NJ Food Photographer | The Swiss Pastry Shoppe | Union County, NJ | Cookies!!!

I started this blog post writing about Seasonal Mood Disorder and how I hate the cold and darkness coming early, but what’s the point. HA! If that doesn’t show you how I feel about the cold Winter months, I don’t know what would.

So instead I’m going to jump right into it! I try to find things to boost my spirits in these times. Between COVID and the cold, I look for things that bring me joy. Sometimes it means looking forward to the next Holiday. Sometimes it is thinking about ways to help others. Sometimes it’s just taking a mental health day and resting and taking it easy. Sometimes all of those things come out to be the same thing.

I started the New Year jumping back into my keto diet. And yes, it was difficult to get back into the swing of it. Sometimes we do hard things, ya know? But I also still have 2 little boys and a love for food photography. And I don’t have that much love for actually cooking or baking things myself. This month I chose to purchase some baked goods from a local bakery, The Swiss Pastry Shoppe. This Scotch Plains bakery has been family owned and operated for the last THIRTY YEARS! Wow! And when you go inside and smell the delicious fresh baked aromas, you can understand why.

They have everything from fresh baked bagels to decadent blueberry tart pies. And I’m not kidding, the smells in here dance upon your old factory senses like a beautiful ballet. It took everything in me not to cheat my diet and buy one of everything. It also feels a bit like walking back in time. In fact, it actually reminds me of the bakery that Mr Rogers used to visit on his show. It’s nothing fancy, just the essentials needed to make delicious treats. And I mean…they are truly DEE-LISH-US.

This Valentine’s Day, consider supporting small businesses in your area. Small businesses are essential to our communities and with the big mega stores and Supermarkets, and now COVID, our small businesses need our support. Go to your local florist for those roses! Get those chocolates from the local bakery! Get a stuffed animal from that adorable little toy store! Plan ahead, place your order, and help our small businesses!

So anyway, here are some pics I took of the pretty little cookies I got for the kids. For my food photography loop this month and also because they were perfect for the Valentine’s Day theme I was going for.

NJ Food Photographer | Union County, NJ – Marshmallows!!!

It has been awhile since I last blogged. Today I’m here to share with you some delicious, dark, food photography! I don’t really have a ton of blah blah blah about what I did, or what this is, or my Great Aunt Dottie’s favorite marshmallow recipe. Is that something people want to read about? I’m guessing no. But maybe I’m wrong? Maybe you’d be interested in me sharing my set-ups with you? Do you want to see a behind the scenes shot?

What I do know is that this Holiday time seems to go hand in hand with Hot Chocolate. Truth be told, I am not a huge Hot Chocolate fan! Seriously! I spent most of my childhood into adulthood not “liking” chocolate. That includes Hot Cocoa. In fact I just gave in recently and ordered a Hot Chocolate because, December. Another thing I am not a huge fan of? Marshmallows…yeah, you heard that right! And we all know that there is a love affair going on between Hot Chocolate and Miss Marshmallow. Which makes me wonder…am I missing out on something amazing here?

Tell me – is it even Hot Chocolate without marshmallows? Do you need to have those puffy white clouds in your Hot Cocoa? Let me know!

So I took some time to do a little marshmallow photoshoot before tossing the last Hot Chocolate Bomb in the gar-baj. Yes, you heard me correctly. I threw the last Hot Chocolate Bomb in the trash. Don’t worry…it was melted and crushed and my kids have had MORE than enough sugar in the last 4 weeks!

NJ | NYC | Food Photographer | Top 7 | Newark, NJ | Joan Marie Photography

Well, you might just call me a witch because I think I just manifested myself a rating of Top 7 Food Photographers in the Newark, NJ area!  And actually, I might be more excited and thrilled and happy and all the feelings about the actual write up and the description of my work than the actual accolade!

You see, I have said it before and I will say it again.  I am PASSIONATE about all photography genres.  I can’t fit into a little box of “specializing in”.  Maybe that’s a problem for some people, but I just can’t help it.  And that being said, what stood out most to me is how that came through to the writers at Peerspace.  My heart is bursting with joy and gratitude.  If you are interested in reading more, and see the other talented food photographers’ work, head on over to the article!  This completely caught me surprise (not sure why since I wished it into existence just last week) and made my day.  Thank you Peerspace for the recognition!

And thank you Universe for always providing <3

NJ | NY | Food Photographer | Keto Peanut Butter Squares

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been following the Keto diet since around September.  HUGE lifestyle change.  I love carbs.  But I know that my body just can’t have unlimited breads, pastas, rice.  I can’t go to Dairy Queen once a week for a freakin’ awesome peanut butter cup blizzard.  So what’s a girl to do?  Well I will tell you…

Make your own Keto Peanut Butter Squares.  These things have been a lifesaver!  I look forward to this special treat at the end of the day.  And now I can even combine it with Rebel’s Keto ice-cream!  Thank the heavens for these simple little treats that make me feel like I’m not totally missing out!  So if you are thinking about, or following, the Keto diet, I HIGHLY recommend this recipe.  I double it and just keep them in my freezer and they last me awhile!  Here is the link and some pics of the batch I made last night…delish!

 

NJ | NYC Food Photographer

I have found myself in a very uncomfortable place.  A place of uncertainty, unknown, and often…a place of fear.  I was let go from my corporate job in November.  Since then, I have been searching for a new job.  A steady job.  A job with security, benefits, “knowns”.  Because, well, that’s all I have EVER known.  You grow up, you get a job, you get a paycheck and you get health insurance.  You get 2 weeks of vacation.  You get “x” number of sick days, “y” number of personal days.  You get “holidays”, whatever that corporation decides and dictates those “holidays” are.  My inbox notifications are going off every 30 minutes with job alerts to which I look through and apply steadily, often leaving me more exhausted and worried.

I know that I bring up my “single-mom-ness” often, but it has been an integral (and possibly the most challenging) part of my life.  Balancing corporate jobs and single-mom-ness to 2 school aged children has been a source of stress for as long as I can remember.  Having to care for sick kids, calls from school, sports, extracurricular activities, parent conferences, volunteer requests, etc. has been incredibly hard on me.  I do not have another adult to coparent with.  I know that I’m not unique, that my situation is not unique.  But guys, it is HARD.

Everyday I have an internal battle.  I tell fear to STFU.  I push myself to be positive, put one foot in front of the other, take baby steps towards living the life of my dreams without really knowing WHAT that life looks like.  Knowing that FEAR IS A LIAR and that I am SO WORTHY of living the life of my dreams.

So today I focused on Food Photography.  It is one of my passions.  I love photographing food.  I love trying to tell a story, create a feeling, playing with light and shadow.  I have a tendency to try to capture the “essence” or “soul” of everything I shoot and that can be said for the food & beverages that are my subjects.

Maybe someday…no… I KNOW THAT SOMEDAY I will be a known name in the Industry.  My images will grace the pages of the best Food and Restaurant magazines around the world.  I will earn a fantastic living doing photography and having fun.  It will afford me a flexible schedule and allow me time to be with my children when they need me.  I will be able to be PRESENT when I am with them and involved in their school and sports.  Photography is my passion and I will never give up on this dream of mine to have a creative career, doing what I love, and living in abundance.  I am a magnet for money and it comes easily and naturally to me.  And so I will meditate on that feeling.  The feeling that I have already BECOME this person and have everything I could ever want or dream of.  Thoughts become Things.

OK, well now that I got that off my chest, here are a couple of images I shot today.  I am working on building my F&B portfolio one day at a time.  If you know anyone in the Industry <<wink, wink>>… 🙂

The images below are of my Keto (or bulletproof) Coffee.  I have been on the keto diet since September and have lost almost 20 pounds.  It is hard to believe that I HAD 20 pounds to lose and even harder to believe that I still haven’t reached my goal weight.  But keto has been a major lifestyle change for me.  These keto coffees have gotten me through many mornings and honestly I find to be rather delicious.  I don’t have a link to a recipe.  All I really do is put some coffee (been loving Starbuck’s Pike Place lately), butter, coconut oil and a little salt (sometimes a little splash of vanilla extract) into my Nutri Bullet and mix.  It comes out frothy and delicious and helps to curb your hunger.  Some people claim that it gives them energy and focus.  I can’t say either way.  But I can say it’s delish!

Are any of you on the Keto Diet?  Do you have any staple Keto menu items that you can’t live without?  I’d love to hear what they are!

Thank you Universe, for always giving me what I need and the opportunity to grow and trust.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

And so it is.

 

 

 

The Studio

1728 E 2nd Street

Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

 

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