Ever since I was able I've loved to document beauty, in all it's phases. At the age of 12 it was me buying disposable cameras in packs of 3, just so I could remember my wild friends - our starry night trips to the beach, the ways we would entertain ourselves in that small ocean town. At 16 I received my first dinky point and shoot camera. I was so excited, sneaking shots of customers who came into my high-school coffee shop job, snapping away at animals I would see, the sweet moments in my grandmother's house, and my first trip abroad. That camera and I went all the way to Greece, where I first started experimenting with composition, realizing my obsession with architecture, people, the way that life could fit into those four corners.
College came in the Appalachian mountains, the sweet hippie town of Asheville, NC - a liberal haven in conservative North Carolina. It was there that I took my first collegiate level art class, in our 3 week photo portion I borrowed a friends Canon Rebel, my first adventures with a DSLR. I was infatuated. I met my closest friend, Melissa, in that class, in all our creative fire, we adventured to the outskirts of town, to neighboring farms, shooting various creatures and each other over the rustic barns and layering of blue mountains.
That year in Asheville I nested into my first place, and oh the food experimentation to be had. A Classics major, I would put off translating Greek to cook and bake. It seemed I was unable to take the first bite off my plate without first photographing it. I visited my friend Chloe in Savannah, and watched her slice into her first loaf of homemade bread, I was inspired. I returned to Asheville and couldn't get enough of bread baking, experimenting with kneading, sometimes adding various herbs and nuts, and then I realized: this is what I should be doing.
I transfered to a culinary school in Providence - the furthest I've ever been away from home - I didn't know anyone. I nested into the sweetest cottage loft, still baking, still photographing, and after a month of isolation I finally made my first friend - a photography major at the Rhode Island School of Design, she was the first one to help me see my potential with photography. Sharing macaroni and cheese at the downtown bar, she drew up the technicalities of the camera, instructing me on aperture, shutter speed, ISO - all the basics. My photos got a bit better and I made birthday cakes for the new friends I was making. She gifted me with my first film camera - the camera that is still always by my side - a Pentax K1000.
After fully accepting that the culinary school in Providence wasn't the best fit, I moved up - to a small cooking and baking school in the middle of Vermont. Here part of the curriculum was to go on two 6- month apprenticeships - seeing this as the perfect way for me to satisfy my restless need for travel, still get a bit of schooling, and a degree - it was the perfect fit. When I wasn't molding tarts and kneading dough, my time was spent with wet hair and bare feet at all the closest swimming holes. I was able to use my pentax photographing my friends in my element - encased by mountains, sharing food by lakes, streams, and waterfalls.
The time for my first apprenticeship was rapidly approaching and I was still without. I only had 3 requirements - a brick oven, crusty artisan bread, and somewhere along the Pacific Ocean. On a whim I wrote to a little brick oven bakery located on Vancouver island, in the capital of British Columbia. The next day I woke up to the response of, "yes, we can do that". I was so excited. I made all the moves to be able to work and reside in Canada. I found a sweet cabin behind a family's house and began my work as a bread baker. It was a slow beginning, turning out 400 loaves a day isn't easy, not to mention that I was so far from anything familiar, but now I'm 5 months in, and dreading having to say goodbye. In Victoria, my eyes are never bored, drinking in all the moss, trees that make you feel so small, and an ocean that always has white-capped mountains somewhere along the horizon. I did it again - met amazing people, shared food with them, and used my money for traveling to and from all the unbelievable nature and the film to document them.
I still, by no means, consider myself a professional photographer or baker, but I do hope that my photos remind of the things that bind us all, that all you need to do is look.
These are my adventures.
**photo taken by Melissa