The Ultimate Sandwich - Pan Bagnat

So you want to go hiking/camping/road tripping but you don’t know what to do about lunch? Are you miles from civilization (but blissfully deep in wilderness) and your granola bar is just not going to cut it? Want to totally win the glamping game and make all the other campers jealous?

Never fear, the days of snack lunch and smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are over. Let us introduce you to the most amazing sandwich on the planet. It is gourmet, packable, and gets better with age. Behold, the pan bagnat! (Sorry to be overly dramatic, but I really love this sandwich).

Is this a beautiful sandwich or what?

Is this a beautiful sandwich or what?

Pan bagnat is a sandwich that originates from Nice, France and traditionally is comprised of day-old bread and salade niçoise (raw vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies or tuna, olive oil, and salt & pepper). It can also include basil, artichokes, olives, garlic, and vinegar. We have adapted the traditional construction into a culinary masterpiece that accompanies us on pretty much every hike and camping trip. We’ll share our recipe but the beautiful thing is the combinations are endless, making it a sandwich that everyone can make their own.

Mix and match all your favorite ingredients! Ours are never complete without egg, peppers, cheese, olives, and capers. Other than that, it’s whatever we have laying around.

Mix and match all your favorite ingredients! Ours are never complete without egg, peppers, cheese, olives, and capers. Other than that, it’s whatever we have laying around.

What makes pan bagnat so amazing for picnicking? First, it tastes better the next day. Make them the night before, store them in the fridge, and pop them in your pack the next morning as you head out. It saves you time in the morning AND you’ve given all those lovely ingredients a night to meld together. Yum.

Good quality ingredients are important, too. Like  Baia Pasta  Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Oakland, CA.

Good quality ingredients are important, too. Like Baia Pasta Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Oakland, CA.

Second, this is a sandwich that actually likes to be squished. You’ll notice we put A LOT of stuff between those slices of bread and squishing it down helps keep everything inside the sandwich and manageable to eat. Sometimes we even put weight on it (a plate or can of beans) to squish it even further. So it can totally withstand a long drive between two cold bottles of IPA or buried in the depths of your day pack. Hearty in more ways than one.

Third, it can get a little warm. We don’t put fish in our version (which would definitely spoil) solely so that it keeps better for our hiking adventures. The lack of mayonnaise and super heat sensitive cheeses like mozzarella or chevre mean it can hang out on your sweaty back all morning and be totally fine without an ice pack. At least in our experience. It still has a shelf life, so don’t go nuts or anything. But for two people who have hiked with Bánh mì and caprese sandwiches, the pan bagnat definitely wins the longevity award.

Pan bagnat picnic after a long day of driving and hiking around  Point Reyes National Seashore .

Pan bagnat picnic after a long day of driving and hiking around Point Reyes National Seashore.

And fourth, you will be the envy of every other hiker and camper within range. Imagine reaching the pinnacle of the hike: the viewpoint, the waterfall, the deep blue pool and while everyone else is munching on their trail mix (if that), you pull out the sandwich of all sandwiches. Lean back on your mossy rock or hammock and bask in the envious glow. Enjoy your culinary creation, and know you’ll be well fueled for the miles (and adventures) ahead.

You will definitely have the best lunch while sitting with the masses at Panorama Point,  Mt. Rainier National Park  (insider tip, pass up the official viewpoint and keep going to the height of the High Skyline Trail. The views are even better and it is sometimes a little less crowded).

You will definitely have the best lunch while sitting with the masses at Panorama Point, Mt. Rainier National Park (insider tip, pass up the official viewpoint and keep going to the height of the High Skyline Trail. The views are even better and it is sometimes a little less crowded).

Lisa and Wendy’s Pan Bagnat:

  1. Start with 2 slices of good bread (like Grand Central) or 2 rolls. Something substantial enough and not too hole-y.

  2. Drizzle bread with olive oil. Not so much that it soaks through (messy!) but if it does a little, that’s ok.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  4. Add pretty much anything of your choosing. Our favorite components include: spinach/arugula/any green, sliced hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, bell pepper, basil, kalamata olives, capers (because everything is better with capers), and thin shavings of parmesan cheese.

  5. Wrap sandwich in parchment paper or Bee’s Wrap (this stuff is amazing). Be sure to wrap it tightly and even squish it down a bit so all those ingredients get real cozy with each other).

  6. Refrigerate overnight and keep cool for as long as you can. It should be fine away from a cold source for several hours.

Note: these can be messy and there is a high probability some of your components will fall out. Please protect wildlife and pack out any bits that may have found their way to the forest floor.

Enjoy!

If you really want to show off, start it all with a homemade loaf of bread. But I think we are the only ones crazy enough to bake while frantically preparing for a camping trip.

If you really want to show off, start it all with a homemade loaf of bread. But I think we are the only ones crazy enough to bake while frantically preparing for a camping trip.

All content copyright Lisa Goshe Photography, 2019

In Studio: Capturing Steam in Photographs

.

small green teacup with steam

We had a little downtime recently and decided to take the moment to set up an in-home product studio. This allowed us to play around with some props and camera settings, and perfect some techniques of the trade. Product photography is not just about the product, but seeing it in action and helping the consumer visualize using the product in everyday life. So it’s important to capture all the elements of a product, like in this case, steam from a teapot, mug, or tea itself.

This image is not just about the tea set, but the experience that comes with it.

This image is not just about the tea set, but the experience that comes with it.

Steam is one of those things that can be deceptively hard to photograph. But clients often want their food to look piping hot and steamy, and steam is a key component to illustrating anything from hot beverages and tea kettles to steam cleaners and irons. If you know us well, you know we love a good cup of tea, so we played around with our favorite beverage in hopes of capturing some good steam shots before taking an afternoon break. Plus we got to highlight our coveted tea set from our trip to Taiwan in 2009 which is just so pretty. Maybe we’ll share more of that trip some other day.

Taiwanese tea set with tea pot and steaming tea cups.

First things first, to get good steam the water has to be really hot. Like full boil direct from the stove hot. And it doesn’t take long for it to cool down and need refreshing, so efficiency is of utmost importance. We needed our camera ready and our set up exactly as we wanted it. And the point of all of this was to capture the steam as naturally as possible, from an actual beverage, and not using some of the many tricks that food stylists use to mimic a steaming beverage (or whatever). No hot water soaked tampons here! (seriously, it’s a thing).

Although we started out with a black background, we found the best set up to be any dark-ish background and back lighting. The steam just seemed to be thicker and more pronounced.

As dreamy as this photo is (in my opinion), the steam gets lost in the light coming from the window.

As dreamy as this photo is (in my opinion), the steam gets lost in the light coming from the window.

The black background helps show off the steam.

The black background helps show off the steam.

A dark background plus light from the back was the winner in our book.

A dark background plus light from the back was the winner in our book.

Increasing the shutter speed creates a milky smoothness to the steam and really helps show off the swirls. And how do we get those cute little swirls? Patience. And lots of images. It took us over an hour to get these shots, and although we were purposely playing around with different components, it really did take lots of patience to get that perfectly sculpted tower of steam. The slightest movements in the room, and even breathing changed the dance the steam was having. So we just let it dance, snapped away like crazy, refreshed when necessary, and repeated.

Slow shutter speeds created a more wispy steam.

Slow shutter speeds created a more wispy steam.

Fast shutter speeds made the steam have more substance.

Fast shutter speeds made the steam have more substance.

We had fun playing around a bit, and hope to continue to perfect techniques like these in our little pop-up living room studio so that when we are out on product shoots for our clients, we can get the best shots possible for them.

Also, did you notice our “marble” table top? We are pleased at how authentic our contact paper-covered cardboard turned out on camera. I love a good life hack.

overhead shot of a teapot and flower on marble.

All content copyright Lisa Goshe Photography, 2019

What to Expect Before Your Photo Shoot

So you’re thinking of hiring a pro photographer for your business or perhaps you’ve already set a date? Hooray! Now what happens? We’ll help guide you through the next steps and give you some tips on how to best prepare for your shoot and get the most out of your investment.

1. Consultation

A primary consultation is imperative to talk about what you are looking for and what we can do. This can happen over email, on the phone, or in person — free of charge and no pressure. What do you need the images for? What of? How many? From these details we can create an accurate estimate of time, price, and the number of images you’ll be receiving. We can always tweak these details to help you get what you need and stay close within your budget. If all these details are agreeable, then we can set a date!

Need item images to update your menu board or for social media posts? Or maybe you need updated photos of your office space and headshots of your staff? We go over these details in the consultation and discuss not just logistics but pricing and scheduling, too so that you can make the most informed decision about moving forward.


2. Contract

The contract holds all the legal details of what’s expected of both the photographer and the client. The contract will include timelines, fees, location of the shoot, and the product to be delivered (number of images and necessary sizing). The contract may seem lengthy, but the purpose is to clearly communicate the expectations and limitations of the professional arrangement. If there’s ever anything you don’t understand, we’re happy to go over it with you. We make contract signing easy! Your contract will come in an email that you can review, electronically sign, and download for your records. The fun begins once that is signed.

3. Questionnaire

In most cases, we recommend filling out our questionnaire regarding your business and what you hope your new photos will illustrate. We highly recommend you take your time filling this out — the more thoughtful and honest your answers are, the better we can understand your brand. It will give us some direction on how to creatively approach your photo shoot and will help ensure you love the results. The questions address what your mission statement is, who your audience is, and why you are passionate about the work you do. Helping us understand these things can really make a difference in grasping your “look” on camera.

How do you want your business to be described: bright and airy or cozy and intimate? Taking some time to think about what you want to convey will help guide the creative direction of the photo shoot.


4. Pre-shoot meeting

It is always helpful to take some time before any shooting begins to re-group and finalize everyone’s expectations. We discuss logistics of how the shoot will go, what is needed to make it happen, and solidify a time line. It’s always a good idea to troubleshoot potential issues before the shoot starts.

Creating this shot required some serious planning and a little math to ensure we achieved the client’s very specific print dimensions with minimal cropping.


5. Shoot time! How to be ready

  • Minimize distractions — Scheduling the photo shoot for when your shop or office is closed (or at the very least, less busy) will help everyone stay laser focused on getting you the images you want.

  • Be well rested — It’s imperative to be focused and energized for your shoot, but this is especially true if you (or your staff) will be in the images. You will love your photos so much more if you start looking fresh and relaxed.

  • Tidy the area — Take some time to look at your work space (if it is to be photographed) with new eyes and notice where the clutter looks distracting. Minimize items on countertops, desks, walls, and on top of cabinets. Your photos will look cleaner and will save a ton of time during the shoot.

  • Wear something comfortable — Again, if you and/or your staff will be in the photographs, wear something that you feel good in. It will convey in the photos.

6. Speak up

If something doesn’t feel right, or you want to make a change, let your photographer know. We’re happy to let you peek at the images in camera (pre-edit, of course) as we go along and if there’s something you want to change or re-do, say something. We want you to be totally psyched with the end product and it is way easier to tweak things as we go along.

Photography can be a big investment but you are getting so much more than just a handful of photographs. We’ll work hard with you to get the look and style you want, before, during, and after your photo shoot.

All content copyright Lisa Goshe Photography, 2019