Inspirations

Inspiring Creator Series: Kimberly Espinel from The Little Plantation

Post by
Marisa Young
Inspiring Creator Series: Kimberly Espinel from The Little Plantation

Meet Kimberly Espinel, the London-based creative behind The Little Plantation. As an award-winning food photographer and stylist, Kimberly has followed her passion for capturing exceptional and aesthetically delicious food images after studying nutritional therapy.

Driven by her genuine love for food photography, Kimberly generously shares her expertise as an educator and mentor. She regularly imparts valuable tips on food photography, styling, Instagram reel content, and offers courses to her legion of followers. Her willingness to share her expertise has made her a beloved figure within our community and earning a significant and devoted following. I’m not sure there’s a foodie photographer on Instagram that doesn’t know about her hashtag #EatCaptureShare and food photography challenges.

But Kimberly's generosity and success has translated beyond social media and is now a renowned food photographer author. Her Amazon bestseller "Creative Food Photography: Capturing Exceptional Images of Food" reflects her dedication to helping aspiring photographers develop their skills and follow their own passions. AND there’s another book on the way!

Join us as we explore Kimberly's journey in the world of food photography and how she continues to inspire those passionate, foodies and beyond!

Meet Kimberly Espinel

Hey Kimberly! We'd love to learn more about you and find out how you got started as a food photographer?

Hi, I’m Kimberly. I was born in New York City to immigrant parents from South America / Caribbean, but I currently live in London. I found my passion for food photography by accident! I had just transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle and wanted to share my food discoveries with the world. I knew that even if a recipe tasted amazing, if it didn't look amazing I couldn't spread my message. So I picked up a DSLR and tried my very hardest, in the process fell in love with food photography.

What are some things people might not know about you?

Have you always been a food photographer and mentor?

No, it never even crossed my mind. It happened by accident. I was studying to become a Nutritional Therapist and I wanted to ensure my recipes looked as good as they tasted. By the time I graduated from my course, I'd already had my first paying food photography client and decided to pursue a career in food photography instead.

In terms of mentoring, I always got asked for help, advice, and support. When the same questions kept landing in my inbox I realised there was a demand and that people found my input helpful. The rest is history.

Kimberly is a huge motivation to her community, sharing insights she has learnt through her own food photography journey. Source: @thelittleplantation

How did you start The Little Plantation and your very popular #EatCaptureShare hashtag?

I started TLP about 1 year into my 3-year nutrition course. I wanted a place to hold my recipes and share my thoughts on nutrition and health. It morphed into more of a food photography blog over time.

The #EatCaptureShare challenge started initially as a way to grow my mailing list. Then it took on a life of its own, as no one was doing food photography challenges at the time. I was really one of the first and it was incredible to see how much joy the challenge was for creatives and how it brought everyone together. I have thought many times about closing this chapter of my creative business, but every year the pull to continue is too strong. It's so meaningful for the community, so I keep going and keep trying to make it better than the last one!

I loved the name so much and so decided to call my podcast, which came a little later, the same.

Some of Kimberly’s delectable imagery. Source: @thelittleplantation

What equipment do you use?

You can find everything on my gear list HERE.

The props that I love to use are pasta bowls, I use them for everything all the time. Cutlery and linens are essential - both as backdrops and accent pieces.

What is your favourite lighting to use?

I love using natural light.

Kimberly makes the most of her light-filled home studio to create her content. Source: @thelittleplantation

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What is your best advice to share with aspiring photographers?

It's tempting to look left and right and compare yourself to what everyone else is doing, but honestly, the more energy you spend on honing your craft and focusing on your own path to finding your style, the happier and more successful you'll be.

Your reels are really well done and educational (not to mention so popular!), any advice for creatives wanting to produce this type of content?

Just start! I feel sometimes people overthink things, get stuck in their head and hold themselves to the very highest of standards when the best way to get there is through LOTS of trial and error.

Kimberly shares her secrets on how she creates her reels. Source: @thelittleplantation

How do you keep learning and evolving your skills?

I love learning by doing. It's why in my courses there are always homework components. You need the theory, but then you need to put the theory into practice! That’s why I think my food challenges and challenge communities like Creatively Squared are so important - they are great outlets to practice the theories and experiment.

I know the focus is on video right now, but I honestly feel that learning good food photography sets you up for success and will make the jump into videography much smoother. If you know both really well, you're bound to get more and better clients!

If you've done my online courses already, check out my in person workshops. I offer some, mainly with co-teachers, but there are so many wonderful creatives who teach incredible workshops too. It's about finding the teacher that resonates with you most.

Kimberly offers online courses and workshops to help you level up for food photography game and serve up deliciously good content too. Source: @thelittleplantation

Did you always have aspirations to write a book or was it a natural progression?

It was a natural progression. I had a deep desire one day to write the book, it was a really intense feeling. It was a long and difficult journey to get there as I ended up self publishing the book. But it changed my life! I'm now writing a new book, which could never have happened if it weren't for Creative Food Photography. It opened so many doors, but mostly allowed me to grow in confidence and self belief.

Which other creators do you admire and find inspiring?

I love Luisa Brimble for her way of capturing the mundane and making it look gorgeous. I adore Aran Goyoaga, for her simple lines and gorgeous food styling and Gabriel Cabrera, he's so creative and a true master at what he does.

Lastly, we would love to know - what's next for you?

My new book! I'm finishing my manuscript and it will be released August 2024! I'm also releasing 2 new online courses next year - a food styling and a food reels course!

A big thank you to Kimberly for sharing your food photography journey with us and for being a huge inspiration to our community. If you don’t already, we would highly recommend following her Instagram @thelittleplantation and getting involved in her #EatCaptureShare hashtag challenges.

For more information about her creative resources and courses visit her website The Little Plantation and listen to her podcast. Happy creative cooking!

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