Herbs and Canva

Spring 2017 has proven to be the season of experimental gardening for your's truly.  In the past I have grown various flowers from roses to petunias and this year, I wanted to try something completely different by planting herbs and a few vegetables.  

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When Leaves Blow Backwards

Knowing I would have a full day to work with my camera on Saturday, I had been pondering how to best take advantage of this precious time.  What would my subject matter be?  What look and feel did I want to create?  How about a theme idea?  These questions bounced around in my head for most of the week as I wanted to photograph something completely different.

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A Food Photography Blog I Love

As Mike and I plan for a dream vacation to Bergen, Norway this coming September, I have been exploring the culture and cuisine of the area.  Throughout this process, I discover many interesting treasures that must be shared....

Instagram is a funny thing.  One minute you are posting pictures and the next thing you know, you receive a lovely comment.  You reply to the comment and view the visitors Instagram account and can't help yourself but to "follow" to see what they will post next.

 You and these new Instagram friends are worlds apart but quickly develop an appreciation for their kindness, talent, and ambition all through one image.  I guess you could say a friendship is born in this kindred habitat.

I would like to introduce you to Lotta and Anton of....

CAKE AND BEANS

From Stockholm, Sweden, this dynamic duo cook and photograph the most exciting vegan recipe creations enhanced by beautiful food photography.  Although I am not a vegan, I was captured by their friendly and warm blog presentation and the unique flavor combinations within their recipes.  The photography is a buffet of styles with a rustic, utilitarian freshness.

For example....

This recipe for Homemade Potato Chips is not only photographed so beautifully but let's face it...who DOESN'T LOVE Potato Chips!  This type of image just shouts "lifestyle food" to me on so many levels with the casual place setting and the "let's dive in" vibe.  Perfect.

For the sweet tooth and apple lover, consider this jewel....

Anton's Apple Cake

and follow that up with....

Freshly Pressed Juice

I hope I have inspired you to pay them a visit and poke around - I promise you will be delighted!

Another very important reason I wanted to share this blog with you is that they are currently developing their own COOKBOOK!

You know I love magazines and cookbooks, mainly for the photography, and I am convinced their's will be on my shelf when it is scheduled for release in 2018.

The moment you enter Cake and Beans, you immediately feel welcome.  Their images captured by Lotta grab you right out of the gate and draw you deeper into their blogging home.  Anton's Fresh and simple vegan ingredients are gathered and prepared in such a way you can't help yourself but want to try each recipe for the delicious outcome!

A bit more on this creative duo.....Yep, those smiles are infectious....

A friendly snippet from their blog ABOUT page that best describes who they are and what they do....

Lotta is a photographer, foodie and television editor who loves a good glass of wine, the Italian countryside, and cats. She's the photographer on the site and usually the one who makes all the desserts and chats with you on our social media. 

Anton is a food enthusiast and filmmaker who's very passionate about American politics, dancing, and graphic design. He is our chef and graphic designer. He's been cooking all his life and never says no to a second helping of dessert.

With our blog we want to show you how easy and delicious vegetarian food can be. Everyday food doesn't have to be fancy in order for it to be good, so we strive to use ingredients that everyone can afford to buy and can find in any store.

Stay connected and tuned-in to this creative force and I am sure we will be seeing much more of them in the days ahead!

Thank you Lotta and Anton for letting me share your story!

PS....Anton, if you have any Apple Cake leftovers, I can help you out with that!

This is not a sponsored post, just a fun way to share my online photography discoveries with you.  If you are an aspiring Food/Photography blogger and would like to talk about a feature on my blog, please get in touch with me via email and Let's Chat!!

 

A Habitat For Photography

habitat

noun  hab·i·tat \ˈha-bə-ˌtat\

the place or type of place where a plant or animal (or in our case...photography) naturally or normally lives or grows

How perfect is this word for my blog !!

A home....a place....where natural and normal growth are the result.

Yes, PERFECT!

Blueberry still life on weathered wood - joanmariecompany.com

Blueberry still life on weathered wood - joanmariecompany.com

Several years ago, six to be exact, I had my first photography experience.  Since that time, I have become more and more absorbed with this passion.  Yes, I use the word "passion" because it is more than just a hobby or way to pass the time.

Having a blog (my photography Habitat) makes the photography experience that much more meaningful due to the new friendships, passing along inspiration, and creating something through a lens and sharing it online. In other words, a place where photography naturally lives or grows.

You may recall in my last post, Sweet and Savory Change, I talked about a change that was on the horizon....well, that change has come to fruition.

The change all started with me....

Me in my "habitat"....with the ever present turtleneck!

Me in my "habitat"....with the ever present turtleneck!

This is me and let me preface this with "I am MORE comfortable behind the camera than in front of it!

I appreciate having a face to pair with a name and felt you might too.

On to the blog revitalization's....

As I revisited everything I enjoyed about the blogging experience to date, I started making a list of the areas that I wanted to improve in order to provide better content for you, become more "professional" and hopefully, more effective in my goals.  I don't believe that any forward movement happens without taking a first step, no matter how nerve-wracking or scary it may be ( ...my photo...ahem...) so onward I went with a list of goals and dreams in hand.

The best way to begin sharing the recent enhancements with my blogging goals starts with my Squarespace site.  I played around with different templates and at the end of the day decided that my current Squarespace template "Skye" is working perfectly fine.  It has the main features that I need and with some subtle tweaking, the missing functionality gaps were closed.

Golden Apples - joanmariecompany.com

Golden Apples - joanmariecompany.com

I started by revisiting the actual site layout as I needed a strong foundation for what was to come next.  There was never a moment so divine in my blogging experience when I discovered how to grow, enhance, and be unique in my niche.  I think determining an area of focus is one of the hardest parts of blogging.  Knowing where I wanted to make the biggest impact without spreading too thin and becoming transparent was highly important to me.  In hindsight, my experience with blogging to date has led me to where I am now.  Could I have gotten here without that?  Personally, I don't believe so.

These are my objectives with this blog:

  1.   Provide unique, useful and intriguing content for all things food and still life photography  

  2.   Further develop my business and brand and increase my online tech skills

  3.   Share each step of the process with my readers - be an INSPIRATION and RESOURCE

Two major (behind the scenes) blog changes included successfully completing a "Content Marketing" certification which gave me the courage to take a GIANT leap into Affiliate Marketing! 

Gorgeous weathered green handle - joanmariecompany.com

Gorgeous weathered green handle - joanmariecompany.com

The Content Marketing certification reminded me of the best ways to share information and to tell a great story in order to be meaningful and relevant to you.  With so much online content available today, I needed to find a fresh path to grow in this habitat.

Soon after, I began studying SEO practices and I finally dove into learning more about Affiliate Marketing.   Educating myself on how to do this properly while holding true to my beliefs ( blog advertising likes and dislikes) is exciting.  Being able to share product information on those products and services I personally use and recommend opens so many  brand recognition doors!

The next change involved a "Landing Page" revisit.  Having had the chance to really understand a landing page's function, it was nice to bring that back to the blog.  My intention with the landing page is that when you arrive here, you know immediately what this blog focus is and also has an instant opportunity for you to connect with questions and/or feedback!  I like to equate this to having a welcoming porch with flowers and lemonade for your visit.

Next up in the revitalization effort...

Realizing the strongest and most meaningful niche I will be focusing on...

Food and Still Life Photography 

What makes this so profoundly important to me is that discovering this niche closed the loop on the last six years of my photography experience.  Once this was discovered, the topics I want to share just poured out.  I wanted this blog to be more than images, random thoughts, and scattered ideas put in post form and to stretch the these information limits by providing you with more meaningful content.  Content that will give you "takeaways", content that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you.  Content you will want to revisit and share again and again.

Radishes on weathered wood - joanmariecompany.com

Radishes on weathered wood - joanmariecompany.com

I want to explore making videos, I want to develop a way to show you my prop hunting scores and how I envision using them, styling "sets" based on a theme and the shooting processes.   To show how I set up my shoots and play with all kinds of lighting for experimental looks.  Along with all of this, I want to explore different photography styles such as "gorgeous grey" and "dark and moody"and to keep you informed on exciting new trends in food and still life photography! 

I want to personally invite you on this journey by showcasing your food and still life photography passion.  You are reading and sharing my story and in turn I want to read and share yours!  Please please please get in touch with me if you would like to be featured on my blog - we can cater a post that really tells your story!

Sounds good right?

 

Quite a bit of information has been shared with you in this post and I am so excited about what is to come!!      

  I would love if you would share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below or sending me an email.  Also be sure to sign up for my upcoming blog post announcements in the sidebar on the right and check out my Pinterest and Instagram feeds!!

We are all going no where but UP!!

Many warm thanks to each of you,

Joan

Sweet and Savory Change

Just when you think the planets are aligned, the creative mind goes into hyper drive and causes a shift.  A shift that demands attention due to the logical flow of events....a shift that  when brought to fruition, will enhance your creative endeavors and provide solutions to what I have felt is a "missing link" for so many new or wanna-be bloggers and creative business start-ups.  

Whether you have been blogging for 8 years or 8 minutes...perhaps you are still jotting down idea notes for how to even bring your CREATIVE dreams to life....my vision for you is COMING and IT WILL BE....

Sweet and Savory Change

Exciting changes are on the horizon for JoanMarie Company and these changes will greet you with a warm welcome of a new site design, unique creative  blogging/branding solutions, and fabulous answers to what I have found is an ongoing need in the online blogging/marketing/branding community!

A time to seek out FRESH VISION..... to answer a CALLING.... time for a SWEET and SAVORY change!

Over the next few weeks, a fresh new look and feel will take place at JoanMarie Company and I know these changes will be just as exciting for you as they are for me.  

I look forward to the next few weeks as all of the pieces come together and will be equally as excited to share them all with you!

A happy WELCOME to the new Subscribers and Visitors to my blog and a special THANK YOU to those who have followed, commented, and joined me on this crazy blogging ride so far....

More updates to come as this is just the beginning!

Joan