02.26.10 Personal Anytime

Silverlake Portraits : Jenny + Brad : Anytime

e sat around their table with the soft sunset light streaming though their windows and snacked on the appetizers. We're all loud, but, collectively, it's as if we're tone deaf, each outdoing the other in a higher decibel. Jenny provided an amazing spread of food and with each bite I fell into a delectable bliss. But I stopped mid-bite when she mentioned pasta and beans... And I was all, whaaaaaat?

You see, pasta and beans is a private thing with my family. A weird plate of food we keep to ourselves to avoid what others may think. Their distaste. Heck, their confusion. I grew up kinda poor (there's no such thing as 'kinda' poor, but it makes my dad feel better to know I don't reference my childhood as just plain, old poor) and dinners were always an improvisation with what was in the relatively empty fridge and pantry. With government-issued pinto beans readily available and a $0.99 box of pasta, my father would often create masterpieces. Delicious plates of Italian and Mexican spices, melted cheese, and a whole lot of love. But at the end of the day, the dish was really just pasta mixed with beans.

When I tried explaining this dish to my friends in high school they'd squeal in disgust, so I quickly learned to keep this dish on the down low. You know, a family thing. Even when I first told JD about pasta and beans, he scrunched his nose and shook his head. No, thanks.

Once Jenny mentioned my father's pasta and beans, I was taken back. He made that for you, I hesitantly asked. Jenny and Brad both nodded in unison and said they loved it. In that instant, I felt safe. I finally felt like sharing my insane love for pasta and beans was okay with the world. Not because they gave me permission, but, rather, I might be fine with accepting my unordinary childhood and inviting others to share in it.

I snapped a few photos of Jenny and Brad in their Silverlake home last week. Nothing formal, just a few snapshots to document their lives. And the fact they're people who--clearly--have great taste in food.

Brad Hooks is the music director at our church, so when we first met a couple years ago, we formed an almost instant friendship...

Jenny and Brad bought a home and have worked tirelessly on refurbishing it from the inside out...and it's such a reflection of their love and hard work...

Jenny is an insanely talented editor for C Magazine and her sense of humor makes my belly ache...she MIGHT be funnier than me. Maybe. ;)

Happy Friday!
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Henrik Kreilisheim - Such wonderful imagery! You're so incredibly talented, Jasmine! I love the third image from the top. The colors are amazing! Best wishes from Norway :)  03.12.10 - 2:08am
Nellie Guerrero - I am with Paola on this one.....and just how cool is the name PAOLA anyway!!   03.01.10 - 7:57pm
Michelle Tanner - I love you a little more with everyday. Man, you rawk, girl!  03.01.10 - 9:01am
Paola - This makes me want to paint my house a cheery mango sorbet color... Or maybe just a room.   03.01.10 - 6:56am
jenc - So natural! I like it!  03.01.10 - 6:33am
Colorado Wedding Photographer, JasonG - Nice images... I love how relaxed and comfortable they are with you.  03.01.10 - 4:44am
Becka @Studio222 Photography - LOVE LOVE LOVE their style!  02.28.10 - 10:54pm
ajira - You mean beans and pasta isn't a common combination? We had that when I was a kid too and I always loved it. :) Love the shot of Brad- so intense. Great spur of the moment sesh.  02.28.10 - 7:32pm
Jimmy Moncrief - HECK YEA! Rice and Beans - this is a staple in Tennessee!  02.28.10 - 7:10pm
Leora Shiff - Beautiful photos!! Beautiful couple!!  02.28.10 - 7:05pm
amanda thiessen - love the colors of the house!  02.28.10 - 7:01pm
Holli True - I am always such a fan of the simplicity in your work, Jasmine. You are the master at turning every image into a true piece of art. I don't know how you do it! :) Love it!  02.28.10 - 11:17am
Girish - Nice photos. Good to see a simple backdrop of a house giving such nice photographs rather than outing around.  02.28.10 - 1:55am
shannon - I LOVE this portrait of Brad. There is something just a little bit different about it then your other portraits. The look in his eye, something...but I'm drawn to it--like I always am to your work:) Carbs + more carbs=equals GREAT in my kitchen!  02.27.10 - 10:08pm
Liz Maryann - humble beginnings :) Hard work always pays off, obviously! You have a heart of gold, Jasmine. Love your attitude, humility and smile that doesn't only show on your face, but everywhere else :)  02.27.10 - 6:38pm
Charleston Wedding Photographer - Love these pics. So creative!  02.27.10 - 6:19pm
Wedding Photographer - I try to stay away from garlic right before a job. ;-> Nice pics!  02.27.10 - 5:56pm
Amber Fox - I love it. I lived in Silverlake for almost 8 years and I totally know this house and that trail. You make me miss my old hood. People in Orange County don't have the guts to paint their house yellow.   02.27.10 - 2:35pm
Christine - These are beautiful Jasmine! And oh yeah, pasta and beans are amazing! Try putting ricotta cheese, navy beans and spinach in the food processor. Then stuff it into some cooked pasta shells with cream, pasta sauce and cheese ontop. Bake for 30 minutes and be in culinary heaven!   02.27.10 - 1:54pm
LX - Beautiful piece.  02.27.10 - 10:53am
Stephanie Stewart - Love their house, and what beautiful portraits! I am curious to try pasta and has to be delish!  02.27.10 - 8:35am
Karen Slate - I love pasta and beans, beans and potatoes, bean soup, beans and rice, beans with cornbread, beans with catsup ... You see, I grew up "kind of poor" too in a single parent home so we had beans, beans, and more beans! Mom could get pretty creative with the bean dishes and to this day I still love beans. Thanks for sharing. As always, I enjoy reading your blog.  02.27.10 - 8:14am
rbraden - Sorry, shoulda included this in the last comment, but.... Anyways, I also grew up "kinda poor", went on to become "kinda not so poor", and now I find myself in a place where I'm "kinda poor" again, but it's all good, cause I am truly "kinda happy", and pasta and beans is really "kinda good"   02.27.10 - 7:54am
rbraden - Pasta and beans rock (especially if you serve it with cornbread)! I learned that (like you) when I was a child, and I'm re-living it now. Kinda cool :)  02.27.10 - 7:40am
john p. - luv da pix. u da bomb  02.27.10 - 6:12am
gladys jem - I am so glad we have internet again. I've missed your blog so much :) Anyways, I love this shoot because A. They have a yellow house. B. They're adorable. and C. Brad is a ginger just like Chris :) Gingers are my favorite!   02.26.10 - 11:54pm
ronnie - Oh my gosh! I second shot at this couple's wedding at the Rincon, years ago! It was in Santa Barbara Magazine and so remembered them, even though I was second shooter. So fun to see how they are doing now. Both soo cute! Amazing job, Jasmine!  02.26.10 - 10:51pm
Leyla - I absolutely adore these photos... there is something so simple, yet so very beautiful and real about them, about their love and the overall energy is just magical... I am in love with your work, Miss J*! xoxo  02.26.10 - 10:38pm
rachel - Rachael Ray has a yummy recipe for pasta & beans!  02.26.10 - 10:20pm
Joar AndrĂ© Heiberg - No way, that is so cool to hear! I make pasta and beans together - and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! I thought I was just a crazy Norwegian, lol...   02.26.10 - 8:25pm
MichelleHebert - I love how you take the simple and ordinary and just bring the beauty out of it. You have a gift girly!   02.26.10 - 7:17pm
jacqueline fronters - I love your black/white pictures and this couple is have lovely friends  02.26.10 - 7:07pm
Alicia Damron - I LOVE that first shot. It's so simple, but so profound. Just a couple sitting in their backyard, snapshot of America, perfect!   02.26.10 - 7:01pm
Angel Canary - My mom would take rice and pour tomato sauce on it, and if we were lucky we got a meatball with it. ;)  02.26.10 - 6:40pm
Marissa Rodriguez - Pasta and Beans...I remember my mom serving this a few times in my childhood. Haha! I don't think I ever shared it with anyone though for the same reasons you didn't, so I'm glad you can share it with the world now! :)   02.26.10 - 6:21pm
Lydia - Oh the little quirks families have! It's funny because you grow up thinking different things were totally normal until you try to talk about it with your friends. But I don't worry, they have their own strange family traditions! ;-) Pasta and beans sounds pretty yummy to me!  02.26.10 - 6:15pm
Mindy - Cream-tuna and peas over rice...or some spam musubi...oh yeah...:) Loved your story and images as always...Happy Aloha Friday!!!  02.26.10 - 6:12pm
Jacqueline Lopez - No shame in your "kinda poor" upbringing girl, never forget where you come from. I totally relate to your pasta and beans, my mother being a single Latina & mother of five, we too had government issued food for a time. She made those masterpieces on a weekly basis, usually consisting of whatever she could find to throw in the pan with the beans and pasta. Once in a while I will throw some of that together and my husband can't get enough, I don't even know what to call it but 'who cares" it's Muy Bueno!  02.26.10 - 5:40pm
NEna - I love your honesty and rawness. The story was great, but I love these photos more! =-)  02.26.10 - 5:36pm
Lorrie Prothero - Does your dad have a collection of recipes? I'd love to get a copy of them - seriously, sometimes our fridge/pantry is like that - but also, sometimes those creative inventions end up being favorites of mine.  02.26.10 - 3:54pm
Jasmine* - @Matt: They actually asked ME. Asking friends in the beginning was hard, but what's the worst they can say? No? Well, if that's the case, you're at the same point you started, so who cares?! ;)  02.26.10 - 3:13pm
Matt - How do you approach two people (even your friends!) to just trek outside and take photos?  02.26.10 - 3:08pm
Angel Pope - I gotta admit, I wrinkled my nose. I try so hard to eat beans because they supposed to be so healthy, but it's a texture thing. They have a fuzzy texture that I sometimes can't get past. ;)  02.26.10 - 3:05pm
Emily Heizer Photography - What kind of beans??? Black beans? Red beans? Refried beans???? I am super duper intrigued. I might try this, given that the economy has turned me "kinda poor" at the moment. lol  02.26.10 - 3:00pm
dee - Ok - I always thought beans and pasta was normal. My husband looks at me wierd sometimes but that's ok! LOL - me and my kids had a butter noodle and marinated bean medley for lunch today!  02.26.10 - 2:52pm
hannah - we grow up "poor" also and have our own signature family dishes....i think of it as part of my families history and my parents great skills at working hard to keep us fed :) AND I attend calvary chapel in Redding ca, and am so ecstatic to see that is your home church :) loves it!  02.26.10 - 2:40pm
Kayla Renckly - I love that you shared that! We were kinda poor as well and I often get strange looks about the things I love to eat. We found creative ways to repurpose leftovers and some of those are my favorite comfort foods.   02.26.10 - 2:13pm
andrea - OMG, I want THAT yellow house. As always, gorgeous pics.  02.26.10 - 2:12pm
Sally - Mmmm, I'm gonna try that. We have beans in tomate with garlic and olive oil Greek style. But with pasta and cheese sounds great. I remember Andy cooking my little boy Heinz baked beans (do you get them in US?) and pasta when I was shooting a wedding - it became his favoutite food - I was gutted as I slave over the stove every night!!  02.26.10 - 2:11pm
Jasmine* - @IEWP: Just pasta and beans, sauteed in a little bit of butter and spices. My father added whatever cheese was in the fridge, but--seriously--cream cheese was my childhood fav. Yes, I was overweight for this precise reason! ;)  02.26.10 - 2:01pm
Inland Empire Wedding Photographer - Pasta and beans? What else is in that dish?  02.26.10 - 1:57pm
Lain - Your pasta and beans in no weirder than my beans, rice, and BANANAS! Yup, the locals in Belize taught me to eat that when I lived there. I don't share that with any one much either!   02.26.10 - 1:34pm
Dawn McCarthy - Sweet couple. And I have a feeling that this makes your Dad proud! Beans and pasta or filet mignon...there is nothing like a Fathers love!  02.26.10 - 1:28pm
Drew - I agree with Amber. You make the most simple locations look like works of art. Thank you for the inspiration!  02.26.10 - 1:28pm
Brandy Anderson - While it's no pasta and beans, my dad once made "chinese food" by putting Campbell's Chunky soup on spaghetti. I grew up "kinda poor" too, lol.  02.26.10 - 1:27pm
Erin Elizabeth - Aw! My family has this thing call "rice patties" which is just egg and rice cooked like a pancake... yum! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! :)  02.26.10 - 1:26pm
Damaris Mia - I love her mustard yellow house! (I mean that in the nicest way possible!) :]  02.26.10 - 1:26pm
Jen - Don't you love it when you find those kindred spirits who just click? I'm totally intrigued by the beans and pasta. As long as there's no olives or licorice, I'm in! :)  02.26.10 - 1:23pm
AmyPunky Photography (Emilie) - Great photos!! I love their style! :)  02.26.10 - 1:18pm
Amber - You take the simple and make it beautiful. Thank you Jasmine for sharing!  02.26.10 - 1:18pm