FAQ

Blogging

Who takes the photos on the merry gourmet?

I do. Occasionally, I can get my husband to take some. Usually, those are the ones with me in the image.

Can I use one of your photos on my website/blog?

Not without my written permission. All of my photos – both here and on my Flickr photostream – are copyright protected. Feel free to email me at merryjennifer [at] gmail.com if you wish to use or purchase a photograph.

Can we exchange links?

Nope. Sorry, I don’t do link exchanges, and you probably shouldn’t either. Here’s why.

Photography

What type of camera do you use? What lens?

For the majority of my food photos, I use my trusty Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with a Canon EF 50mm f1.4 lens.  I have my eye on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but I haven’t made that investment yet. When I’m away from home or too lazy to bring my DSLR, I use a Canon PowerShot S95 point-and-shoot. I had the previous version (the S90), but I left it in a New York City Taxi.  I love that camera so much that I immediately replaced it. It’s fantastic for traveling light.

Do you use natural light or artificial?

I try to use natural light when at all possible. In fact, for 90% of my photographs, I use natural light. This means that I’m usually behind the camera on the weekends, when I’m not working. If I do want to photograph any of our weeknight meals, I have two options – either use artificial light or save the leftovers until the next day and photograph it then. I do more of the latter. If I must use artificial light, I use the Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash, and sometimes I use a Lowel EGO light with reflector. Honestly, I have a lot to learn about how best to shoot in artificial light.

What program do you use for photo editing?

While I’d love to take a perfect photo right off the bat, most of my photos could benefit from a touch of editing. I have used Adobe Photoshop Elements in the past, and I found it to be pretty straightforward. Then I used Aperture for Mac, but now I’m using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. I find Adobe Photoshop CS5 to be incredibly overwhelming, but I’m practicing. Slowly.

Where else can I see your photos?

You can find my food photos over at Foodgawker and Tastespotting. You can find random photographs – food, travel, my family photos, or perhaps even a plant that looked interesting – over in my Flickr photostream.

Food/Cooking

Are there any foods you won’t eat?

I’m not a big fan of raw meats. I gave tuna tartare a good try, but I have to say that it’s just not for me. I do like sushi, but my husband doesn’t, so I rarely get to partake. I have no intention of eating beef, chicken, or pork raw.  I absolutely, positively despise cooked carrots. I will eat them raw, but cooked? No way. I’m still expanding my horizons when it comes to unusual foods, but I’d like to think that I would at least try most things.

What food makes you happiest?

My first instinct was to say, all. But I won’t. When I’m having a bad day, I start craving those foods that give me comfort — pizza, chocolate cake, grits. I really love grits.

Life

So, are you really a physician?

Yes, I actually am. I’m an oncologist, and I work full time in a career that I completely love. It’s stressful sometimes, but I still love it. Plus, when I get stressed, I come here.

How do you find the time to keep up a food blog and work full time?

I really have no idea. I would love to have about 30 hours in each day, but since that’s not possible, I just make it work. I tend to write at night and on the weekends, when the house is quiet and my kids are occupied. Some days it’s just not possible.

How do you find time to cook?

Ah, another good question. I don’t always. My preferred cooking time is on the weekend, or whenever I have a day off. I like to spend my time leisurely in the kitchen. I don’t like to be rushed. Because of that, weeknight cooking is often very stressful to me. During the week, we rely on our handy-dandy slow cooker to do the work for us while my husband and I are out earning our paychecks. I’m also lucky to have a husband who excels at quick weeknight meals. They aren’t gourmet, but they keep us fed and happy. And, when things get desperate, I’m quite skilled at ordering takeout.

Contact

How can I get in touch with you?

I love emails, so please send me one if you have a question or a comment. You can reach me at merryjennifer@gmail.com.

Will you actually answer my email?

I will! It may take me up to 72 hours, but I promise that I will get back to you.