Click, Flash

Sometimes, in the course of life, you run across someone great. These individuals may be extraordinarily talented, or beautiful, or kind. Maybe he teaches you something invaluable, or maybe she lifts you up when you're in the depths of despair. If you're lucky, you meet many such people in your journey, and each one changes you in a different, special way.

I've been lucky enough to meet a quite a few of these great people through pageantry. A few years ago, I trusted my Miss TI to go off and find her own headshot photographer, and she brought April McClintock into my life. April, an art school graduate and proud Army wife, had a cool studio in the Paddock Arcade in Watertown, and an approach to her art that I'd never seen before. She turned a plain old headshot session into a full-on, high-fashion,  photo shoot, and over the years, has shown our Miss TIs in some pretty amazing ways:

Morgan Bocciolatt, Miss TI 2011

Kristina Ferris Blackford, Miss TI 2010

Allison Carlos, Miss TI 2012
When I found out April's hubby was being reassigned and the Nourthcountry would lose this talent, I knew I had to strike while the iron was hot. I've wanted some imagery to support BHS for awhile. April has always been supportive of the blog, and I've seen the commercial photography she's done for musicians, trainers and other bloggers. I greedily wanted some of that talent turned my way. And oh boy, did we have fun:

April was assisted on this particular day, and also, the day we got poor Allie to do a vertical split up a wall, by the talented Mr. Michael Huxley. Even though April is leaving us, you should look Michael up if you need a photo shoot with a dose of edge. April, Michael and I had a blast all day, trying to light both me and some bacon-wrapped dates in a flattering way, fighting the breeze and the traffic on public square, and absolutely destroying the seating arrangement of The Boathouse Sackets' deck.

The nice folks at the Boathouse were very gracious about us taking over their deck for an hour or so, and The Hops Spot, right next door, even delivered some fine appetizers to us out there, so that we could use them as props in our wicked games. You KNOW I can't possibly work so hard to look good without sustenance! The marinated goat cheese, pulled pork won tons and bacon-wrapped dates were the perfect trio to photograph, and made a tasty snack when we were done:

And you kind of can't beat the scenery provided by Sackets and The Boathouse:

And I got to spend several hours in the company of true artisty. I wish I was the perfect model, but I'm just an amateur. April, however, brought the powerhouse goods. She knows how to place her subjects, how to light them, how to coach them, when to muss their hair or tell them to hold it right there, when to laugh, when to get them to laugh, and when to slyly take surreptitious shots of them giggling away:

April, thank you for my wonderful photos, and thank you for capturing our Miss TIs with every ounce of beauty, grace, style and subtance they posess for the past three years. It has been an honor and a priviledge to know someone of such talent. I'm jealous of the region inheriting you and your beautiful family. And you never know - I just might have to fly you in to keep shooting our girls!

And for those of you wishing this post were more about food, and less about pictures, I'll tell you this: bacon-wrapped dates? Meat candy heaven, with tons of sweetness tempered by a smidge of saltiness from the bacon and some acid from balsamic vinegar. The pork won tons were right up my alley, crispy and meaty, with a piquant BBQ-like sauce for dragging your sloppy bite through. The goat cheese was marinated in EVOO and garlic, and served with shatteringly crisp bruschetta - a creamy, tangy, crunchy delight.


Happy Fourth of July, gang! I will have a full-on restaruant review this week, from a recent jaunt to Boston, but I couldn't wait to share these photos with you. Expect to see more from my BHS shoot with April over the coming weeks and months, and stay tuned for eats from the Thousand Islands and Hilton Head this summer, plus another installment of The Blather, featuring a Finger Lakes star chef. My personality is big; my hunger is bigger!


  1. Great blog today! Wonderful photos!

  2. I absolutely love these photos! Oh and that fabulous girl in them, too! :) Can't wait 'till our culinary adventure next week! :)

  3. Thanks, all! It was a super fun shoot!

  4. I had a photo shoot with her and I want to reorder prints. If you can give her my number 231.7407219. I am in complete desparation! Thank you!