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!). We currently live in the amazing West Loop neighborhood that is surrounded by incredible restaurants! Follow me on Instagram for more Chicago snaps!
I grew up and currently live just outside of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia with my fiance, Connor, who is currently in medical school and my neurotic cat, Max.
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 area! 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 became intrigued and 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 life stories–and eventually, a place to share my experience in culinary school–and eventually 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 food-related 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 those 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 and exciting all at the same time. I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and I am totally risk-averse in life, so this was a huge step for me, but I’m very excited about the future!
Q: Why did you decide to go to culinary school?
That is a long, long (did I mention long?) story! Initially, I was planning on attending nursing school after graduating from college (I told you it was a long story). I first started to think about culinary school after I got a job as the head baker, recipe developer and decorator for a DC food truck–I wanted to experience the industry in all its glory just to be sure. It took nearly a year of going back and forth, but I finally 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 we also used her services to rebrand the site from top to bottom for our 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. Although I took art classes through highschool and college, I have no formal training in photography–and have taught myself everything simply through studying food photography, reaching out for advice from fellow photographers, reading books, immersing myself in sources of inspiration, and practice. SO.MUCH.PRACTICE. I love it though. Occasionally, I use this tripod–I have a love/hate relationship with tripods. I find them incredibly frustrating and restricting, but they produce the sharpest photos!
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 course of my blog’s life.
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 (but do believe that artificial light can take excellent photos) and take all of my pictures in RAW format, so that I can edit them using Adobe Lightroom 5. The vast majority of my Instagram photographs are taken with my iPhone 5s and edited using Instagram.
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?
Occasionally, I will host giveaways and share a product review–but only if I am truly passionate about something and think my readers will benefit from it. Basically, I am extremely picky. I don’t want readers to ever feel like I’m “selling” them something, unless I love it and use it myself on a regular basis!
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! I prefer to do the majority of the writing and recipe development for the site in an attempt to keep it as consistent as possible for readers.