Last Monday I brought my camera with me aaall day, so that I could show you what a day in my life as a food blogger can look like for me behind-the-scenes :-) None of my days are alike, and this was a particularly exciting job so I thought it would be fun for you to tag along! Before I started freelancing within the field of blogging, food styling & food photography, I was so curious of how all these food bloggers actually worked. Like, what kind of commissions do they have? What does a typical day in the life of a food blogger look like? Do they work alone or in teams? Since there are no paved roads here, I’m sure we all do it differently. But here’s what a food photo shoot one rainy Monday can look like!
On this particular Monday I was hired as a stylist & recipe creator, while my colleague and friend Malin @poppyloveyou took the pictures (and did some styling as well). When I got the question if I knew any photographer I would like to work with for this job, I immediately thought of her! We had only met once before on a very inspiring coffee date (if you don’t count the quick hello on her latest photography exhibition), but I knew right away that we would have to work together some time. Such a warm, supportive, hard-working and fun person! The task of the day was to style and shoot the in-the-making pictures of a recipe I had created for Gold & Green Foods (with me in front of the camera!), plus product and ingredient shots.
As you might have seen, Gold & Green are one of Cashew Kitchen’s current sponsors. This post however is not sponsored by them. I chose to create this post on my own initiative and as always all opinions are my own. Just a quick little disclaimer there!
Oh and one more thing before we start – I didn’t reeaally snap exactly one photo per hour, so some hours have way more shots and some less. But who cares! The point is you get to tag along during the day :-) Let’s go!
I wake up at 6.30, surprisingly well rested considering I was a bit nervous for this day. The first thing I do in the morning (after my meditation, which I didn’t do this day bc *time*) is to put on the radio news, make a cup of strong black tea or lemon water and have my supplements. Here Probiotics, MSM & Magnesium. Suuuper gloomy outside.
Overcast and a bit of rain. Perfect for shooting! If the location is just a teeny bit brighter than my apartment that is… This is the view from my balcony btw. After inspecting the weather I get dressed and put on some make-up (gonna model today after all!).
Then breakfast. Matcha Bircher Muesli prepped the night before, with nectarine, homemade nutella, bee pollen and a good read (A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara).
Packing props! A full suitcase, and still not enough. I packed an array of linen napkins, all my favorite little bowls and a handful of large plate/bowls. Plus silverware, cutting boards, scissor and twine… And of course my camera equipment and a whole bag of ingredients. Phew.
I carry/drag everything to the train and go 2 stops to Karlberg.
Up the hill towards the apartment where we’re gonna shoot. Happy to realize we’re gonna be in the house right next to where my favorite Swedish movie was filmed in 1969 <3
On location, we’re greeted by this little guy! The house bunny Bosse <3 For this photo shoot we needed a modern looking kitchen with good lighting and beautiful surfaces, so my (pretty much non-existent) kitchen was out of the question, and Malin’s kitchen wasn’t ideal either.
In the end, our contact Maria at the communication agency realized that her neighbors had a kitchen just like this! So incredibly generous of them to let us use their apartment (especially since Johan, one of the owners, are working from home and had to put up with our mess and noise the whole day haha 🙈)
Perhaps you would also like to know a bit about where I get my commissions? I actually rarely have any direct contact with the client. Normally the brand hire a communications or PR agency of some sort to handle their marketing campaigns. So it’s almost always this agency that get in touch with me and that I communicate with during the process. Some brands have an in-house marketing department though.
Photo by: Poppy Photography
Photo by: Poppy Photography
Though I wasn’t supposed to be the photographer this day, I couldn’t help but to play around a little with the ingredients…
Before getting started, we (read: Johan) had to go down to the basement and fetch this old beautiful table that used to belong to Maria’s grandmother, and carry it up the 5 stairs (without elevator). Then we realized it was way too low and that my crotch would be visible in all shots haha (despite the fact that I’m only 160 cm/5,2 foot tall!). Soo what to do? Old magazines collected from long forgotten keeps solved the problem!
All the ingredients for the recipe laid out and we’re ready to go! As you might have guessed it was the summer tacos we were shooting.
Photo by Poppy Photography
Left-hand photo by Poppy Photography
First I made the spicy paprika sauce. Malin photographed me as I cut peppers, squeezed lemon, seasoned with vinegar and agave and salt and pepper AND most importantly – tasted the sauce like a million times with a very zen look on my face (she was like: ”look out through the window!” ”smile and close your eyes!” ”look like it’s the most wonderful sauce you’ve every tasted!” 😂). I think this photo above is the one where I’m like ”Ok this gotta be the last one…”. Though visibly amused by her directives :-)
Then we shot a scene with all the components for the tacos. In the background you can see the by now pretty messy ingredient/prop/all-in-all tipping space.
And here it is in all its pride. The outside-of-the-picture chaos. This is probably the only time I’m gonna post a pic like this on the blog, so take a good look ;-) A healthy mix of ingredients, props, camera equipment, computers balancing on armrests, to-do-lists, bags, jackets and random disturbing objects from the periphery of the frame.
It took us many hours to shoot all the steps of creating this recipe. Somewhere along the line we also got a last minute delivery of oat axis from one place and fresh broad beans from another.
Love the sunlight in the right-hand photo above <3 Malin’s so great at capturing those little things!
Btw that posture in the left-hand photo… ouch! 😓 My shoulders are aching only from looking at that picture.
Way too many hours later: a late lunch! Leftovers, of course.
Then it was time for the ingredient and product shots. Here are the main ingredients of pulled oats: oats and broad beans! Plus the oat axis I mentioned. Lucky I have a brother working at Saltå Kvarn who could lend us some straws last-minute…
Mandatory flat lay for instagram.
Late in the afternoon the light changed dramatically. From having struggled with yellow on and off sunlight/rain all day, it was now cloudy which produced this pale, soft light.
Ps 1. The pulled oats does not actually have green peas in them, but yellow peas. A mistake we noticed after! #fail 😓 In a situation like this you either re-shoot the picture another time, or find a skilled retouch person ;-)
Ps 2. Can you spot the broad bean holding up the bowl of peas? 😂 #stylisthack
When we thought we were done, we decide to shoot a couple of extra recipe shots with the leftovers. Meanwhile, Bosse was happily working his way through the basil plant…
2 seconds later – gone! 😱
Proof that this recipe is loved by adults, kids and bunnies alike ;-)
About 10 hours later, we were done and I walked to the train station through a rain-soaked Stockholm. Arrived in my apartment around 8pm and collapsed on the bed. Full to the brim with inspiration, joy and gratitude over this pretty amazing occupation that I’ve carved out for myself. But as always when I’ve done something highly stimulating and creative, it takes me ages to wind down. Though I was very tired in the evening, I didn’t sleep much. Instead, two days of half-hearted attempts to work followed, where I couldn’t do much else than edit photos and possibly try some recipes. I’m learning to embrace that this is how I function. That days of high productivity are often followed by a transition phase where I need to process everything I’ve experienced or created. That this is the price I have to pay for my high sensitivity (which I btw would choose again every day!).
I’m trying to see it like this: my sensitivity enables me to experience truly wild things, to feel fully and wholly and to create some pretty amazing stuff under the right circumstances. Imagine what a crazy cocktail of feel-good hormones, intense emotions and thought-power moving through your body at those moments! No wonder I’m wiped out afterwards. So in between those thriving days I need to recharge my batteries in order to create, live and experience like that again. When put like this, the ”low” days makes so much more sense.
What does your energy pattern look like? Can you also recognize this interplay between thriving and blue days?
I hope you liked to tag along during my workday! Let me know if you wanna se more of these kind of posts, mmkay? Either by hitting the heart button or write me a comment :-)
And oh, here’s the recipe for the summer tacos we shot this day!
Wishing you a wonderful Midsummer/Summer Solstice celebration!
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