Commercial & Editorial

Bug-Free Babes - Fairbanks Small Business Commercial Photographer

Last year, my friend & client Somer posted a photo of her then-three-year-old daughter berrypicking.  Birdie is pretty darn cute, but something else about the picture really caught my eye.  What was she wearing?

Somer had Bidie and also Sam, her then-one-year-old, in homemade garments - button-down shirts that she had outfitted with DIY mesh drawstring hoods.  The shirts' brilliance was immediately apparent: the hood was essentially a modified, easy-to-wear, tantrum-free mosquito net.  Birdie happily picked away, unbothered by the swarms of bugs.  I immediately asked if Somer would make one for my little girl.  And it turns out, I'm not the only one who immediately zeroed in on the amazing potential of this invention; every time we saw them berrypicking or otherwise out and about last summer, Birdie and Sam's bug-free shirts acted like a magnet for parents who want their kids to love the Alaskan outdoors ...without a million red welts per outing.  I get the impression Somer was getting requests to make them left and right. 

And thus, Bug-Free Babes was born.  And we took some pictures.  

There's nothing I love more than working with other local micro-businesses.  Especially when they keep bugs off my kids.  

This coming summer (2017), Somer will be holding occasional Pop-Up Bug Boutiques around Fairbanks where she will sell her pre-made shirts, and she will also be accepting custom orders for infant, child, and adult size hooded shirts (you supply the shirt, and she'll do everything else)!

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To stay apprised of her pop-up schedule or to submit a custom order, keep up with Bug-Free Babes on Facebook and Instagram.  

An Alaskan Haggis - Featured in Edible Alaska's Spring 2017 Issue {collaboration with Jennifer Nu}

A few months ago I was introduced to Jennifer Nu when she needed someone to photograph her haggis for an Edible Alaska article.  (I'm aware of how wonderfully absurd that sounds.  I love Fairbanks ... you can't make this stuff up, people.)  Initially, I was a little puzzled about what appeared to be the Scottish vibe of her dish, but I almost immediately understood that her pursuit of haggis had almost nothing to do with international cuisine and everything to do with a grounded passion for a truly farm-to-table plate.  I soon realized that her Alaskan haggis (haggieses?  Is there plural form, or is it like "moose"?...) were elevating the noble pursuit of knowing where your food comes from (and using every part of an animal possible) to a whole new level.  

Jennifer's thoughts on Alaskan haggis - and her recipe - are featured in the current Spring 2017 issue of Edible Alaska, and there's even more on the Edible website here.  I highly recommend you grab a copy - it's a publication absolutely filled to the brim with wonderful stuff.  

As a continuation of our collaboration, Jennifer and I wanted to put something up on my little blog here, as well!  Here are a few more of my favorite images, along with some more thoughts by Jennifer.  All non-italicized text that follows is authored by Jennifer Nu.  You can contact Jennifer at jennu.jnu@gmail.com.  

-sarah

_______

When I first moved to Fairbanks, I quickly found myself blessed with many opportunities to purchase food directly from the people who dedicated their time and energy in producing it. As a home chef, it was a delight to engage in an endless exploration and experimentation with processing, preserving, and cooking local foods in old and new ways. While gardening, foraging, and cooking vegetables are all familiar, the nitty-gritty of harvesting and processing meat was a totally new adventure. I was excited at the prospect of access to wild game such as moose and caribou, and also locally-raised farm animals, like lambs and chickens.  

With so many options, I quickly realized how little I knew. I had so many questions: How was the animal raised? What did it eat? Did it have a good life? How does it taste?

Once these questions were answered satisfactorily, the questions became more practical: What parts of the animal are edible? What can be used? How does one be respectful to an animal that gives up its life?

My first winter, I eagerly purchased a whole lamb from Frigid Farm, a wonderful family farm run by Megan and Andrew Hamelin, a talented, super-hardworking couple in Two Rivers.  After purchasing the live lamb, I took it to my friends who helped me butcher it. At first I was just interested in the meat, but because I had purchased the whole animal who had given up its life, I really wanted to make an effort to honor its sacrifice by using as much of it as possible.

When my friend took out the stomach and organs, it occurred to me that there was a traditional Scottish dish that could be made with these valuable pieces: haggis.

It’s one thing hearing about an exotic dish and wanting to make it. It’s another to actually go out and make it. Figuring out how to make haggis has been a scavenger hunt of sorts. A gastronomic adventure that began with a series of questions, followed by a flurry of research using books from the local library and whatever information I could find in blog posts, recipes, videos, and conversations. One question soon led to another. How do I prep the stomach? Do I include kidneys? Why doesn’t that guy include the kidneys? Do I use the whole liver? or just half the liver? What kind of spices? Are spices like pepper even traditional to Scottish dishes? Garlic or no garlic? Do I add spices when boiling the pluck or not? How many times should I change the saltwater vinegar brine solution for the stomach?  Do I even have salt? Oh no, I need to go and get salt.

This experience has inspired me to learn more about eating those odd bits, the unspeakable parts, the just-as-essential pieces of the animal. Ultimately, this means getting to know it from the beginning to the end, and from the inside out. In the process, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for people all over the world who have perfected this art over the generations, and I look forward to continuing old traditions while at the same time creating new ones.
 

 

Jennifer also shared just a few of the things she's learned about offal:

  • All together, the lungs, kidneys, heart, and liver of a lamb weighed just over 2 pounds, plus throw in the rich flavors of the lacy fat that surrounds and protects the stomach, you’re looking at a whopping 700 grams, or 3 pounds of food!  

  • The liver is rich in iron and vitamin A, and D, as well as other easily absorbed  minerals and vitamins.

  • The kidneys are rich in vitamin B12, selenium, iron, copper, phosphorous and zinc.

  • Lamb organs are gorgeous packets of nutritional goodness packed with minerals such as iron, copper, vitamins A, B complex, folic acid, CoQ10, and much much more.

North Pole Physical Therapy - Fairbanks Commercial Photographer

Working with other local businesses is immensely gratifying for me - I love forging relationships with other small business owners and getting to watch our respective businesses grow and evolve. 

I'm thrilled to be working with North Pole Physical Therapy to get their website all decked out with images that catalog the extent of their services.  Custom-designed images that feature their staff, their patients, and above all, our unique interior environment say so much more about their business and their personality than any generic stock photo ever could.  

Are you looking to get your website outfitted with photographs that encapsulate the vibrance and unique character of your business?  Shoot me an email and we'll talk! 

Stray Kat Kustoms {featuring Enderle Photography} - Fairbanks Commercial Photographer

Last summer, my friend Annie of Enderle Photography and I had a really fun opportunity: we were asked to photograph the owners and employees of local North Pole garage Stray Kat Kustoms for a commercial project that is, as of this writing, still under wraps, so I can't say too much about it.  But it was a boatload of fun.  It wasn't too much of a stretch to set them up like rockstars.  I mean, how great would they look on an album cover?...  

590 Design - Fairbanks Commercial Photography

Working with other creatives is kind of like having your cake and eating it too, in the best sense of the expression.  In other words, I had SO MUCH FUN working with Jen Gunderson of 590 Designs documenting her graphic design portfolio for her spiffy new website.  

Do you have commercial photography needs?  No matter how big or small the scale of your project, odds are I'd love to work on it with you.  Give me a holler and let's find out!  

Alaska Parent Magazine: Cutest Kid Cover - Fairbanks Childhood Photographer

Last winter, Alaska Parent Magazine held a cute kid contest.  The prize: the cover of the winter 2016 issue!  As luck would have it, the Cutest Kid in Alaska was deemed to be Isadora of Fairbanks, and Alaska Life Publishing asked me to photograph her.  

And boy, is she a cutie!   

 

You can grab copies of Alaska Parent at many spots in Fairbanks - you can find a list of locations here!  

Charcoal Supply Co. - Fairbanks Commercial Photography

This past summer I had the pleasure of working with several local businesses, one of which was Charcoal Supply Co..  Let me tell you guys - I learned SO MUCH about barbecue while working with Dan.  I had no idea barbecue was so intricate, so nuanced -  its own art form.  Dan pursues it with the passion and enjoyment you see on the most dedicated chefs, and I can only hope that a little of his prowess sunk in via osmosis.  Because after photographing all these goods, I'm ready to hit the grill.  

A Morning with Kinderwoods Forest School - Fairbanks Childhood Photographer

My middle-little, Norah, scored a spot in Kinderwoods Forest School this fall, and I'm so happy it's been her first preschool experience.  The whole thing is just so neat I feel like pinching myself.  Twice a week I drop her off and watch her and her small heard of 3 - 6 year-olds hike off into the wilderness (in the mildest sense of the word, haha!) for a few hours of adventuring, snacking, tea-drinking, and learning. 

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Kinderwoods is "designed to encourage creative play, problem solving skills, adventure, movement, and love of the natural world. The outdoors holds the potential to support these goals as well as promote healthy emotional, physical, social and cognitive development in a way that indoor environments cannot. Children thrive out of doors and their bodies and minds need to be there."  {From the Kinderwoods website.}  

And truly, the story of how it all began is just as fantastic.  Beth, the founder (and current teacher), wanted to enroll her little one in a Forest School-type program.  When she found there wasn't anything like it here in Fairbanks...she opened one herself.  Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched that she's one of my daughter's first role models.  

Beth was kind enough to let me tag along with the class one day near the end of the fall session to make a photo essay on the Day in the Life of a Forest School.  It was so. much. fun. to watch my daughter be her own little adventuring person among all her classmates.  All these tiny kids were absolutely dwarfed by this gigantic forest, and yet each and every one was eminently at home there - completely comfortable playing, eating, drinking (and even peeing!) there.  

Simply adorable.  

Perfect {PROFESSIONAL} Headshots, Round Two - Fairbanks Commercial Portrait Photographer

Your LinkedIn profile.

Your Facebook Business Page.

Friday Introductions on Instagram.

Your blog byline.

When your essay or blog post is featured on another platform and you're asked for a bio.

The back of your First Friday postcards. 

When you're asked speak or present at a conference and need to submit a picture.

The 'About Me' page of your website.

....When your grandmother calls and says your holiday card was wonderful, the kids are so cute, but she'd also like to see what YOU look like these days.

These are all real-life, real-time examples of why you need a killer headshot in your pocket (and off your to-do list).  Especially for women, especially for small business owners, we're all about putting the best foot forward - but it can be too easy to neglect putting the best FACE forward.  

A selfie doesn't cut it.  A snapshot from a vacation you took ten years ago doesn't cut it.  And ANYTHING taken with a smartphone doesn't cut it.  You need a professional image.  

It's no fun to be in front of the camera, I know, but as I've written before, I feel strongly that it's important to take yourself and your business seriously and to emanate the confidence you bring to it - whether your field is artistic, leadership, scientific, or humanitarian.  

And on the subject of confidence (and confidence in front of the camera, and self-esteem): this is one instance where faking it till you make it really works.  You may be reticent to step in front of the lens, but do it anyway, and be confident that you're going to love how you look.  The Perfect Headshot events have been designed from the ground up to make something kind of unappealing (am I the only one who has flashbacks to school picture day whenever someone says 'headshot'?) into something fun, relaxing, and even a little bit luxe.  I love having a skilled makeup artist take over the prep work, and I love working with clients to achieve natural, poised, FLATTERING and authentic portraits.

I'm pretty pleased with the results of these headshots, which feature Brenda Riley, the executive director of the Fairbanks Children's Museum (and local hero!).  What do you think?

Give me a shout if you want a heads up (...had to do it!) before the next round of headshots - I'd love to see you there!

Chef Ivan of The Crepery & Eastern Treat Restaurants - Alaska HOME Magazine

Last month, I was asked to photograph Chef Ivan of The Crepery and Eastern Treats restaurants for a profile in Alaska HOME Magazine.  You're definitely going to want to check it out (click here) - he shares his recipe for The Crepery's smoked salmon salad, which is dynamite when served in a crepe - or on a bed of greens, or - pro tip - inside a halved avocado.  Trust me, people.  Try it.  

I also have to mention that the Crepery can and will make GLUTEN-FREE CREPES.  Ivan said just give them a 15-minute heads up to make up the batter, and you'll be in gluten-free culinary bliss in short order.