August Ardor is all about passion and sharing stories of passion with the hope of inspiring more people to follow their dreams and bliss – more happiness brings more joy into the world, natch.
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Kimberly Espinel, an award-winning food photographer and stylist, photography teacher, author of The Little Plantation blog, and creator of the EAT, CAPTURE, SHARE podcast. Kimberly lives in cool and cosmopolitan London, creates stunning plant-based dishes and images that make your mouth water and your heart skip a beat, teaches workshops, works on her blog and podcast all while pursuing her bliss.
She inspires me every single day. It’s no wonder she was the Saveur Blog Awards Editor’s Choice for the 2018 Best Food Photography for last year. Kimberly has a very distinct lush style with her photography – one that she honed herself as a self-taught photographer.
I asked Kimberly how she got started and what inspired her to take the first step towards following her passion in food photography. Her journey was circuitous (as many journeys can be) with twists and turns and back roads traveled, with side journeys along the way, before she found where she wanted to go. She worked as a social worker for 13 years or so and then had her son. She realized that going back to the same job did not feel right anymore or fit in with the family life she wanted to create.
She asked herself is there a way I can work for myself and be more present in his life? What opportunities are there… what am I passionate about that would allow me that opportunity? She decided to go back to school to be a nutritional therapist and at the same time moved from an omnivores diet to a plant-based diet.
She started the food blog as a way to have recipes to share with clients when she was finished with school; however, when she started picking up the camera and shooting food and writing recipes, she filled a void in her heart and it brought her so much joy.
By the time she graduated from school she already had 40,000 followers on her Instagram account. Yet when she started the blog, she had not heard of Instagram. In one of her nutrition lectures another girl sat next to her and said “she’d just discovered this photo app and said it’s insane” …Kimberly was mesmerized.
What’s important to note is that she was not a photographer before starting the blog. She says she did not know how to work a camera or anything, but once she got the gist of it, she loved the feeling of creating something in her mind and making it come to life. She said “I loved recipes, I loved to cook – the styling and the photography are my favorite part and now I love teaching others on the side.”
Many other bloggers go to recipe development but she went to photography. I asked her what inspires her most when she shoots and how her style evolved. She had always been interested in interior design and architecture, and as a teenager she would redesign her bedroom and kept a scrap book of fabric, looks and visuals that she liked. At that time, she didn’t know her style yet, but through trial and error she noticed a pattern in the way she shaped and sees things. She is really drawn to nature, the colors of nature, the colors of the seasons, the colors of vibrant plant-based food that she gravitates towards.
Over the years she always leaned into her strengths – one of her strengths is bringing people together and creating a creativity community. She listened to her followers and their needs, wants, and struggles and she realized a podcast would be a great way to bring the community together to further address their pain points and help them achieve their dreams. The EAT, CAPTURE, SHARE podcast is for a wide audience of food bloggers, food lovers, and everyone in between – mainly people who love sharing their photography, their art and creativity.
Give it a listen and you can check out more of Kimberly’s images and posts on The Little Plantation blog.
All photos by Kimberly Espinel.
Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love. She loves chasing quiet, authentic moments and sharing them with her family and friends. Read more about her inspiration here.