Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions! I love to hear from you!
Q: Where do you live?
As of June 2015, I live in the heart of Chicago, IL with my husband, Connor and neurotic, but lovable rescue cat, Max. Connor and I met in our junior year in high school and have been dating ever since! Yep, that’s just over 10 years. We got married in Washington, DC in April of 2015 (check out my wedding pictures here!) and currently live in West Loop. You can follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (username: abeautifulplate) for more behind-the-scenes Chicago stuff!
I have two older sisters, one of whom lives in New York City (she attended culinary school too!) and one that lives in the San Francisco bay area. My parents live in the Washington, DC! You’ll occasionally see pictures of my family on the blog!
Q: When did you start blogging?
I started this site in August of 2010, pretty much right after I graduated from college. I had just discovered the wonderful world of food blogs and immediately thought “Hey, this looks like fun. I wanna do this too!” Granted, I’ve been taking pictures of food before I even knew that blogs existed, so maybe it was meant to be?
It started as a creative outlet for sharing recipes –and eventually, turned into a space to share my experience in culinary school–and my passion for writing, food photography, and recipe development. Blogging has made such a tremendous impact on my life, and I am so grateful for it.
Formerly Blogging Over Thyme, the blog rebranded in January 2016 as ‘A Beautiful Plate’.
Depending on what is going on with my life at any given moment, I try to post at least 2-3 new recipes per week, and I also share “The Sunday Thymes” every week, which highlights my favorite links from around the web!
Q: Do you have any professional training or food industry experience? What do you do?
Yes! I am a professionally trained chef (honestly, I consider myself a trained cook, not a chef–I reserve that title for people who have worked in the industry for years and years!) and graduated first in my class from the professional culinary arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in December 2012. During my program, I blogged almost every single day!
After spending six months full-time in the classroom, I started working at fine-dining restaurant in downtown Washington, DC. Technically, I was a line cook–you can read a bit more about what I was doing here!
I ended up deciding to leave the production side of the industry, and transitioned to managing marketing and communications for a specialty foods company. During my time there, I designed and created marketing brochures and catalogs, as well as photographed and styled commercial photo shoots in our in-house test kitchen. My life literally revolved around food.
In August of 2014, I decided to leave my full-time job to pursue the life of a freelance food blogger, recipe developer, and food photographer/stylist. It is terrifying, exciting, and very challenging, but I’m so thankful to be able to do this every day!
Q: Why did you decide to go to culinary school?
That is a long, long (did I mention long?) story! It was not an easy decision and took nearly a year of going back and forth before I decided to take the plunge and go for it!
Q: Who designed your blog?
My friend, Lindsay Landis, the incredibly talented designer from Purr Design (and the blog, Love & Olive Oil) first designed my site in January 2014 – and I also used Purr to help rebrand the site from top to bottom for the rebrand in January 2016 as A Beautiful Plate.
I highly, highly recommend her. She is worth the wait list! I promise.
Q: Do you offer photography prints?
Yes! In 2015, I opened a Society6 store, where I sell all sorts of photography prints and artwork.
If you are interested in a custom art prints or have inquiries about a specific photo that you’ve seen on the blog, please inquire by email at bloggingoverthyme [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
Q: What type of camera equipment do you use? Do you edit your photographs?
Prior to September 2014, almost all of the photographs that you see on the blog were taken with my Canon Rebel T1i DSLR camera, standard lens kit, and 50 mm/f 1.8 lens (except really, really old archived posts, which scare me). It was a workhorse.
As of September 2014, I now shoot with a Canon EOS 6D full-frame camera body, and almost exclusively this 100mm/f 2.8 IS macro lens and 50 mm/f 1.8 lens. I took art classes through highschool and college, but I have no formal training in photography. I’ve taught myself everything through trial and error, reaching out for advice from fellow photographers, reading books, immersing myself in sources of inspiration, and practice. SO.MUCH.PRACTICE.
I’m a big believer in “less is more”. You can take excellent photos without a ton of expensive props, etc. Here is a list of my favorite affordable, everyday food photography backgrounds and how I’ve made them work for me over the years.
All of my culinary school photographs were taken with a simple Canon point and shoot–as that is the only type of camera that could fit in my chefs pants! Ha!
I always shoot with natural light in manual mode and take all of my pictures in RAW, so that I can edit them using Adobe Lightroom 5. I’ll occasionally use Photoshop too.
For more of my favorite photography resources and tips, visit my Food Photography Tips + Tutorials Pinterest board. You can also follow my Food Photography + Styling Pinterest Board to see what is currently inspiring me!
Some Amazon affiliate links are included above–thank you for your support!
Q: How did you improve your food photography over the years?
I credit my improvement in food photography over the years to a bunch of things: 1) using my camera and practicing photography on a regular basis for the past five years, 2) learning how to properly use my camera and understanding ISO, shutter speed, and aperture 3) being resourceful/creative with a limited amount of stuff, 4) playing with composition, lighting, angles, and styles, 5) reading books, looking at lots of food magazines, and immersing myself with sources of inspiration, and 6) learning the importance of post-processing.
Q: Can I use your photography/content on my blog or website?
All of the content and photography on this website is my own (unless otherwise specified) and is subjected to copyright.
If you’re looking to feature a recipe or writing a round-up post for your site, I’m more than happy for you to post one photograph–but please, please link back to the original recipe post and provide full attribution.
A lot of time and love is spent on my recipes and photography.
Feel free to contact me if you any specific questions or requests!
Q: Do you accept products to review, or do giveaways?
No, not usually. Occasionally, I will host a giveaway and share a product – but only if I am truly passionate about something and think my readers could benefit from knowing about it.
If your brand aligns with my audience and blog, I’d much rather work with you on a recipe development project! Feel free to contact me if you have an idea in mind or want to discuss an upcoming project!
Q: Do you do guest posts? Can I write a guest post on your site?
Not now, but thanks for asking!