Crave Cook Click Women’s Month Celebration..Meet Dolphia Nandi Arnstein-Food Blogger & Photographer
We are celebrating Women’s Month on Crave Cook Click as it was International Women’s Day on 8th March. As a part of this celebration I am interviewing my favorite Women Photographers and Food Bloggers. The idea is to appreciate, motivate and get inspired ☺
The first interview was with Avni Bid who is an amazing Fashion & Portrait Photographer. You can read it here.
Today you will be reading Dolphia Nandi Arnstein’s Interview. Dolphia is one of my favorite food blogger. I admire her recipes, stories and food photography. She blogs about food, food photography and travel at Story of cooks. Web Development is her day job at Boston Globe and she is also pursuing a course at Harvard University.
What I like most about Dolphia is her eye for detail in every post and willingness to help her readers as well as her fellow food bloggers which is a very unique quality. The connection which she has with her followers is amazing.
Let’s see what Dolphia has to share with us ☺
Hi Dolphia. Thank you so much for taking out time to inspire us with your inputs.
Please tell us more about Story of Cooks. How did it get started?
First, hugs and love to you for hosting me at your place.
‘Story of cooks’ is my journal and mirror where I write recipes, travel diaries (informal one), stories and whatever is happening in my life right now. You will know about me, if you read my posts thoroughly.
I started Story of Cooks in April, 2014 but due to our renovation work, moving I could not start until August that year. I started this space to log the recipes I learn from mom.
Why did you select Food Blogging as your niche?
Food was and still is an integral part of our life, especially in our home. I was a very fussy kid while growing up and mom had to prepare dishes in a new avatar pretty much every day. This is how she learnt so many new recipes. I was born foodie!
After coming here, it was not easy to produce her dishes with local supplies and especially at Buffalo. So I started asking her for the recipe with tweaks to use local produces. I started sharing those foods with my colleagues and close friends and all of them told me “You should start a food blog?”. I got married and Matt loves my mom’s foods. It was his idea to start the food blog as those recipes are unique yet so easy to prepare.
I think the ardent foodie inside me forced me to select the food blogging.
What/Who is your inspiration behind such innovative recipes?
My mom and her recipes.
How do you plan your blogposts?
It all starts with ideas. I generally eye for ideas everywhere – magazines, food groups, other bloggers, and words of mouth. Once I get the idea, I generally write it down somewhere. In beginning of every week I attempt to do two posts and go over them.
After that I discuss them with mom and we come up with a recipe.
She tries the recipe until it’s perfect. After that I try it on a small batch and finally I redo it for bigger batch and shoot it.
Meanwhile, I start drafting the story.
After shooting I edit those photographs, finish the post and publish the recipe.
Sometimes I send those posts over to my editor at UK.
You obviously have excellent photography skills — was it something you’d studied before, or something you picked up as you started blogging?
I picked up as I started blogging. I always had an interest in photography but never thought I would be doing it so seriously. While I continuously study books, materials, posts – I believe photography is something you need to do more than learning.
What’s your process when you take a photo? How do you decide where to shoot, how to set up the background, and how to style your dish?
I use my living room, as studio and I know how light works in that area as I ONLY WORK WITH DAYLIGHT. So I know where to place my dish.
I have a few backgrounds, which I rotate in order to avoid boredom.
I look at Pinterest before styling any shot and most of the time I get a general idea. After that I start doodling those ideas in a notebook and without my sketches, I am clueless.
Which is your favorite photography gear?
You would think it’s my camera, but not. It’s my tripod – I can’t do anything without it.
Which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography?
Food Photography, without any doubt.
Name few of your favorite fellow food bloggers who inspire you
It’s hard to name a few as any beautiful post inspires me. But no matter how busy I am, I will never forget to check the work of – Simi Jois, Deeba Rajpal, Alanna Taylor-Tobin, Farrukh Sadab, Beth Kirby, Rosa Jeanne Mayland.
How important is SEO, Social Media Marketing and Website development for food bloggers?
It’s quite important – I wish I learnt it before. It’s like promoting a business – you need to be thick skinned and shameless about it. Yes, others might mock you, but you can’t listen to them. Do it smart.
What is your idea of continuous learning and improvement in food blogging?
Like any other field, there is a scope of learning and improvement in food blogging. Learning never ends as there is so many dishes to learn in the world – I always feel time is too less for that.
What advice would you give our readers who want to get into food photography?
Think a lot about it – you need to give much more in order to gain a few. Only start food photography, when you feel “I wish I could capture the moist and shiny chicken wings.”
Please mention few lines of your favorite recipe on Story of Cooks and link to the same
Thank you so much Dolphia for sharing your passion and such great inputs for our readers. We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Guys you can follow Dolphia’s work on below links