It happened like this. I was frantically roaming around the internet, as I had been for the last couple of months, looking for *the perfect bakery*. I was first applying to New Zealand, hoping for a fairy tale life, then California, for some earthy bread making, then Asheville for something familiar, and then Maine for the cabin lifestyle. Nothing seemed quite right, and all my efforts for New Zealand weren't coming back to me. I finally was accepted by a bakery on the southern island of New Zealand, and then 2 weeks before classes ended the owner wrote to me saying he could no longer afford to accommodate my apprenticeship. The message was received amidst a time where I was unable to live in my apartment due to a health concern in the complex, living out the last month sleeping on a friend's couch, and then also some family troubles for a nice garnish.
I was sitting on the familiar couch, feeling quite lost, when I began reflecting on what I had done over the past year - the activities I constantly pursued, and the hobbies that constantly inspired. I remembered photographing bread and pastries in Victoria, the picnics I shared that I was so inspired to capture, and the Wild Fire Bakery video I made that received such positive feedback. I then thought of my return to Vermont and how I embarked on each food project with my vision always being 'something I will want to photograph later'.
I was hoping to find a food photographer who might have some advice on getting an internship, what the process might be, what to expect. Then, when scrolling through I saw Vanessa Rees' familiar name, a photographer I've admired for quite some time now. I clicked on her blog and there it was, her latest post: Cards and Interns. A simple post advertising her holiday cards and indicating that she was looking for a couple of interns starting in January. Without thinking I wrote to her, a simple and honest e-mail explaining my experience.
Within the hour I got the response, "Demetria, I'd love to chat with you!"
I was so excited. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I had an internship! All the months of stressing, and there it was, all settled.
It will be a comfort, as Vanessa is another southern raised girl like me, growing up in Virginia, working a job she hated and then slowly working towards her dreams of actually pursuing photography. Now she's shooting for big names like Food & Wine magazine, Ralph Lauren, and this year Saveur awarded her with the best photography in their Food Blog awards, an honor considering all the food blogs that are out there. And all the prestige aside, you can see in her photos - layouts that really tell a story, artful food placements that evoke feelings, and photos that show a true mastery of the craft.
So, there you have it, you're looking at Vanessa Rees' latest intern. And I'm moving from the Vermont hills into Brooklyn on the New Year.
All photos above taken by Vanessa Rees and I had no part in the production of them. And really, you should look at all of her work.