beard foundation

Food Photography: Friendship, Inspiration, and Opportunity

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Lighten Up, Y'all cover on

I’ve got two big announcements to share: Lighten Up, Y’all is now available for pre-order and will be in stores in March. My dear friend Angie Mosier and I worked together over the course of a year shooting the photos so that we could best capture the food when in season.  The photo below of the two of us is before I started lightening things up — and over 35 pounds ago! It makes me so happy to see that progress and know I am so much happier and healthier.

Angie has worked with me on all three of my Y’all books, as the prop stylist on the first two and as the photographer for Lighten Up, Y’all. We’re a good team and her photographs are stunning.

Virginia & Angie

She is hands-down one of the most talented people I have ever met and consider her a real-life Renaissance woman. She’s been an enormous inspiration to me. Her culinary career began over 20 years ago when she started a wedding cake and pastry business.  When her creations were photographed for books and magazines, she found that she loved the process and began working as a food stylist.  She also started writing about food. Then, one day she picked up a camera and started to shoot food, too.

So….Virginia Willis, Chef and Food Photographer!?

My second big announcement is that I’m excited to add Food Photography to my list of services. Angie’s versatility and desire for her own change and growth has inspired me to do the same.

Click here to see my photography portfolio.


buttery bundt

I wear many hats in my business, but my work has always been more about the recipes and the words.  However, I have always enjoyed photography and have always shot the photos for my own blog. But, honestly, I wasn’t very dedicated and focused far more on the quality of the food than the photos. Then, a few of my recipe development projects required accompanying photos. Things change for me when it becomes a job. I pride myself on my work. So, I started paying more attention. I started studying. I thought about my talented friend Angie and realized this was something I could do, too. As we worked together on Lighten Up, Y’all I learned more and more. My photos improved. Last year, I was offered the opportunity to shoot the photos for my blog, Down-Home Comfort on Food Network. It’s been awesome. This past year,  I have felt like I was learning to cook a whole new cuisine.

peaches on

I love that Angie is thoughtful and mindful about her work. We share beliefs about the importance of food and cooking. Her website Placemat Productions states, “By documenting food, and the folks who work to bring good food to the table, Angie hopes to celebrate it, save it, cook it, serve it, and of course, eat it.”

melons on

She’s super smart. You can clearly see she’s stunningly beautiful. She can also sing. It’s almost unfair that one person could be so amazing, except the fact that I love her and she is one of my dearest friends. I am grateful for her inspiration, our friendship, and this new opportunity.

Let me know what you think!

 Bon AppétitY’all!

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send folks to my website, Thanks so much.

Want to keep up with my culinary wanderings and wonderings? Lets connect on  Facebook , TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

Leave a Reply