Bountiful Barter

In Home Life

Last weekend we shoved aside our dining table and set up lights to shoot Studio50’s Baum Light. This week before disassembling the equipment we took advantage of the setup to do something fun – a photo shoot with our most imaginative and charismatic subject, our wand-waving, giggle-faced, princess-obsessed and heart-dressed daughter Moo. (For the record, she has worn this dress for the fifth consecutive day. Soon we will have to peel it off to throw it in the wash, or just have her bathe in it.) We are so blessed to have such an optimistic, energetic person in our lives! We try to take moments to celebrate this as often as we can.

The other feature of this spectacular shoot was unintentional, but it brought to light one of the many other things we are grateful for in our Paris community: barter! One of our earliest Paris friends, Jeff Bartscher, designed an amazing kitchen helper stool for his daughter, and each time we visited his family’s home we wanted one too. So when he and his wife Megan asked to pay us for a photo shoot to welcome their new baby to the family, we seized the opportunity to get a helper stool of our own.

Clearly, this stool is amazing. It’s not only life-changing for cooking and getting things done in the kitchen, as it allows Moo to “help”, it’s also quite versatile. The step is adjustable so that Moo can stand at different heights as she grows. Jeff custom built the rails to the size of our countertops and painted them white to match our kitchen. You don’t get this kind of service from your big bog store.

In fact, we’re not sure you can pay for this kind of service at all. There is something rather intangible gained when two parties who mutually respect one another’s skills agree to trade time. Maybe that’s because time is irretrievable. And as much as we respect money for its ability to affect our lives, we sometimes wish the world could get by on barter.


  1. We love bartering! It shows a special appreciation for each other’s skills. It feels a little charming “old world” too. Great post!

    • Absolutely – barter is making a comeback for sure. Part of the sharing economy…

Leave a Reply