Years had passed since we’d last seen each other. I find that strange to say, as I’m only twenty five. In the interim we had finished school and pursued varied careers and adventures. As many people now do, I would check in on my old friend via Facebook from time to time. Perhaps I’d leave a quick comment about the Twins, or hear about the latest album he’d gotten into. Then one day…he wrote me a message.
The island was a beautiful place. The lodge, Stout’s Island Lodge, had been constructed there over one hundred years before I stepped foot on it. Being set in the middle of a pristine lake surrounded by woods; it gave you a comforting feeling of isolation as you walked the grounds. It helped that while I was there the season was all but over with only two accidental guests booked on a Monday night. Aside from the main lodge, there were a number of cabins on the island for guests. Each had a different name, one for each Frank Stout’s (the original owner/builder’s) children.
I found myself loading into a small, covered boat. With my old friend Andrew at the helm, we skirted over the water to the boathouse. Conversation was sparse at first, as we slowly caught up. Upon arriving we entered the historic building, and I was shown to my room. No work was to be done tonight, instead we would relax. The Brewers were playing to advance to the World Series, and I was given a cocktail.
Andrew is the Executive Chef of the island, and was looking for photos to exemplify the kitchen’s creations. In addition to that I would be taking a few photos of the rooms to go on their website. He had asked if I would be interested in helping him out; in exchange for some really good food and board. I figured, “Why the heck not?” We ironed out the details and I showed up. The next day, when the food was cooked and the rooms were ready, we would shoot.
The next day came. The sun appeared, lighting the island in a most pleasant fall fashion. I was almost disappointed that I was not brought to take photos of the grounds. Work had to be done, and we set ourselves to it. We started with the rooms, moving from cabin to cabin. I looked and looked until I found what I felt was the best angle in each space. From there I built up my shots, adjusting as the sun moved back and forth behind the clouds. Eventually we needed a break so we stepped inside and whipped the kitchen into action mode.
This is what I had been waiting for! Not only were we photographing the food coming out of the kitchen, but we had to eat it when we were done with it. Honestly we did HAVE to eat it, this isn’t the kind of food you let go to waste. I’m not a foodie but I can at least read off the words from the menu. They are as follows:
Whole Roasted Trout
Fingerling Potato*Mushroom*Spinach*Brown Butter
Duo of Pork
Pork Chop*Crispy Pork Belly*Braised Greens*Pear Mostarda
Piedmont Pudding*Butternut Squash Puree*Brussel Sprouts*Brandy Cranberry Sauce
Each dish was photographically accompanied with a glass of wine. Now this could have gotten messy had we changed the glass with every meal. Reluctantly we left the same glass of riesling in for every dish. Then it was time to move on to the desserts!
Shortcake*Vanilla Ice Cream*Chocolate*Creme Anglaise
Pumpkin Creme Brule
Cinnamon Shortbread*Maple Marshmallow*Vanilla Ice Cream*Chocolate Sauce
By the time we were finished I was full, and ready to go. I had come up to help out a friend, and had come away a better person. Well, at least a more well-fed one. We stepped back onto the boat that would take us to the mainland. In less than twenty four hours we accomplished both work and fun. Through photography, two old Cinemites had been reunited in a common goal.
Perhaps next time, it won’t take so long.
This was Hanson Photography’s last photo shoot of the year, until early 2012. Hanson Photography will be traveling abroad and return early February. If you are in need of a photographer for Engagement sessions or 2012 weddings, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Stout’s Island Lodge is open from May 27th through October 24th. Additional dates may be available for larger groups.
There are 43 guest rooms available in the historic Main Lodge, Shore Lodge and surrounding cabins. All are comfortably furnished, many with antiques. Each room has a private bath and many have fireplaces and/or screen porches.
For more information, please visit their website: Stout’s Island Lodge