We love to highlight the professional photographers who use ONA bags in our Photographer Profile series. However, we realized that there are also plenty of super-talented bloggers who take beautiful photos (and write, and edit, and share) as a living–often without any formal training or professional associations. If photography plays a part in your blog–whether it’s travel, food, lifestyle or technology–and you use an ONA, feel free to get in touch with us about being featured.
Ali Ebright of Gimme Some Oven makes a living as a food blogger: her photos are, quite literally, mouth-watering. Food blogging, however, isn’t just cooking and eating delicious things: Ali is a master of developing recipes, styling her creations and, of course, photographing the dishes. In our New York City office, we all love to eat but our kitchens are cramped and our Seamless favorites lists are long–and even we were drawing grocery lists and considering baking-as-therapy after reading her recipes and drooling over the accompanying photos.
Ali wears the Brooklyn Camera Satchel in Chestnut.
ONA: How did you get into blogging?
AE: To be honest, I began my blog on a complete whim! I had just started following a few food blogs, and thought the format seemed like a great way to organize my favorite recipes and share them with close friends. So within a few weeks, the guys in my band helped me brainstorm a blog name, I had a family member help me set up a WordPress site, I swapped my point-and-shoot camera for my first DSLR on Craigslist, baked and photographed a favorite recipe (with my camera on the only setting I knew — “auto”!), and hit publish.
I clearly had no idea what I was getting into. 🙂
That said, my past four years blogging been amazing. Never (ever!) would I have guessed when I began that blogging would become such a fun and meaningful part of my life, and ultimately, allow me to leave my full-time job and pursue it as a career. I have had such a great time learning the ropes, and slowly teaching myself more about cooking, photography and entrepreneurship along the way. But more than anything, blogging has introduced me to so many wonderful new friends around the world. I am so grateful for it all!
AE: Food!! (I know, surprise surprise!)
Ever since I can remember, I was always “that girl” awkwardly pulling out a camera at restaurants to try and capture the memory of an amazing meal. Now, I have the privilege of working at home day after day to create, style and photograph original recipes that I develop. And this past year, I also began freelancing as an assistant with food and photo styling at Hallmark Cards, Inc. here in Kansas City, which has been an awesome introduction to the professional world of styling. But whether it’s spending the day tweaking the most intricate details of cupcake styling in a pro photo studio, Instagram-ing my tacos from a food truck with my iPhone, or photographing in my makeshift living room photo studio at home, I still love any chance to celebrate deliciousness.
Second to food, though, is definitely my pup, Henry. He is my cheerleader, my crumb-catcher, and my fellow bacon lover. And I also happen to think he’s pretty photogenic. 😉
AE: Photography is definitely one of the most important features of my blog. Most people actually find my blog from my food photography, via sites like Pinterest or Foodgawker. And once they arrive, I think that the photos are often what make or break a recipe. If it doesn’t look appetizing, it takes a motivated person to follow through and actually make it. So I spend a lot of time trying to make the food look as good in photographs as I think it does in person.
AE: I shoot with a Canon 6D, which I really love. Most of my food photos are shot with a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, although I shoot most everything else with my 24-105mm f/4 or my 50mm f/1.4 lenses. I still have a ton to learn about photography gear and feel like my wish list is growing by the day, but at the same time I’m really grateful for the camera and lenses that I have. They have treated me well!
AE: My main inspiration actually came from the fact that, at the time, most of my close friends in their twenties and thirties knew very little about cooking. I didn’t have a ton of culinary experience myself, but ever since I began cooking in college, I was always pretty fearless with a recipe in hand. And I loved any chance to learn a new technique.
So I was constantly trying out new dishes with my friends, and in turn, kept getting asked for the recipes. So the idea of starting a blog where I could have a one-stop place to organize my favorites seemed like the perfect win-win solution! And while my readership has expanded all around the world, my favorite thing is still hearing from friends or readers online who have tried out a new recipe or have attempted to cook for the first time. It always makes my day!!
AE: Blog what you love — really love.
ONA: What’s your favorite post on your site and why? [i.e. the best “introduction” to what your site is all about]
AE: Oh my, that’s like choosing my favorite book. 🙂
I think that most of my friends and readers would tell you that I’m obsessed with Mexican food. So my Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce is probably one of my all-time favorites. The recipe is actually from a dear friend, which I love, and speaks to the heart of my blog which is all about finding simple and fresh ways to make your favorite recipes at home.
AE: I first saw the Brooklyn Bag from ONA on Pinterest, and literally stopped everything I was doing and spent about a half hour getting completely and wonderfully lost in ONA’s site. Their bags just overwhelmed me with their beauty. I have looked at a bunch of camera bags over the years, and none ever really felt like “me”. But I felt an instant connection with the voice and heart behind ONA’s site, and the classic tailored beauty of their bags. Once my Brooklyn bag arrived in person, I completely fell in love!