May 19, 2017

Natural Inspirations: A Q+A with Sarah from Well and Full

We sat down with Sarah Aldrich, food photographer and recipe developer of Well and Full. Inspired by health and wellness, Sarah shares a variety of recipes that feature plant-based, made from whole foods and seasonal, organic ingredients. Take a read below to discover her minimalist, natural inspirations, as well as her passions for photography, food development and styling. 

What inspires your photography?

I love seeing the images that others create and learning from their methods. One of my biggest sources of inspiration is Laura of The First Mess – I love the way she works with light and space. But I’m also so inspired by the natural world and the inherent beauty in food and plants. I’ll get giddy over a perfectly captured shot of romanesco, or the perfect spiral of a fiddlehead fern.

How would you explain your photography and blogging style?

My photography style could definitely be described as minimal. I’ve never been one to have a lot of “fuss” in my photos – I just let the food speak for itself. My blogging style, on the other hand, has always been personal. I love sharing stories or lessons I’ve learned, in the hopes that I could somehow pay it forward.

How/when did you decide to start blogging?

I started blogging some months after I adopted a plant-based diet in 2015, to chronicle the adventures in my kitchen. My biggest inspiration was Jessie of Faring Well – her blog was instrumental in getting mine off the ground. Seeing her work helped me learn and shape what I wanted my blog to be like.

How did you choose your blog name?

Put simply, being well and full is my goal. Most of my readers know that I’ve struggled with digestive issues since childhood, to the point where it’s changed the course of my life. Being fully “well”- I mean really and truly well – is almost a distant goal to me. I hope I’ll get there someday.

What is your favorite recipe/photo you’ve posted on your social media or blog?

My favorite photos are the ones I’ve taken of my rescue dog, Ivy! She pops in her little nose here and there in some of my recipe shots, like in my Persimmon Smoothie Bowl.

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What is your favorite piece in your prop collection right now?

My favorite piece is this speckled bowl (featured below) I got off of Etsy – I use it in a lot of my photos. It’s the vessel that holds my most famous recipe, the Vegan Buddha Bowl!

Is there any maker you’re particularly fond of?

I really love the pieces by Susan Simonini on Etsy. I don’t buy props often because I’m a #girlonabudget, but once her shop is back open later this month, I’d like to buy some speckled plates for my photography.

Are there any makers that have influenced your food photography/style?

The makers at Erickson Woodworks have definitely influenced my style, because I photograph on their boards! I also use a custom wood piece for some of my shots. Certain recipes just call for that earthy woodiness!

How do you choose your props?

I mostly choose what I’m going to use for a shoot based on the color of the food I’m making. For example, I wouldn’t put a green salad in a green bowl – the salad wouldn’t stand out. It also depends on the vibe of the recipe – a cozy banana bread calls for a home-y wood background and handmade pottery to complete the shot.

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How much work goes into finding props for your particular style?

I just go with what I like! I try not to worry about it too much.

What are your favorite seasonal ingredients to use?

I LOVE using fresh herbs in my dishes for any season, but in spring I love asparagus, in summer I drool over local strawberries, in fall I opt for apples and cinnamon, and winter I use toasted nuts and seeds.

What are your some great tips for purchasing plant-based, organic foods?

More and more stores are carrying plant-based and organic foods, and it’s awesome! I go to Stop and Shop most often (it might be a New England thing) and they have a two whole aisles of natural and organic products. But my best tip would be to stay on the lookout for organics, even in places like Walmart or Target. Go on their websites, do some research!

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Follow Sarah’s natural inspirations by checking out her Instagram at @wellandfull!