I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

If you would like to get in touch about working with me on your project, use the form at the right to send a quick message.

I create work across many mediums, including: logos, identities, information design, websites and ecommerce marketing, editorial design, retail signage and branding, corporate communications, advertising, posters, packaging, invitations, and photography.

 
Got recipes?

I'll prepare them, shoot them and then do the dishes for you.

What I'm available for:
Professional editorial styling, photography and retouching.

Styling, photo, retouching and layout/graphics services for menus and cookbooks.

Styling, photography and retouching for online media.

I'm also available for:
Assignment food-related articles and recipe development.

Photography Rates:
Hourly rate, with discounts for full-day and multiple-day assignments. Industry-standard image licensing rates. Additional costs for travel and groceries may apply. Email for a quote.

 

           

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Blog

My thoughts, my work, and things that spark creative thinking

Kitchen (La Bohème) Redo

Alyssa Yeager

Damn, Squarespace—you make it so easy to make a website look so good. 

I figured it's about time I made the effort to turn Kitchen La Bohème, my food blog side project, into something better. And what's more, with a near portfolio of great photography that's getting lost in blog posts, it's time to pull it all together and showcase it properly.

The better part of my Saturday was spent playing with layouts until I settled on the format shown here. The whole site should be populated and ready to launch by the end of May, fingers crossed!

Breaking boundaries

Alyssa Yeager

What we are right now doesn't need to dictate what are from now on or what we may become in the future. Sometimes all the weird and wonderful things that make us who we are, are exactly the things that will lead us to where we need to be... And exactly what will lead us to new happiness and new, exciting work.

It's common to find others placing us in a box. Filing us according to who they think we are or should be makes others feel more comfortable. Placing us outside that comfortable box creates a sort of chaos—it turns others' views of what 'should be' upside down. And no one likes to feel uncertain or uncomfortable. No one likes to feel like their ingrained views may be too narrow.

I took this head-on when I began investigating an interest outside of the craft I studied in art school—an interest in photography. In May of 2010 I started a food blog to explore a secondary passion, and quickly, it became obvious that increasing the quality of the photography featured was necessary. The intention was never to become a Photographer—just to learn how to create halfway decent photos of the recipes I was posting. But I picked up a camera and it felt right. I'd found a new way to share with others the things I was seeing in the exact way I was personally seeing them. Something interesting began to happen...

Four years later I have a fancy camera and fancy equipment and I'm being paid to take photos. More than that, I'm incredibly happy when I'm styling and shooting food. I'm still not sure that makes me a Photographer, but I'm learning that what I decided to pursue 16 years ago when picking my major in art school doesn't define me any more than the color of my hair or my shoe size. And that in exploring a secondary passion—another one of those weird and wonderful things that makes me, me—I discovered an interesting additional direction.

Recent photography work for Bailey Brand Consulting and Sinfire Cinnamon Whisky. Photography and styling by Alyssa. All photos ©Alyssa Yeager.

Recent photography work for Bailey Brand Consulting and Sinfire Cinnamon Whisky.
Photography and styling by Alyssa. All photos ©Alyssa Yeager.

Raise a glass...

Alyssa Yeager

Three successful photo shoots down! I'm not able to share the work yet, but below are two Instagrammed outtakes that paint a better picture of the subject matter.

Photography and styling by Alyssa. Photos ©Alyssa Yeager

Photography and styling by Alyssa. Photos ©Alyssa Yeager

Ten important things young creatives should keep in mind

Alyssa Yeager

The older I get, the more I find my focus changing—from design to photography to writing, from graphic designer and maker to creative director—and not only that, the more I find myself in a position to teach.

What have I learned over the past 13 years that's worth passing on to younger creatives? I'll list a bunch of things and then let everyone else be the judge...

1. Never give up—never. People will say you can't. They'll say you're too young, or too old, or not exactly right in some way or another. But if you've got talent and you know it, and if you are right and you know it, don't ever give up!

2. Make some frenemies. Why? Because no one feels motivated to push themselves further when they're surrounded by admirers. Nothing beats the cold shove into being better than you were before that only a naysayer can give. 

3. Don't pay attention to anyone's expectations but your own. It's your life and your career. What do you want? Figure it out and set your own list of expectations for yourself—then follow those. It doesn't matter where anyone else expects you to go in your career. Where do you expect you to go? 

4. Listen and learn. We're never to old to learn, and even the youngest of us may have something to teach. Respect those above you—they have the most experience and expertise—but realize that none of us has learned everything there is to know, and young and old can share great value with each other in different ways.

5. Speak up. When someone tells you you can't, tell them all the ways you know you can. And then show them that you can. Meek and mild won't propel you forward, it will only leave you unnoticed and get you left behind. 

6. Become more literate. Read! Write! Write terribly and get better and better. Sketch! Draw! Paint! Become a photographer! Practice more than just design, because there is so much more to creativity. Becoming good at all of these things will make you well-rounded. You'll be your own one-(wo)man creative powerhouse!

 7. Don't be afraid to do anything bad or wrong. Just do. And the more you do, the better you'll get. Also, the more you do, the less you'll regret not doing later. Unless, of course, the thing you're about to do is just plain stupid. Use common, educated sense. And then, just do!

8. Push yourself each day to be better than you were the day before. If you can do that, and nail all of the above, you'll find yourself ready to lead—and you'll suddenly find that there are plenty of people who are willing to follow you.

9. Discover another perspective. Learn about other cultures. Travel. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Practice empathy and don't forget that just because you see something one way doesn't mean everyone else sees it that way, or even that your way of seeing it is correct. There are many ways of seeing the same thing, and all of them hold value. Learn to celebrate individuality and differences of opinion.

10. Don't listen to me. Figure it all out for yourself. That's what I would do, anyway! 

Wisdom and method

Alyssa Yeager

Those who know me well (and also some who don’t) know that I have an assortment of tattoos. Say what you will, but to me they’re all special and meaningful. Last weekend I added a small, delicate arrow to the collection.

After studying various esoteric religions and symbols for the past five years, these days I've been focused on Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist art. In The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols, Robert Beer says,

Like a magic mirror it lights up with meaning the longer that you gaze into it, and I bow down in gratitude before the Enlightened Mind that conceived all of this divine beauty.

What a great way to express Tibetan Buddhism’s wonder and meaning.

It may seem a little strange to focus on weapons when choosing a symbol for my new tattoo. But Tibetan Buddhism considers the Bow and Arrow symbols of Wisdom and Method. The bow is naturally held in the left “wisdom” hand, and the arrow in the right “method” hand.

More than anything, my arrow reminds me to keep moving forward—if I ever feel momentarily lost, as long as I’m moving forward I’m always headed in the right direction.

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Let it fly...

Alyssa Yeager

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This weekend when visiting family, my mother picked me up at the train station and we had an unexpected conversation on the drive home. "You've always been unusual," she said. "You've always been a bit of a flower child... A free spirit. It took me a while to truly realize but now I see, you're different [than the rest of us]."

I'm not entirely sure what started us on this conversation but I'm glad we had it. It took me a long time to embrace my tendency to go against the grain and stop being afraid of it; but I'm happy that I did, and that I didn't wait too long to do so.

As a child I would draw and draw, let my imagination run away with me, and according to my mother, "feel things more deeply than everyone else". I laughed when she said that but as an adult looking back on my childhood, I know what she means.

Being different and letting people see that you're different is a scary thing, even as an adult. It takes strength to embrace your personal brand of strange rather then be embarrassed by it and afraid to admit to it.

I'm thankful to my mother for not only recognizing this "difference" in me, but for allowing me the freedom to explore it as I was growing up.

(Also? Bonus points to anyone who can name the 60s style icon in the photo above...)

Be reckless, be bold

Alyssa Yeager

Better to be reckless than careful. Better to be bold than safe. Better to have your work seen and remembered, or you’ve struck out.
— George Lois

Celebrating freedom

Alyssa Yeager

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Every year on July 4th I think this: Welcome to the best and worst of America, all rolled into one spectacular day. And this year, while it's still hard to ignore the gaudy and glorious worst—sketchy fireworks shot off in the yard next door, a massive hot dog eating contest, red white and blue everywhere, and the obligatory hodgepodge of lame patriotic songs/speech excerpts choreographed to an impressive pyrotechnics display (that's so American)—I wanted to take a moment and focus on the best. Because no matter what, I know how lucky I am to be here.

So here's to more freedom, more equality, less violence and more opportunity in the coming years—no matter who you are, what you believe, or where you came from.

Happy Fourth!

Sixty and she knows it

Alyssa Yeager

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In February, my mom turned sixty; so to celebrate the occasion in a big and unexpected way, we decided to throw her a surprise party. Commissioned to handle the invitations, I chose a "sexy" gold and black Studio 54-style theme and rolled with it, creating a nice little mark and invitation that went out as an HTML email invite (and a printed invitation for those who were not as hip to the whole email thang).

I traveled home to Philly for the big event and crashed with my brother so no one would know I was there. Mom was definitely surprised... And thrilled! They all made me hide in the kitchen for the initial "Surprise!", and motioned for me to walk out afterwards for a second little shock. Mom had no idea I was there, so we hit her with the good ol' double surprise and totally made her day.

Art direction and design by Alyssa. Work ©Alyssa Yeager