How did you learn to cook?

Reading, trying and failing.  Cooking started as a hobby growing up and now I can't imagine not being in the food industry. I've photographed, styled and cooked with some very talented people, so that experience has also been priceless. For people who don't have the opportunity to get behind the scenes in commercial kitchens I recommend just reading and trying (and trying again...). And take notes, you'll come back to them one day.

How did you become a Food Photographer?

Although I took some photography classes in high school, I would say I'm 'self-taught' since I forgot most everything from those classes. Blogging is where it all started. I was then asked to do a few freelance shoots while in Dallas, TX.  Finally, I became a Food Photo Intern at Denver's local magazine, 5280 Magazine where I still freelance. I shoot for 5280.com once a week, which are featured on the Table Talk blog posts and email newsletters written by Food Editor, Amanda Faison.  I photograph for Seattle Fish, Chef's Fresh Fish, and many restaurants in Denver, Boulder and Rocky Mountain Region. 

Where do you find the recipes that are featured on Reckless Abandon?

All over.  Many of them I’ve made up while in a time crunch and starving.  Interestingly enough the time constraints make for wonderful, easy, thrown-together meals (sometimes...).  Some of my favorites are family recipes I grew up with and a good amount of my recipes come from other blogs and magazines (which will always be credited).  I usually get my mind set on some sort of meal I’m craving and research 10-15 recipes.  I’ll find my favorite ingredients and techniques from each then create my own version.  I think that's the best way to learn how to cook. 

How long does your average meal take to prepare?

Most of them are quick. Like "20 -minutes-quick", if you have the ingredients.   That’s the key to a quick dinner; plan a few meals per week and get the ingredients in one shopping trip.  Also, keep a well stocked pantry. I swear we've lived off our pantry, freezer and garden for weeks at a time. 

There are definitely more labor intensive recipes, but if you click on the “quick” label you will find something to prepare in 20 minutes or less.

What camera do you use?

The first few months of my blog were photographed with my iPhone mainly for convenience! Yikes. (My first post through Light Pepperoncini Dip).  I finally took the plunge and switched to my Nikon DSLR for my Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon post and have never looked back. I use a couple of different Nikon's bodies on my shoots and a few different lenses. 

What lens do you use?

Nikkor 50mm prime lens 95% of the time. It's great for both food and portraits.

Where do you live?

Denver, Colorado. Seeing the mountains in the distance still takes my breath away. I've lived in some amazing cities though. Starting in Kansas City, KS I then moved to Lawrence, KS to attend the University of Kansas.  Upon graduating I moved to Washington, DC (Georgetown), then to Dallas, TX and on to my current and most likely permanent city, Denver, CO.

What’s your favorite cuisine?

Italian. No question. Pasta is my weakness. I really enjoy a variety of Asian cuisines as well. 

What food do you hate?

Does dry, bland chicken count? I use to hate pickles and olives, although now I'm a lover of both. Still working on loving those black olives though. I don't crave fruit like many people do. I'll eat it, but some of their texture can be off-putting to me.

What food do you love?

Pasta as previously stated. Soup. Vegetables. Scallops. Chips and Dip ..... of any kind.
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