What You Need to Know about Pursuing Your Passion from Flavors of Art

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Blogs are fun to follow. They bring your interests and hobbies to the tips of your fingers, from picturesque landscapes from around the world to fashion styling, makeup tips and everything in between. Despite all that, though, blogs are more often than not just something to follow, not to actually create.  They seem like a lot of work, something that only skilled professional and/or photographers can do.

We forget that in the age of social media these blogs are usually created, styled and maintained by people just like us  who happened to take their passion for a hobby or art to the next level.

For those of us who want to start our own blogs but are intimidated or don’t know just how to go about it, we’ve sought the advice of @Flavors_of_Art’s two founders. Recently married Samiha Amin and Khaled El Chouehy have managed to dazzle us not only with the mouthwatering meals they feature, but also the amount of detail and artistic inspiration that goes into each of their posts.

Because their photos seem too real to be true, the first thing that had to be asked was whether either of them had done cooking or photography professionally before. They hadn’t; they were just hobbies of theirs. Khaled is an engineer who happens to be interested in photography and Samiha is an ex-marketeer turned teacher who has loved cooking and baking and everything to do with the two since she was a little child. Once, they were making a pie and decided to take a photo of it. Flavors of Art was born.

So, how do they make it work? And what advice can they give us? “We do it together,” they tell us, “and because we have fun doing it. It’s not hard at all. Of course, doing it with someone is great – it’s brought us together in a very special way and created this bond between us especially since we cook, eat and do everything together – but don’t think that you can’t do it on your own. All you need is some very basic photography knowledge, a love for what you do and, most importantly, patience. Patience, patience, patience. It takes time, so be prepared to try and fail over and over again. We’ve had burned food, things that didn’t come out as we hoped it would…etc., so just take it easy and don’t rush. We were stuck at only a 100 followers for so long, so we understand the frustration, but don’t give up on it.”

But even with all of that, how do we produce the same delicious-looking photos they do and what is needed for that? “We don’t use fancy stuff and you don’t need to. Some of our photos are taken using our phones and even our camera is neither the latest nor the most sophisticated. We like our photos slightly messy and featuring the ingredients we used but that’s just our style. What we can say, though, is that you have to make sure the food stands out in the photo, that  it isn’t  overshadowed by the plating or props. Remember that everything else in the photo is just an accessory. Try to depend on natural lighting as much as you can, especially at the beginning. Keep everything simple and, again, it’s just trial and error. You learn and grow as you go on.”

Looking through the blog, all we see are savory pies, muffins and things that the calorie-counter amongst us would cringe at, so we had to ask about whether we could have something look as mouthwatering but slightly healthier. “We don’t take photos of everything, so we balance. We love oats, freekh and veggies to name a few, but they’re not necessarily featured. Other than that, we cook everything, even the pies, with olive oil. Some of the things aren’t as unhealthy as they seem – take the Spinach pie, for instance. We’ve also featured a healthier version of muffins that used minimal sugar and relied on more natural sugars. Other alternatives would be to use whole-wheat instead of white flour, for example.

Lastly, because we can’t get enough of their delicious art, we needed to know their upcoming plans. Samiha told us she’s looking into attending cooking school in the near future, wanting to become a chef, recipe developer and professional food stylist. If their current blog is any indicator of her future creations, then we can’t wait! They also told us that they are working on a collaboration with Yogini Sarah Yassin that would be more focused on healthy meals. We don’t know the full extent of it, but looks like the combination of healthy and mouthwatering isn’t too far after all and we will definitely be staying tuned!

Lama is a Political Scientist, historian and academic, a bibliophile, a writer, a jewelry freak and a human being. Having devoured every book that has come her way since she could read, she believes in the power of words and hopes to put hers to good use; to remain silent is to give up. She appreciates challenges, fun company, movies, the occasional trip somewhere new and a good laugh.

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