Feel free to contact me or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, dog, and cat.Connor and I met in high school and have been dating ever since! We got married in Washington, DC in April of 2015 (you can read more about my wedding here!) and currently live in the West Loop neighborhood. You can follow me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes Chicago content.
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 right after I graduated from college. I had just discovered the world of food blogs and immediately thought “Hey, this looks like fun. I wanna do this too!” Granted, I had 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, as well as my passion for writing, food photography, and recipe development. Blogging has had a tremendous impact on my life and I am incredibly grateful for it.
The blog rebranded in January 2016 as ‘A Beautiful Plate’, but was formerly under the name Blogging Over Thyme.
Q: Do you have any professional training or food industry experience? What do you do?
Yes! I am a professionally trained chef 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 in the classroom, I worked at a fine-dining restaurant in Washington, DC. Technically, I was a line cook. You can read a bit more about what I was doing here!
I decided to leave the production side of the industry and transitioned to managing marketing and communications for a specialty fine foods distributor. During my time at the company, I designed and created marketing brochures and catalogs and photographed and styled commercial photo shoots. My life literally revolved around food.
In August of 2014, I left my full-time job to pursue freelance food blogging and recipe development. It is incredibly challenging and scary at times, but I’m so thankful to be able to do this work as my full-time job.
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 it 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 talented designer from Purr Design (and the blogger behind Love & Olive Oil) first designed my site in January 2014. I also used Purr to rebrand the site from top to bottom for the rebrand in January 2016 as A Beautiful Plate.
Photography + Sharing Content
Q: Can I use one of your images in a recipe round-up or on my website?
All of the content and photography on this website is my own (unless otherwise specified) and is copyrighted material. Please see policies below before sharing:
If you’re looking to feature a recipe or writing a round-up post: You are more than welcome to share one photograph, but it must prominently be credited and properly back-linked to the appropriate recipe URL using a do-follow link. You do not need to email me for approval as long as you are following this format. Please do not share more than one image without my explicit permission.
Please email me if you wish to share an image for any content designed to promote other brands, etc. (ie. brand sponsored content, etc.). Again, all of the images are protected under full copyright.
I do not permit recipes to be reprinted in full on other websites other than my own. Again, my recipes are copyrighted material and may not be published elsewhere without my written permission.
Feel free to contact me if you any specific questions or requests or if none of your questions are addressed above.
Q: What type of camera equipment do you use? What do you use to edit your photographs?
Prior to September 2014, most of the photographs that you see on the blog were taken with my Canon Rebel T1i entry DSLR camera, standard lens kit, and 50 mm/f 1.8 lens (except old archived posts, which scare me). It is a great entry-level camera if you have a small budget.
As of September 2014, I shoot with a Canon EOS 6D full-frame camera body, and almost exclusively this 100mm/f 2.8 IS macro lens, 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens, and a 50 mm/f 1.8 lens. I took art classes through high school and college, but I have no formal training in photography. I’ve taught myself everything through trial and error, advice from fellow photographers, books, immersing myself in sources of inspiration, and practice. Practice every day!
I’m a big believer in “less is more.” You can take excellent photos without a ton of expensive props or food photography backgrounds. Here is a list of my favorite affordable food photography backdrops.
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!
I always shoot with natural light using manual mode and take my pictures in RAW format so that I can edit them using Adobe Lightroom.
For more of my favorite photography resources and tips, visit my Food Photography Tips and Tutorials Pinterest board. You can also follow my Food Photography and 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: Do you accept products to review, or do giveaways?
Occasionally, I will host a giveaway and share a product, but only if I am truly passionate about a product 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!