Kake2Kale – Behind The Blog

Kake2Kale bares all…an intimate portrait…exposed…up front and personal.  Don’t worry, Kale and I are keeping our clothes on.  But we are coming up to our one year anniversary of Kake2Kale and Kale had the clever idea of blogging about the process of how we came up with our weekly posts.  After 56 blog posts, 28 blogs with recipes, thousands of miles travelled around the world by Kale, we are pulling back the curtain so you can see the fun and all that goes on behind the photos, recipes and the stories.  Our blog is a collaborative effort with Kale’s talents in photography and social media , plus the travel segments, and mine are with food and creative writing.

Kake2Kale Behind The Blog

When we get together to do a photo shoot we always surprise ourselves with what comes up in terms of food styling or spontaneously adding fun props.  Like today, we were wondering what would be a good background for the ingredients, rather than the usual cutting board or plate.  Kale announced, “Hey, I’ve got a brown paper bag.”  So we used it, and the photo turned out very nicely, almost as if we had X-Ray vision and could see inside the bag.  You will see this picture in next week’s post.

Our busy schedules make it difficult to meet weekly for our photos shoots, so on average we meet about once every three weeks and take photos for 3 posts at one time.  Sometimes just to shake things up we go for an outing to seek out yummy superfoods served by our local establishments.  Or, Kale takes off for some international foodie experiences.

The element of surprise is never far when we get together for our shoots, because Kale is always open to ideas, so much so that “Let’s try it!” has become our motto.  The photos benefit from this spontaneity and playfulness.  In case you’re wondering, I [Kake] am on the right and Kale is on the left in the picture above.

Since we haven’t reached top celebrity status yet, and with no exclusive interviews to brag about, we decided to interview each other!  So here goes, the real behind the blog or day in the life of Kake2Kale!

Kake2Kale Behind The Blog

Behind the Recipes and Food! Questions for Kake:

1.  Where do you get your inspiration?  First of all, I work at a great health food store where I am surrounded by superfoods galore, so I get inspired just by working there.  My favourite bedtime readings are cookbooks, perhaps that is when I dream up some of my dishes.  Sometimes it’s something I see in a magazine, on Pinterest, or some cooking show, where I go “Wow, that looks really good, I want to make a healthy version of that.”  Amongst my collection of cookbooks is a really great book that I use for inspiration time and time again, “The Flavor Bible”.  This book is indispensable to anyone who has an interest in cooking.

2.  Describe your writing process and the influences for your stories.  As there are a myriad of food blogs out there focusing on healthy eating, I wanted to set our blog apart by telling personal stories.  I think it makes the blog more interesting when you are able to get to know the person who is writing.  The usual process is that I come up with a dish that I want to make, and then I ask myself if there is an amusing story from my past that I could share without embarrassing anyone.  Where I like to write is sitting on a cushion with my laptop on a coffee table surrounded by my reference books within easy reach. Sitting at a desk seems to feel like work, and blogging to me is playtime.

3.  What do you enjoy most about blogging?  The best part about working on Kake2Kale is being able to tap into my creativity as a writer and as an innovator of new dishes.   The next best part of blogging is that I get to do it with Kale. When we get together to work on our blog it is like an extension of our childhood playtime.  Relationships are very important to me and blogging by myself would be very lonesome, so doing this with Kale has enriched our friendship.  It has also been fun to interact with some of our readers who have questions or comments.

4.  Why are healthy eating, superfoods and nutrition so important to you?  When my Dad became a health nut I saw how it transformed him. He lost the extra pounds that needed to come off by being conscientious about what he ate and how it was prepared.  Not only did he look better, but he gained self-respect and confidence.  After seeing firsthand what can happen when you take care of your body I have been an advocate for eating healthfully.

5.  What have you learned in the first year of Kake2Kale?  And, what do you hope to accomplish in the 2nd year?  I am learning to let go of my expectations, as I tend to be a perfectionist.  Working with Kale has really helped me see that if things don’t turn out the way I expected, that a creative solution is just around the corner and not to sweat it.   Happy accidents are par for the course.  I have also learned to think like a photographer since I’ve started blogging with Kale.  For instance, when preparing for a photo shoot, I have to think about how the dish will be photographed.  For instance if it’s a chocolate cake, which is just a solid brown colour, I will have to have some sort of garnish like a sprig of mint or a cherry to give the camera something to focus on.  Going into the second year, I’d like to challenge myself to make some dishes that intimidate me, also to expand my repertoire of superfoods and my knowledge of healthy eating.

6.  What was your favourite blog post to date?  My top two are Getting our Hands Dirty in SoMa and Lemon Sunshine Cake.   The first because Kale and I had such fun exploring this neighbourhood looking for superfoods to eat with our hands. We felt like we were Anthony Bourdain, who has a show where he travels to distant lands befriending the locals and finding places to eat that only the locals would know.  The Lemon Cake blog post was done for the week of Easter so Kale thought we should paint some eggs to accessorize the photo shoot.  It was the first time that either of us had painted eggs, so it was really special to do this together.

Lastly, I want to share that the picture above shows my favourite books to stir my creativity along with my notebook to capture ideas when they come to me.

Kake2Kale Behind The Blog

Behind the Lens and Travel! Questions for Kale:

1. Why do you love travel and food photography? Many things make me happy, but travelling, photography and enjoying great food are my top three all-time favourite activities!  I am fortunate and grateful that I have been able to combine these passions for most of life, and now through Kake2Kale I can share the things I love with international friends and followers.  I got my wanderlust from mom, photography skills from dad, and love of food/wine from my husband.  I have a never ending urge to explore and am always planning the next adventure.  Although I enjoy the planning part, most of the fun or challenge is in the destination searching for authentic, out-of-the way experiences that involves amazing scenery, local culture and memorable food.  The other fun part involves capturing the adventures both realistically and creatively in pictures. I am constantly on the hunt for unique angles, viewpoints, shapes, colours, textures, patterns and feelings that expresses my experience of those moments in time. I bring all this together for Kake2Kale and it’s super fun!

2. Describe your approach for shooting Kake2Kale’s culinary creations? For my photography, I take a natural and spontaneous approach.  I am less interested in studio photography or even using the flash, but prefer to use natural daylight.  I feel natural light captures the real mood of the moment.  Most of the Kake2Kale photos have been taken either near my front or back windows of my home or on the back covered porch at Kake’s place. In other words, we don’t have a fancy studio space.  Styling the food is also very natural and in the moment, as Kake mentioned.  I collect tea towels, table clothes and pottery; piecing together a food scene with all my bits and bobs to achieve the right balance of colour is a fun challenge.  But, my favourite part is finding the right composition that best showcases a dish, such as angles, depth of field effects, and textures or people in the background.

3. What equipment or tools are used to achieve the desired affects? I use a Nikon D7000 camera with a Sigma 18-50mm lens for most of my work.  I also use a tripod and trigger release cable, plus a white cardboard sheet to reflect the natural light.  And, I always have a hair clip and battery charger close by.  After the shoot, I use Photoshop to touch up photos and create photo collages on my laptop or desktop PC.  I use other lenses and filters for other projects but keep it simple and natural for Kake2Kale.

4. In year 1, what did you enjoy the most?  There are so many enjoyable parts with our blog and they all involve Kake – from spending girlfriend time, learning about healthy superfoods, photo shoots, outings to eatings!  Without her, the blog would not be the same.  Our complementary talents fit well for this blog. Overall, the joy of creating and sharing is probably the next best part but if I had to narrow it down, my favourite process is when I pick the top images and put them together to tell our story.  The images bring back memories and it’s always interesting to see how it came together – the story told through Kake’s words and my photos.  My favourite time with Kake was making dumplings. My favourite food post from a trip was my 15 days of empanadas in northern Argentina.  My favourite dish to photograph was the  Quinoa Kale Burger with Goji Berry Ketchup, but they were all great!  Lastly, I love sharing our blog through our social channels and learning that followers/fans from all corners of the world are being inspired by our suggestions and stories.

5. What would you like to do more of in year 2 with Kake2Kale? Continue having fun with Kake and this adventure with superfoods!  We’ve learned a lot and hope to learn much more about food, nutrition, blogging, photography, writing, social media and each other. I hope I can push the limits on my abilities. Getting to know WordPress has also been interesting but now that we’ve mastered the limits of our current theme, I hope to create an improved design for Kake2Kale in our 2nd year.  I hope to continue creating beautiful photographic art of our culinary pieces.  I hope I can have interesting food trips to share.  I hope we can inspire more followers to be part of our adventures on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. I hope we bring joy and interesting tidbits to our readers.  I look forward to being inspired by other food and travel bloggers, and meeting some along the way.  And, I look forward to all the adventures that have yet to be discovered!

6. Where is your next dream trip for travel and food photography? I’m off to sail the Greek Islands next.  Then, perhaps Myanmar and/Laos. And, it would be great to take a foodie trip somewhere with Kake one day soon.

Kake2Kale Behind The Blog

In the end, Kake2Kale is mostly about having a good time creating and sharing our adventures with superfoods in a natural and organic way.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to be part of our blog family and journey for the past year!

Beyond the blog, we hope you’re enjoying your life adventures and following your passions!

Eat superfoods, live a super life! {Kake}

Travel Far, Explore More! – {Kale}

Kake2Kale Behind The Blog

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