San Juan, Puerto Rico

This was my first trip outside the continental United States in years, and it was truly a renewing experience!! I had never been to Puerto Rico before and was curious to see how their rebuilding was going after the hurricane in 2015. We stayed at the Dreamcatcher Hotel which was a short taxi ride from the airport, but even on that short ride we were able to see the beauty around every corner! There was rubble here and there, but the high spirits of the people made it feel like the most luxurious place in the world. We only stayed a couple of days, but we were able to make a fantastic trip to the Old San Juan Farmer’s Market where they had many fruits and vegetables that aren’t available here in the continental United States. They also had soursop juice, vegan tamales, and vegan empanadas, all of which I have a special place in my heart for. After painstakingly reading up on which fruits and vegetables are able to be brought back into the continental US, we were able to bring back some manzano bananas (only $1/lb at the market), alkaline watermelon, and a few other snacks. We didn’t make it to any waterfalls this time, but those are on the list for the next visit.

“Hope is the water with which we are nourished” 🌊 “Think about how immense this water is, that it is incomprehensibly immeasurable. It has no beginning; it has no end.” “No one can see oneself in the water or in a mirror without light, nor can you see yourself in the light without water or a mirror.” #justlikewater #peace #hope #light #toreallysee #toreallyfeel #naghammadiscriptures #asisabovesoisbelow #meditation #ascension #floweroflife #praiseyah #puertorico #sanjuan #oceanpark

Interview for VoyageATL

Recently I had the pleasure of having an interview featured by VoyageATL. Starting in LA, the magazine has grown to Atlanta with the goal of highlighting artists and creators in local communities. I am so grateful for this, because in addition to sharing my story and work, it has in turn introduced me to so many other artists and talented people in my neighborhood and city! Check out the full story here.

Garden & Gun Club

A long time fan of the magazine, I was so excited to hear that Garden & Gun Club (the very first!) would be opening in Atlanta. I got to cover it for an AJC First Look and again later a restaurant review. I was impressed with both how consistently the atmosphere resembled the magazine, and of course the quality and beauty of the food! It is located inside the Battery alongside many other favorites such as C. Ellet’s, Punch Bowl Social, and Terrapin Taproom.

Chef Craig Richards of St. Cecilia Homemade Pasta

This week I had the privilege of photographing Chef Craig Richards of St. Cecilia in his beautiful home kitchen. The two dishes photographed here are St. Cecilia Kitchen Artichoke Ravioli and Cacio e Pepe, using the same base recipe for the pasta dough. Check out the full AJC cover story and recipes here.

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

One of my favorite parts of the job is revisiting a restaurant years after I've shot the first look to find them booming with success! One such restaurant I've had the pleasure of shooting again was Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours in West Midtown. Chef Deborah VanTrece and her team of ladies are featured this month by the James Beard Foundation in the Cast Iron Chronicles. Take a look at some of their cocktails (with fresh juices and vegetables) and their stunning dishes-

Molly B's - Mercedes Benz Stadium

One of my recent projects that I've been most excited to share is the newly opened Molly B's Restaurant, located in the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium. Working with Concentrics Restaurants and Chef Michael Bertozzi brought these dishes to life! I could go into detail, but these dishes definitely speak for themselves. If you're a sports fan or just a fan of fried chicken, be sure to check it out. The restaurant has a fantastic view of the field!

SunTrust Park Drinking and Dining

Working with the AJC, I've gotten a fantastic feel of the rush of new restaurants coming to Smyrna, courtesy of the new SunTrust Park. What impressed me most was the variety, that you could get anything from typical "ball park" food such as hotdogs and beer (although, these are probably the best hotdogs and beer you will ever have) to an upscale steakhouse experience with oysters, lobster, and Tomahawk Ribeye. These restaurants are open both during the Atlanta Braves games and non-event days. Take a peek at a couple of our First Looks including Terrapin Taproom and Fox Brothers BBQ, Todd English Tavern, and C. Ellet's

Bacchanalia- Star Provisions

Recently I had the pleasure of photographing a few dishes at Bacchanalia's new location in Westside for a ZAGAT First Look. Dishes pictured include the Summerland Farm Vegetables, an impressive "Fruits de Mer" seafood display, Red Cow Parmigiano, and a strawberry dessert with Georgia strawberries, milk, and honey. Always known for their farm-to-table style of cooking, this new location did not disappoint! As an added bonus, Star Provisions Market and Cafe is attached to the building.

New Studio

Finally unpacked and have the new studio up and running! Great for food (newly renovated kitchen), portraits, products, etc. Contact me for availability and rates.

New Instagram Account- @miayakelphoto

Most of you know I've been hesitant to the whole Instagram game... while it seems like a natural pull for a photographer, all of the filters and what not had me feeling like it lost touch with the craft! But, it is a fantastic way to share, and many of my clients have been asking about this so I decided to give it a try-

First Look at American Cut for Zagat

This beauty is from a first look at American Cut, new to Buckhead Atlanta. It is a Pastrami Bone-in Ribeye, with a side of steak sauce. Quite an impressive restaurant, this steakhouse is three stories and each floor has a different atmosphere. Check out the full story and more photos by Zagat here-