A Little Bit of Paradise in Belgium

My Buddy Michel Keppens and I have found a little bit of paradise hidden in the heart of Belgium. We had been talking on and off about doing a photo shoot together. Not just something that you trough together in a couple of minutes, grab the 1st model you can find, head on out, start to shoot and hope for the best.

We wanted something that was a bit more carefully planned. Since it is summer, we decided on a swim wear shoot: somewhere on a tropical location. We found this little river in a nature preserve in Belgium that could fit our needs. We went location scouting, put together a mood board, blocked 3 dates in our calendar, booked models and makeup artists for all dates, and… Last week we went out for our 1st shoot in the series.

Magalie in Phax Swim Wear

Models Magalie and Lizzy joined us on our 1st trip to the Ardennes. They were impressed by the beauty of the location. If you consider that I found the location doing some Geocaching, that is kinda cool.

https://www.geocaching.com/

Michel and I had booked models that would mind posing in latex swim wear. Because, of course, no shoot this big with me as a photographer would be complete without it involving latex. Lizzy wore a red polka-dot set from Westward Bound and Magalie wore a daring one-piece suit designed by William Wilde.

Magalie in Latex by William Wilde

Magalie in Latex by William Wilde

Lizzy in Westward Bound Latex

I enjoyed a day out with these 2 lovely ladies and my buddy Michel and I look forward to another shoot in this series. I will leave you with this little look behind the scenes with Magalie and Michel.

Behind the Scenes

Home Smoked Duck Breast

When I bought my Big Green Egg a couple of years ago, it was because I wanted to do more than just use it as a BBQ. One of the reasons I choose the Big Green Egg, was because it can be used as a smoker. And last weekend, I tried that for that for the 1st time.

Home Smoked Duck Breast

I did this duck breast marinated in apple juice and cider, smoked on wood chips of Jack Daniel’s barrels. Marinated for 24 hours and then smoked for an hour at 100˚C, the duck breast came out beautifully pink and juicy. It was just yummy.

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

It’s probably one of the simplest recipes in the world. One that is enjoyed by many, especially during summer: a tomato and mozzarella salad. But when you be creative about it, it can be a beauty on a plate.

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Use some real good mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes and diffent kinds of greens: watercress, basil and some monks cress. Top it with a good olive oil, a touch of fleur de sel and some pepper and you’re done. I painted some paprika tapenade on the plate befor adding the main ingredients.

Th monks cress is a little peppery and tangy. And I used different colors cherry tomatoes: orange and green tomatoes are a little sour, so you don’t need to add acid to your dish.

Happy 4th of July

Magalie and I met when she was a contestant for Miss Fashion 2013. We hadn’t worked together for a long while until our last week’s shoot. I was really trilled to have her in the studio. After catching up with her, we started tossing ideas around for the shoot. And when Magalie saw this Westward Bound latex dress, it was a shoe-in: with the 4th of July coming up we would do a little salute to our friends in the U.S.A.

Magalie in a USA Latex Dress

Magalie and I wish our friends in the U.S.A. a very happy 4th of July and a great holiday weekend! Have a fun and save Indepence Day!

And I would like to thank Magalie for a fun shoot… I sure hope we can do this again soon.

My Favorite Curly Head

Eva is by far my favorite curly head. It’s always fun to go and get a drink with her, or dinner. It’s twice as much fun to have her in the studio!

Her birthday was a couple of weeks back. I said to her I would do a photo shoot with her as a birthday present. She happily obliged. She asked if I would wanna help her with a little project she was planning. I happily obliged. I can’t show the results of her project just yet. I’ll leave that up to her to publish those photos. But I can show you a couple of pics from the shoot with her.

Eva Van Hyfte

We decide on shooting latex. I had her choose the outfit, and she came back a combination I would have never though of. She combined a Westward Bound dress and top and made it her own. I love the way the latex hugs her curves. And though it had been awhile since she had been in front of a lens, it only took a couple of clicks of my camera to turn our shoot into a lot of fun. Thank you so much Eva for a great shoot and an all out fun day. Please don’t wait for your next birthday to come back for another shoot!

Eva Van Hyfte

London Photo Trip

London is one of my favorite cities for a weekend getaway. It has been for a long time. And still, every time I go there, I discover new things and little corners I have never been or new vantage points for sights I’ve seen often. Usually, I just book an hotel and a seat on the Eurostar. But this time I came prepared: I was determined to shoot a series of interesting photos.

So besides plans to go see the Elvis expo at the O2 Arena and the Alexander McQueen expo at the V&A museum, a couple of of nice restaurants we wanted to check out, I also had done my research to shoot cityscapes in beautiful London. City Hall, the O2 Arena, Tower Bridge and the Docklands were on my list.

London City Hall

O2 Arena from the Sky

Tower Bridge at Night

London Docklands

When we planned the trip, we didn’t realize London would be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the VE Day (Victory in Europe at the end of World War II). So I also had the good fortune to get this shot of the Admiralty Arch.

London Admiralty Arch on VE Day

Photo Shoot With Shannety Again

It is May, and much to my surprise I had not done a photo shoot with Shannety this year. I guess we both have been too busy to shoot. But we plan to make it up: Shannety is preparing to compete for the title of Miss Fashion 2016. So I’m sure we will be working together to upgrade her portfolio to support her campaign for Miss Fashion.

We shot a series of promo pictures a couple of weeks back. Liesbeth Liekens was kind enough to do Shannety’s makeup for this shoot. As always: thank you Liesbeth and Shannety!

Shannety in Triangl Swimwear

Case-less Quiche with Blue Cheese

Here’s a nice recipe for lunch: a case-less quiche, which you could fill with your choice of ingredients, served with an herb salad. I filled my quiche with roasted peppers, blue cheese, tomatoes and a little onion, but you could also use ingredients like broccoli, mozzarella, maybe even some chorizo.

Case-less Quiche with Blue Cheese

Here’s what I did (serves 4):

Preparation method:

For the quiche:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180˚C;
  2. Add a little olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat. Finely slice 1/2 onion, add them to the frying pan and fry them until soft. They should be softened but not browned;
  3. Oil the holes of a regular muffin tin with a little olive oil and line them with a slice of Parma ham. Make sure the bottom and sides of the holes are fully lined with the Parma ham;
  4. Cut the blue cheese into little cubes, slice 1 spring onion finely and slice the roasted pepper in long strips;
  5. Mix 2 eggs, 30ml of cream and 30ml of milk in a bowl and whisk them together. Add a generous amount of pepper;
  6. Fill the muffin holes lined with Parma ham with the blue cheese, spring onion, roasted pepper and the slivers of red onion and finish half a cherry tomato on top. Do not over fill;
  7. Fill up the muffin holes with the egg mixture;
  8. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the egg mixture has completely set.

When the quiches are done, take them out of the oven and leave to cool. If you’re not sure if the quiches are set, prick them with a metal skewer. When you remove the skewer, it should be dry warm all the way through.

You could of course roast your pepper yourself, but for this recipe, I used store bought jarred peppers. They are very tasty and the keep for weeks in the fridge if you close the jar propperly.

For the salad, mix the rocket, watercress, coriander and basil in a bowl. Quarter 4 cherry tomatoes and add them to the herb salad. Finely slice 1 spring onion and add that too. Dress the salad with a little olive oil, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and some salt (I prefer fleur de sel). Mix to get everything coated with the oil. Plate the salad and add a few petals of homemade pickled onion.

Making pickled onion is simple, but if you don’t want to be bothered with that, you could use fresh thinly sliced onion instead. Add a little chardonnay vinegar to dress the salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 30ml cream
  • 30ml milk
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/2 roasted pepper
  • homemade pickled onions
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • a handful of rocket
  • a handful of watercress
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • salt & peper
  • grated Parmesan cheese