

Even though I’ve seen the Space Needle dozens of times, it’s one of those timeless structures that never cease to amaze me. Especially, when I’m looking at it through my viewfinder in search of interesting POV.

Weekend Discovery

After months of rainy, cold weather, the sun-drenched weekend was a welcome relief. On Saturday, we decided to head East on U.S. Route 2 or otherwise known as Stevens Pass for another much-needed road trip. Route 2 is an east–west U.S. Highway spanning 2,579 miles (4,150 km) across the northern continental United States.

With the cost of gas hovering close to $4.00 a gallon, we didn’t want to go too far and thought it would be fun to drive the scenic route 2 to the town, Leavenworth. It’s located about 115 miles from Seattle. Leavenworth is a small Bavarian style village nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by tall mountain peaks. The last time I visited the place was about 15 years ago. Although the scenery was still amazing, the town felt more like a tourist trap. Especially, when a grilled bratwurst on a hot dog bun cost $11.

After we had our expensive hot dog, we drove around and saw a house for sale with the view below. What an amazing place to live… it almost made me want to move there. But, then again, I’m an ocean girl at heart. I like living close to the ocean.

On Sunday, we decided to stay closer to home and headed to Discovery Park in Seattle. What a gorgeous day!

Flowers blooming…

Kites flying… boats gliding…

We sat and soak up the sun, as we watch the furry kids run around, play ball, having a great time… just living in the moment.

Another beautiful day… ahh… life is good. 😀

The More Important News

When I turned on the T.V. this evening and began to channel surf, news of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding continue to dominate every news and none news channels. There were even talk about bets being made on the kind of hair style Kate Middle might wear, the color of her dress, shoes, etc. I couldn’t help but feel disgusted that while they are so excited to report about the couple’s impending nuptial, the people in the southern states are experiencing the horrific affects from the devastating tornadoes: flattened towns, as many as 300 people have died, at least million people without electricity, and thousands have lost their homes with nowhere to go. Yet, the news seem very casual and lack the urgency in reporting the types of assistance being provided or how people can help. I mean what happen to CNN and their over coverage news broadcasting on important events? Seems like the wedding has made the news channels forget the more important news at home. Okay, I will get off my soap box now.

My prayers and best wishes to all the tornado victims.

There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel

Met with the surgeon yesterday and it looks like I’ll be in good hands. While I’m still somewhat anxious about the ordeal, at least it’s good to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m scheduled to have the surgery in a couple of weeks and after a week of recovery, I should be good as new. Yeah!! Doing the happy dance… 😀

Thank you everyone for your continue prayers and supportive words. I feel very comforted…

A Bump In The Road

Looks like I hit another bump
In this long and winding road
The view is still ugly
And not very friendly

I am so tired
I’ve lost all desire
Wishing for my destination
So I can see salvation

Guess this is a sign
I need to pull aside
And take a good look
At the mistakes I took

I have fought for my share
It’s only fair I ignore the stare
And follow my heart
To continue where I start

Not sure how to proceed
Though I do believe
With certainty
My heart will lead the way
To better days

Portrait Of A Serious Photographer

We must have walked 10 miles during the photo walk Saturday. To say I was impressed with Cait would be an understatement. Throughout the long day, she conducted herself with the professionalism and up beat attitude that I don’t see in too many adults, let alone for a 10-year-old. Even with her aching feet, she still managed to have smiles and a positive attitude. Not only was I captivated by her charm and the ability to use the camera like a pro — I was amazed by her creative approach in seeing and composing her shots. I believe she has the natural talent and ability that will only grow and excel with age.  😀

Click the link to see her blog — Cait’s PoV

Portrait Of A Serious Photographer

It’s Times Like This…

Saturday, I met up with my fellow WordPress bloggers: Mike, David, and David’s adorable daughter, Cait — our new and youngest member — for our second photo walkabout in my hometown, Bellingham. I wasn’t born there but have spent almost half of my life living in this little coastal town. After looking through the viewfinder of my camera all day, it’s times like this, I regret moving away. What was I thinking??

Ever since I saw Mike’s panorama shots on his blog, I’ve wanted to learn the technique. During our walk, Mike explained to me how it was done. Well, here is my first attempt at panorama. I created this using 4 images with Photoshop’s photo merge. Then I imported the image into Lightroom for processing.

The Bird Stalker

Watching David’s quest for the perfect birdshot was humour at its best.

With his camera ready to shoot, he stalks his prey and stomps his foot — hoping the bird would take flight — to create a magnificent sight.

But… try as he might — the bird didn’t bite and refused to fly. Suddenly, another flew by as David looks on with a sigh… 

These photos were taken during our WordPress photo walk last month.  Click here to see David’s creative work, including a shot of the bird that almost got away.

Have a great weekend everyone. 😀

The Big Boss

There was an uproar of applause, cars honking, and sighs of relief from a lot of people yesterday — when the news broke that Boeing was awarded the Aerial Refueling Tanker contract from the U.S. Airforce. Looks like current Boeing employees don’t have to worry about layoffs for quite sometime and according to the news — tens of thousands of new jobs will be added not just here in Washington State but across the country as well.  I’m happy to hear this since my partner works for Boeing as an electrical engineer. So it’s a relief for me to know he will have plenty of work for years to come. Of course not everyone is over joy by Boeing’s victory. I’m sure the other two competing companies are very disappointed by the loss, to say the least.

Here are some shots I took this morning at the Boeing Plant in Everett. I had to shoot these from a far distance. And could not get the close ups of the plane parts that I would’ve like to.

Winning this contract is definitely a “Dream Lifter” for a lot of people. I just hope they will remember to save for the rainy days… 😉