Let’s pick up where we left off last week.
Actually, let’s rewind a bit. How did all of this [blogging, photographing, etc.] start?
I really had no plan. Chris and I moved to Colorado 4 1/2 years ago from Charlotte, NC [where I went to grad school and then worked in architecture for a year]. We lived with family, searched for jobs, and Chris was in grad school. This was kind of in the height of the economic downturn and jobs in architecture and engineering were scarce. Actually, they were nonexistent. I searched in and out of my field with no luck. To keep myself busy I started this blog as a continuation from my Ota.Bar blog. [If you’ve been a loooong time reader you may know that I opened a granola bar business in Charlotte while I had my architecture job. I sold bars at a few local stores and at a farmer’s market every Saturday.] Since I was no longer operating Ota.Bars I decided to make the blog a bit more official and give it a new name. [Ota came from “oats” and our dog Dak-ota.]
This adorable child belongs to my good friend Katie.
Edible Perspective officially started in October 2009. I planned to document my day-to-day adventures, meals, workouts, and recipes. It started as a way to keep my family updated on what we were doing. I had absolutely zero background in photography, but I soon realized photography was a key element to food blogging. I was already obsessed with food after my extensive graduate thesis project on Food + Architecture. It didn’t take long before I was completely enamored by food photography as well, mostly inspired by 101 Cookbooks.
Luckily, my husband had an entry level dSLR camera and a few lenses that I was able to start playing around with. I had previously written off ever learning how to use the thing. There were way too many buttons and the basic terms were overwhelming. But one day I decided to give it a go and basically have never put the thing down since. I totally stole the camera from my husband and we still joke about my initial disinterest to this day.
For the first two years the blog was just a blog. Sure I was promoting it when I could and trying to grow my readership, but I was still looking for full time employment in architecture. I had a few part-time jobs but but still no luck finding something permanent.
We moved to Ft. Collins after Chris found a full-time job. I was still blogging and working part-time. We bought our first house—a major fixer-upper—and spent all of our free time renovating it. The blog was gaining momentum and I was finding small paying gigs here and there. [I helped photograph two cookbooks, taught a photography class, started a people photography business, created recipes for a few small websites, demoed product at Whole Foods for Love Grown Foods, babysat, etc.] I started focusing the blog more on my recipes and photography and less about life. I wanted it to look a bit more professional in hopes of getting more recipe and photography jobs. We were getting by, and I was flying by the seat of my pants each day not really planning for the future.
And then the biggest thing to ever happen in my life happened. It was just over 1 1/2 years ago when I got an email about the idea for the doughnut book. A cookbook? Really? Me? Is this real life? Maybe I can actually turn this love for food photography, recipe creating, and blogging into a career.
The book happened so incredibly fast and took up every ounce of my time. I was pulling 80+ hour weeks for three months straight. After submitting the book I got back to regular blogging and worked on a few rounds of book edits. I shot a handful of weddings, newborns, and family sessions. I was going with the flow, working my rear end off, but still without really looking ahead.
Last spring, Chris found a new job in Denver while working, in grad school, and studying for his PE [professional engineer license]. We then sold our house [with more renovations to get it ready!], found a new house [in a crazy housing market], moved to Denver in August 2013, started renovations the day we moved in, and basically have not stopped for a minute since.
Then, in October, Baked Doughnuts for Everyone was finally released! It was a whirlwind experience that I will never forget. Holding my book for the very first time, seeing YOU and other bloggers making recipes from it, going to book signings, etc. Completely surreal.
Throughout the past 4 1/2 years there have been many ups + downs. Life has moved FAST. We have taken many steps back, many steps ahead, and walked in circles a lot of the time.
So now here I am with a minute to breathe. A minute to think and reflect. I’m ready to make this work. Ready to turn this into a real career with a real income. Ready to make a plan. Ready to face my fears and just GO. I’m feeling more motivated and driven than ever before.
I’ve recently booked some amazing recipe + photography jobs that have made me feel like I CAN do this [more on those later]. But it’s not just happening overnight. Even though this is what I want there are still a million and one things I need to do to make it work long-term.
Now it’s time to get back to the brownies you saw in the first photo. I’m working on developing a gluten-free brownie recipe [and carrot cake recipe] along with a set of photos to accompany them for a gig with Simply Organic. Cue the happy dance.
More life stuff soon.