EXPOLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL. 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

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EXPLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

 

 

We’re launching our new workshop series, This is The Wanderlust, in the Andes Mountains of Peru! We’ll trek to the indigenous Q’eros Nation in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of Willka Yachay from April 2 to April 10. The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in Southeastern Peru. Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity.

We’ll start our journey in Cusco, meeting at a beautiful colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before an evening meal. The next morning we’ll visit the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Inkan Empire. After a day of exploring, photographing and accustoming ourselves to the altitude and the sheer exuberance of the place, we’ll hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. Cusco is luminous. We leave for Q’eros after breakfast. It’s a demanding, astounding and exhilarating journey. We’ll photograph along the way before stopping in a small village at the foot of sacred mountain Ausangate, where we’ll meet and photograph local weavers and participate in a Despacho offering by an Andean paqo. We’ll show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you’ll have a chance to relax before an evening lecture and watching cloudscapes.

After leaving Apu Ausangate we ultimately make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where we’ll stay with local villagers in cozy stone huts with thatched roofs. We’ll sleep on earth floors covered by llama and alpaca pelts, far removed from modern day amenities. One night we’ll camp out under the deep Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing more stars than we’ve ever seen before. Q’eros guides, cooks, wranglers and families will smooth our way, and share their lives and love.

Other photographic opportunities over the course of our time in the villages will include: trout fishing with nets, alpaca herding and shearing, a natural plant dye workshop, weaving demonstrations, earth oven cooking, gathering native medicinal plants, coca leaf readings, optional visits to Andean Paqo healers, and portrait photography with home visit families. We will also photograph hat making artisans and an intimate textile market where Peruvian weavers come together in the fields to display and sell their timeless work. This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure. This is a land of footpaths, far removed from the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience.

Workshop registration will be announced February 1st, 2016. This workshop is limited to 12 participants. Please see below to put your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

Most dietary preferences can be accommodated by our local cooks.

Hannah Rae Porst

Hannah Rae Porst, founder and director of Willka Yachay, has been living in Cusco and working with the indigenous people of the Q’eros Nation for five years. She founded Willka Yachay (Quechua for sacred knowledge) to develop education that enables young Q’eros to know their history and rights, preserve their culture and language, and develop their communities sustainably. Hannah has been leading mountain expeditions to Q’eros since 2012. She is a graduate of Bates College. @hannitarae

Willka Yachay

Willka Yachay is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping indigenous communities thrive in the modern world. We are empowering the next generation of the indigenous Q’eros Nation of Peru to become leaders who elevate their standard of living, guide their community toward sustainable modernity and revitalize their cultural identity. Together with the Q'eros, Willka Yachay builds and sustains culturally and ecologically based schools high in the Andes. Willka Yachay currently supports nine schools: three pre-k, four primary schools, one high school and one adult school. Willka Yachay collaborates with Q’eros parents and elders, acts as a school system administrator, creates and coordinates curriculum development, hires and supports culturally sensitive teachers, provides all supplies, nutritious food and educational national and international field trips. Willka Yachay also implements solar light, music and cultural preservation, food security, and mother and infant care projects, as well as the first health center and weaving cooperative in the Q’eros Nation.   

www.willkayachay.org, @willkayachay

WORKSHOP PRICE 5000 USD

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016. IT IS CAPPED AT 12 PARTICIPANTS. ALL LODGING, MEALS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND GUIDES ARE INCLUDED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OPTIONAL SESSION WITH AN ANDEAN PAQO HEALER AND TRAVEL INSURANCE. AIRFARE TO AND FROM LIMA AND CUSCO IS NOT INCLUDED. FULL PAYMENT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. THIS WORKSHOP IS NON REFUNDABLE.

THERE IS A THREE DAY MACHU + PICCHU SACRED VALLEY EXTENSION WITH HANNAH RAE PORST APRIL. 10-13 COST + 1400 USD PARTICIPANTS INTERESTED IN THE 3 DAY EXTENSION CAN EMAIL HANNAH DIRECTLY AT hannah@willkayachay.org

 DUE TO THE REMOTE NATURE OF THIS WORKSHOP WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THEAT EACH PARTICIPANT OBTAIN THIER OWN TRAVELER'S INSURANCE.  FURTHER INFORMATION ON TRAVEL INSURANCE WILL BE IN THE INTRODUCTORY PACKAGE. ALL PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN A LIABILITY WAIVER.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2015

We are pleased to announce our upcoming photographic workshop in Andean Mountains of Peru through our newly launched workshop series This Is The Wanderlust in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of the Willka Yachay Organization in the beautiful Q’eros Valley. The expedition will take place2-10 April 2016.

 

ABOUT THE Q'EROS

The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in southeastern Peru.Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity. Q’eros live a hardworking life at one with nature. They perform offerings to Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, and to the Apus, mountain spirits. Worldview concepts of ayni, the importance of reciprocal sharing, and animu, awareness of an animated essence in all things, shape their interactions with each other and their environment. Those who are invited to travel to their out-of-this world beautiful valley and meet them carry luminous images home.

THE JOURNEY

 We will start our journey in Cusco, meeting at our Colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before the evening meal.The next morning we will explore the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Incan Empire. After a day ofexploring, photographing and acclimatizing we will hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. The next morning after breakfast, we will make our way towards Q’eros, photographing along the way before stopping for the night in a small village at the foot of the sacred mountain Ausangate where will we participate in a Despacho offering and visit and photograph local weavers. We will show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you will have a chance to relax before an evening lecture.

After leaving the sacred mountain we will make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where workshop participants will pair off to have home stays will local villagers in centuries old cozy homes. You will sleep on the earthen floor on llama and Alpaca Pelts far removed form modern day amenities. We will camp out all together one evening under the vast Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing the stars. Other photographic opportunities over the course of the next few days will include: trout fishing with nets,natural plant dye workshop, alpaca herding and shearing, earth oven cooking, optional visit to Andean Paqo healer, portrait photography with home visit families and gathering native medicinal plants. We will photograph hat making and artisans and a visit to an intimate textile market where Peruvian families come together in the open fields for you to peruse and purchase their beautiful work.

This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

 

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure.This is a land of footpaths, far removed form the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience. 

Workshop registration will be announced February,1st. 2015. This workshop is limited to 12 participants.  Please visit www.thisisthewanderlust.com to subscribe and get your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

 

*Dietary restrictions can be accommodated by our local cooks. 

nepal. kathmandu valley.

Last spring we were sent by Condé Nast Traveler to cover the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Like the infamous power lines that clog the sky like massive bird nests, the valley is a place full of chaos. It is a wild and beautiful jumble of smoke, soot and ash, brilliant colors and absurdly beautiful faces. The challenge with this job was that we were on the ground for six days; this is a short amount of time in the scope of a travel job. We usually have more time but we only needed to cover three towns so it was booked as a short trip. Honestly we could have spent a month. There was a photograph around every corner and alleyway. We love shooting travel and are so thankful that Traveler continues to send us on such extraordinary adventures. We have been around the world for them and it feeds all of our other work. The things we see always provide new inspiration. Each time they send us, we get to reconnect to what initially drew us to photography. Shooting travel takes us back to photography as a personal experience. We are alone with our cameras in hand, we often split up (at the crack of dawn) and dash off to cover whatever we may find coming back together periodically to share what we have found. It becomes just us alone looking through the viewfinder... searching and searching and searching. Most days in New York we spend our time in the studio around a monitor collaborating with art directors and stylists. Travel assignments are different from this kind of collaboration in that they are a solitary adventure and that is what makes them unique. Our assistant is usually somewhere between the two of us keeping notes and staying organized which is no small feat when shooting reportage. There are moments when I am at a market foraging produce for a still life and I look up only to see my husband cantilevering off a roof somewhere above us. He is famous for hanging out of car windows or tying himself to the side of a truck. He will go to all lengths to get a shot. (Think MacGyver) There are of course moments on these assignments when we are side by side shooting the same portrait but for the most part we come back together to load cards and see how the story is shaping up. There is a bit of competition between us but it only fuels the process, in the end we don't remember who took what picture.

It is a collaboration of a different sort.

I wanted to share some out takes from Nepal. You can see the full story in the August issue Condé Nast Traveler.

Hope you enjoy, the chaotic frenzy. xx

thanksgiving. a few moments.

Now that the dust has settled and the soup is on the stove, I have a few moments to share some photos from the past couple days. Thanksgiving was spent rather spontaneously with our good friends Helen and Benoit and family as neither of our families had made a concrete plan as of Wednesday morning.  So, while I was at the Greenmarket, I spoke to Helen and we decided to join forces and do it at our place in the city. The reason we were ambivalent in the first place is that the kids protested so much about going upstate and to be totally honest we were a little beat from work  and somewhat incapable of making a decision. They wore us down. The city won and I have to say it was nice not to travel. 

 We had a lovely Thanksgiving despite our initial ambivalence. The day started at 2 and ended at midnight after a long meal, dessert and a walk to visit friends and more dessert and cheese and bubbly. All was perfectly as it should be, except for my insanity of trying to cook Thanksgiving and shoot at the same time.

Below are few highlights from dinner. 

I am not posting any recipes here just yet. I will get on it soon.

It goes without saying that we all have a lot to be thankful for this year. I can not get my mind off all those that have lost homes or family. It will be important in the next few months to keep on with the volunteer work and donations to those in need.

xx

Menu

Vermont Heritage Turkey with Wild Mushroom and Pecorino Stuffing

Cast iron Brussel Sprouts with Pan Fried Procuitto

Roasted Radishes with Juniper Sea Salt

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Roasted Blue Pearl mushrooms with Olive Oil and Thyme

Butter Leaf Lettuces with a Concord Grape Shrub Vinagrette

Dragon Carrot Puree

Heirloom Cranberry with Maple And Shaved Ginger

Blushing Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie]

 

Objet for the table.

Objet for the table.

The basics.

The basics.

The cheese course.

The cheese course.

For the Blushing Apple Pie.

For the Blushing Apple Pie.

Heirloom Cranberry With Maple And Ginger. 

Heirloom Cranberry With Maple And Ginger. 

Cast iron Brussel sprouts with pancetta.

Cast iron Brussel sprouts with pancetta.

The bird. From Vermont's Tamarack Hollow Farm .

What remains. But not for long.

What remains. But not for long.

cider and babes

This morning as I look out on the grey city skyline, I am anticipating some extreme weather. I can't help but think what a perfect sky we had last Saturday as I headed up to a small town in Western Massachusetts to visit friends and babes. The remnants of summer’s leaves had turned a brilliant yellow and were positively glowing and illuminated. We did not even wear coats as the weather was so unseasonably warm.. It was pretty much the perfect fall weekend. Plans were a little loose, as they have to be with so many little ones around. So we kept things mellow and cooked quite a bit. On Sunday, we made a big brunch and went to a fall festival at a local CSA, Natural Roots, which is a horse powered small family farm on The South River in Conway. At the festival, the kids participated in feed sack races and beet in spoon races, which was pretty cute. We all climbed up onto the wagon for a horse drawn ride through the river and into the woods beyond the farm. We bought local apples and when we got back to the house I hunkered down and made a pie with Odette, one mini one for her and one big one for us. We were a little short on the crust due to the mini pie and a little underestimating on my part, so I winged the top and just made triangle shapes, something I picked up from the blackbird girls during our book shoot.

In the afternoon, Anna arrived to make cider with her recently purchased cider press. We started with five bushels of apples of a mixed variety. In the end after an hour or so we had ten gallons of cider. We bottled it up in a hodgepodge of old bourbon bottles and mason jars. After one last meal, we headed out into the early blue evening and wound our way back to the city.

sunday morning sleepover cake

This past Sunday morning I woke early thinking about what to make the gaggle of girls sleeping in Lula's room. The past few weekends we have been in a pancake rut. I thought about making an apple ginger cake but didn't have apples. After rummaging around I came up with a few pears and a whole lot of mint and basil left from last week's shoot. The combination of basil and pear sounded good to me, so I set out to make a cake. When the girls finally staggered out of Lula's room around noon the cake was waiting. I brewed them some  fresh mint tea and suddenly it was a perfect non-pancake breakfast for a perfectly gorgeous Sunday.

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Basil Pear Cake

 

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup of light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

12-15 large basil leaves roughly torn

1/2 stick of  softened butter 

2  pears 

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 eggs

 

Sift the first 6 ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Add butter, grated pears, torn basil leaves, heavy cream and eggs. ( I grated one pear and used a mandolin on the other to change up the texture. Set aside 1/4 of the second pear to mandolin some slices for the top of the cake )

Mix for a minute by hand.

Turn the batter into a well greased and floured baking pan. I used a 7 inch round. Shave the remaining quarter of pear on the top of the cake.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

 

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twenty years no. 4. love the one you are with.

Oh dear it has been so long since I have posted! I promised myself to keep up this blog but this past month or so it has proved a bit diificult! I have been in the midst of many projects! I can't complain because I thrive on being busy, however at least once a day that blog guilt creeps in... I promise to be back soon with new material and lots of adventures! Until then, I thought I would post more 8x10 work from the archives of the two babes who inspire me most. xx

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twenty years. no. 3. happy birthday sweet india.

There are those people that you meet in your life that alter one's journey. As you get older you have the luxury of choosing and creating family. These are the people that we travel along with on new journies in the rise and fall our lives.

India is one such person. I have know her now for eighteen years. We met by chance when she was fifteen and dancing with a baby on her hip. We have been family ever since. She is one of the greatest people I will ever know. Happy birthday sweet India. 

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