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

Strawberry & Meringue

I have another strawberry dessert recipe. Not as extensive as the Red Fruit Filo Tartlet recipe I posted earlier, but just as luscious and delicious. This is my take on strawberries and meringue.

Strawberry Meringue Dessert

Preparation method:

For the meringue:

  1. Separate about 5 eggs until you have 150g of egg whites;
  2. Beat the egg whites with 90g of white sugar. After a couple of minutes add another 90g of white sugar. Finally add 90g of icing sugar and beat to stiff peaks;
  3. Spoon the the beaten egg whites in a piping bag and pipe in little circles on a baking tray lined with baking paper;
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 100˚C for at least an hour (up to 75 minutes). Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to dry while the oven cools down. Do not open the oven during the baking process.

For the sweet & sour cherry gel, mix 100ml of cherry vinegar—I use vinegars from Oil & Vinegar—and 100ml sugar sirup(*). Set aside a little bit of the mixture, pour a the bulk of the mixture into a sauce pan over a high heat and bring it up to the boil. While waiting for the mixture to boil, dissolve 1.2g of agar agar it the mixture you set aside. As soon as the mixture in the sauce pan is boiling, add the agar agar mix to the pan and leave to boil for another 5 minutes stirring to make sure the agar agar is fully dissolved.

Leave it cool for a little while, then poor it in a squeeze bottle and set aside to completely cool. By the time is has completely cooled, the mixture should have turned into a translucent gel.

I make whipped cream in an espuma bottle and since this recipe has meringue, I don’t add sugar to my whipped cream. If you make your whipped cream by hand, add a little sugar, it helps to stiffen the cream.

Plate up the meringue, strawberries, whipped cream and the sweet & sour gel to make an attractive plate. Finish with a few sprigs of mint.

(*) sugar sirup is equal quantities of water and white sugar that you heat up until the sugar has fully dissolved.

Ingredients:

  • 150g egg whites (about 5 eggs)
  • 2 x 90g white sugar
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 100ml cherry vinegar
  • 100ml sugar sirup
  • 1.2g agar agar
  • Whipped cream

Latex Shoot with Evelien

It are busy times on the home front, so I’m running a bit behind on postproccesing and sharing images from recent shoots. But I promise to catch up on some things in the next couple of weeks.

Let me start by sharing this image of Evelien in an latex dress by HMS latex, shot about a month ago in our studio. There is something special about redheads… Isn’t there?

Evelien in Latex

Thank you for coming to our studio, Evelien. It was a pleasure to have you!

Red Fruit Filo Tartlet

Strawberry season is happening in Belgium right now: a great time to make luscious desserts.

Red Fruit Filo Tartlet

This is my homemade red fruit filo tartlet filled with a mascarpone cream and strawberry & habanero jam. Maybe a good idea for tonight’s dessert?

Preparation method:

For the filo tartlets:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease the holes of a muffin or cupcake tin;
  2. Cut the filo pastry into squares that are big enough to fit in your tin. Brush each piece of filo with metled butter. Layer 3 pieces of filo on top of eachother;
  3. Please the filo cases into the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes (until golden brown);
  4. When baked,  take the filo cases out of the oven and set a side to cool. Be careful when removing the cases from the tin as they tend to break.

For the strawberry & habanero jam:

  1. Quarter 500gr of strawberries and chop the habanero pepper;
  2. In a saucepan set over a medium heat, add 400gr of white sugar, the juice and zest of 1/2 an orange. Let the sugar dissolve in the orange juice;
  3. Turn up the heat to high and add the strawberries and the habanero pepper. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches jam consistency. Set aside to cool.

For the cream, mix 200gr mascarpone, 50gr cream and 25gr of white sugar together in a bowl until it becomes thick & creamy.

Now fill the cooled filo cases with a good spoon full of the mascarpone cream, drizzled over some of the strawberry & habanero jam and top with your favorite red fruits and strawberries. Finish with a sprig of mint for decoration.

I like my jam to be nice and spicy. If you don’t like the spice, use half a habanero pepper. (serves 4)

In case you’re wondering: yes, I made this myself. And yes, I did the photo too.

Ingredients:

  • 50g melted butter
  • 150g filo pastry (store-bought)
  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 50g cream
  • 425g white sugar
  • 500g strawberries
  • 1/2 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • assorted red fruits
  • a few mint leaves

 

Bluebells in the Hallerbos

Shooting nature is way out of my comfortzone. I admire good nature photographers and I love to look at nature photos but I never quite got the hang of it myself.

There is this forest near Brussels, called Hallerbos, that is famous for its bluebells. My buddy James asked me last week if I wanted to join him for a photo hike, so I said to myself: “Why not? Let’s give it a try.” After all it will be fun to do something with a friend even if you fail at making a good photo.

Hallerbos

As I said: nature photography is out of my comfortzone! This was my favorite shot of the day, but I sure had fun. And as they say: if you fail, try try again… Shall we do that again next year James?

Zermatt Unplugged

One of my best friends found this thing called Zermatt Unplugged: a series of concerts in the Ski-resort Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. They had a great lineup this year: Patricia Kaas, Heather Nova and Melissa Etheridge were all playing in the same week at the festival. When he told me, I jokingly replied: “Have you bought tickets and booked a hotel already? Why not?”

It did not take us to long to decide to go though. It has been forever since I was in Switzerland, so driving down there, do a little photography and a bit of hiking, and listing to great artists I happen to like, sure was a good idea.

Took a couple of nice pictures in the Alps while driving to Zermatt.

The Alps

The Alps

Zermatt is a small town but I’m sure it is buzzing in winter because it’s most famous as a ski resort and their main attraction: the Matterhorn. The mountain hid itself in the clouds while we were there, but when the clouds finally lifted, we go this amazing view of the mountain.

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn