While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, vegan pecan pie eating is something I could easily get behind. It happens to combine some of my favourite flavours on Earth: buttery pecans bathed in an aromatic concoction of maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest, which I know is not necessarily traditional, but I like its festive overtones, so I added it to mine. This recipe creation was full of drama so I am especially happy that it made it to the blog and I’m able to share it with you today. I hope you’ll make it and love it!!
Firstly, I’ve had to make it several times to get the proportions right. As it’s a fairly technical recipe, I was prepared for that, but it was still a little tiring nevertheless. Third time lucky, the pie was ready and did not end up looking too bad either, so I was ready to crack on with the photos.
The issue was the light or the lack of thereof. The weather forecast was pretty clear on the fact that there was no sunshine or white cloud to be had at all this week – it was black cloud back-to-back. What is one to do? So I dusted off my artificial light setup and got to work. I did some test shots and I was fairly happy with them, so I was in a good headspace until about 10 hours later when Duncan got home from work to find me in the middle of a shoot-induced mess, on the verge of tears.
After 10 hours of solid work and tinkering, I had no decent photos to show for myself. I HATED the outcome and, what’s worse, I couldn’t figure out why exactly. I was exhausted and despondent and I lost all sense of perspective. I was sobbing uncontrollably, doubting my ability to take a single decent photo ever and wanting to ditch the whole thing.
Duncan tried to talk some sense into me – bless him – he is good like that, but I was having none of it. As I was worried that the pie will look worse for wear the day after, I pushed myself to do a few missing shots after dinner, but I was still not happy with the results of my work. I went to bed all anxious and upset as I was staring down the barrel of having to make the pie again. But I was out of some key ingredients too, and worst of all I had no idea how to get decent shots with my light setup, so I was feeling stuck and helpless.
I woke up to see the pie look as good as on the day it was made and while there was truly no blue skies to be had, grey cloud morphed into a whitish cloud, so I figured I would give the natural light one more go. I did the entire shot in just over an hour and I am finally happy to share these with you.
I also had a good look at the room I was shooting in and realised that what most likely screwed me was the magnolia painted walls and yellowish curtains which reflected a nasty, yellowish cast into my photos, making this dreamy pie look completely unappetising. There is not much I can do about that as I cannot cover up such a vast surface area unless I pitch a white tent up in the middle of my dining room! It’s a rented house, so repainting isn’t really an option, but it made me realise where I was going wrong despite trying every trick in the book.
I guess I am doomed to be chasing elusive white clouds for a little while longer…until I figure this conundrum out. Ah, they joys of food photography in winter gloom…
PS: If you make my vegan pecan pie, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!