Blogger Spotlight: Ashley McLaughlin from Edible Perspective

Join Food Network in discovering the best healthy bloggers around the web. Today we're talking to Ashley McLaughlin from the blog Edible Perspective.

Coupling healthful recipes with stellar photography, Edible Perspective’s Ashley McLaughlin sees food not only as something to eat, but something beautiful to look at as well. With a passion for recipe development in particular, she focuses on vegan and gluten-free combinations that are completely natural. With her dSLR camera by her side, this blog is Ashley’s way of documenting and sharing her wholesome recipes.

How did Edible Perspective come to be?

Edible Perspective actually started to avoid boredom. Nearly 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to make a cross-country move from Charlotte, NC to Denver, CO.  He was unemployed and I was ready for a change, so we decided to make the trek out west.  We lived with Chris’s brother and wife for the first four months and searched for jobs day in and day out. Chris was looking for a job in Civil Engineering, and I was on my way to becoming a licensed Architect.  While job searching I decided to cook for the family each night as a token of our appreciation for letting us stay in their home.  I knew absolutely zilch about photography and a little bit about cooking. After previously writing off Chris’s “fancy” dSLR camera, I decided to pick it up and start documenting my creations. Since that day my life has been anything but predictable.

Why do you link cooking and photography?

You eat with your eyes first! Being able to show people what they’re going to eat before they make it really helps sell a recipe. The tricky part is making it look appetizing; not all foods look good on camera. It's been quite the process learning how to shoot with a dSLR camera. I learn something new every single day and will never know it all. It is rewarding to look at my earlier posts--also slightly embarrassing--and see the progression I’ve made.

How has keeping a blog changed the way you eat, and changed your life in general?

I think it keeps our meals more varied and helps me avoid food ruts. I’m always thinking about food and trying to come up with new ideas for my readers. It has also made me experiment more than I would have otherwise. Food blogging has helped me become more aware of the food I’m consuming and in turn, has made me healthier and more creative in the kitchen.

How does a recipe come to be? What’s a particular brainstorm like?

I don’t like to sit and think about recipes too much because they can tend to feel forced. Most of my ideas come to me while I’m shopping, by reading other blogs, or from being hooked on a certain food or flavor. Some recipes are a complete accident and some are complete failures.

What do you hope for Edible Perspective’s future? How do you want it to evolve?

EP has evolved an incredible amount in the past (almost) 3 years. My focus right now is on food photography and creating and sharing quality recipes. The hope is that EP will continue to grow and allow for more photography and recipe opportunities in the future. But who really knows?  Only time will tell! It’s exciting to not have an exact plan.

What is your favorite part about writing a blog?

It is so hard to choose just one thing! I would definitely say the fantastic people it has connected me with and the opportunities that have come from it. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself on this path. It can be exciting and frustrating all at the same time.  The journey has been slow, but it is an amazing feeling to finally have direction and focus.  Trying to create my own career through the blog and photography has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life but also the most rewarding.  The support from family, friends and most importantly my husband has been immeasurable and extremely appreciated.

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