november in savannah - pt. III of III

Whoa, where we were we with the Savannah adventure? How do you continue the joy from an extraordinary rehearsal dinner and a supremely enchanting wedding?! Sunday Funday, of course! But first, it was back to Forsyth to photograph Ashley and her handsome gents. How cute is her freckly little dude?!

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 Big, beautiful Forsyth is always fun to shoot at, but more so when it's not overrun with people. I'm going to take credit and pretend like I had something to do with the park being mostly empty for our shoot, but really it's all about positioning the background correctly to give the illusion....

FYI, it's not a real trip to Savannah if -someone- isn't doing a Forest Gump impression. Here's Tyler's, we're just missing our boxuhchoc-lets.

Tyler also imitated a mini-man meltdown and demanded his time on the swings. A great morning enjoying the (mostly) empty park...

...deserves Bluegrass Brunch! Off to Tybee Island to the Social Club meet up with my dear pals Kurtis and Sarah, and some seriously amazing food. This is one of my favorite places on the entire big ol' planet, and I promise if I ever find out you've gone to Tybee and NOT eaten there, I'll disown you.

It is this absolutely charming little joint is self-described as a surf bungalow-meets-safari-plantation-setting...laid back and casual, surprisingly delectable food pairings, and was just named as one of Georgia's top ten best bars. There's always something fun going on here; about a year or so ago I was chucking eggs back and forth in the parking lot for egg toss and I've been to the hilariously amazing Disco Bingo. 

These folks were the same group that played at Jeanne and R's rehearsal dinner! So awesomely talented, and the moment I figure out who they are, I'll give you a link to their jams. Also from Jeanne and R's weekend of amazingness were Jill and Aaron who had beaten us out to the island and were mid-brunch munch.

First bites: fried chicken, biscuit, gravy, greens. And why not take the bite off last nights hangover quietly mumbling in my head with a blood orange sangria? And a scorpion topped mezcal mimosa cocktail? 

Aaron and Kurtis fed each other half the scorpion. Precious. Back to brunching out! Breakfast skillet with eggs, guac, sweet potatoes, beans, and salsa.

This...this magical creation is cola-baked ham stuffed in to french toast with a big ol' slab of melted cheese on top. Eat your heart out, monte cristo lovers. And then the shrimp and grits, ohhh, this dish makes my toes wiggle and my belly sing. Buttery, creamy, spicy and loaded with shrimp, exactly what the doc ordered for this Sunday afternoon.

Jill and Aaron had to fly home, so we said goodbye to those fine folks and scuttled over to Fish Camp, Kurtis' new joint that was just opening last time I was in town in June. Found a nice stack of Savannah Scouting Guides sitting just inside the door, always fun to see my photos on paper!

On to sippin' scotch and grabbing shots! I have an absolute field day getting to run around photographing here; I never get to do as much food photography as I'd like, but I always get my fill hanging with Kurtis and Sarah!

I've loved to cook for ages, loved to eat for even longer (duh.), I read Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential when I was in high school, and it was this magical, gritty window in to a world I'd love to be a part of. I tried my hand at the long hours in a sweltering kitchen; it wasn't really my forte, but a love of all things kitchen creative has always stuck with me. 

I -might- have geeked out a little getting to be back in the kitchen watching Chris and Kurtis do their magic. 

Octopus and duck getting their sous-vide on.

Amazing to watch the ingredients on the left turn in to the masterpiece of color and flavor on the right.

A true experience and playground: mix, match, and experiment with textures, flavors, and visuals. Pecans, marinated shrooms, pomegranate, caviar, reconstituted basil seeds, roasted grapes to name a few of the elements...what a delicious adventure!

Next up, crab cakes with nori powder, pickled radishes, and cured meyer lemons (from Kurtis' own tree!). I love the subtle color kicks on this plate, especially the nori along the edge of the plate.

More vibrant colors! Duck breast, swiss chard, root veggies. Throw in duck fat cracklins and you've got a plate as bright and rich as autumn itself.

To finish things off, oysters + bacon + the lightest, crispiest baked topping imaginable and a cheesecake with Frangelico whipped cream and mint that was so decadent, my mother snarfed the entire plate down before I got more than a nibble in. 

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying full bellies and brainstorming new projects while running outside to snag more pictures. I love how cozy Fish Camp looks just after dusk!

My mom was ready to adopt Kurtis and bring him right home to Maryland by the the time we were ready to head back to the mainland. Thanks for such a perfect day, Sarah and Kurtis!

Off to a quiet little bonfire with Angel and Brian, my dear little cusses before heading back to our apartment; minutes closer to the end of this sublime weekend so well spent with good friends, good food, and great celebrations!

 Love to all of my Savannah friends who are always so hospitable, and apologies to anyone I missed on this trip down--I'll get you next time. See you soon! -M

zuri + lauren

Holy cow, has it really been almost three weeks since I was in the South?! I guess keeping busy makes time really fly, but it seems like just yesterday I was eating schnitzel for the first time ever while drinking beer from a horn, packing my buddy Sam + his belonging in to my car to move him back up north, and darting around to photoshoots in Forsyth Park in between my unending quest to catch tiny lizards!

true fact: I am an expert anole hunter.

true fact: I am an expert anole hunter.

Anywho, on to the good stuff! Which is sugar and spice, and everything nice; little miss Zuri was brimming with all things sweet and sassy. What a big, beautiful personality in such a tiny little package! Another native from Kent Island (what is it about us folks that gravitate towards sweet Savannah?!), her momma Lauren and I caught up at breakfast while Zuri slowly warmed up to me in between gobbling up fruit and wobbling around the Sentient Bean. I was, after all, just a blurry face when I last saw her during her pre-crawling, cooing newborn stage.

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But full bellies make for fast friends! By the time we were done eating and ready to rock and roll, Zuri grabbed my hand and led me through Forsyth towards the playground, and on to our shoot.

We quickly decided that it wasn't light-coat weather, and got down to some serious play-time. Watching Zuri clamber up the junglegym and zip down the slides, pulling goofy faces at Lauren and stopping to give her some smooches was too sweet for words.

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this is Zuri's very best "smile please!!" face. so silly!

Anyone who's hung around me for more than five minutes knows that I've got a seriously strong curiosity streak. I can and will play Twenty Questions with any and everyone I can, especially when it comes to learning about how people live their every day life. I'm incredibly fortunate that my work as a photographer has opened so many little doors and windows in to such a wide variety of lifestyles, and hanging with Lauren and Zuri was no exception. As our time together came to a close, I watched in awe as Lauren, with well-practiced hands, perched Zuri on her shoulders and proceeded to work some voodoo-fabric-magic, nestling her most precious cargo at an ideal vantage point. 

There was something tender and practical and primal and totally logical in this kiddy-wrapping, so I asked Lauren to give me some more info on the practice of babywearing. And I figured that you, dear reader, with future or present roles as mothers and fathers and grandparents and siblings and caretakers, might also be interested in learning more. She sent over a link to this beautiful entry entitled "Why I Wear My Daughter" by the blog Girl of Cardigan. I'll share some of my favorite lines from the entry, but I highly suggest you read the whole piece (but only if you've the ability to hug/love/smooch everyone you hold dear as soon as you're done with it; it brings out alllllll the feelings).

...*cough* Huh, what? ....Nope. Definitely not. My glasses are not a little foggy, but I am going to go dash off and give my own mama a big hug. No, I'm outta here, but go read this site for more info on babywearing: facts, tips, the whole shebang. Big thank you + cheers to the three beautiful ladies that made this shoot: Zuri, Lauren, and the balmy, beautiful city of Savannah -- much love to y'all! -M