Thoughts, ramblings, and #BTS by the L&T Editorial Staff.

Contributor Spotlight: Deepi Ahluwalia

Life & Thyme veteran contributor, Deepi Ahluwalia, is a commercial and editorial photographer based out of Los Angeles. As one of our most trusted correspondents, Ahluwalia has spearheaded our Dispatch channel on Life & Thyme which is focused on bigger issues surrounding our food ecosystem, like the California drought. Suffice to say, she is hungry for deep stories beyond the kitchen, a direction we are constantly after here at L&T.

On a Tuesday morning, I sat down with Deepi for an espresso at Verve Coffee for a quick chat to hear more about her story.


Where did you grow up? — I was born in Toronto and grew up in St. Catharines, a beautiful city off of Lake Ontario.

What was the earliest food memory you have growing up? Eating cut-up Schneiders hot dogs with ketchup.

When documenting through the lens of a camera, what sort of details are you looking to capture? How do you tell a story through photography? — I love capturing moments of truth, whether I’m shooting a portrait, location or food. The human element and the environment I’m shooting in are super important when creating engaging, visual stories. I pay special attention to lighting, textures and color, and how they affect mood. All these elements add depth and intrigue to a story.

Your photo is on the cover of issue 4; what was the creative process in creating the holiday drinks story? — I have a background in art direction and pastry arts, so for me, concept and execution are extremely important. For the winter drinks story, I didn’t want to overload on the typical holiday-themed imagery, as the winter season varies culturally around the globe. Instead, I wanted to focus on the tone. The image on the cover of Issue Four is of Mexican Hot Chocolate. Given the rustic nature of Mexican chocolate, I really wanted to give the entire image that similar feeling.


For creatives wanting to enter the photography field, what advice would you give them? — What I’m about to say, I say with love and (some) wisdom: Don’t quit your day job. You may be super talented and passionate about photography, but until you can make a proper living doing this full-time, have some sort of income coming from somewhere. It takes a long time to build a name for yourself in this business, so patience and working your ass off are key. Also, you may be inspired by other photographers and it’s OK to learn from their techniques, but don’t copy their style. Having an art producer or creative director tell you that your work reminds them of someone else, is not a compliment. Use your life experience to help guide you in finding your own voice, that’s specific to you and only you. The more you shoot the things you’re amped about, the more your unique style will develop.

View Deepi’s profile on Life & Thyme or catch her on Instagram.

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