Confession #5

I had job a couple of years ago where I knew that I was going to be cracking coconuts. It was for packaging so the creative that I was instructed to follow had a nice portion of coconut cracked in a particular way so I needed to match the creative as close to exact a possible. Which meant I needed to be a coconut cracking master, which up until this job, I was not. After much research, I figured out that I needed a machete. Ironically, growing up, and I believe to this day, both my parents keep one in the trunk of their cars. My father was a green beret, so he is always prepared for everything, my mom on the other hand keeps one not for anything nefarious, my mom wouldn’t hurt a fly, literally, she apologies to flys if she swats at them! Anyway, she’s always packin’ because she likes to find plants on the side of the road and collect them. Also, you never know when you might find asparagus in the ditches. But the ditch digging asparagus foragers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland can be rather territorial, so a machete means you mean business.

Back to my original point, I went out to find my own machete. Sorry one more side note, is there such a thing as mother/daughter matching machetes, if not this needs to be a thing. So, I ended up finding one, but with one issue, it didn’t fit into any of my bags, I was going to have to carry this bad boy strapped to my back.

So, my shoot was in Baltimore, like any city it has good and bad parts. It just so happened to be shortly after the riots so everyone was on edge, and there I was all 5 feet 2 inches of me strutting the streets with my machete strapped to my back, like I was part of this movie:


That day no one stood near me in the crosswalks, the usual street hagglers weren’t in the begging mood, and I had no fear walking alone in the parking garage at the end of the day. Although people’s distance could have been from the strange look I was giving off…me looking around rapidly like: I know you see that I have this, do you see the thing strapped to my back, I know you see it, look at. Loooook attt itttt! Confession: for this line of work you kinda have to be crazy in the coconut.

Confession #4

I travel a lot for work. I live out in the country, which means that I’m driving a ton. I grew up this way and it’s no big deal. I’ve learned that it’s important to have a car that reliable but not super expensive because I’m going to be destroying it’s value by putting a ton of miles on it. So, this confession starts out with my last car, which was a step up from my previous truck. Yes, I said truck (it was a single cab 1997 Mazda stick shift… that is a story for another time). This new-to-me Ford Escape was enough to get me from A to B, no frills, nothing fancy, and was large enough to hold all my stuff for work. I keep everything in my car at all times, because there was one time when I was out of town and got a call for last minute job and I didn’t have part of my kit with me, so I had to travel back home get the things I needed and drive all the way back. It sucked. So now I’ve opted to look like a crazy hoarder and keep everything in my car. This is where it gets interesting.

One morning I had a job about an hour and half away. I had all my usual kit stuff, that makes me look like a serial killer (note: see confession #3) in the car, plus all the food, and some props for the shoot. My car was so packed I couldn’t see out the back. So off I went to the job. That morning it was cooler than I realized. So I happened to find a sweatshirt that was in my car. It was rather ratty, but it did the trick, I wasn’t planning on wearing in to the shoot, just in the car. So I’m driving along and it’s allergy season, and I’m sneezing a little bit and I happen to rub my eyes. Big mistake. That morning I had used some new face lotion that has SPF in it, and it got in my eye. So now I’m blinded in one eye driving down the road. It gets so bad that I have to pull over at a rest stop and blink it out. So I’m sitting in this rest area with tears streaming down my face because of this stupid sunblock in my eyes and this couple walks by giving me a very strange look. They come by again and ask if I’m alright, I tell them I’m fine, and then I realize that I look like I’m living out my car! I’m crying, wearing a really ratty shirt, and I have stuff packed to the roof in my car. They we’re super sweet about it, I told them I was fine and I promptly drive off. Confession, in this line of work, things are not always as they seem.

Confession #3

A couple years ago when I lived in an apartment by myself, I remember a time when I was really afraid of my neighbors knocking on my door at the most inopportune moment. I feared that they would call the cops and I would get locked up or get placed on a psych hold. This all started because I needed to repack my kit and sharpen all my knifes, because as someone once put it, they were dull as those plastic pre-k scissors. So, I started by organizing my kit. I had my kit completely scattered all over my living room floor and then I got distracted and thought I should sharpen all my knifes before packing my kit. I had an electric sharpener, which is really loud. So I'm sharpening my knives and then I hear footsteps outside my door. I ran to the peephole hoping that it wasn't a disgruntled neighbor.. and then I realized that not only do I have a knife in my hand, I also have my kit spread out over the entire living room which includes: trash bags, gloves, duct tape, masking tape, metal skewers, wooden picks, glue of all kinds, xacto knifes, propane torch, butane torch, paper towels, dish rags, an electric charcoal starter, a heat gun... and pretty much everything that makes me look like an assassin! Lucky for me it was just a delivery guy going to the apartment next door. But, confession: my job makes me look like a serial killer

Confession #2

I sometimes have these moments, where I actually double-over because my stomach hurts from laughing so hard at myself. Unfortunately, and possibly fortunately for this confession there's no photographic evidence.

One Saturday night I was packing up for a job I had on Monday morning. It was an out of town job requiring me to drive on Sunday, so all the packing and shopping had to happened on Saturday night. My boyfriend was out of town, so I was all by myself. I went through the motions, I purchased all the food and I was in the process of separating it to store it properly. I had a bunch of fresh string beans, and by a bunch I mean 3lbs. I washed them and I needed to get the moisture off of them, so I spread them out on some sheet trays. I started by blotting them with some paper towels, but it wasn't doing the trick. So I turned on my ceiling fan, thinking that might work... but it didn't. Then it dawned on me, why not try my hair dryer... so I start blow drying the beans.

In this moment, I remember looking at the clock and being over come with... "oh dear God, it's 9 pm on a Saturday night, I'm in my early 30s and I'm at home blow drying string beans. This is my life...", I couldn't stop laughing. In the middle of the laughter, I felt the need to try and capture the ridiculousness, so I attempted to take a selfie. After multiple tries, I couldn't get me and the beans in the shot, which made me laugh even more. Just imagine how ridiculous I looked repeatedly taking a selfie with a hair dryer and bunch of string beans...oh to be a fly on the wall. I guess I can equate this moment to when I was younger playing at a friend's house and we threw hula hoop in the air and it got stuck in a tree. So we of course thew another thing, I think it was a skateboard, up in the tree to try and knock the hula hoop down, but the skateboard got stuck in the tree too. We ended up with 5 plus random objects stuck in the tree, and laughing so hard we were crying. I think the phrase that explains this confession best is "compounding hilarity".



Confession #1

So I am food stylist. I make food look great, that is what I do. I read another food stylist bio once and she said she "is a makeup artist for the hamburger", (brilliant right?!) I wish I came up with that line. As far as I can remember I have forever been a food nerd. Even in elementary school we used to have a book mobile. It was a bus that was converted to a library that came to our school, and each class got to go out and pick out books once a month. So my friends and my sister would pick out Nancy Drew, Ameila Badelia, The Babysitters Club, or anything normal... and I would pick out cookbooks. Every time. To the point where I think my parents and teachers thought I had a learning disability because I really didn't read the books I would just look at the pictures and go on and on about how good the food looked. I was an odd child, what can I say. However, I think that making food that looks good has always been in my head, I just never even realized that it is a career.

So here I am a food stylist, which brings me great joy. I get to do what I love but sometimes I question my sanity, along with others. Like when I have shop for items for a shoot and the client wants me to bring options of different ketchup's (because not all ketchup's are the same color, in case you didn't know). So once I had 5 different bottles of ketchup along with about $200 of produce (do you know what $200 dollars of produce looks like?? that is a lot of $%^&ing produce). The cashier proceeded to give me the look of... where is your keeper, they must have lost you. But instead they tried to make small talk by questioning me with "you must really like fruit... and ketchup?", to which I quickly responded with, "oh this is for a photoshoot". But in my mind I really wished I was more quick witted and could've responded with, "oh I do love produce, and so does my pet bunny.. I'm having a birthday party for her! You should come! Oh and the ketchup if for me, I just really love ketchup it's my favorite!" Confession, I'm starting to keep a mental list of good responses like these.