If you’re in the mood for drool-worthy baked goods and perfect lighting look no further than the Instagram feed of Karlee Sisler Flores or @oliveandartisan. Karlee is a seasoned food blogger and host of cake decorating workshops as well as the winner of Saveur’s 2018 Blog Awards Reader’s Choice for best photography. We’re excited to welcome this inspiring lady and friend of SPPR to the blog to talk foodie inspiration and how to get that perfect shot!
1. What inspired you to start Olive & Artisan and are there any recipes/posts that stand out as favorites?
I was never a blog reader, so I have no clue what actually gave me this idea to buy a website other than being in a career I didn’t like and working hours that prevented me from growing my side hustle of selling custom baked goods from my home. Deciding to start the blog was a way to reconnect with myself and my passions again. And, more importantly, a way to create for myself and not a deadline. I’ve never looked back.
Some of my favorite posts are recipes that I spent serious time obsessing over. When I was developing the Perfect Brioche Dough, it was a blast figuring out all the different methods and techniques. I’m also very proud of my Concha recipe because they have excited so many people to make them and try something new.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 7:15 AM and check my Instagram. Before I can be productive, I make my bed, take a quick shower, pick up the house, and slowly drink the darkest cup of black coffee before taking a look at my to-do list I made the night before. By 10:00 AM I am in the kitchen testing or shooting a recipe. The light is at its best between 11:00AM and 2:00PM so I try to get the majority of my shooting done in that time frame. I like to set my phone in another room and shut my laptop, so e-mails and Instagram won’t distract me. 2:00 PM is kitchen-clean-up then straight to desk-time so I can write, edit, e-mail, compare myself to other influencers, catch up on IG, support my other blogger friends, talk to my followers on stories, fix website issues, get anxious, schedule calls, plan workshops, keep the books, and brainstorm. I wrap up around up the day around 7:30 PM: sweep up any leftover e-mails, make sure my blog post is scheduled for the next day, stay active on Instagram, and make a to-do list for the next day.
3. Your photography is gorgeous! What are your top two tips for taking better photos?
First of all, THANK YOU. I’m my biggest critic.
- If the light isn’t right, don’t push it. Either find another light source or wait for better lighting.
- Study study and STUDY composition. Look for it in your favorite photos, paintings, even while watching a movie. It’s everywhere and learning to see it in unique places will help out immensely.
4. Where do you go for foodie inspiration when you’re a in a baking rut?
Right now, I’m obsessed with vintage or nostalgic recipes. I typically suffer from wanting to do too much rather than falling in a rut. Currently I’m thumbing through the very first edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that my husband found on eBay. I try to not be too influenced by what the food community is making around me, so I can stay grounded and bring a unique perspective that might be missing.
5. What do you look for in brands that you collaborate with?
Generally, the brands I work with tend to fit into one or more these categories:
- I regularly use their product and I’m a fan!
- They are doing good in the community or for the world at large.
- This brand respects my time as well as my audience.
- This brand has an upscale and high-quality product.