May 28, 2016

Girl, You Take that Photo.

I'm trying to have a hip Saturday. When Alissa told me she didn't get off until 12 in response to my "let's have an early lunch" I decided to actually bring my laptop and get a scone in addition to the occasional cappuccino I treat myself to at Onyx Coffee Lab. Sitting in this moody corner just by the window so I can people watch and people can't see my screen. Too embarrassed to take a real shot of this delicious treat to share with you because only bringing in a typewriter would be more hipster here. Let's compare the picture the Motherstore uploaded 15 minutes with mine quickly snapped in the shadows:

I'll let you decide who took which ;)   (for a self-talk booster, which I was just talking to one of my clients about, I know I could take that second photo if I took the time they took)

But in all seriousness, I need to get over what other people think, because that's all that really is.
Who cares if someone a few tables down rolls their eyes and tells a joke about the girl taking pictures of her food in the corner--oh god, one of the employees definitely just saw the Onyx picture and probably thinks I'm sitting here as a food critic right now (or maybe just thinks I'm crazy, which wouldn't be unfounded)

I had to treat myself because I'm on dog duty - watching a friend's dogs while he visits family near New Orleans for the weekend - and his oldest dog, Indy (we don't know her exact age, just that he found her when he was 13 and had to be 1-2 years already as she ended up being pregnant), is losing control over her bladder. The poor beagle has been struggling for, I'd say, the last year - and I swear she pees out more than she's even drinking. The point is, I put a doggy diaper on her overnight to help and woke up to wet smears everywhere, somehow full puddles, and when I went to take it off of her before letting her out for the morning, a pile of poo slapped onto the floor. Top that off with his bigger-than-my-Shepherd mutt getting into multiple fights with the neighbor's sweet pit bull through the fence, I needed a breather.

So here I am, and although Onyx may not be my favorite coffee/breakfast shop, it is one of the closest (though I just overheard they're moving more to the south of town) and it does have the best coffee. As I've mentioned before, it's getting national attention--including 2016 Best Coffee of the Year according to Imbibe. It's also a fairly ethical business, and when I choose it over Starbucks (even though it doesn't have a drive thru) I'm supporting local business - what's to lose?

Most importantly, back to my rant. I remember apologizing to Destiny during our Asheville trip for taking pictures of my food and eventually warning her that I would continue doing so--it's actually the most confident I've been in doing so and the pictures prove it. People make fun of others all the time for this "hipster" behavior when, let's get real, people have been creating pictures of food for forever...
I'm not actually sure who painted this but this link didn't give credit either.
I do, of course, recognize the difference between snapping an iPhone photo and uploading with a filter to instagram and spending hours on a still life. I do. But we should really leave people alone. I don't know everyone's reasons for doing this - maybe they do just fall into the trend. Like artists in the past fell into the trend.

I know the reasons I like to take pictures of my food (and everything else), not to say it wasn't influenced by those around me because it definitely was. From the time I could physically hold an oldschool vhs camcorder, not unlike (though probably cheaper than) this one:
That's what I did. I would lug it around, spend allowance money on blank vhs tapes, and make "movies" and music videos (usually lip syncing B. Spears or boy bands, let's be real) with my friends. Rewatching those, one might wonder how it is I managed to make it into adulthood as an introvert. I used up all the film on disposable cameras and one of the first gifts I remember my brother Jeremy giving me was my first digital camera, once he was done with it after serving time in Baghdad. I've always LOVED making and keeping memories.

Side note, I am definitely witnessing a first date and I've never done so in a way that I knew it was their first date and where I could also hear what they were saying. Why the guy at the booth behind me kept staring over now makes sense. He probably thought I could be his date. Aww people still do lunch for first dates. I'll do my best not to listen...

I also love food... cooking and eating. I remember my step-dad always going around with that enormous camcorder and showing what everyone put on their Thanksgiving plates - annoying and embarrassing all of our relatives. I love to remember my cooking accomplishments (because I am not a natural so I'm always really proud when things turn out).

Like that time I made these rolls & peanut sauce (while here I am still failing at wrapping burritos)!

Or my first time making Eggs Benedict with an almost entirely successful and still entirely delicious Hollandaise! And utilizing my delicious first attempt at Cuban-style pork to make it that much better.

Or my first attempt at Shakshuka, which has totally overshadowed every attempt since!

Awww, see, looking at those makes me smile. I'm glad I kept those memories. I love documenting. My high school friends began to say things like, "oh no, Karen's got her camera out again" and when I got to college I was known as an "honorary film student" because I spent so much time over there "helping" my friends with their projects (really it just gave me joy to be around that environment even if they just needed me to hold something--I loved watching the process and making stupid videos during free time).

So, my point of all this blabbing is I love taking photos. I love taking photos of my friends and family (including my dog). I love taking photos of beautiful scenery. I love taking photos of the culinary creations I put in my belly, whether or not I'm the chef. I love looking back on these photos.

So why did I feel the need to sneak a quick photo of my breakfast, which is now gone? I dunno. Because people make fun of people who do things like that. But there are two problems there. First: why does making fun of people who follow trends give others pleasure? Let them do their thing. The obvious one is, why do I care what anyone else thinks--regardless?

So I'll work on it. Maybe I'll send you a glorious masterpiece photo of my lunch in a bit ;) for now, have this quick video of Kafka trying to play fetch with me.

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