Ever since I started our Weekend Flashback feature to start off your week, I’ve become fascinated with the myriad (just for you, Erin!) of photographers in our area. There’s such a wide range of talent, skill, expertise, and perspectives around here that’s worth sharing, so I decided to begin a periodic feature showcasing our local photogs and their array of works. Because DC imagery makes up only a small part of many of our local photographers’ repertoire, I want to give them a chance to expose their broad range of expertise and work – and their personalities.
Kicking off this periodic feature is Paige Weaver, known on Twitter as Moxie_Marmalade. A baker in Chevy Chase, Paige lives in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area and loves to shoot – and eat! – food on the side.
So who is Paige Weaver? Where do you come from originally?
Well, I grew up in Dallas, TX and ended up in DC via Maine and Tennessee. I graduated college in ’08 and moved to DC for a job, which I quit last August to attended culinary school in New York City. The school I attended emphasizes health supportive cooking — how ironic now that I make desserts for a living. But if you need a vegan, gluten-free dinner party menu, I’m your girl. I hate parsley, don’t discriminate against wine that comes in boxes, and have recently become obsessed with the Civil War.
I’ve also been participating in Project 365 this year, challenging myself to take a photograph every day of 2010. It’s been a great undertaking because it forces me to practice photography every day. As expected, some shots are much better than others, but so far, I haven’t missed a day!
How long have you been behind the camera?
I started photographing back in middle school when my friends convinced me to take a summer photography class with them. I continued with classes in high school, but only rediscovered photography since I moved to DC after college.
So what do you love to shoot most?
I love food. I enjoy cooking it, eating it, and photographing it, too. Food is my job! The only downside to food photography is that you have to wait to eat until you get the perfect shot. This has lead to some cold dinners, much to the chagrin of my dining partners.
Share with us about one of your most difficult shots.
To be honest, I don’t often attempt technically complex shots, so I don’t have a difficult shot in that sense. The first thing that comes to mind is a photograph of the Capitol (above) I took recently on my walk back from dinner at Good Stuff Eatery (oh my gosh, delicious). It was dark and I didn’t have a tripod in tow, so it took about fifty tries to get a clear image. I resorted to using my boyfriend’s shoulder to stabilize my camera. Not as reliable as a tripod, but hey it worked!
What’s one of the hardest things about photographing in the DC area?
Avoiding cliche DC shots can be tricky. There are countless images of the Mall, the Capitol, the White House, etc. You’ve got to find your own angle to make each of these ubiquitous landmarks stand out in a different and more personal way.
What one shot was the most fun to take?
One of my favorite parts of summer is baseball. Not because I enjoy watching the sport, but because I like going to baseball games. I probably spend only about 25% of my time in the stadium watching the game; I just really adore the atmosphere of baseball. I managed to get tickets to the Nationals’ home opener this year and I took this shot (above) of a cotton candy vendor midway into the game, with the focus perhaps revealing my true priorities.
What’s your all-time favorite place in DC to shoot?
Going along with the food theme, I love shooting at farmer’s markets. DC has such a wealth of farmer’s markets in the summer, there’s almost one every day of the week. Not only are there fresh vegetables and fruit to photograph, there are flowers, cheeses, gelato, cured meats, and the patrons of the markets themselves are interesting subjects, as well. Plus, I can get some grocery shopping done while I’m at it.
Do you have any aspirations for your photography in the future?
Ideally, I’d like to make a career out of photography but think I have a lot learn about the more technical aspects of it. While I think I have an eye for taking shots, Photoshop scares the bejesus out of me.
Got a favorite photography tip you’d like to share?
Avoid using flash, if possible. Especially when taking photographs of food, natural light looks so much better. Early mornings and evenings are my favorite times of day to shoot – the light is softer. Photos taken at high noon can often look too harsh.
If you’re a photographer in the DC area who’d like to be spotlighted, drop me an email at bhrome AT welovedc DOT com.