Starting Art From Scratch

Premade cookie dough is not as satisfying. Would I sit on the couch and eat an entire roll of it? Sure. But, there is just something special (and delicious) about creating your recipe from scratch.

When I was a little girl, my grandfather – who has been resting peacefully for just over three years now – would invite me to make loaves of bread from scratch. It was a family recipe, and boy, did our family and friends LOVE it. It was the treat that the cousins, aunts, uncles, moms and dads waited for around the holidays. Yet, it was rare that anyone offered to help my grandpa make it.

Probably because this bread took hours to make. And when I say hours, I mean you were up kneading that dough in the pitch-black hours of the night to make sure it had time to rise. Twice. The first time I “helped” the bowl was so big and the counter was so high that I had no authority trying to knead that big hunk of dough...not to mention I fell asleep in church the next morning.

As the years went by, I was the only grandchild that wanted to help with making the bread. I loved every second spent helping my grandpa; I loved practicing cracking the full carton of a dozen eggs with one hand, dumping in the 20-pound bag of flour, and feeling the squishy dough in my fingers after everything was mixed. I never saw my grandpa touch a measuring cup; we did everything through memory (which to this day is probably the reason I refuse to use measuring cups…or follow any instructions for that matter).

These precious moments with him taught me hard work, commitment (you try getting up at 0200 and 0500 to squish some bread down) and creativity. I had no idea how to bake the perfect bread that first time, but I gained confidence as he entrusted me with the recipe.

When my grandfather died, I was given his bread tins and recipes (that we of course never followed). I use those bread tins for almost anything I can make in them (yes even cake). He was such an amazing cook and baker, and an even better listener and grandpa.

And now I conclude my baking story for my photography blog (ha), not to end on a sad note, but in hopes that I spark a precious memory for all of you; maybe even one I was able to capture from behind the lens.

Everyone is capable of creating. Whether it be with cake mix, a stencil outline or by finding a photography style to try. But those really special moments, the ones that taste the absolute best, are the ones that are made from scratch.

So, while I am new to this photography show, and while I’m still learning how to get my dogs to sit still and how to perfect my lighting, you can bet that I am confident in the styles I am absorbing; and when I share my end products with a client, it’s the sweetest because I got to make art from scratch.