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My name is Kari Alana Heron. I am a storyteller. I tell three-dimensional stories about food, culture, people, travel, and life using images and words. My portfolio site is www.kariheron.com and award-winning food blog is www.chefandsteward.com.
I started out taking photos of food when I decided to delve into my ambition to start a food blog with my chef husband some six years ago. As expats, it was a great way for me to introduce myself to Dubai, which was my new home and to merge our skills, expertise, and interests. I have been shooting since I was 9 on a 24 mm and eventually inherited my father’s 35 mm in my teens. I trained in photography from age 16 and went pro when I left the Caribbean and moved to Dubai. Why food? It doesn’t talk back. Seriously though, food is one of the most challenging subjects and I love the reward of conquering something that is so dynamic. Food and culture have always intrigued me.
I have a mad love for the Middle East. I fell in love some years ago. There is so much there – even though it may seem very basic to Western eyes. I felt I had my greatest personal growth in the Middle East. Jordan has been my most sacred place to shoot so far.
Since I have an extensive background in Media and Communication, I have learned that relationships are everything in business. It is the same with small clients and those names that make your client list look lush. Waldorf Astoria was a brilliant brand to work with and their Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates location is one of the most spectacular hotels I have ever shot in or had the pleasure of staying at. Red Bull is a fun brand and I headed up Marketing Communication for their largest Soapbox Race in Latin America.
I consider a perfect food photograph one that makes you want to reach through the screen and take a bite or want to go to your kitchen to cook or book a reservation immediately for that restaurant. A perfect food photograph is an invitation to treat.
Like most creatives, I am multi-talented. The body of my work that I am most passionate about includes photography, video production, writing recipe development, and food styling. I am a content producer. It is a blessing to be able to move seamlessly through the arts and not only express my God-given gifts, but earn a living income internationally from them. I love to travel for work and hop across the Atlantic up to three times a year. Travel is the best school life can offer.
I was commissioned to collaborate on a book which will be published soon. My husband and I are looking for some cookbook deals as we have got a few great books inside us. Food is a universal language that unites people from all over the world and as people who have lived our adult lives outside of our home country, it has been an integral part in our travels in our travels. My work is based on my respect for food, people, their culture and where they live. I am pretty big on social media and love connecting with people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Periscope.
Don Riddle is a photographer/videographer specializing in advertising photography and image capture for the travel and hospitality industry. Some of his clients include Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels, Ritz Carlton Resorts and Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, Marriott International, and Hyatt Hotels. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.donriddle.com.
While studying to be an accountant, I enrolled in a photography class at the University of Utah. I instantly fell in love with photography and decided that life as an accountant might not be for me. I moved back to Southern California and enrolled in Brooks Institute of Photography. This started me on a path to a 20 year career of creating images.
Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?
DR: Clean, simple and large! I love the full-page images.
Q: How often do you typically update your website?
DR: I try to update my website every 6 months rotating in newer images from recent projects.
Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?
DR: Homepage images need to be impactful and current. I try to keep some of my most inspiring and new images right there in front.
Q: What is your favorite feature of liveBooks8?
DR: The ease of design. I liked the ability to start out with a blank slate and customize the site to my liking. It didn’t take long to learn how the design software worked. That was a big selling point for me.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?
DR: Ease of use for the viewer! I think it is very important that art buyers viewing a site can easily navigate the site. I will quickly leave a site that is too confusing to figure out. You don’t want to give anyone an excuse to move on to the next site. It needs to be instantly apparent how to navigate through the site.
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