Investing in yourself, with Kimberly Espinel

“What Instagram is evidence of is that creativity is a fundamental part of who we are as human beings. And the suppression of that actually creates really unhappy people, and when we have an opportunity to express our creative selves is when we feel most complete.”

My guest today is Kimberly Espinel. She’s a food photographer, a food photography teacher, and author of the new book Creative Food Photography: how to capture exceptional images of food. As if that wasn’t enough, Kimberly also hosts the podcast Eat, Capture, Share, which also happens to be the name of her Instagram food photography challenge. We chatted about the nature of creativity, Kimberly’s path from blog to Instagram to book, the joys and realities of self-publishing, and what it means to believe in and invest in your own creative voice.

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT

* The often-underestimated importance of being “politely persistent”

* Starting a blog and Instagram before you become an expert (practising in public), as a way to find clients after you graduate

* The way Kimberly used Instagram not only as a photography portfolio but also as a way to train her writing voice ahead of writing her book, alongside her blog writing

* The value of receiving immediate feedback on Instagram to hone our marketing skills: we immediately learn what works and what doesn’t, based on people’s responses

* A burgeoning shift of women taking up space and creating businesses, that is reshaping our ideas of what it is to be a leader, what a CEO is, and what “sales and marketing” should look like

* The historic under-valuing of creativity in the mainstream, and particularly in business (creativity is not perceived as productivity, and productivity is how we measure our worth), and how creative people (often women) are forging important changes to that attitude

* Kimberly’s fabulous words, like a rallying cry, which someone needs to put on Pinterest! “Creativity is joy. Creativity is being alive.”

* The highs and lows of pitching a book to publishers and agents (and recovering from rejection)

* Using our public platforms to hold ourself accountable to pursuing our creative dreams

* The awful summer of 2020, and Kimberly’s personal and professional turning point after reading the rather grim statistics around the number of women of colour who get book deals, and what they get paid…

* The importance of investing in ourselves (even to putting our money where our mouths are!)

* The nuts and bolts of self-publishing… beautifully (and being the CEO of your book)

* Kimberly’s advice for anyone who is seeking the courage to follow their dreams

LINKS

My Instagram class The Insta Retreat

* Kimberly’s Instagram,@thelittleplantation

* Her book, Creative Food Photography

* Her podcast, Eat, Capture, Share

* Kimberly’s blog, with lots of resources on self-publishing and food photography

* Sara’s podcast interview with Fiona Humberstone

* For self-publishers, Kimberly recommends the Book Launch Show podcast with Tim Grahl

*More about Clubhouse, a live, audio social media app, currently invitation only