We met Amber Wilson this past spring at White’s Mercantile in Nashville, where she was debuting her first cookbook For The Love Of The South, titled after her popular blog. We were struck by the book’s elegant photography that accompanied her takes on time-honored Southern classics—and then realized she shot them too. So when it came time to put together our food + photography series, she was the first on our list.
Name: Amber Wilson
Hometown: Lake Charles, LA
Most recent project you worked on: My first cookbook came out this past spring!
Go-to gear: I fell in love with the Savannah bag! It’s the perfect size to travel with but also keeps my camera beautifully stored in my house. It’s simple, elegant and compact for my mirrorless camera.
Describe your aesthetic in five words or less: Simple, Southern, Elegant, Real.
“I first picked up a camera…” When I started my blog as a senior in college.
How did you start down your current career path? I fell in love with sharing my love for Southern food, stories, and the way I see the South.
How did you learn your craft? I grew up in Cajun country, which means there’s an inherited passion for food. I learned by watching the great women before me. I’ve spent the last few years in my kitchen in Nashville creating my own recipes paying homage to the wonderful Southern ingredients, recipes, and stories I love.
A peer you most admire and why: I love Mimi and Oddur Thorisson for the simple yet elegant way they share their passion about the region they live in.
Your favorite photo you’ve taken this year, and the story behind it: There’s a photo I took of a bacon and tomato sandwich right after my book was released, and it was special to me because this recipe from my book got me through so many late nights of edits. It was always there for me and never let me down!
One piece of advice that stuck with you: Through the highs and lows, keep showing up. No matter what.
Advice you would give to someone looking to get into food & photography: No one has the same unique point of view you have. Find your voice, angle, your unique taste. You experience life differently. Learn how to communicate that passion, whatever that may be, with the rest of us.
One thing most people wouldn’t expect about you? I don’t love making biscuits!
Mistake you’ve learned from: I’ve gotten excited about so many “what ifs” that have distracted me from what I had in front of me.
Biggest challenge: Balancing life at home and working from home!
Work you are most proud of: I’m the proudest of my first cookbook!
Food you can’t live without: Lemons.
Dish you cook for yourself the most: Pasta with lemon, cream and chilies! It’s one of those recipes I cook for myself when I don’t know what to cook and I’m ravenous!
Hidden talent: Antiquing!
Biggest kitchen disaster: Pots boiling over and cakes sticking to the tins are the two disasters that happen on a regular basis in my kitchen unfortunately.
Favorite restaurant: Mas Tacos in Nashville.
Bucket list restaurant: Galatoire’s in New Orleans.