Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm One Year Old!

Well, like the Huggies commercial says, I'm a big kid now. Just like me, An Olive Tree Grows In Manhattan celebrated it's birthday last week, making it one year old (I, of course, turned significantly older). And just like a one year-old, I've spent the last 12 months learning a lot about how to do things and finding my footing in both the culinary and blogging world. There's been more than just a lot of food and a heck of a lot of cooking going on in my life as a result of having this blog, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Who knew that I would make the leap into food photography (on the lowest possible level, but a big step for me, anyway), or that I would receive emails and messages from readers that love the way I shoot my food? Certainly not me, the girl who could barely hold a camera steady and somehow always manages to draw stick figures with three legs (I've worked out much of my food photography kinks, but the drawing is still a major weak spot).

I started out in my teeny tiny 250 square foot studio apartment on the east side with a regular old point and shoot digital camera, and a terrible one at that. There was never any light and my Photoshop skills were minimal--after all, remember when the photos looked like this? I've since moved into a bright one bedroom in Hells Kitchen (how apropos!), upgraded to a digital SLR camera, and have even been given a set of photo lighting equipment. I can't say that I'm an excellent photographer, but at least the food looks mostly appetizing and the photos can generally be counted on to be in focus.

I've been invited to openings and dinners galore as a result of making my foodiness public, and had wonderful feedback and comments from readers. And having readers is of course the absolute best part of blogging. I can't believe that on any given day, the majority of people reading this blog are not the initial four or five friends that would read it to catch up on what I was cooking, but dozens and dozens (and occasionally hundreds!) of people that I've never met, and that check in to read up on some recipes and even to find out what I'm up to. Thanks to all of you for supporting the blog, it really means a lot. There's no better feeling than knowing that someone out there likes your food or has actually printed out your recipes and made them--that always makes my day (actually, my week)!

I've had amazing professional opportunities as well, from food styling dishes for shoots (like the 3 flavor, 3 layer cake pictured above, minus the candle) to writing bits and pieces about food for magazines and websites. Despite all of the hard work it takes to come home, make a dish, photograph it, retouch the photos and then write about it, all of these opportunities--and most of all, your comments--make that work well worth the effort, a hundred times over. So, thanks again to all of you wonderful readers and friends for allowing me to share my kitchen and my recipes with you from time to time. I hope I can keep entertaining you, and please keep all of the comments coming, good or bad, so I can make this next year an even better one. I'm already looking forward to my second blogiversary!


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