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Stella ParksBest New Pastry Chef
a handful of sprinklesWhy Weight
total eclipse of the tartTotal Eclipse of the Tart
chocolate sprinklesHomemade Sprinkles
plaid tartAbout BraveTart

Wednesday September 7, 2011

So Long and Thanks For All the Pix

Over a year and a half ago, my friend Rosco started telling me about his desire to shoot a cookbook. He used to work for Bruton Stroube doing food photography full time, but after he moved to Kentucky and the years wore on, he found himself pointing his lens at brides and grooms more than knives and spoons. I told him I wanted nothing to do with a cookbook, but if taking pictures of food would scratch the itch, he could drop by my kitchen any time.

He seemed excited, “Yeah! Next time you make something good lookin’ gimme a call. I’d love to shoot it.”

I just laughed. “Dude, it’s my freakin’ job. See you tomorrow.”

And thus BraveTart was born.

a field of green mint sprinkles

Well. You know. More or less. For our first shoot I showed up with a bunch of cookies. He said, “maybe we’ll need some plates?”

I’d never read a food blog before and didn’t have the time to start. When we began putting BraveTart together, we didn’t have anyone but ourselves in mind. We found ourselves shooting a tart in outer space, half eaten marshmallows hanging from wires and sprinkles raining from the clouds rather than some of the more typical food blog presentations; we had no idea what we were doing.

But I loved what we created together. Having to write a so-called “blog post” gave me a chance to articulate my otherwise unvocalized culinary musings. Rosco could focus on photography without a client, playing with techniques and setups purely for his own entertainment.

thin rows of homemade sprinkles in teal

We didn’t try to be a very good food blog. I wrote long and obnoxious recipes loaded with obscure ingredients. Rosco refused to do anything but take pictures. Neither of us shared quick tips or, well, any tips. We didn’t do give-aways or product reviews.

Mostly, we just had fun. It never occurred to us that hanging a sock monkey over pudding could impact our lives.

But without even realizing it, Rosco’s photos had become my resume. A virtual stranger offered to let me head up his pastry department because he’d seen my work here. A year later I can still say I've never loved a job more.

homemade vanilla mint sprinkles

And now it’s Rosco’s turn for some BraveTart serendipity.

The portfolio he built photographing marshmallows, macarons, flying pizzas, and cupcake smudged kids just landed him a job. Last month, Arthur Agency hired Rosco as account manager and in-house photographer. He’s since moved out of state to do what he loves best.

It’s incredibly bittersweet for me. I’ll miss our routine of getting together, lighting things on fire, launching stuff from toasters and arranging food into astronomical configurations. I’ll miss his over the top style, more is more philosophy, and willingness to chase turkeys across a field so I could preach the gospel of heritage.

When Rosco broke the news of his impending move, he immediately followed up by encouraging me to call Sarah Jane to see if she’d lend her lens to our Brave cause. And when I started working with Victor, Rosco couldn’t wait to meet him for drinks. He never acted possessive of his role as as “blog photographer” even though his hard work has built BraveTart as much as mine.

cool mint sprinkles

This isn’t the end of Rosco and BraveTart. We have a standing photo date whenever he’s back in town. I have a secret stash of Sideshow Photos that I’ve yet to share. My Serious Eats column will even feature his work later this month.

But for now it’s au revoir.

I’d like to make this post like the back page of some culinary year book, filled with messages wishing him well. If you’ve enjoyed Rosco’s photography this past year, tell him here or tweet him @sideshowphoto. I want him to know how many people will miss his incredible work.

I certainly will.

Vanilla Peppermint Sprinkles:
Original Sprinkles (crisp)
Sprinkles 2.0 (soft)

posted byStellaand filed under:  Sideshow Photos

42 comments and counting

Sep 07, 2011 · 12:19 PM

Oh my goodness! Sorry to hear Rosco is moving away, but good luck to him. The bestest ever was Total Eclipse of the Tart. It was beautiful AND brilliant!

 · Cristina · 

Sep 07, 2011 · 12:21 PM

Geez… I’m overwhelmed. My new Ninja Turtle desktop image had me thinking about the blog this morning at work already. I never expected this post to pop up today to top that off.

I can’t begin to put into words how much “working” on BraveTart has meant to me. Teaming up on this blog has opened up so many doors for both of us that we never could have predicted. Seriously, Stella, thank you for playing along with me and all my hair-brained ideas for the past year. I can’t wait for the next time we get to meet up and do some more.

 · Rosco ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  1:52 PM

Congrats to Rosco for landing a great job in photography, but it is sad that it has taken him far away. That unique blend of team effort produced some awesome posts. I wish the best on the new ventures.

 · Tina@flourtrader ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  2:48 PM

It’s like cell mitosis: one amazing entity has divided into two examples of awesomeness. I now look forward to seeing great things from two separate venues. Good luck to both of you! Always a fan~

 · tammy ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  5:31 PM

Oh Rosco, We’ll miss you!!!! Good luck!

 · eatlivetravelwrite ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  5:47 PM

Happy trails, Rosco! Thanks for all the gorgeous eye candy. I’m with Cristina on Total Eclipse of the Tart… it was pure genius.
(Also, can I just add how awesome it is that the post title is basically a Douglas Adams reference? My geeky little heart rejoices.)

 · Isabelle @ Crumb ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  7:45 PM

Congrats to Rosco’s new gig – and he will definitely be missed!

 · Peggy ·

Sep 07, 2011 ·  8:24 PM

Ah, I LOVE the way people start out blogs for fun and then they get a job from it! It makes me grin, a lot.

 · Zo ·

Sep 07, 2011 · 11:26 PM

Hey, she couldn’t keep you forever Rosco, you have to spread your wings.
congrats on the new gig and well-deserved b/c your amazing pics always did Stella’s food proud.

 · Ethan ·

Sep 08, 2011 ·  1:06 AM

Oh, Sideshow Roscoe—We hardly knew ye! Best of luck in the Land of Salukis!

 · brhau ·

Sep 08, 2011 ·  9:10 AM

Dearest Bravest of Tarts,
I have just found your website and am so so giddy that I did. So many good things to look at and to make. Here in Copenhagen macarons are everywhere and I decided to make them myself, which has been basically a part time job for the past two weeks. A job where I was close to firing myself, because I was failing miserably. My batter kept turning out too thick, even with mixing endlessly. I just tried your recipe and TA DA, they are perfect. Underwhiping the eggwhites was my issue, I think. So a heartfelt TAK here from Denmark.

 · ms.marie · 

Sep 08, 2011 · 10:42 AM

Rocco you make me feel creative when all i have done is sip coffee and looked at your pictures. Love the playfulness of all your photos. You will be missed!

 · Crash · 

Sep 08, 2011 ·  2:41 PM

Love your work Rosco! It’s genius and heart.

 · gretchen  · 

Sep 08, 2011 ·  6:13 PM

Photography was amazing!

 · Inna · 

Sep 08, 2011 ·  7:39 PM

Oh wow. Just when I found the coolest duo “that” side of the Mississippi you guys are working on the breakup album. I can only imagine how bittersweet it is. Rosco is insanely talented and the dynamic chemistry your desserts and his lens shared was something I looked forward to. Good luck to him and may he visit Kentucky frequently!

 · Terris @ Free Eats ·

Sep 08, 2011 · 10:10 PM

Thank you everyone for all the incredibly sweet comments for Rosco. He will certainly be missed, but as I said, I still have lots left to share. We’ve been stockpiling for a while…


Sep 12, 2011 · 11:13 PM

Yay for Rosco but boo for Lex. The double third birthday was so fun and well recorded due to Rosco’s work and now I have this great family farmers market photo shoot idea and I have been meaning to call Rosco to line up. What now? When the selfishness passes I’ll be super happy for you—all the best!

 · Kingwell · 

Sep 13, 2011 · 12:18 PM

@Kingwell, that was super fun; I looooved those pictures. If you are really wanting to enact your farmers’ market family photo, lemme know; Sarah Jane is also a fabulous photographer and is perfectly at home at the market and in natural light. I’m sure she’d be down for it!


Sep 13, 2011 · 11:01 PM

I’ve been following Brave Tart for quite some time and I must say it is so refreshing to find a blog that is about having fun and not about being a typical food blog. The photography is fantastic (as well as the recipes!)

I was finally moved to post on here to congratulate Rosco. I actually live just north of Carbondale and I am very familiar with the Arthur Agency. I am sure you will do well there. There is a lovely coffee shop next door and I highly recommend their chocolate ginger cookies. I will miss your work on this site but maybe I will see it around Southern Illinois. Best wishes.

 · Cake Lady Mandy · 

Sep 14, 2011 ·  8:06 AM

Rosco! Wow, I can’t believe you’re leaving. This must be so amazing for you but we’ll miss you so much! I have loved the non-traditional blog style you guys created (to be honest, when I started reading Bravetart I hadn’t much experience with food blogs either, and I am HOOKED on this.) Thank you so much for all you contributed. Even though that sounds kinda cheesy/insincere, it really is heartfelt. I think you’re amazing and your new employers are very lucky people.

 · fitzgerald ·

Oct 10, 2011 · 10:58 PM

Wow. You made a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference on a cooking blog. I think that automatically qualifies you to be one of the hottest women in the world.

 · lewis886 ·

Oct 11, 2011 · 11:16 AM

@Lewis, or at least one of the geekiest! My latest post is on Ninja Turtles, I’m hopeless. So glad you’re groovin on my humor! Thanks for the kind words.


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