People with small children aren’t normally allowed to eat this well



I know, I know, what do I think this is, Smitten Kitchen or something?
But I didn’t MAKE the food seen here, I just ate it.

We spent a glorious, beautiful weekend away visiting my college roommate (a professional cook) and her partner (a gourmet cook who could be a professional) and as you can see, WE ATE VERY WELL.

I didn’t even photograph all of it, just the first course, because I was too busy EATING and couldn’t be bothered to wipe the melted butter off my hands, you know, from my lobster. So in addition to what you see here, just imagine a glorious pasta course with pungent olives, sweet, juicy heirloom tomatoes, fruity olive oil and sharp basil, then the next course: perfectly steamed lobster and the previously noted melted butter.

And this gorgeous salad:


And because we were celebrating the summer birthdays among us, including that of a well-indulged three-year-old, there were giant cupcakes.




And because he had an audience and a sugar high from the ice cream (!) and candy (!) he had ALREADY HAD THAT DAY, Will gave me a great photo op.



He doesn’t do this at home. Seriously.



He knows he got away with something really good here.


And he knows he still has plenty of candy left for tomorrow.

So my Best Shot Monday? You get to pick your favorite this week—I’m busy eating the rest of my cupcake before Will sees it.

(Photo folks: these are all SOOC, shot in manual (1/125 at f/4, ISO was up to eek! 1600 because of that photo I took of the candles) with external flash and no post processing. I’d love to hear from some experienced flash users about what I can do to improve on the flash use. For example, I wanted to preserve a little more of the ambient light in the room, but the flash overpowered it and made it look like high noon. Is this where I need to learn about dragging the shutter, or just power down the flash? Or was it just that I had forgotten to take down my ISO to 400? )

For more Best Shot Monday, click over to Picture This!


38 Responses to “People with small children aren’t normally allowed to eat this well”

  1. MelodyA. Says:

    Can’t help you with the flash thing but I love that low light cupcake shot. And not just because it’s a a great way to present big cupcakes. It really is pretty. And an adorable, messy, smiling face, too.

  2. Anna Says:

    I know, that presentation is gorgeous, isn’t it? That’s what you get going to have dinner with a chef and an artist!
    ( I would have put them on a Dora plate or something.)

  3. Maya Says:

    Okay…I need to get some friends who are cooks! My mouth is watering just from looking at these pictures!

    The photo with Will diving face first into the cupcake makes me think of A Christmas Story (the scene at the dinner table).

    Glad to hear your weekend was wonderful and tummy filling!

  4. Michelle Says:

    WOW that food looks amazing!

  5. Tiffany Says:

    WOW it all looks so good!

  6. Molly Says:

    I’m hungry now! I just want to put my face in all of it.

  7. B. Says:

    Yum. First photo could be in a magazine!

    Happiness = sugar!!!

  8. maile Says:

    those are so beautiful! Makes me wish i knew how to make something other than spaghetti and tacos.

  9. Stacy Says:

    Great shots Anna! I can’t help with the flash since I am still learning how to use mine, too. There is a big thread on flash at ILP, so I would search for that. I have it bookmarked on my other computer.

    That food looks so yummy, too! We actually regularly have that tomato, basil and moz salad in our house. I love it! Unfortunately the kids usually steal the cheese and leave the tomatoes. 😉

  10. Michelle Says:

    I read your comment this morning about wanting to join us in the book club. I can’t find your email anywhere on here, but email me what it is and I can forward you our conversations from this weekend so you’re in the loop! They’re about 13 of us so far. 🙂

  11. my minivan is faster than yours Says:

    Oh my gosh, looks like we BOTH ate well this weekend. I had charcoaled hamburgers that caught fire from the dripping grease on the BBQ. My meal. Your meal. Same thing 🙂

  12. emily Says:

    Looks like an absolutely delicious weekend. I love how kids always just know when they can get away with something a little beyond what they would normally do.

  13. The Casual Perfectionist Says:

    Those are great pictures! I especially like the one where Will is going in for the kill and then the one right after that with his face in the cupcake. Love it!

  14. megan Says:

    wow…i haven’t eaten breakfast yet! re flash: i’m no expert, but i keep my on-camera flash turned way down at all times so that the rare times i use it, it’s not going to explode the photo. it’s still not ideal, but for many shots having it turned down gives enough light w/o having blowout.

  15. Kim Says:

    What great photos! Those cupcakes didn’t look so big until you got Will up next to them. Yum! And what a cutie your Will is! My two favorites are the last shot of Will with that terrific grin and the one two up from it where he has his mouth on the cupcake! Too cute!

  16. melody is Slurping Life Says:

    The food photos are just yummy. The candle shots very “moody” and warm. And I fell in love with Will and the cupcake shots…the expression on his face makes the last one my fave.

    No help here on the flash. I rarely ever use one…because I’m no good with it.

  17. arizaphale Says:

    Yes, I too join the mouth watering throng….this series are a wonderful record of an obviously great night. I have flash issues too and no idea how to deal with them other than turning the flash off (I didn’t know you could turn it down) and then doctoring the photo afterwards. But what I wanted to say is that I think the shots of Will work really well. The flash may have made it look like High Noon but it hasn’t thrown up big shadows or made everything look 2D which can sometimes happen. You got the ambient light in the photos before and in the cake shots we really want the full impact of Will’s face and his enjoyment of the moment so I think it works well as it is. But that’s just my humble opinion 😀

  18. phyllis@imabima Says:

    i have absolutely no qualifications about the flash but i can tell you that the pictures came out beautifully. especially the blowing out the candles — i think it’s great! i wish we had eaten so well…lean cuisine is not looking so hot any more:-)

  19. Dawnomite! Says:

    All so yummy!!!

  20. Laura McIntyre Says:

    Can be no help with the camera but i love the shots, he looks so happy after eating the cupcake – love the expression

  21. krisk Says:

    Lucky guy!

  22. Jill O. Says:

    What a beautiful son! Your pics are great – I love the first one, and your title! ha!

  23. libby Says:

    OH EM GEEEEE that looks like the most amazing meal ever. My mouth is watering!!! LOVE the cute pics!

  24. Cari Says:

    Your photos are beautiful, Anna. That first one…um, I’m thinking cover shot of a foodie magazine. Seriously.

    I’m zero help on the flash issue. But I must say that the shots are all lovely despite any flash “issues” 🙂

  25. Jennifer Says:

    Sigh. Need to take a photography class. Your photos are beautiful.

  26. natalie Says:

    Holy moly! That’s pretty amazing. Everyone needs friends like that!

  27. maria Says:

    Delicious food and beautiful photos Anna….
    Love the Will vs Cupcake shots… I know what you are saying about “high noon” but you’re the only one that can see that…because the SUBJECT himself is so wonderfully distracting that all you notice is
    a. a GREAT moment captured and
    b. excellent shots and timing

    Well done.

  28. Sara Says:

    that food looks wonderful, adorable kid

  29. Christina Says:

    Yummy! Both that mouthwatering food and your mouthwatering pictures of it. Looks like something straight out of a magazine! And that series of Will enjoying his cupcakes? Just charming.

    I can’t give much (well, any) tips on flash use. I try to avoid flash when at all possible, since it does destroy the atmospheric lighting. Unfortunately that’s hard to do with a PAS which gets quite blurry indoors, but at least the Canon I’m using now does offer the option to decrease the flash power and that helps.

  30. Lisa Says:

    Amazing photography! I especially love that they’re that good without post-processing. I’m afraid I can’t help you with flash photography – I hate it (mostly because I have trouble with it). I use a tripod. It’s not the answer to all of my lighting problems but it helps. (Then I scream NOBODY MOVE! as much as I want and everyone has to listen to me or else we’ll be doing it all night.)

  31. Crunchy Domestic Goddess Says:

    yummy!!! i so need a professional cook as a friend.
    tasty pics. 🙂

    btw, i think u should ck out my blog today – lunchy stuff goin’ on and a contest.

  32. Jen M Says:

    Ahhh! Beautiful food! That all looks so delicious.

  33. libound Says:

    Yay, the feet are back. Delicious entry! Glad chef and partner are great (got that from B). Got to talk about William about eating lobster – what a guy! Nice check in with them, looking forward to lots of eats and treats in a few weeks!

  34. Karen Says:

    That meal is absolutely stunning. I can’t remember the last time I ate like that, and I know for sure I’ve never eaten like that outside of a restaurant. Lucky you!

    I think the lighting in the first couple cupcake shots is beautiful. I also think I’d like a cupcake now.

  35. How to charm me « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] Hank & Willie Shockingly regular entries since early 2007 « People with small children aren’t normally allowed to eat this well […]

  36. elizabethews Says:

    I went to a restaurant recently where they cooked cupcakes in coffee mugs and they were full of pudding. They were HUGE…and amazing.

    Could your son be any cuter???

  37. carrievoris Says:

    Oh my…those cupcake pics of Will are a-dor-a-ble! And the weekend sounds heavenly – so nice for you to get a “bacation”! (That is what it is called in our house, too!)

  38. tj Says:

    Hi Anna, will you send me your e-mail? these pics came out amazing!! tj

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