ChatterLog Summer 2011


Cancer, the Crab (even though this Medieval illustration looks like a Lobster!)

Crabs – © Renee Comet

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Summer ChatterBulletin! Some of you might have noticed there was no bulletin last month, and the reason for that is because I put my back out shortly before Memorial Weekend, so sitting and typing at the computer has not exactly been either pleasant or possible for a few weeks. However, I am happy to report that I’m on the mend and getting back to some writing again, but I still have to be careful not to do too much heavy lifting! So since our last bulletin, a lot has happened besides my back going out – North Carolina country crooner Scotty McCreery was crowned winner of American Idol (yeah) and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward deservedly took the Dancing with the Stars mirror-ball trophy (another yeah). I watched a lot of television while I lay on my sofa recuperating, and immersed myself quite happily in both the French Open and Wimbledon tennis tournaments. And since our last bulletin, Astrologically we moved from the gardening sign of Taurus into the talkative sign of Gemini, and we reached the longest day of the year and the Summer Solstice on June 21st. And from there, the Season of Summer began and we now find ourselves in the Watery sign of Cancer, the Crab. Last year our Cancer theme was Motherhood & Family – but if you missed it, you can always go back and read it here:

So not wishing to repeat ourselves, our theme this time reflects another aspect of this zodiacal sign, and that is the stomach or more specifically – what we put in our stomachs! Last month we talked about gardening and the sign of Taurus – the growers of our flowers, fruits and vegetables – so I figured, let’s continue on with the topic and make this month’s theme Food, because the sign of Cancer is the Archetypical Mother, it rules the stomach, and what mother doesn’t continuously fret about feeding her family? It all starts with the breasts and the mother’s milk, and from there it pretty much never ends. Between the shopping and the cooking, let alone the cleaning, a mother’s job is a life of eternal meal planning. Sometimes I am quite glad that I am not a mother because the constant feeding would have driven me crazy! My mother always said that if she were ever to completely lose her marbles, it would be in a supermarket! And in case you hadn’t noticed, it doesn’t really matter how young or old the offspring are, because the feeding frenzy continues even after they’ve left the nest, and the matriarch still wants everyone back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, does she not? She can’t help herself, and besides, it keeps her feeling “needed” because as a baby, you certainly “needed” her to feed you, but once you grew up and became your own person, she no longer had the same control over your diet or your life. So in order to still feel necessary, they stick with what they know. They can’t change your politics, or whom you choose to marry, but they can certainly coax and cheer you with some of that lovingly home-cooked comfort food that only Mum knows how.

Family Dinner – © Steve Lesnick

One of the mother’s functions is to nurture her children, and part of that nurturing is providing food for her family. Cancers are natural homebodies – they’d rather stay home and entertain than go out on the town. They represent “family” so “home” is where they prefer to be, baking cookies. My own mother would always start to fill up the pantry with things she knew I liked as soon as I told her I was coming for a visit. And then, she’d go into complete panic mode and worry about whether or not I still liked apricot jam, or was it blackcurrant, because what I may have liked at some point in my childhood or even last year, might not be the case now, but there were certain staples that were always a sure thing. To start with, we would usually celebrate my arrival with a bottle of champagne and some smoked salmon (no matter what time of day) and as I’m writing this article, not only are we in the sign of Cancer, but it is also Full Moon today (in Capricorn) and the Moon rules Cancer, and yesterday was my mother’s birthday, so I celebrated by putting a major dent into a bottle of bubbly in her honor!

Food was for the most part, a very important factor in our family life. Of course, food is important to every family, but we were given four substantial meals a day (perhaps too substantial by today’s standards) and we ate pretty healthily with virtually no junk food. Back then, we had a large garden and grew some of our own fruits & vegetables. Eating according to the seasons was so much more rewarding – you just can’t beat the taste of those first new potatoes straight from the ground, or the sweet juicy strawberries that are only in season for a couple of months, unlike today where we can now buy anything, including strawberries all year round. Looking back my sister and I wished we’d eaten less, but there you go… And because my father especially loved his food, we weren’t subjected to just plain old English fare (which we know gets a bad rap) and besides the essential bangers & mash and tasty Shepherd’s pies we also ate things like spaghetti Bolognese and home made curries. Our parents liked to entertain and enjoyed hosting, as well as attending mutual dinner parties with their social circle. One particular tradition was of course, the great “British picnic.” I loved picnics, and still do. Nowadays, everyone gets out the BBQ and grilling season is in full swing – aaah, there’s nothing better than dining “al fresco” in the summertime. If there’s one thing I miss by living in the big city, it is having some outdoor space where I can live and eat outside for those summer months! One day, one day…

Corn on the cob – © Steve Lesnick

I remember some years ago now I was visiting with my mother and it was my birthday so I requested a picnic. We were a small group, consisting of myself, my mother and my sister and her husband, along with one of my nearest and dearest friends, Rowena, and her two beautiful daughters, Fani & Billie. We walked a long way to one of out favorite spots in the forest and sat down to picnic. We were miles from anywhere and yet somehow, the only other people walking there that day managed to come by right where we were sitting! And then, the funniest part was that my sister had left my birthday cake in the car and she had to trudge all the way back to get it! After our parents had divorced, my sister and I spent our “family holidays” with our mother and Christmas was always particularly difficult in the early years after their split. Mum would drink too much and get very angry and emotional and then she and my sister would usually have a fight. My role was that of “chief carver” of the turkey (neither my sister nor my mother had a clue about how to tackle that assignment – luckily I learned from my father!) and on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), every year my mother would pack up some sandwiches and we would cram into her little Mini and drive to the sea, no matter what the weather! And, the weather was usually pretty wild and nasty, so we often sat in the car watching the big gray waves from the cliff-tops while we munched on our turkey leftover sandwiches.

Birthday picnic, 1997 (?)

As I mentioned, the sign of Cancer rules over the stomach and many of them love to cook or become chefs, such as Wolfgang Puck, who was born on July 9th. And yet, ironically, my own mother, born on July 14th, was not exactly in love with cooking herself, and was instead totally intimidated by our father when it came to culinary affairs and matters of the kitchen. He came from a food-obsessed family who would constantly discuss whether the roast beef from Sunday lunch had been rare enough or if the string beans were too stringy! So no matter what my mother was making, he would always come and poke his nose in and interfere and tell her “this needed more salt” or “that was overdone.” This led to much insecurity on her part and a few failed attempts at “a lovely dinner!” When our father died last year, we talked about his gourmet approach to food and wine in his eulogy, and told a favorite story of ours which went something like this… “One evening our mother offered up a piece of fish for him [our father] to smell so as to ensure it was fresh enough for supper. Dad immediately rushed out into the garden and threw up into the privet hedge, [he may have loved his food but he threw up at the mere drop of a smelly fish] which pretty much gave her the answer!

Our mother may not have particularly loved to cook, but she certainly enjoyed entertaining and took great delight in nurturing her guests without necessarily having to be a Cordon Bleu chef herself. When she died in 2009, my sister and I wrote this as part of her funeral address, which captures not only her essence but also beautifully illustrates the character of a Cancer. “Mum was born under the nurturing zodiac sign of Cancer, therefore home and family were most important to her. She was a brilliant listener and always had an ear for your troubles, which is why many people, young and old, would all gravitate to her cottage to pour out their hearts while she poured out the drinks! She always had something to eat or drink on hand and once she knew you, she took great pleasure in producing whatever it was you liked, whether it was Battenberg cake for Roly, beer for Andy, or bonios [dog biscuits] for the many assorted canines that came through her house. Whether it was a joint of roast lamb for Sunday lunch, or three lamb chops that had to be miraculously shared by four people, she made you feel well taken care of. She lived in her cottage in North Poulner for close to 40 years and her home was truly her castle. I fondly remember the years when we experienced power cuts and had to figure out how to cook supper over the wood fire and then played endless games of scrabble by candlelight.”

In closing, it wasn’t until later on, after our parents had divorced, that Mum started to enjoy cooking, just a little bit. But honestly, she wasn’t all that bothered and she really couldn’t understand what all the fuss and constant discussion about food was. “Besides,” she would say, “It all turns to sh*t anyway!” She had a point…

ChatterQuote Summer 2011

Nelson Mandela

This month’s quote comes from 93 year-old former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, a Cancer born on July 18th, 1918, and it is a truly beautiful and inspirational one, to be sure. Remember I mentioned that the sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, so notice how many Cancers have round “Moon-shaped” faces, just like Nelson Mandela does.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Nelson Mandela

ChatterArtists Summer 2011

So naturally with this month’s theme being Food we are showing you photographers who shoot food & beverages this month!

David Bishop

I first met David Bishop a few years ago at an APA portfolio review event and he is currently represented by my pals at Watson & Spierman. David has a bright, bold style, which lends itself beautifully to food and beverage photography. He has been shooting for over 25 years and maintains a food studio in Chicago as well as his home base, New York. David says, “Light uniquely controls the viewer’s eye to focus on whatever is the product’s universal appeal. Manipulating it requires experience and patience for the complex series of methods that relies on problem-solving one step at a time. Over the years, my clients consistently express the same goals of appetite appeal, approachability, dimension, texture and maintaining the food as hero.”

Kumamoto Oysters – © David Bishop

Adriana Mullen

Adriana first came to me as a client about three years ago and we instantly had a special bond. She is passionate and funny and shoots beautiful, mouth-watering imagery that makes you want to lick the computer screen. Adriana is also a talented food stylist and since we first met, she has continued to work hard on refining her photographic skills. The results speak for themselves, so be sure to check out her website! Preferring to shoot in natural light, her Sardinian roots simply ooze through her images. I love her!

Raspberry Tart – © Adriana Mullen

Iain Bagwell

I am really excited to include food photographer, friend and fellow Brit, Iain Bagwell this month. We first met at an industry event in Florida, even though he is based in Atlanta and I in New York, and he subsequently became a client as well as a friend. A few years ago now, I remember fondly we spent a frantic few days setting up appointments for him with NYC photo editors, and to enhance the “British” theme, he took a sumptuous cream tea plate to each of his appointments! We found miniature pots of strawberry jam and jars of real clotted cream but I confess, I didn’t make the scones myself, I picked them up every morning from “Tea & Sympathy!” Anyway, he’s come a long way since then and has an audacious, bold new website, so be sure to check it out.

Paella – © Iain Bagwell

Matthew Klein

Matthew and I first met when he participated on one of my early panels for APA New York called “Creativity + Commerce.” Matthew specializes in food photography for advertising and packaging. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, from the fresh, raw ingredients to the delicious cooked meal, Matthew does it all. I chose this particular image of the Potatoes au Gratin because it is one of my absolute favorite things to both cook and eat and something that my Mum and I made often through the years.

Potatoes au Gratin – © Matthew Klein

Renee Comet

There is an undeniably feminine quality to Renee’s work and I have always appreciated her choice of color palettes and her sense of “series” within her imagery. We met a few years back when I was first presenting one of my events for the Washington, DC Chapter of APA, of which she was the Treasurer. In fact, I have made several really good friends from my time spent with the DC Chapter – they’re a great group down there! It was tough to select just one image, but for this bulletin, we chose this crispy, crunchy, summery-looking salad (plus I’m a big “beet” fan too!).

Beet & Tomato Salad – © Renee Comet

Shannon & Colleen Graham

Now, if you’re going to eat, then you might also want a drink, right? So I thought it would be fun to show you some recent new clients of mine Shannon & Colleen Graham who, although they don’t shoot a whole lot of food, they do however shoot many beverages, and in particular – cocktails! I have really enjoyed working with this husband and wife duo and I particularly loved their niche specialty – cocktails – so we decided to create a 2nd website just for that. Not only are they both photographers and run a full studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Colleen is also a “mixologist” which comes in real handy…

Crusoe Spiced Rum Mojito – © Cocktail Images by S & C Graham


Once in a while we like to “mix” things up, so I thought I would also feature a stock agency this month, and naturally one that specializes in food photography. I first met these guys at PictureHouse (which is now Visual Connections), an annual event/trade show for stock photography providers. I see them there every year and in fact, I still have my StockFoodwooden spoon from them, which was their fun “giveaway” one year. From the website:“Founded by Pete A. Eising in Munich in 1979, StockFood has specialized in the area of food from the very beginning. Over the years a unique image archive has been built up, unrivalled worldwide in its comprehensive coverage of the subject of food. In addition to the Munich headquarters, StockFood America, Inc. was founded in 1995 in Kennebunk, Maine (USA) and in London in 2007.

© StockFood/Klaus Arras

StockFood Ltd. (UK)

ChatterCorner Summer 2011

David Laidler

Be sure to read my recent article on photo agent David Laidler in PhotoServe’s Features section. David was also one of the participants for my Reps Panel at Adorama back in May. Read the interview here:–2667.shtml

David Laidler

Ironically, my current article for PhotoServe that I just wrote is on fine art photographerMonika Merva, who is a Cancer herself, born on July 2nd. So its no big surprise that her project is entitled “City of Children” – a perfect fit for our Archetypical Mother of the Zodiac! We’ll be highlighting Monika’s article in the next newsletter.

ChatterNews Summer 2011


Adorama – Reps Panel discussion

Speaking of David Laidler- he was one of the six panelists from my “Reps Panel” discussion which took place at Adorama back in May. We had a full house and great evening. The panel was both lively and informative and Amanda Hanley, of Wonderful Machine, who was also one of my panelists, kindly wrote a blog post following our event, so thanks to Amanda for that and to all of my wonderful panelists for their participation!

Image courtesy of Wonderful Machine

Agency Access – Launches new Blog and Website!

Next up, Agency Access recently launched their brand new blog “The Lab” and if you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to do so. They have assembled a large and diverse group of industry experts, myself included, as well as some of the Agency Access staff, and we are all contributing both individual blog posts as well as recording group podcasts on a variety of topics. Of my articles so far, you can find one on “website layouts and templates” and “when and how to expand your geographic market” Incidentally, this article was also posted on Altpick’s Blog “Altpick Connects”.

So thanks to Maria and Altpick for that extra exposure as well!

Agency Access has also just re-launched their “spiffy” new website – so be sure to check out all of the great information on the Lab and the website and sign up for their newsletters –
liveBooks – Chatterbox Enterprises Success Stories & new Blog!
Then we have liveBooks, who just posted a profile on yours truly along with a testimonial on my Miami-based client Stephen Flint. You can find it under “LiveBooks Success Stories” in the Client Examples section –

And while we’re on the subject of liveBooks, we have recently added a new companion Blog to the Chatterbox website, so be sure to check it out. Besides archiving each newsletter, we are also now arranging the content by category as well. So if you want to go back and find that chocolate cake recipe, or check out some of the tips from an earlier bulletin, you can do so. Chelsea is still working on archiving and tagging all of our accumulated content, but it is looking very nice! –

aCurator – Award-winning Blog!
Congratulations to my pal Julie Grahame whose beautiful blog aCurator was hailed as one of the best Photo Blogs for 2011 featured on – and was also recently listed in the Top Ten Blogs chosen by the British Journal of Photography!

From the website:

WINNER: aCurator
This is a blog in love with photographers. Scroll down aCurator’s page and you’ll see one photographer’s name after another in bold, black letters with sharp, seductive images in between. These posts often link to glorious, full-screen features — free of surrounding navigation bars and text — on the main site. (“Frustration with a lack of full-screen images led me to publish aCurator,” explains founder and editor, Julie Grahame.) But the signature strength of the aCurator blog is, in fact, suggested by its name. Grahame is a curator with a flawless eye and, in her assessment of the work she presents, an immediately trustworthy, no-frills tone. (“Miriam O’Connor is my latest crush,” she writes, introducing one young photographer’s pictures. “Her [series] ‘Attention Seekers’ filled me with joy; it’s refreshing, smart and humorous.”) aCurator’s triumph is a clarity of purpose wedded to a keen intelligence, and a willingness to let its stunning photographs largely speak for themselves.”

In the Loupe – New web TV show
And, speaking of Julie Grahame, she will also be a part of fellow consultant Stella Kramer’s new web TV show “In the Loupe” along with another industry veteran and pal of mine, Allegra Wilde. Premiering at the end of July, you can follow them on tumblr –

Barbara Proud – First Comes Love

I met Barbara Proud a while back when I presented my marketing seminar to her photography students at UArts in Philadelphia. Besides teaching, Barbara is also a fine art photographer herself and has been working for a couple of years now on a wonderful personal portrait project called “First Comes Love” photographing gay and lesbian couples, specifically those who have been together for many years. Although this article was featured back in April on NBC Philadelphia, I thought it was a perfect mention for this month as we here in New York recently became one of the states where gay marriage is now legal –

And then, perfect timing, Barbara emailed me again while we were compiling this bulletin to announce the launch of the project’s new website, including a wonderful video section, and that “First Comes Love” was also selected as one of the BEST OF ASMP 2011 – naturally Barbara is thrilled and says it’s a really big honor, so be sure to watch out for “First Comes Love” in an upcoming ASMP bulletin and on their website. This project is certainly something for B. Proud to be proud of!

Del and Harriet, together 43 years (left) & David and Gary, together 25 years (right)
© B. Proud

ChatterTip of the Month Summer 2011

Cooking Tips

Milk and Cheese – © Adriana Mullen

Last year we gave you tips for Stomach Problems, so this time we’re giving you some assorted Cooking Tips, in particular those that involve “dairy” products, because the sign of Cancer rules over milk, fluids and all dairy products!


·      To prevent milk from sticking when heating it – place an inverted saucer in the bottom of the saucepan

·      To prevent milk from burning when boiling it – rinse the saucepan out with cold water beforehand, and without drying it before pouring in the milk

·      To keep milk past it’s expiration date – add a pinch of salt (per gallon) to slow down the rate of bacteria growth – really?

·      To keep cauliflower white while cooking –
add a little milk to the water

·      To tenderize chicken – marinate in buttermilk

·      If your recipe calls for milk, try
buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead – it can add a whole new flavor
and improve nutrition

·      For fresher flavor – thaw fish in milk and apparently fresh fish freeze well (trying saying that three times very fast when you’ve had a few…) in a milk carton filled with water – who knew?

·      For fluffier pancakes – substitute club soda
for milk in the batter

·      To
prevent ice cream drips – stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone – cute trick for mums!


·      To grease pans when baking – save your butter wrappers in the fridge or freezer

·      To make a smooth, creamy cake batter – always use soft, room temperature butter

·      For perfect pastry crust – use really cold butter straight from the refrigerator



·      Store cheese in your refrigerator, and keep it wrapped tightly in plastic, away from air. Air helps mold/mould grow on cheese so if you get a little on the outside, just cut it off. The English say if the mould won’t eat your cheddar, then it [the cheese] can’t taste very good! Another trick to prevent cheese from hardening is to wipe some butter on the exposed edges before storing.

·      Most ripened or aged cheese is low in moisture content and can be frozen without drastic flavor and texture changes. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator for 24 hours or more. If frozen for several months, the cheese may dry out somewhat and become crumbly when thawed.

·      Cottage cheese will remain fresher longer if you store it upside down in the refrigerator as this slows down the effects of oxidation.


·      Bring cheese to room temperature before cooking with it and melt cheese over a low heat to help prevent toughening and separation of oils and liquids.

·      When grating cheese, spray the surface of the grater with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking, or you can lightly wipe it with a little vegetable oil.

·      To make your own version of “Greek” yoghourt from regular plain yoghourt – place a wire sieve over a bowl and line it with a piece of paper towel. Spoon in your plain whole milk or low-fat yoghourt and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or even overnight, if you like. The water content will drain through the paper towel into the bowl leaving you with a nice thick yoghourt perfect for adding to your recipes.

ChatterRecipe of the Month Summer 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Susan’s Cookies

Photographer © Steve Lesnick

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Target Stores

Photographer © Matthew Klein

I know we gave you a gorgeous desert in our last bulletin with the Tiramisu, so you’d have thought our next recipe would be a savory one, which it would have been, had there been a June bulletin. But for this month, July, and for our homebody Cancer, I have to go with the quintessential “mother” of all cookies – Chocolate Chip Cookies! Everyone says their recipe is the best, so I selected this particular one from as it had some pretty spectacular reviews.


1 cup Butter (softened)

1 cup White Sugar

1 cup Brown Sugar (packed)

2 Eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (good quality)

3 cups Flour (All-Purpose)

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 teaspoons Water (Hot!)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 cups Chocolate Chips (Semisweet)

1 cup Walnuts (chopped)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cream together the Butter, White Sugar, and Brown Sugar until smooth. Beat in the Eggs one at a time, and then stir in the Vanilla Extract. Dissolve Baking Soda in the hot Water. Add to batter along with Salt. Stir in the Flour, Chocolate Chips, and Walnuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto un-greased pans and bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are nicely browned. Serve with a glass of milk!

ChatterEvents Summer 2011

Thursday, July 21st, 2011 – 6-8pm

Klompching Gallery’s First Annual Open Photography Exhibit:

Fresh – Curated by W.M. Hunt and Darren Ching

@ Klompching Gallery

111 Front Street, Suite 206

Brooklyn, NY

From the newsletter:

“Klompching Gallery is pleased to present its inaugural exhibit for FRESH, selecting the work of four new voices in contemporary photography: Skott Chandler, Harold Ross, Donna J. Wan and Ahron D. Weiner.

The objective of Fresh, is to showcase—in exhibit and online—photography that is fresh in approach and vision. The curators looked for photographs that fully employ the medium of photography within the context of contemporary photographic practice.

Coinciding with the gallery exhibition, Fraction Magazine is publishing a special online edition of its magazine for the four exhibiting photographers, with an introduction by W.M. Hunt.”

For more information please visit:

Also Thursday, July 21st, 2011 – 6:30pm

Win-Initiative Presents: Take 5ive Publisher – Curated by Laura Wyss

@ Win

77 Mercer Street, 2N

New York, NY

Must RSVP to:!

For more information please visit:

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 – 7pm

CPW Presents: An Evening With Gay Block

@ Center for Photography at Woodstock

Woodstock, NY

Free Admission!

For more information about the lecture and to view more CPW workshops please visit:

To view more of Gay Block’s work please visit:

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 – 6-9pm

The cARTwheel Initiative Launch Event

@ Milux Cafe

New York, NY

$20 donation goes toward the project and your first drink!

Photographer Ashok Sinha, who we have featured in the bulletin before, recently emailed me about a new project he is involved with.
From the evite:

“The project is called The cARTwheel Initiative and taking place in Sri Lanka this December.

Mission: Giving children living in the aftermath of a 30-year civil war the opportunity to express themselves artistically.”

For more information about the project and to donate online please visit: &

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 – 7-10pm

ASPP/NY Summer Garden Party – Save the Date

@ Bridgeman Art Library

65 East 93rd Street

New York, NY

For more information please visit:

Saturday, August 6th – Sunday August 7th, 2011
Barbara Bordnick Summer Flower Workshop

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
@ The Frying Pan
Pier 66 @ 26th St.
New York, NY