mandala | a food experiment

The last two weeks, while very productive with doing taxes + preparing for next week's trip to China, have been so absolutely very busy. I've neglected my Instagram, blog, + I've also fallen into a creative rut with food photography.

Mandala (/ˈmandələ,ˈmən-/): a geometric figure representing the universe; a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer’s search for completeness and self-unity

While I love my moody lighting, messy sets, and the feedback y'all give, I've been beating my brain for ways to expand and push myself. I needed an awakening with strong geometric shapes + color but still centrally focused on food. After all, that is what my universe revolves around now.

So on Wednesday, it hit me in the face. I had my "Aha!" moment, the light bulb turned on, my brain started churning. I started planning and got so excited for this whimsical little personal project. 

I hope that is some sort of experiment you’re conducting there.
— The UPS Man

I set everything up. I intricately cut my fruit. Started shooting. The UPS man dropped by and laughed at me (my "studio" is my front doorway...don't hate, it gets great light.). Finished shooting. Imported. And then my jaw dropped. I got my focus wrong. For. Every. Single. Photo. I let my excitement get the best of me. I was so outrageously excited to shoot and produce a little film, I forgot to nail the manual focus. "Damnit Lauren Vied," I whispered to myself. 

While I had run out of light, reshooting on Wednesday just wasn't an option. To be honest, I wasn't even pleased with the rushed nature of the film + stop motion animation, so I'm pretty sure this was a blessing in disguise. Either way, I pulled my big girl pants up and didn't dwell on this failure for long because within 24 hours, I had reshot this stop motion + made it even better. Smoother. More movement. Stronger mandala design. And while it's definitely not a perfect stop-motion animation film (I might have nudged my tripod a bit), it was a hell of a lot of fun to make and I'm still pleased with the final product. And let's be honest, none of us are perfect anyhow.

I was just so excited. And human. Social media is such a highlight reel these days and being real is just not good enough. Here's to our triumphs + failures, the reality of humanity, and constantly being humbled (even by some out of focus photos).