Lost at Sea

Nothing is off limits when it comes to capturing the perfect photo. Fulfilling a vision, watching it come to life, and being able to share it with others, no translation necessary, is the most satisfying aspect of the craft. No one said that reaching that goal was ever easy though, which is why I’m willing to go great lengths in order to see a concept through to completion. Even for your garden-variety food photo, every frame counts. Shooting on location presents its own unique set of challenges, but posing a pie for its closeup on the beach is far from my craziest idea yet.

A week of planning, a day of preparation, and day of meticulous baking later, the photo was everything I had dreamed of. With the recipe completed and fine tuned well in advance, the styling went off without a hitch. My Island Breeze Pie from Easy as Vegan Pie looked radiant, a true beach babe if I ever did see one. Never mind the fact that it was a chilly February morning, the wee hours of the AM affording us a quiet, undisturbed spot on the shoreline; the sun’s gentle golden glow suggested otherwise, and the soft ripples of sea water coming in with the tide seemed to lovingly cradle the dish itself. It was perfect, that one moment that every artist lives for when everything in the world feels right.

And the next moment is what every risk-taker dreads.

Splash! Right before my lens, one cruel wave silently crept up from beyond my viewfinder, sneaking around the edges of my painstakingly styled pie, and maliciously scaled the walls of the ceramic vessel, crashing through the latticework in one fell swoop. I never saw it coming, but with camera poised and a finger on the trigger, the devastating attack was inadvertently captured for all eyes to see, detailing the full destruction in a multitude of frames.

“No, not the macadamia nuts!” I howled in anguish, helplessly watching the waters recede. They were one of the rare edible souvenirs that made the journey with me back from Hawaii, you see, much more sentimental than your average ingredient.

Leaving behind a soggy but fully intact pastry in its wake, my rescue efforts came too late, but the whole dish was nonetheless toweled off and taken home. This poor, brave pie made the ultimate sacrifice- Who could be so cold-hearted as to simply shrug and throw it away? Not I; loathe to waste food, and turn my back on this valiant fighter.

Only out of desperation, and only due to one overly optimistic suggestion did the pie return to the oven in an attempt to dry out. The water was removed, but the sand, grit, and salt remained, tasting of of detritus and sadness. Officially beyond salvage, all I could do was honor its memory, publishing that glorious photo to inspire generations of Island Breeze Pies to come.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Easy as Vegan Pie for yourself! Pretty please, don’t let any of your baked creations anywhere near the water, for your own eating enjoyment.

45 thoughts on “Lost at Sea

  1. The ultimate sacrifice, Hannah! Just sorry you and your pie had to be the ones making it. Can’t wait to see the book and all the delicious recipes.

    BTW, “ever frame counts”–“every”–that pesky “y” just slid away while you weren’t looking. :-)

    Have a fabulous Friday,


  2. Oh noes! At first when I saw the second shot, I thought you had photoshopped it and I was like–that’s cool. But nope, it was real. I’m sorry the pie was sacrificed, but that’s a pretty bad ass shot!

  3. That shot of that unctuous delectable pie made me think of Wilson from Castaway. That moment when Tom Hanks decided that Wilson was real, and became his best friend. That pie just became real and I want it to be my best friend (to the point where I eat the last delicious crumb akin to Homer Simpson eating Pinchy…). You managed to recreate those images in my mind simply by me looking at that beautiful image. I am reading on and suddenly I spy what happened to the pie!!! All I can say is “WIIIIIILSON!”…

  4. That photo is AMAZING and I hope yo u were able to use it in the cookbook! I love it! I mean, I’m sure the pie was good, but talk about a once in a lifetime kind of photo!

  5. If it helps, the photo is great! Think of it as a sacrificial pie, an offering to nature to thank it for all the nuts and fruit that have gone into past pies!

  6. I am sorry about your pie, but this is definitely one of my favorite stories behind a photograph. There have been numerous attempts where I have tried so desperately to salvage food that really was no long edible. So it goes.

  7. LOL the things we do for the perfect shot. I am really sorry you ruined your pie but you have to admit the shot is amazing;-)

  8. I think the sacrifice was indeed worth it ! Your sea splashing picture looks amazing!, maybe you could have eaten the other side of it?

  9. i love that second shot.. that is perfect timing. i am sorry for the sacrifice.. but i think the second shot was worth the name :) island breeze indeed!

  10. Pie at the beach? That rules, ha ha. :) Except for that terrible ninja wave. At least you have a picture of the wave? I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it looks cool!

  11. What a cool photo! Even though a pie WAS harmed in production. Congratulations, Hannah, that is indeed a very tempting list of pie titles. I’m most curious about the watermelon chiffon pie, but the frozen pies are the ones I most want to eat: I think the mojito pie would be my first selection.

  12. I must say that I would never have thought of photographing a pie on a beach!

    but seriously, the photo that captured the water splash on the pie is very eye catching in an artistic manner and it tells a very interesting story. Having said that, I’m sorry about your pie. I would have been devastated if that were to happen to one of my bakes.

  13. Oh, I so know how you feel! It’s like scraping off the burned bottoms of rolls to save them because they were left in the oven too long. We hope beyond hope to salvage all that we can. Your story makes the photo more memorable, and the fact that you can laugh about it afterwards makes it all that more touching. Thank you for sacrificing those beautiful chestnuts!

  14. I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. You can find all the details in the post on my blog (participation is optional, but in case you are interested!). Isabelle

  15. Oh no! No, no, no…I can only imagine how you felt…and you even tried to salvage the pie by placing in the oven…

  16. Oh how sad!!!! Especially with something as pricey and precious as macadamia nuts. It looks gorgeous. You didn’t try to eat it anyway, huh? Not even the soggy side?

  17. Ah, but for one brief, shining moment the pie was perfect. However, its true fame is in the second shot. The first shot was simply a nice, unique shot of a pie in an unusual setting. Capturing its surprising demise is what really makes it special and memorable. By the way, I can’t wait to read the recipe….

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