How I Gained Confidence and Clarity in Three Days

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I don’t know about you, but scrolling through my Instagram feed can get expensive. I'm a lover of photos so this is the perfect social media platform for me.

I remember last December in my IG feed, I saw a food photography and styling event by the ridiculously talented Aran Goyoaga of I have been a loyal follower of Aran's blog, pretty much ever since I had to go gluten free years ago.

I was always drawn to her blog because 1) her photos are GORGEOUS and 2) I find her blog voice calming. Easy to read, easy to follow. Her online presence is just like her real life presence. 

So, initially I was like YESSS, I totally want to go! Then doubt set in. ‘Am I really any good at taking photos?’ ‘Everyone is gonna be better than me.’ ‘Geez, I dunno…’

Finally, the voice of reason set in. I needed to do this. So I did. This wasn't the first time I had the opportunity to learn from Aran. So I'm glad I finally came to a place of being able to say YES. 

It was a fun and surprisingly exhausting 3 full days of shooting. My biggest goal for the workshop was to not suffer from comparitis.


We all have those days when it’s super easy to slip into that mode of ‘everyone is better/more talented/more skilled (insert the words that work for you) than me.’ I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let my mind go there during this workshop. 

Annd, to remember that the only person I should compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. You know, all the stuff I'd tell other people. It's always so hard to take your own advice, right?

My head knew all of these things. It was my heart that was having a hard time keeping up. 


I don't think I could've asked for a greater mix of classmates. Eleven ladies (including moi) came together in Seattle from all over North America. All there to learn and shoot for a solid three days. Everyone was so positive and supportive. I think this made it super easy for me not to trip myself up about what everyone else was doing.

I was able to relax and have fun. My whole purpose was to learn from someone whose work I've long admired, and to become better at shooting and styling food. 

One of my greatest takeaways from Aran (there were many) was, it's not about following or trying to replicate someone else's style. It’s about finding and creating your own style. Then have the courage to share and show your work. Feedback is super important to growth and development as a creative.  


I truly believe that if we can show the beauty in whole, unprocessed food + add in simple recipes, people will want to spend more time in the kitchen. Experimenting. Creating. Having fun. 

This workshop completely stretched me outside of my comfort zone. But thankfully on the other side of discomfort was more confidence and clarity for me.  I became more clear on styling, angles, lighting, composition, creating interest and learning to tell a story through food. 

I hope you enjoy my highlights from the workshop. I hope it inspires you to create something pretty (and delicious!) in your kitchen this week. 

A huge thanks to Angela of Ace Camps for the well organized event, Allison Bell who kept us well fed with the most delicious meals, and the lovely Jenn Elliott Blake who opened us up to the world of prop styling. (and was our model for one shoot day!)

And Ballard farmer’s market, you. stole. my. heart. The West Coasters really take such pride in their organic sustainable produce. Love that. 

To confidence + clarity,


In the comments below, tell me about a time when you mustered up the courage to step outside your comfort zone.