Tower Bridge Dinner

Earlier in September, I was asked to do photography for the Farm to Fork Dinner event on the Tower Bridge. It is always exciting to work with Savory Cafe, and I was again asked to assist them this year with photography. My time spent with Juan, Kristin and Toby is always a blessing to me. Their teamwork, love for the community, and work ethic are something to admire. They are true community leaders, and I'm grateful for their friendship. In addition to working with Savory Cafe, I did product photography for the Capay Valley Ranches. CVR produces premium olive oil, nuts, and honey and they partnered with Visit Sacramento to provide olive oil for this event. To capture both parts of this event, that of restauranteur and product provider was exciting as it gives a full picture of what makes this day so incredible.

This year I began at a Meet and Greet for renowned Chef Jeremiah Tower at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. Savory Cafe chef Toby Barajas was invited to meet Chef Jeremiah along with several other special guests. While waiting for Toby to arrive, I was able to get a quick photo with Denise Reinnoldt and her daughter Lauren with Jeremiah. Denise is the owner of Capay Valley Ranches, and it was great to connect with her before going to the dinner on the bridge. Just before Chef Jeremiah left to prepare for his time with all of the chefs preparing for the dinner, he graciously stopped and allowed me to get a photo with Toby. I then was off to the bridge to capture meal prep for the evening.

I arrived at the commissary kitchen to find Kristin working away preparing for the appetizer that Savory was providing for the meal. What I enjoy the most of about participating at this end of an event like this is the amount of collaborating and teamwork among all of the restaurants. An event like this can't come together without this type of effort on everyone's part. For me, it's the best part of this evening. I enjoy watching people connect and have fun while serving the community. I appreciate the various gifts and talents each person brings to present each course. But the part that is the best is that we live in such an agriculturally productive region and all of the farmers and ranchers who bring their unique piece to the menu. I had the pleasure to represent Capay Valley Ranches and the unique part they played as product sponsor and the provider of olive oil for the dishes that were prepared by the chefs.

It was a day celebrating all the richness, and bounty of the region in and around Sacramento. Thank you, Juan Barajas, Kristin, and Toby for this fun opportunity and Capay Valley Ranches and Denise Reinnoldt. Such a fabulous day celebrating what our various cities bring to the Farm to Fork way of life.

The link below is from the 2017 Tower Bridge Dinner.

https://www.dawnkincadephotography.com/my-adventures/2017/9/27/tower-bridge-dinner-2017-with-savory-cafe

Cornhole for Cole

I spent Sunday, April 29th, at The Coleman Christensen Memorial Cornhole Tournament and Fundraiser in Winters. The proceeds of which will go to benefit a scholarship in Cole’s name and projects at Vacaville High School. Coleman, a Vaca High graduate, avid sportsman and hunter, son, brother and Daddy...died unexpectedly in February of 2016. He was dearly loved by all who knew him and was always full of life and energy. I had so much fun and it was so nice to see young and old alike come out to support The Christensen’s, Haylie and Colebie.

The tournament started with 64 teams who then competed in single elimination rounds until the final winner was announced. This event really showed so much of Cole's spirit...love of family, laughter, and community...oh, yes and competition. lol... 

 It looks like this will be an annual event so watch for more details. You can follow CornHoleforCole on Instagram to keep up to date on this fun event. Enjoy a glimpse of the event in this photo gallery!!

Tower Bridge Dinner 2017 with Savory Cafe

The last two weeks have been filled with event photography. As a person who has done events for most of my career it seems second nature to now be doing event photography. I've also really enjoyed the fact that both of the events I've done have been centered on community and food. I've always held the belief that food has a way of bringing people together. It really doesn't matter if it's for the sake of celebrating a new home, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one or to celebrate harvest and the bounty that it brings food brings us together. This weekend celebrated the harvest that is at the heart of our region and I'm grateful to have been able to capture it for my friends at Savory Cafe. 

My connection to Savory Cafe and to the owners, Chefs Juan (the Food Whisperer) and Toby Barajas and Kristin Hansen, came through a connection with Slow Food Yolo. A dear friend, Joyce Hardi, introduced me to Slow Food Yolo several years ago when I did the event photography for the Village Feast in Central Park in downtown Davis. The Village Feast was a fundraiser for Slow Food Yolo along with a coming together of community, the Davis Farmers Market and Davis Farm to School. This set me on the course to do more of these type of events, where Good, Clean and Fair food was encouraged and celebrated. That was nearly 3 years ago and today that philosophy is still strong as Savory Cafe was given one of the Snail of Approval award for 2017 recently at the Taste of Yolo event in Davis.  

With all of that said I was invited to follow Juan and Kristin as they prepared one of the many appetizers that was offered by various restaurants at the Tower Bridge Dinner. The gala which features local restaurants and foods that are grown in the region is the exclamation point of a weekend of festivities and talent. This event is an important fundraiser for the Farm to Fork program's and what an honor it was to capture it for Chef Juan and Savory Cafe, who ascribe to the Slow Food attributes of being Good, Clean and Fair. I've included the links below to all of the folks that either helped with connections to people or to the food elements that were used to prepare this appetizer.

Juan and Kristin I enjoyed watching you work, connect and celebrate community and team work. What a blessing!! 

http://www.savorycafeonmain.com

http://manasranch.com

https://cvranches.com

https://zspecialtyfood.com

http://www.slowfoodyolo.com/

https://www.farmtofork.com/events/2017-tower-bridge-dinner/

Woodland's Dinner on Main 2017

On Sunday I had the greatest time at an event that celebrated food, agriculture and community. Woodland's Dinner on Main celebrated it's second year and it was filled with laughter, making new friends and tons of hard work. I got to follow along with my friends, Joyce Hardi, who is the director of Slow Food Yolo and the owners of Savory Cafe, Juan Barajas, along with his wife, Kristin and his brother Toby. Whenever I run into them they welcome me in as family and also show me how community and hard work are done well. 

This wonderful farm to fork community meal was nothing short of lovely. Locals and newcomers alike sat at tables placed end to end in the center of Main street. Large farm equipment were place at the end of 1st and 5th street as a symbol of the coming together of land and city. It was a beautiful evening with words of praise coming from the new chancellor of UC Davis, Gary. S May along with other community leaders. This was also the official launch of Food Front the official brand and marketing initiative for Woodland's food and agriculture industry. 

I had such a great time and thank you Slow Food Yolo and Savory Cafe for including me.   

Watching a wedding through the eyes of our son.

The day after our 27th wedding anniversary in July we had the honor of helping with and celebrating a dear family friend wed his beloved. It was fun, it was emotional, and it felt like family. It started days earlier for me and several other friends as we helped to prepare for this event. I am always so impressed with when a call goes out for helping hands that the Lord always provides what is needed. From prepping flowers, to gathering ice for the beverages...everyone came together and it made for a happy and joyous day for our friends. 

We have known Brock for most of his life as he and my son Alex have been on the soccer field from the time they were in elementary school. So many great memories of days gone by shuffling Alex, Brock and a bunch of their buddies to soccer games and school functions. It was a great day for all who joined and we are grateful to have been included. 

One of the most precious moment...was watching Brock and his brothers. Brock is the youngest of three and their love for each other and their parents really is a testament to them as a family. I had the privilege to watch this wedding through the eyes of my son Alex. I know in some ways it was melancholy for him as he must wonder about his own wedding and what will that look like for him. I can't speak to what he was feeling or thinking but I pray that the memories and love that he and Evan shared will be enough to sustain him when he does walk through the many life events he will experience. That the love of our family will keep him upright and looking forward. That the friends and relationships that have been the cornerstone of our lives will be what give him courage and strength.

For now I'm grateful for the tribe that God has given us and I am thankful to have shared just a small part of the journey that Brock and Kiana will venture down. So much love coming your way...The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

We love you and Best Wishes!!

Solar Eclipse of 2017

Summer always brings a trip to see my folks in South Carolina. This year, as in years past, I went to our family reunion in Pennsylvania. I went this year without my parents and my Dad's absence was felt by all but especially by me. I was fortunate to have my dear friend go with me and we sang, and joked, and dodged massive thunderstorms. 

One of the highlights of my visit to see my mom this year was the fact that the Solar Eclipse of 2017 was passing through South Carolina and was less than an hour and half from my mom's house. So I had to choose whether I wanted to drive 10 hours and countless traffic jams to go to Oregon or drive an hour and half on the country road of South Carolina. So I extended my stay in South Carolina so that I could be a part of something that I will not be alive to see when it happens again.

I spent every available moment researching to find the right place to capture this event. When I went out the Saturday before the eclipse I found a little city along the path of totality. The city of Clinton is just southwest of Charlotte and was close to my brother's home. I didn't want to have to deal with all of the people going to the larger cities in the path of totality such as Greenville, Columbia or Charleston so this little town was the perfect fit. 

When I ventured out Monday the plan changed slightly cause I was trying to out run the clouds that threatened the skies. I started my way to Clinton but ended up in Whitmire which is right off of the highway just before Clinton. I set-up all my gear and just as I did that a large cloud came overhead and it began to drizzle. I decided I still had time (about 20 minutes) to move further southwest closer to Clinton proper. I headed down the highway and happened upon a little country church where I saw another group of folks watching and the skies were clear. I parked and set-up my gear and determined that this would be the spot for me as the eclipse was beginning. A few of the folks I met were on their way home to Vero Beach, Florida and they had stopped to watch. One of the parishioners of the church came by just to say Hi! The locals had heard that people had stopped by their church so they were curious about the people who had camped out in the parking lot. 

As I began to photograph this spectacular event just before totality began a crazy storm cloud approached and covered the sun. I was so disappointed as I thought I had missed the biggest part of the event. I kept shooting although through clouds I didn't want to miss anything. This was a difficult shooting opportunity for me as there was so many different elements and weather conditions to accommodate. Many of the shots aren't focused well as the clouds and changes cause camera shake. As I reviewed and edited the photos my thought was that I did capture some great moments and although not perfect I did my best and I know that my husband and my sons would be proud of what I accomplished. 

I hope that you enjoy these photos it was such a great adventure. Thanks Zachary and his family for sharing the day with me and to my brother Shawn who helped me scout out my location and to the people of South Carolina thanks for the hospitality.                                                           

.......The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.   Psalm 19:1

God is in the every day.....be present.

I have been out sorts since about the third of November. As I look back over the last 45 days I'm trying hard to remember some of the everyday things that I stopped and photographed. On the 4th of November 2016 my life and the life of my family was changed forever. At 3:22am we were woken up to the sound of brisk knocking at our front door. When I looked through the shutters I saw two officers and realized that this could not be good news. Unfortunately it was not.....they told me that Evan had been in an accident and they needed us to come to Kaiser hospital. I woke up my husband and my son and we made our way to the hospital. I honestly don't remember much but some of the things I do remember is waiting what seemed like a life time before we saw Evan. I remember the strength with a bit of apprehension that my husband and my son displayed that day and through out our time in the hospital....and I remember how quiet it was...on the drive over...in the waiting room as we waited to see Evan. It was almost as if the Lord was putting a blanket over us....a tangible protection so to speak....so that we did not get to far ahead of ourselves. Anybody that knows me knows that (in my mind) I can go to places no one has gone before but on this day I was under the protection of the Lord who knows and sees all that is going on and I had great Hope about what was before us. Now....does that mean I was not scared...no I was totally scared. Was I not worried...OF COURSE I was worried but what I'm saying is even in the midst of being scared and worried....there was calm....quiet....a presence that only God can bring....from the moment I was woken up by the knock at the door and that has remained with me even now. 

The following moments...hours...days...weeks and now one month from Evan's passing have been a blur. So much love has been poured out on us from all over the planet. We have gotten over 300+ cards, along with emails, Facebook messages, meals, flowers...lots of flowers, more meals, hugs, words of encouragement and the list is endless as to the gifts and love that have poured our way. Really to say thank you seems so small for what has been given to us. I don't want to give this illusion that everyday has been rainbows and unicorns. It is not...I have lived in this community for over 27 years and there isn't one place that doesn't remind me of Evan....I cry frequently in public and in private.....but in that I also feel that presence that came to me that first moment when the knocking came at the front door. I hope in weeks to come to chat more about this journey as I've tried to express some of the things I believe the Lord has placed on my heart regarding loss, relationships, investing in people, and walking out our faith in the midst of great loss and tragedy. I hope to take what God shows me through the every day and move it out so that we can pondering together the beauty that surrounds us. I also want to take some of my son's writings and pair them with my photography to create a beautiful blending of two creatives using what has be placed in us to shine a light and send a smile.

To all of you who have walked with us....We love you. You're our tribe and you will never know what a blessing you have been to us. To those of you who know Evan I ask you to not forget. You carry a small piece of him with you and whether he would admit it or not that piece...that love...was Jesus. Love Well...Care often....Don't be afraid to be a zookeeper.