Each week we’re teaming up with a popular food-stagrammer who will take over our Instagram feed and fill it with their own delicious pics. This weekend on #TastyTakeovers, Sarah Coates, the blogger and cookbook author of The Sugar Hit!, is our guest. Learn her secret for taking delicious photos in the Q&A below and head over to @YahooFood on Instagram to watch her foodie adventures unfold all weekend long.
Sarah Coates is the blogger and cookbook author of The Sugar Hit! (Photo: Sarah Coates)
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Sarah Coates, I’m a blogger, author, photographer, and stylist from Brisbane, Australia, and I love fooooood! My hobbies include skateboarding, learning the ukulele, and just generally finding more ways to be a hipster. I just wrote my first book The Sugar Hit! and I am never not in the kitchen mad-scientisting my way through copious amounts of butter, sugar and sprinkles.
What first got you interested in food and photography? Where do you draw inspiration from?
I have always been interested in food — all the evidence seems to suggest I was just born hungry and stayed that way! So after dropping out of college and deciding to pursue food blogging as a career, photography came to me more out of necessity than anything else. At first I hated it (because I sucked so hard) and now, like a lot of self-taught photogs, I’m completely in love with it. In particular I love the photography of David Loftus, Yossy Arefi, and Stephanie Gonot.
How do you take your photos (with a camera or phone)? What are your favorite photo editing tools and/or tips for taking exceptional food photos? Give us the scoop!
I take all my photos with my Canon 550D camera, on a 50mm lens (upgrade is pending, y’all) and I try to keep my editing to a minimum. I have a fairly distinctive style – very bright, graphic and bold, so it’s essential that I get good lighting otherwise the food will look super flat. I find the best spots are by a nice big window, facing either north or south, and usually mid-afternoon light works best for me. For my colorful backgrounds I just use big sheets of colored paper!
Brown butterscotch apple Jaffle, a decadent dessert sandwich. (Photo: Sarah Coates)
Who are three of your favorite Instagrammers? What do you like about them?
HMMMMM! I love @andybowdy, he is an amazingly creative pastry chef from Melbourne, Australia, and his cakes in particular are awesome works of art. I also never get sick of the @shopbando feed, because it’s so bright and fun and well branded! And finally, I love to follow @__nitch – this account posts pictures of various well-known people with interesting quotes. It’s just a really engaging, thought provoking and often inspiring thing to have pop up on your ‘gram!
What do you enjoy about Instagram compared to other online communities?
I love the way that Instagram is a real meritocracy — if you take beautiful photos, and share them, people will get behind you! Plus, as a completely visual person, I’m all about that picture.
Chocolate soft serve cupcakes served in ice cream cones. (Photo: Sarah Coates)
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
I ate the first mango of the season just the other day (I’m in the southern hemisphere, remember) and it was freaking amazing.
If you could throw a dream dinner party for any three people — living or dead — who would they be and what would you cook for them?
I would cook for Dolly Parton, Jamie Oliver and Casey Neistat. I’m an Aussie, so I think I would do a barbecue — lots of salad, some fresh bread, sizzling meats. Simple, home cooking would probably be appreciated by this crowd! And to finish – butterscotch sundaes.
Peanut butter and caramel banana split. (Photo: Sarah Coates)
What’s the best dish you’ve ever made or the dish that you’re known for?
Hmmm – that would probably be my Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies. Chewy, salty, bitter, crunchy, sweet, buttery – perfect.
And last but not least—what’s your favorite food (if you had to pick one)?
Donuts. D.O.N.U.T.S. Or doughnuts, whichever you prefer.
Chocolate chip pretzel cookies that are chewy, salty, bitter, crunchy, sweet, buttery – perfect. (Photo: Sarah Coates)
Meet more ‘grammers from our past takeovers: