paella on the beach

Heading out towards the ocean, you can never be sure what Mother Nature will throw at you. We left a hot sunny day here at home yesterday and arrived to cool air, a raging high tide and lots of fog! I was actually quite excited, as I’m learning that fog can allow you to capture some amazing photographs mid-day, when the sun would normally be too bright. As you can see by the suite of pictures that follow, the fog went out with the tide, and the sun shone brightly while we enjoyed a fantastic meal by the surf.

When I first collaborated with Nela for the mae + marrow shoot, she mentioned she had always wanted to cook paella on the beach, over an open fire. I immediately envisioned bringing this to life at Black River. We may have highjacked my sister-in-laws quiet time to herself at the family cabin on the ocean, but the vision came to life, and we enjoyed the most amazing paella bursting with chicken, chorizo, shrimp, cod and mussels. The paella was meticulously cooked by two beautiful chefs, Nela & Michael, of Nela’s kitchen. Nela has such a calm energy, and with Michael’s undivided attention to the fire, they cooked patiently on the beach while her son Sam hunted for crab shells and I puttered around, setting up the table and taking photos. The day reminded me how great it is to be surrounded by adventurous spirits and people who are always up for new things! I get so inspired in these moments where I am able to explore with and learn from others.

Although it takes some planning, coordinating, packing and set up, I am so enraptured with styling and enjoying dinners with others, particularly outdoors. It’s definitely not for everyone, as lots of photos are snapped and you need to be prepared for my overenthusiastic reactions when the set up and food all come together! But, if you are dreaming of a picnic at an obscure location or perhaps an outdoor lakeside dinner, count me in! Send me a note and let’s bring your idea to life!

Enjoy the photos and have a great week! xx


  1. Erin
    September 25, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    So beautiful!!

    • reenywallace
      September 25, 2017 / 6:24 pm

      Thanks Erin!! It was such a gorgeous day!