Our love for food and photography can take us places. This time it has taken us to art. We recently cam across this beautiful Instagram post by Akhrieno from Nagaland. It was a photo of a cake decorated with small whole mandarins, big green leaves, and lovely icing. It looked like a photo of a snow-covered town taken of some fictional world from a novel.
Soft fragrant orange-scented cake coated with mandarin milk syrup, decorated with whole peeled satsuma mandarins | Baked and Styled by Akhrieno ‘Mustard.Seed’
We couldn’t help but check out more of her work, and by doing so, we were taken to this fascinating world of stories, as told by Akhrieno’s artwork, which had plenty of character and rustic charm. After filling our hearts with glee, we decided to finally reach out to their creator and find out her/his story! That’s when we found out that the artist behind was Akhrieno K Jamir from Nagaland, a full-time mom and food photographer, who used to be a professional chef in India and Australia. Stay on and scroll below to know more about this talented storyteller and artist
Meet Akhrieno K Jamir from Nagaland, a full-time mom and food photographer/Stylist, who used to be a professional chef in India and Australia. We chat about her work, her journey, and more!
Hello Akhrieno please introduce yourself, and give us a background of your journey .. and your foray into food styling and food photography.
Hello team, I was born in Kohima and my relationship with food goes way back. I’ve always been inspired by my mom who is the best cook and baker I know which led me to venture into my food journey professionally. I’ve completed my diploma in patisserie from le cordon bleu Bangkok and hospitality in culinary from le cordon bleu Australia. I have also worked as a chef in Sofitel and QT, Sydney.
Wow that’s so impressive! And how did you get into this food photography?
Food photography for me started out naturally as a hobby. I always had a love and taste for dark themed food photos which led me to try out different lighting, props, and layout to see how far I can experiment to just feed my love for food aesthetics.
Akhrieno’s rendition of ‘pina colada’ as a cake
How has your roots/upbringing influenced your work or working style? What’s your creative/Work philosophy – where do you take inspiration from?
Nature holds the richest source of creative inspiration I believe, and it has provided such a wide range of ideas in expanding the imagination that has never failed to help me get creative – be it for my food recipes or my photography. Also, another major source of inspiration is anything vintage and rustic which is a theme that clearly runs through my feed. As for food styling, my work experience in Fine dining and training at Le Corden bleu has contributed immensely to widen my creativity.
Cake embellished with Nature’s finest by Akhrieno
“Nature is a huge source of inspiration for me and gives me plenty of meaningful directions – be it for my food recipes or my photography” ~Akhrieno
What do you do full-time? How do you manage to indulge in your hobby?
As of now, I have a full-time work of being a mom but I always try to make time for my page by setting up my schedule to make space in the midst of my crowded daily routine which I so enjoy.
How do you set the creative direction for your upcoming shoots? Give us a glimpse into the whole process.
My creative direction is usually very simple. It involves a three-step process :
Step 1: The Food Prep
This is where I decide what I want to eat (and shoot!). For ex: I have a running theme called ‘health splurge for the day’, for which I normally include smoothie bowls, raw vegan pies, and cakes.
Step 2: The Props Prep
If you see my page you will notice the same wooden board used as a layout for all my food pictures for that rustic feel; it brings that dark and rustic charm to all my photos.. which I love. So clearly, you’ll see this common theme throughout my page ‘the mustard.seed” Insta account.
Additionally, I also add some vintage props which I have collected over the years from my travels around the world.
Step 3: The Photo Prep
The final step involves the lighting, the camera, and a tripod which is so important. These setups are important to be able able to capture every essence of the subject and the theme for my viewers. They help in bringing forth the fruit of my effort in the perfect manner.
What do you hope people take away from your Art/Work?
As someone who always enjoyed and loved food aesthetics, I hope that through my page such lovers as me would simply enjoy my feed as they scroll through Instagram.