A Taste of Ghent

Sooooo… this post has been a LONG time coming.  Between travel, weddings, holidays, and all around no free-time I have just not had the time to write this post.  I’m sitting in front of a large fireplace in Denver at this very moment and thinking about how blessed I am!  My sister is interviewing for different residency programs all over the US and I’m so, so, proud of her (and my brother too) and when she asked me come down to Denver during one of her interviews I jumped at the opportunity. It also helps that it coincides with both of our birthdays, so after interview’s we’re going to hit the town and celebrate (and we’re always open to great places to visit, eat, or enjoy here).

It’s crazy how quickly life happens.  4 years ago, we were celebrating our birthday’s again, this time in New Orleans, as she interviewed for medical school and now here we are.  On graduation’s door and here I am again, being able to enjoy this exciting moment in my sibling’s life and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m glad all of my siblings share my travel bug.  None of us stayed close to home while studying, much to my mother’s dismay, though we visit regularly.  We’re all always learning, traveling, and growing in our professions.  This leads me to my wonderful learning and travel experience to Ghent, NY with the lovely team of the Made in Ghent farm, and our teacher’s  Michael Piazza and Kevin Masse.

From the moment you pull up to the lovely Made in Ghent farm, you’re greeted by farm dog, Bumble, and the farm owner’s, Richard and Mimi. Warmth and homeyness emits from this place like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s like a little slice of paradise complete with wildflower fields, chickens, and Mimi’s fresh made sour dough bread (that I’m still dreaming about).  They have a wonderful set up kitchen/store that is the first building you pull up to.  Here, Mimi and team make TONS of farm fresh food, from jams and ice cream to pork rillettes and breads.  It’s also the perfect setting for classes, with cooking books lining the walls, kitchen props, tables, and chairs.  A breeze blows through the open space with a pond in the back to gaze at as you sip coffee and snack on homemade yogurt and granola. I was in foodie, photographer, traveler heaven.

Through corporate photography day job, I had signed up for the “How to Create Magazine Quality Food Photographs’ 2-day course.  We learned photography and styling from Michael Piazza and social media and networking expert Kevin Masse.  In between lectures, Mimi and team cooked us up spectacular meals (that still make my mouth water thinking about them) and we were also free to wander the farm and take photos of all the livestock, wildlife, and meal prep.  Our group was small and filled with everything from food stylists, to lawyers, to bloggers.  It was such a great plethora of people passionate about food and photography.  These are my people!  You know the ones?! The people who get you…. when you start talking in depth about how beautiful pastries look when lighted correctly and who get excited about shooting food tablescapes.  Those people.  My people.

We started the day off with tons of delicious breakfast, meeting and greeting everyone and literally breaking bread (sourdough, yes!).  Michael led us up to the main house, i.e. natural light photographer’s dream.  Seen in photos above, I swear half of it was windows, with a stunning open kitchen (with a blue-tiled back splash I was obsessed with), HUGE farm table, beautiful prep and sitting area, and a garage loaded with food props for us. We started with basics, natural lighting, and learned Michael’s favorite food photography techniques.

Isn’t that backsplash dreamy?

Experimenting with different light setups.

Another bomb-diggity meal done by Mimi and crew.

Wandering the farm post-lecture.

After a day of lecturing.  We took a break.  We wandered the farm, conversed with each other and waited for the feast that Mimi and her team were making.  Everything was sourced from less then 10 miles away from the farm.  How awesome and local is that?!  Here we got to shoot tablescapes, from prep to sit down.  The best part?  We got to eat it after we photographed it all.  Probably my favorite photographic part of the whole workshop.  I mean, this was the food spread and location of dreams.

Mimi cutting all the yummy chicken straight from their backyard!

madeinghent-41

Dreamy right?  And ohhh sooo delicious! We all left full of inspiration and satisfied bellies!  Day two was just as exciting!  If you wanted, you could come early and get photos of some of the farm-hands helping out on the farm as well as take a walk with Richard into the produce and wildflower fields (which then are sold as bouquets in the shop)!  Of course I was there bright and early!  It was such a perfect day for it too!  With tons of photo ops!

Jen, our ‘chicken whisper’ and catcher for photos (thanks Jen!)

Richard, leading the tour and posing for us in the long grass.

Bumble in all her glory, exploring with us!

The group experimenting with reflectors in the woods.

Robyn, Michael’s trusty assistant who helped with EVERYTHING throughout the day.

Cornish Meg, who regularly helped with all the food prep, arranging the flowers picked from our walk.

After the walk and breakfast, we headed back up to the house.  Michael focused more on helping with styling and telling a story for this lesson.  We photographed galettes from start to finish while learning how to show the story of food being made.

Following Michael’s lesson, Kevin Masse arrived to give us his lecture on social media.  How to use it successfully, what you can do to improve yours photos, and how to get more followers.  All very interesting and I learned a TON!  Especially with Instagram, I was a bit clueless when it came to all things hashtag and @.  Kevin helps tons of brands with their social media presences and it was so great learning from someone with some much experience in this.  It’s what I seriously lack in.

We followed Kevin’s lesson up with a photo session for ourselves to use what we had learned an implement it.  Shooting galettes in different lightings and environments.  Also, the spread that Mimi had left out for us.

With sadness, we all had to say goodbye to each other.  But we left with lifelong friends, great experiences, and tons of food photography knowledge!  I couldn’t have asked for a more creative retreat!  I can’t wait to visit Ghent again and stop by Richard and Mimi’s shop, of course to get some of that sour dough and I would highly recommend anyone in the area do the same!

**Special thanks to the wonderful team that put this together and made the experience so great!  To find out more info about the teachers or Made in Ghent Farm I’ve listed their links below!

Made in Ghent

Michael Piazza

Kevin Masse

Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

(i) www.instagram.com/ayoderphoto/

 

Tricia and Tor Wedding – 10.14.16

Fall weddings always leaves me breathless and Tricia and Tor’s wedding was no exception.  The lovely fall colors, a wonderful wedding, and a beautiful location, I mean… does it get any better then this?  Now this wasn’t the first time I’ve photographed these two, they had a wonderful fall engagement shoot last year with their fur babies.  Seriously though, does it get any cuter??

Lucky for everyone, they picked the most beautiful fall day for both shoots!  Not only did we have a fantastic first look overlooking the Blue Mountain ridge on the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountain range, but we got to get four-wheeled up the mountain to get some spectacular scenic shots as well!  It’s not every day you have a bride and groom who are willing to four wheel up a mountain in full wedding garb!  Also, special shoutout to the wonderful bridesmaid and driver, who helped us make all our mountain photos!

This kickass couple also added so many touches to this wedding to make it their own.  The bride hand crocheted little pumpkins as guest table seatings and rocked some rockabilly shoes.  The groom and groomsman rocked funny socks and an orange bow tie. These two had the ring bearer don a Star Wars themed ring pillow, their dogs and cats made for their cake topper, and awesome take-away custom chapsticks for their guests.

Following their first look and photos, these two got married at a beautiful outdoor ceremony at golden hour.  With a waterfall and mountain range behind them, guests looked on as these two read their own vows, and got hitched right as the sun set.  The cocktail hour followed with bonfires, human sized checkers, and lots of laughter with friends.  As the night became chilly, everyone moved inside for the reception.

Dances were had and speeches were given.  One of my favorite quotes was the MOH giving her speech and saying, “these two were such a perfect match, even Obi One Kenobi couldn’t have made it!”  And it’s true, the love and affection these two, and their family and friends, have for one another is infectious.  With each little photo session we snuck away for, these two kept each other, and me, laughing with their contagious happiness and love for one another! So here’s to that love and laughter for this wonderful couple for another 100 years!

triciatorwedding-296

Notice the ‘butt grab,’ these two had me laughing hard behind the camera!

Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

Venue, Cake, & Caterer:  Blue Mountain Ski Resort

DJ: Robert Cline

Flowers:  The Potting Shed

 

Ashley & Jonathon’s Wedding – 8.26.16

It’s not too often that I get lucky enough to shoot courthouse weddings.  I know they are on the rise, but they’re usually 10 minutes, just the couple, and people don’t bring a photog.  Thankfully, this was not the case with Ashley and Jonathon’s wedding.  These two brought their families and friends, and then we got to go to the fire company where Jonathon works and shoot their couple session with FIRETRUCKS!  I know, freaking firetrucks!  I’m pretty sure I was just as excited about this as the couple!

We all met up at the courthouse and waited while a hearing finished up.  Family and friends slowly streamed in and hugs, kisses, and smiles were exchanged by all.  Who says you can’t have a fun wedding if it’s at a courthouse?? These two knew how to make this a special and intimate ceremony!  The presiding judge, Judge Masland, was wonderful!  Leading a quick and lovely ceremony he posed for photos, joked with the little kids, and made sure the couple had everything before we left for the firehouse!

I mean seriously, could it get any more fantastical then a couple session at a firehouse?  The guys working were great too, helping turn on lights, and holding cords.  Not only could you tell that these two were surrounded on their wedding day by friends and family that loved them, but also by Jonathon’s coworkers at the firehouse. These two lovebirds had so many fun ideas too, and their love and affection for each other hopefully shines through in the photos. Congrats to Ashley and Jonathon and many, many more years to come!  Now check out this lovely courthouse wedding!

ashleyjonathon-10

ashleyjonathon-20

ashleyjonathon-46

ashleyjonathon-62

ashleyjonathon-138

ashleyjonathon-189

 

ashleyjonathon-185

Special Thanks To:

The Cumberland County Courthouse Staff and Judge Masland

The Citizens Fire Company of Mount Holly Springs and Staff

Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com

(w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com (e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

%d bloggers like this: