3 years ago

American Magazine: August 2014

vision + planning =

vision + planning = legacy WAMU 88.5 is as vital to Virginia “Ginny” McArthur’s day as her morning cup of coffee. A noted Washington trusts and estates attorney, she tunes into AU’s public radio station—D.C.’s leading NPR affiliate—to keep abreast of current events. McArthur settled in D.C. after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia from 1964 to 1966. In 1992, she founded an estate planning practice as a solo practitioner; McArthur Franklin PLLC has since grown to four attorneys. A longtime member of WAMU, McArthur leverages her expertise for the station’s benefit as a member of WAMU’s development advisory council, on which she’s served as vice chair since 2010. “It’s been a great way to get to know other supporters who are passionate about WAMU and to better understand the inner workings of the station,” she says. When working with clients, McArthur stresses the importance of preparing for the future and providing for the people and organizations that matter most. In 2012, she established the Virginia A. McArthur Endowed Fund at WAMU to support the station’s operations, and she has named WAMU among the beneficiaries of her estate. “WAMU is such a vital part of my day-to-day life,” McArthur says. “How could I not support its future?” Attorney, public radio lover, and longtime supporter of WAMU 88.5 For information about how your vision and charitable estate planning can create a legacy at American University, contact Kara Barnes, director of planned giving, at 202-885-5914 or, or visit 46 AMERICAN MAGAZINE AUGUST 2014

top picks 1 6 Patalsky’s tips for styling plate pics: 1. TOUCH OF TEAL Everyone should have a signature color— mine’s aqua or light teal. It’s my favorite color; I use it for plates, napkins, wood boards, and glasses. 2. MIND THE SCALE Regular-sized flatware can overpower a shot. I always use salad forks and dainty appetizer spoons and forks when need be. Vegan blogger Kathy Patalsky, CAS/BS ’05, started Happy. Healthy. Life. in 2007 with a philosophy as simple as the ingredients in her first recipe for green tea: “Good food was meant to be shared.” Seven years later, the health promotion major has traded her point-and-shoot camera for a professional Canon, and her site,, attracts as many as 1.8 million unique visitors per month. A second, recipe-swapping site,, has gotten 300,000 “likes” on Facebook. The fit foodie, who calls sunny SoCal home, whips up all her recipes from scratch (pumpkin pistachio kale fried rice with maple tofu cubes, anyone?) and shoots her own mouthwatering photos. “Some girls buy shoes, I buy berries,” says Patalsky. Though her repertoire ranges from pastries to pasta, Patalsky has a special place in her healthy heart for smoothies. Last year she released 365 Vegan Smoothies; a second cookbook, Happy, Healthy Vegan Kitchen, is in the works. 3. SET THE SCENE Don’t just photograph food, photograph a scene. If you’re snapping a picture of a doughnut, add a coffee mug, a fruit salad, or the corner of the Sunday paper. 4. GO NATURAL I never use a flash for food photos. Manipulating natural sunlight is a skill learned through practice, practice, practice. The light is always changing; you have to learn to adapt. 5. THE CRAVE-IT TEST You haven’t done your job unless the food looks delicious. Unusual shots like a cookie torn in half with melting chocolate chips will leave your audience craving more. 6. PORTION CONTROL Less is more when it comes to serving sizes in photos. If you want to feature a larger serving, add a second dish instead of piling on more food. 7. SIMPLE IS BETTER Use patterns sparingly. Busy napkins, place mats, and dishes distract from your subject matter: the food. 8. GO PRO If you’re serious about food photography, save up for a professional SLR camera and a few different lenses. I use a 6D Canon body with a 100 mm macro lens and a 50 mm 1.2 fixed lens. 9. WHITE OUT White is a food photographer’s best friend. White studio walls, curtains, tabletops, reflection boards, and plates allow colorful food to pop. 10. TASTE THE RAINBOW Embrace colorful foods. Using a few bright, complementary colors will make your photos sing. 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 AMERICAN.EDU/ALUMNI 47