Contributors: July 2009

Taryn Bickley

Bickley first discovered s’mores and campfire cookouts during summers she spent at her family’s lake cottage. “You can’t have a campfire without marshmallows and chocolate, and with this shoot we took it to the next level,” she says. Pooling years of outdoor entertaining experience with the colors and fashions of the season, Bickley procured an eclectic mix of serve ware and accessories for the campfire-cooking feature. “Our four models presented the perfect complement to the classic woodsy scene,” she says. “Besides looking effortlessly chic, they immediately developed an easy camaraderie, which helped make the scene even more lively.” The Chicago and Detroit-based stylist and writer has done work for Time Europe, Elle Décor, and Chicago Home magazines.

C.J. Benninger

Ever since becoming enamored of photography in high school, Benninger has been pursuing a career with a camera. After graduating from Oakland Community College, Benninger began his career at Real Detroit. This month, he went to the banks of the Detroit River to capture the right backdrop for a summer sandals photo session. “After a long Michigan winter, it felt so great to shoot outside using natural light,” he says. Last summer, Benninger traveled to Oregon to photograph a different kind of model: 2009 Jeeps for jeep.com. Other clients include Delphi, Organic, and Triple Crown Records.

Annabel Cohen

Food and lifestyle writer Cohen came late to campfire cooking. A spur-of-the-moment purchase of a pop-up camper about six years ago had her weekending at campgrounds around Michigan, though for the first couple of years she never left Oakland County. With no preconceived notions about camp cooking, Cohen bypassed hot dogs and beans and, instead, prepared foods such as sea bass and stuffed French toast over wood fires. “I realized that camping can be downright elegant, even when using tried-and-true outdoor cooking techniques.” She’s currently combining her love of entertaining, camping, and food into a book about civilized camp cooking. The pages also will include new takes on recipes she’s gleaned from her international travels.

Jim McFarlin

Despite marking his 30th year covering pop music and entertainment in Detroit, McFarlin never had the opportunity to sit down face to face with Kid Rock — until he was recruited to write the 2009 Detroiter of the Year cover story. “Our paths hadn’t crossed, but I’ve spoken to dozens of people over the years who say they know him, or remember him from a certain stage in his development,” McFarlin says. “He and his career grew up in Detroit, and no matter what you think of his music, you have to admire his perseverance, loyalty, and devotion to our city.” A former entertainment critic for The Detroit News, McFarlin is now a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Hour Detroit.

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