What can I say about La Buena Vida, a blog that I'm following on a daily basis? There is not much to say but a lot to see… one click is enough to be transferred to some other world… a world of B&W, or strong colours, a world full of emotions. When I look at Nicole’s photos I think I can feel the state of mind that she was and what she felt in the moment of taking them. She knows how to transfer it to us and she does it perfectly. I discovered her blog some months ago but I went through every single page, through all her trips, meals, photos… and I wanted more… more of her photography, more to look at!!!
Take your time and enjoy her words and photography.
*Your passion for food was something that started really early in your life… photography was something that came along?
Yes, I've been passionate about food since as early as I can remember. I remember watching cooking shows as a child and I started cooking and experimenting around the age of ten. I got my first restaurant job at 14 and things just keep evolving from there. I used to always stand at the line and ask the chefs every detail of why they did what they did. It's something that even 15 years later I never get tired of. Being in a kitchen and around food is my life.
*How did the idea of the blog came in?
Last year on a cold winter night I decided to make soup. I thought it might be nice to try and expand my photography into my cooking. So I started taking photos of what I was making on a regular basis. With that I started getting more into making the photos look better and better. Teaching myself and studying images from other photographers I adored. I started loving it more and more and really started putting a ton of attention into it. I love blogging now and I am quite proud of how much I have come in a little under a year. I love the people who support me, they make it worth while and keep me going!
* Now you are a professional photographer and your photos are absolutely stunning… is there any preference in themes?
One thing I love about photography is that it is always a learning process. My style changes and I see things differently. Its through trial and error, I will shoot something and then stare at it for days and think to myself what I will change in the future? It's important to critique yourself so you can continue to grow. I think it's also important to see what's out there, I look at other photographer's images all day. I know I would probably look at things differently if I had gone to photography school and had a better knowledge of photo history. Photography for me has always been my way of expressing how I see the world or better yet how I want to make the world look. I like to make photos feel warm and rich. I like to make beautiful images that people want to be part of. Its all about creating eye candy by enhancing what may be commonly overlooked.
*Is it hard to get through in NY photo scene?
I am not really sure about this question. I really have only just started to get my foot in the door. I have only been shooting food for about a year. I think that New York City is a very challenging place for anyone. There is always someone who is better then you. You have to keep working hard and be really passionate about what you do or you won't make it. This city is filled with really talented artists that are the best at their craft. Let your guard down for just a moment and someone has ran circles around you. Some people are lucky and know the right people, they have an easier ride to the top. While others have to work their butts off to be noticed and recognized. I am definitely the 'work my butt off' type. Hopefully I will continue to get better and good opportunities will come my way. Fingers crossed.
*Do you like to cook for others or you also cook when you are alone, just for yourself?
I love to cook for myself and my boyfriend. I cook all the time alone but sharing it with someone really does make it special. I really do just enjoy being in the kitchen and making things. I get so much pleasure from the actual cooking process and the finished product. I have all these lovely ideas of lavish dinner parties but I never seem to make it happen. Maybe it's the lack of space in my small apartment? If I had a back yard and a grill I think I would be more likely to have regular dinner parties. For now I keep it close, cooking mostly for me and my loved one.
*Sweet or savor? Dessert or main meal?
When I cook its mostly savory. To be honest I suck at baking and desserts. Its one of those things I feel completely clueless about. I try to make bread and I can't seem to get it right. I make a dessert and its never perfect. I am not one to ever follow recipes, I look at recipes for inspiration and then I make my own version. I think with baking and desserts you have to be really precise and I am just not good with that. I love sweets and admire all those who can prepare them well. We usually just indulge in really posh chocolates.
*Organic food or not and why?
All the way! I have some very strong opinions about food politics. I try to buy organic only, it can be tough and very expensive. I regularly get frustrated at how much things cost in the food department. A few days ago I was at the local market and they were charging something like 8 dollars for a container of raspberries. It shouldn't have to be that way. In America we did so many things wrong, I think industrial farming could have been one of our biggest mistakes. I am happy to see more and more small local farms making a come back, seeing more people demand healthier better quality food. I hope someday we will fill this huge disconnect with people and food. Knowing where your food is coming from and what it is is so important. During the spring/summer/fall I try to shop primarily at my local farmers market. Winter is more of a challenge because the selection is minimal. In an ideal world I would have my own little sustainable farm. Growing fruits and vegetables, making my own cheese from my animals, having bees for honey. I love all that stuff and I want it close to me. For now I will keep good relationships with my local farmers. Keep it up!