I don’t necessarily understand all art. I accept that I’m not meant to know or understand everything, and people laugh when I say that, but it’s true. Art that I do understand, is something I can touch or taste. I don’t get anything out of going to museums and looking at paintings or sculptures I can’t put my hands on. If I can’t actively engage with it in a way I like, I’m not interested.
Food is art to me. Beverages are art. I love looking at freshly poured drinks and seeing the ice cubes float up to the top, dancing in the balance. I love watching milk pour into coffee, clouding and swirling like cigarette smoke or clouds against a sky. That’s beautiful to me. I love hearing oil sizzle in a pan. I love watching meat brown or char. I love the slow process of smelling a soup as it comes to completion, catching every ingredient mingle together in the air, dangling above my head like hope on a string. This isn’t to diminish other art forms; I respect them all as valid, but this is the art that speaks to me. I love food more than I love writing or anything else. I’m not a professional chef, and am not working toward that as a goal, I just respect the art form and actively engage in my own way. There’s a certain satisfaction I get out of making drinks especially, and I’m happy every time I bring an idea to fruition.
I never got involved in photography as an adult. When I was a teenager, I had a Polaroid camera. The kind that spits out photos after you take them. I’d let each photo roll out and I’d wave it back and forth and wait for the picture to develop. My home life got pretty chaotic during that time, though, and I ended up not having time to take pictures anymore. Eventually, I donated the camera to Goodwill, because I figured someone else could actually get some use out of it. I felt embarrassed that I’d let an interest fall by the wayside, but I really didn’t have the emotional stability to engage in any of the things I wanted to.
Nearly 15 years later, I started my beverage blog on Vocal. I had just recently gotten an iPhone, and I was sort of thrust into the idea of taking pictures again. The thought was always in the back of my mind, but once again, other things in my life took precedence. Now, I’m always looking for inexpensive ways to boost my creativity. I picked up a few pieces of 59 cent poster board from the craft store. I got neon green, hot pink, and bright blue. I figured I could just use them as backgrounds. I wasn’t quite adapted to editing photos yet, but I thought a nice, clean background would make all the difference. The drink I created that time was a booze-free peach margarita. Since the color of the drink is an orangey-peach, I chose the green poster board. It was pretty cloudy that day, but I wanted as much natural light as possible, so I set the poster board and full margarita glass outside on the ground. I crouched down and took a series of photos. The shadows were bothering me, but there was really nothing I could do about them. The sky was just bright and grey. After taking enough pictures, I went inside to look at them. They looked okay, but I tweaked a couple of things to get the picture to where I wanted it (shown in the attached pictures). I don’t use any photo editing apps, I just adjust the brightness and shadows elements through what’s available as an iPhone feature. I’m still getting a handle on that, but I’m very happy with how the picture turned out. I feel more emboldened to take better pictures of my drinks. The process was pretty simple, and I spent the entire summer taking photos that turned out amazing. I still get people asking me who takes my pictures, and I’m proud to tell them I do it myself. I guess the point of this journey is knowing for sure that it’s really never too late to get started with anything. Success is not linear, and it’s never too late to take a dive into something.