Moody Flowers

I recently did some mood shots for H.Bloom flowers and thought I’d share a few of my favorite photos. We titled the mood board Silver Autumn and ideas came easily from those two words of inspiration. A big thanks to the clients over at H.Bloom flowers for giving me some creative freedom in this shoot. It made the project extremely rewarding.

Flowers by Vanessa of V.K.Rees PhotographyH.Bloom Flowers by Vanessa Rees
H.Bloom mood shot by Vanessa ReesFlower Mood Shot by Vanessa Rees
H.Bloom Flowers by Vanessa Rees

Till next time! xo




Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! - These are all incredible, but that last shot.. I just love so much. Great job, as always!

Alison Dulaney - Such stunning work, I love the dark background with the inky blue flowers!

Lesley - Beautiful – the last one reminds me of old Dutch paintings.

Jade Sheldon-Burnsed - My word, these are so gorgeous…

Green Tomato Salsa With Fresh Corn & Roasted Peppers

Hello and happy July!

So, I love food photography but sometimes I feel like it takes itself way too seriously. This post is a reminder to myself that I started this blog to experiment and have fun. So here is something a little different (or weird)! Also the salsa is delicious. =)

Salsa by Vanessa and Rachel Rees


My sister Rachel came up with this salsa recipe. Here is what she has to say about it:

“This time of year the garden really kicks into high-gear and I start making salsa. Making salsa, for me, is all about finding a nice balance of color,texture, and heat and acid levels. Of course, it is all a matter of personal preference.  I find that building a salsa using a staged approach will give you the opportunity to modify the ratios to your taste.

This is a fun way to use green tomatoes. I also like this salsa because of the heat that the peppers bring in contrast to the sweet brightness of the corn. It’s super tasty with chips or grilled in tortilla with avocado. ” -Rachel

Salsa by Vanessa and Rachel Rees


  • 2 lbs green tomatoes, rinsed and quartered
  • 4 small garlic cloves, skin removed
  • 1 medium shallot, quartered
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 small jalapeño or habanero peppers, roasted (skin and seeds removed)
  • 3 medium carrots, skin removed and grated
  • 3 ears of sweet yellow corn, kernels shaved from the husk
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To roast the peppers, set the oven on  broil. Place the peppers in an oven safe dish. Drizzle a light coat of canola oil on the peppers, just enough to make a light sheen on the peppers. Place the dish in the oven (middle rack works well), broil the peppers for 5 mins or until the skin bubbles slightly and a little brown. Flip the peppers on the other side, and repeat. Once broiled on both sides, remove the peppers from the oven. Set aside to cool.

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, shallot, cilantro, and the lemon/lime juice in the food processor. Using the pulse function on the food processor, combine the ingredients until the mixture takes on the desired constancy.

Now it’s time to add the heat–I recommend doing this one pepper at a time. I remove the skin and seeds to help control the heat (habaneros can pack a punch!). After the peppers are roasted, the skin should pull away very easily. Likewise, seeds can be removed easily by pulling off the stem of the pepper. The seeds can then be easily scooped out. You can always rinse the pepper under water to remove the seeds.

Place one pepper in the food processor, pulse until combined. Taste. Add more pepper(s) until you reached the desired heat level. Remember the heat can build quickly – take your time here.

Once you have the desired heat level, transfer the mixture from the food processor to a large bowl. Fold in the carrots and corn, and add a pinch of sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the salsa sit for 10-15 minutes, taste again. Season to taste (you can always add more lemon/lime juice or peppers to increase acid or heat levels).


Salsa by Vanessa and Rachel Rees

Till next time!


Weekend links | Simple Bites - [...] Green Tomato Salsa With Fresh Corn & Roasted Peppers :: V.K. Rees Photography [...]

Atika - This is amazing. You always have a great idea, love your photos :)

Alison Dulaney - This is awesome!

Elodie {Framing Plates} - Best post ever! You never fail to surprise Vanessa with your creative. Brilliant photos!

Kiran @ - Your creative thought process has to be trademarked somewhere. Girl, you never cease to amaze :D

Abby {munchin' mel} - these photographs are so incredibly creative, Vanessa! you’re so talented – seriously genius. :)
as for the recipe… yum!! i’m obsessed with salsa, and this looks delicious. definitely worth a try!

Angela - This is the most fabulous, crazy thing I’ve seen in a while. Kudos!!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - What the?! haha these pictures are the best!! Lovely salsa, and post. I had a great laugh :)

Rachel - I love the way these photos came out!! But, where’s Marshall’s head shot? ;)

Hannah - Um, could you be more ridiculously talented? I mean, really. This looks super tasty – we’re loving white corn salsa at the moment, what with organic ears being like 50c each!

Ondina Maria - Truly funny photo session. And the salsa looks delicious and fun! :)

Amy - Ha, I love the photography.

Marie - You struck gold with these pictures! I’m so tired of all food blogs looking exactly the same and you finally did something different! Keep it up, the second image is amazing!

Caitlin - this is fantastic and so innovative! i cannot wait to make the salsa!

Aimee @ Simple Bites - You are seriously genius! I love that last image best; it must have involved some serious teamwork. Super fun post – and now I’m craving salsa.

sonia monagheddu - You’re amazing :) very funny photos!

Simple Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce by Vanessa Rees of V.K.Rees

I have a pretty big family. When we gather together we end up with 8 – 12 people. It’s a lot of mouths to feed. Cooking with my family is one of my favorite things in life. We drink wine, play music, joke around, my parent’s dogs get in the way, my brother and sister bicker over proper cooking techniques, and of course we nibble at the food before it’s ready. =)

Recently the whole family met up in Richmond, VA for Mother’s day and my sister, Rachel, took on the responsibility of choosing what to make for dinner. She ended up deciding on spaghetti with some of the most delicious tomato sauce I’ve ever had. It was a crowd pleaser. I’m super excited to share Rachel’s recipe with you guys!

Oh, and if you missed the post in which I introduced my sister you can read it here. Rachel will be the creator of the recipes featured on this blog from now on. I will simply be photographing them.

Easy Tomato Sauce
Simple Tomato Sauce by V.K.Rees

Take it away Rachel…

“This simple tomato sauce has helped me out of a jam more than once. It has become my go-to on nights when I’ve found myself feeding a larger dinner party with a sparsely stocked pantry. I use to be hesitant about making a pasta sauce for a crowd, just seemed a like bit of a snoozer. But, here’s the thing, each time I’ve made this sauce, guests have asked me for recipe or even lobbied for a “doggybag” to take home. I guess it’s not a surprise. Warm bowls of pasta tossed with quality olive oil topped with a homemade sauce and fresh herbs is sublimely comforting. Plus, it highlights the herbs that are available in early and late spring (parsley and basil are great—but, feel free to use whatever is on hand). And, with tomato season looming, this recipe is going to be super handy. Just swap out the canned tomatoes for fresh. This is as easy to make as it is to love—and very flexible. Feel free to add more crushed pepper if you like the heat o0r more garlic, if you like. Add in the herbs you like, omit those you don’t. Of course, salt and pepper to taste.” -Rachel


Tomato Sauce by V.K.Rees

Simple Tomato Sauce with Fresh Herbs

Adapted from: In the Green Kitchen, Techniques to Learn by Heart, Alice Waters

1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6-8 large cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 cans of diced or whole tomatoes, 28 ounces
A pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of basil ribbons
  • Pasta, dried or fresh—your choice
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Place the olive oil and garlic in a heavy bottomed pot on a medium-low heat. Once the garlic is soft and aromatic (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper and let the mixture simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. For a smoother sauce, break up whole tomatoes with a fork or immersion blender for desired consistency. Cook the al dente pasta according to the directions, reserving some of the pasta cooking water before draining. You can do this easily with a coffee mug or measuring cup. Transfer the drained pasta a large bowl, add just enough pasta water to create a light sheen on the noodles (a couple of tablespoons or so). Toss once more to add kosher salt and cracked pepper. Portion the pasta into bowls, ladle on the sauce, drizzle with quality olive oil, garnish with the fresh herbs and salt.

Depending on portion size, serves 6 – 8 adults.

Tomato Sauce by V.K.Rees

Blog Post #1: Sexy Spaghetti | Around the Bend Came Number Ten - [...] Blog Post #1: Sexy Spaghetti Posted on 07/12/2013 by alyssagalvan Photo credit: [...]

Meredith in sock monkey slippers - gorgeous darlin gorgeous! love this!

Loreli woods - Amazing shots you have here! Very inspiring!

Kiran @ - Simple or otherwise, I’m mesmerized by the photos!

anna@annamayeveryday - These photographs are amazing, just fantastic composition and light.

Irina @ wandercrush - Stunning. Everyone needs a trusty tomato sauce recipe!

Looking for an easy tomato sauce recipe for keepin’ around… | Vegan Today - [...] for an easy tomato sauce recipe for keepin’ around forever? Try this recipe from Vanessa K. Rees! (Doesn’t hurt that she takes a mean photo, [...]

Jes - Can’t beat a good tomato sauce!

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet - Your family dinners sound so fun! Love this tomato sauce recipe! Beautiful styling, as always!

Laura | Peaches and Greens - Wow, stunning photos and a spectacular recipe. I love the tip of reserving the cooking water, must remember to do that! Looking forward to more recipes Rachel, the ones so far are winners!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - This looks absolutely perfect!

Aubrie LeGault - Loved these shots- especially the simple image of the spoon. :)

Erika - I just want to pull my chair up to that table and dig in..Stunning!

Letizia-Friarielli & sound - I love your photos!