signature move: cookies for all.

When I started Emily Alt Photography I had a vision of being a different type of photographer.  I didn't want to compete within the Chicago wedding industry at all, but rather wanted to market myself as a small wedding, DIY, backyard, community vibes kind of gal.  One of things that went into developing this style was considering what type of "thank you" gift to present to my clients at the end of each session.  I thought long and hard about this, read lots other photographer's blogs to get their great ideas, but nothing really seemed right for me and my style.  One day I was getting ready to head to the suburbs for a family shoot with a friend from high school when it hit me--chocolate chip cookies!  My mom used to make chocolate chip cookies religiously--every night sometimes--for my dad who was absolutely addicted to these sweet little gentlemen.  One of my strongest memories of growing up was watching my dad read the Wall Street Journal every night and eat a tin of cookies. Every night.  Now, you likely are imagining a hugely obese West Michigan man from this description, but my dad, true to Alt family history, was (and is) in amazing physical shape, so consuming loads of cookies each night did not see to impact him at all.  When my parents got divorced years later, my dad admitted to me many times that one of the things he most misses about my mom is her chocolate chip cookies.  
There isn't anything amazingly special about these cookies, but somehow they win over clients, kids and friends each time I make them.  After the first couple of times I gave out my cookie bags, I quickly realized that people love these--some maybe even more than the pictures!  And thus, chocolate chip cookies stuck.  Each client who books a session or a meeting with Emily Alt Photography receives a lovely little cookie bag with 2-4 cookies packaged inside.  Brides receive a thrifted vintage plate of cookies for their bridal party to enjoy as they are getting ready.  The cookies have come to be a nice little extra touch and I really enjoy watching how excited folks get over them. Below is a quick little documentation of my cookie making last weekend, but sorry, no recipe.  I've got to keep at least a couple of my secrets!

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Yes, you've got to use real butter, folks. Anything else is just sub par...and sort of disrespectful.
Yes, you've got to use real butter, folks. Anything else is just sub par...and sort of disrespectful.

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Nestles is still the best.  Hands down.
Nestles is still the best.  Hands down.

With the exception of the measuring spoons, all these cooking utensils were thrifted from the Rosemont Flea Market about 8 years ago when Ian and I first moved to Chicago.  The whisk, measuring cups (8 total), flour sifter and egg beater (not pictured) were $4 total. 
With the exception of the measuring spoons, all these cooking utensils were thrifted from the Rosemont Flea Market about 8 years ago when Ian and I first moved to Chicago.  The whisk, measuring cups (8 total), flour sifter and egg beater (not pictured) were $4 total. 

I love thinking of what these measuring cups have seen and where they might have lived before coming to rest in my drawers. 
I love thinking of what these measuring cups have seen and where they might have lived before coming to rest in my drawers. 

Equal parts brown to white sugar.
Equal parts brown to white sugar.

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Why do I think brown eggs just taste better?  I know they don't....yet, I just love them so much more.
Why do I think brown eggs just taste better?  I know they don't....yet, I just love them so much more.

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This vanilla is like....beyond words.  I have no idea why or how it is so good (seeing as it like $1.43 from Harvesttime), but it is.....
This vanilla is like....beyond words.  I have no idea why or how it is so good (seeing as it like $1.43 from Harvesttime), but it is.....

the finished product.  No matter how many times I make these cookies, they look different every single time.  Sometimes they are big and fluffy, other times they are crispy and thin. I'm sure it has to do with the temperature of the butter and eggs, but it's always sort of a lovely surprise to see what comes along.  Either way, they always taste good.
the finished product.  No matter how many times I make these cookies, they look different every single time.  Sometimes they are big and fluffy, other times they are crispy and thin. I'm sure it has to do with the temperature of the butter and eggs, but it's always sort of a lovely surprise to see what comes along.  Either way, they always taste good.

Cookie bags.  I'll be retiring this stamp soon for one with my new logo, but I'm sort of sad to see it go.  It was my very first "custom" stamp I ever ordered and it has been such a lovely little workhorse. Taken with my iphone.
Cookie bags.  I'll be retiring this stamp soon for one with my new logo, but I'm sort of sad to see it go.  It was my very first "custom" stamp I ever ordered and it has been such a lovely little workhorse. Taken with my iphone.

Laid out on some fancy schmancy tissue paper.  I experimented for awhile with using wax paper, but it was just too difficult to manipulate, plus this adds a nice little pop of color.
Laid out on some fancy schmancy tissue paper.  I experimented for awhile with using wax paper, but it was just too difficult to manipulate, plus this adds a nice little pop of color.

Bakers twine=my best friend. I use it for everything--it holds tightly, is easy to use and is inexpensive.
Bakers twine=my best friend. I use it for everything--it holds tightly, is easy to use and is inexpensive.

All packed and ready to go out to happy and hungry clients!
All packed and ready to go out to happy and hungry clients!