I have recently moved to Santa Cruz, California and it has been an amazing experience! The natural beauty that surrounds this place can be overwhelming, particularly to this photographer. I am on a total sensory overload with these brilliant, bright blue ocean waves, and colorful people roaming around town. The biggest added bonus is that Santa Cruz has the freshest produce I have ever seen and/or tasted in my life!
As a food photographer having fresh ingredients can certainly make or break a dish you are styling for a shoot. I recall visiting several groceries and markets, when I lived in Las Vegas, searching endlessly for tomatoes that were either not under ripe or flat out rotten. That proved to be quite a challenge!
After living in the desert for three years I knew the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market would be one of the first stops on my list of things to do once I moved here. When I arrived at the SC Farmer’s Market the first thing that impacted me were the colors. Every color of the rainbow was under those tents and struck me like a sip of strong coffee. The most lustrous produce lined and overflowed every stand, basket or bowl. I could smell strawberries from several yards away from where I stood. In every direction there was something simply beautiful to take in - bright red berries, vibrant leafy greens, real live garden fresh herbs, row after row. I purchased a box from the farmers market filled to the brim with organic blood oranges that smelled up to high heaven. I got cilantro that was so fresh and green, that I’m sure you would never find anything even similar in a supermarket. I also purchased some of the most beautiful asparagus I have ever laid eyes upon. I did a quick photo op of these before lightly steaming them for dinner. Needless to say, it was delish!
|Locally grown asparagus-tasty!|
The trip to the farmer’s market most certainly inspired the direction I took for my first shoot in California. I chose an organic salad of forbidden black rice, chunks of mango, blood oranges with bits of cilantro.
The ability to fill my life with so much simple goodness leaves me feeling truly blessed.
|Blood orange and mango salad with forbidden black rice and cilantro|