098: An Architect’s Journey to Becoming a Freelance Food Photographer with Ashley McLaughlin

Welcome to episode 98 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks with Ashley McLaughlin from Edible Perspective about becoming a full-time freelance food photographer.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork talked about dividing income into multiple “eggs” in a carton of blogging income. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

An Architect’s Journey to Becoming a Full-Time Freelance Food Photographer

Architecture and food…it doesn’t sound like there would be many similarities between the two, right? But there are, and Ashley’s background in architecture helped her understand experience, perspective, and design in a culinary setting.

After staring her blog, Edible Perspective, as a way to stay creative, Ashley’s love of food transformed into a love of photography. After a long learning process, she went from a complete novice with a DSLR to understanding exposure meters, shooting in manual mode, and writing a food photography series on her blog. Now she’s a full-time freelance food photographer who has photographed multiple cookbooks for bloggers.

In this episode, Ashley shares:

  • How recipe creation is like architecture
  • Why she launched her blog
  • How she started using a DSLR
  • Her tips for improving your food photography skills
  • How she was able to become a full-time freelance food photographer

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Bjork Ostrom: Well, hello there. This is actually the intro to the intro, which we don’t often do unless we have a really important message which, today, it is. Episode 100 for the Food Blogger Pro podcast is coming up and we want to feature you. We will also feature you on the food blogger pro blog where we publish the podcast info. So if your recording is picked we will feature you on the blog, a link back to your blog, as well as your little audio clip that you submit.

Here’s how it works all you have to is go to foodbloggerpro[dot]com/record and that will bring you to a little page where you can just hit the record button and you can be anywhere. At your computer, you could do it from your phone and what we want you to do is to talk about two things, number one who you are and what your blog is or your website, and number two tell us about your favorite Food Blogger Pro podcast and what it was that you learned from that episode, and it’s as simple as that. Two things your name and your blog and then number two your favorite podcast episode and what you learned from it. Again you go to foodbloggerpro[dot]com/record in order to submit that, and for the people that we pick we will take their answer and include it in episode 100 and we will also link to your blog in the podcast show notes. Can’t wait to hear from you. All right now for the real intro.

In this episode we talk to Ashley McLaughlin about her journey to becoming a freelance food photographer. (music) Hey there folks, as we say here in the mid-west. This is Bjork Ostrom and you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. Today we are talking to Ashley McLaughlin from Edible Perspective, and she’s sharing with us her story to becoming a full time food photographer. She’s talks about how she got into it, as well as some advice around cameras and photography. And if you’re just starting out, some advice for how to improve your photography we talk about manual mode, why that’s so important. We also talk about what it’s like to get into freelance photography, to work with clients and to shoot cookbooks, of which she’s had a lot of success with. So we’re gonna talk about all of those things in this podcast today and I think that you will really enjoy it. So lets go ahead and jump in. Ashley welcome to the podcast.

Ashley McLaughlin: Thank you so much for having me, I’m really excited.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah excited to be talking to you today. So one of the things that I do with these interview is I always take some time to obviously go through and gather some facts and some questions that I can ask. And I have a long list here for you so I’m excited to jump into these, but one of the places that I love to start is at the beginning or at least the beginning of this part of your story. You have an interesting story in that your adventure into food and eventually photography started out with buildings.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Or maybe its not as simple as buildings, but architecture.

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. (laughs) Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: So can you take us back there and talk a little bit about kind of the origin story of you starting out in architecture? Why did you start out in architecture? What was it that fascinated you about that, and how did it eventually lead to this interest in food?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, it’s a crazy story. So I would it probably started in sixth or seventh grade for some reason I was really interested in architecture and said that I wanted to do that. I also for some reason was fascinated with baking, and said I wanted to be a part time baker. So it’s funny how that, not that I’m a baker, but it’s evolved into food things. I remember being interested in … My grandma would send me … Or get me a subscriptions to Architectural Digest when most other people my age were reading teen magazines and such. Not to say I wasn’t also doing that but I was-

Bjork Ostrom: But as well as reading architectural magazines which is pretty rare.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, architectural magazines. I actually went into undergrad undecided just to kind of see what different options and see what I really wanted to do. And it ended up that I did want to go into architecture and I went to Ohio State for my undergrad. So just went through a rigorous four years of tons of studio and models and designing buildings and just all sorts of-

Bjork Ostrom: I remember I lived on the same floor with some people that were architecture majors, and it’s so intense. I don’t know if that’s just a universal architecture-

Ashley McLaughlin: It is.

Bjork Ostrom: -schooling. The fact that they would have to stay up until like 5 a.m. before this project was due. I remember just thinking, this is a super intense major. So is that …

Bjork Ostrom: Apparently it’s kind of a universal thing. Is that true?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah it really is, it can be a really taxing major. When you stay up till 5 a.m. that is no joke. And before your most important reviews … They’re called reviews, and where you pin up your work and you’re up there alone presenting with your model and your ideas behind you to students and your professors. And you’re running on zero sleep.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Ashley McLaughlin: For multiple days.

Bjork Ostrom: So terrible. Yeah.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Just curious-

Ashley McLaughlin: You get torn to shreds, they rip your model apart.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, how bad it is. What you spent the last 72 hours straight working on. I’m curious with that – and this is a little bit of a tangent but I’d be curious to know – When you’re in the middle of that do you find yourself at that point where you’re thinking “Okay this is more intense than I thought it was. Maybe I’m not as interested as I thought I was.” Or was it still like “This is what I’m super passionate about.” Or did that little sliver of you that was interested in baking start to grow a little bit at this point, and you’re like “Maybe this food thing actually sounds better than staying up 72 hours in a row working on a model.

Ashley McLaughlin: I never really thought I’d have a career in food. I mean that was always just kind of funny, like fun thing that I liked. I feel like when I was in it I never really wavered on “Is there another major for me?” I don’t know it was kind of I was in it once I was in it if that makes sense.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep, absolutely.

Ashley McLaughlin: Obviously there were times when I absolutely hated it, but I don’t think I ever really considered switching majors.

Bjork Ostrom: So you stick it out and you get four years through and you graduate and you have a degree in architecture.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Towards the end of that you did something that kind of tied into that dual passion that you had as a middle school junior high student, the baking and the architecture right? So you have this fascination baking, you have this fascination in architecture that still lived on and your thesis for your architectural undergrad had to do with both of those subjects is that right?

Ashley McLaughlin: Well so it was actually grad school, so after Ohio State I worked for a year in Columbus and then my now husband, we were still dating, we’d been together for a couple of years at that point. We moved to Charlotte, North Carolina because I got a really great opportunity for grad school down there at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. So I got an assistantship, we were deciding between Charlotte or Denver at the time and the decision was easily made because I got this position that basically was free grad school or we would go to Colorado and go into debt having to pay for grad school.

Bjork Ostrom: Eh, we’ll take the free option.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes exactly, and it ended up being so awesome and we’re glad we spent a couple years down there and it was really a great experience. So it was kind of when I was there that the food interests started to peak more in my final year. So it was two years of school.

Bjork Ostrom: With that experience what was it that started to peak the interest. Just happenstance started to become more interested in restaurants, or a certain person that you were following online, or was it watching Food Network? Like what was it specifically that peaked your interest?

Ashley McLaughlin: Well I started to get really … So I had two professors in particular that were extremely kind of like think outside the box. It was a very artistic architectural school, not as much on like the more technical engineering side I would say. They were always looking for people to go in a different direction than just architecture. So once we kinda started talking about food they were all about bringing in the connections. I really started to get into the slow food movement, you know reading Micheal Pollans books. I feel like that’s when all of that started to get more noticed which was probably, what was that like 10 years ago now or something. Gosh I can’t believe that.

Bjork Ostrom: Time, it’s so weird. And for those that aren’t familiar, I’m guessing most people are being that it’s a Food Blogger Pro podcast, but the Slow Food Movement. Can you explain a little bit about what that is?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. So it’s basically kind of farm to table … Well that’s one aspect of it, and just enjoying your food more, the process of cooking, slowing down life, really taking things in for what they are and trying to get away from all the hustle and bustle of…

Bjork Ostrom: What’s the opposite of eating chicken mcnuggets in your car on your way to a meeting that you’re late for?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes its like the dinner that lasts three hours and came from your backyard.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes got it. At this point you’re in grad school you’re still pursuing a career in architecture?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: But then you have this new passion that’s rising up alongside of it.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yep.

Bjork Ostrom: So you combine those two into writing a thesis about food and architecture?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: I’m so curious to know what that is. Like how does that come together, and what does that look like?

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. Okay. Everyone is … And I love that people generally are like, “How could you make those two correlate?” But there are more correlations than you would think. I mean one big one is … Creating a building is like creating recipe. Obviously two different extent or different way of going about it. It’s kinda of you need things to work in specific ways for an outcome that is successful. So that’s kind of one aspect. But the one I really focus on which is when I was getting into the Slow Food and Micheal Pollans readings and being more conscious about where food comes from.

So I started to tie in the industrialization aspects of both food and architecture. So with architecture building materials were starting to go the cheaper route. It was all about quantity and less about quality. Well the same things were happening with food, and in the food world and everything was about convenience, and all of those fresh farm grown foods were going away and it was just more of the packaged processed stuff that was new and exciting. Everything was cheaper and it tasted really good, and kind of the same thing with architecture. It was like, “Wow this is really easy, it just snaps together basically.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Normally I think when people think of the industrial revolution they would think of manufacturing of hard goods. But it’s also interesting to think about it, obviously with architecture, and then also food. That’s something that I never thought of. So in this thesis you’re drawing these two passions together, food and architecture, and saying “Hey look at this time period. There’s actually a lot of similarities in these two very different industries.” Is that the general idea?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Interesting.

Ashley McLaughlin: I mentioned how my professors were really lenient with their … With the thesis approach, and you didn’t even have to design an actual building. Which I decided I didn’t want a building, I designed an experience.

Bjork Ostrom: What was the experience that you designed?

Ashley McLaughlin: Actually, I picked my site location as the highline in New York City, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that?

Bjork Ostrom: The highline meaning …

Ashley McLaughlin: The railroad that was constructed and it’s been renovated … It was vacated I think in … I forget when the last trains ran on it, but it’s one level up from the city.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh sure.

Ashley McLaughlin: And now they have totally renovated it as like a whole garden path experience. It’s just crazy.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah I’m pulling up pictures it’s super.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, and you should look at when it wasn’t in use and it just had overgrown grasses and trees and all this stuff that had started to overtake it. It’s really beautiful.

Bjork Ostrom: Huh.

Ashley McLaughlin: So I can’t remember how that site got chosen, but it was when it was under construction. And so I made a couple trips to New York just to check it out and take a ton of photos so I could start modeling it and working on my presentation and everything. So the experience was basically to create a path that led you through this experience to teach you about food but through architecture, through design. So while you’re going through this path there would be different food elements along the way and things that you could build a salad or smoothie as you’re moving through and find your way through this path and-

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah so it’s a educational experience as well as a food experience. So it’s teaching people about this idea of Slow Food and it’s a little bit of … It’s a little meta because the process of doing that is also a slow intentional process of going through it and taking your time.

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool. So is it at this point that you’re like, “Actually this food thing is really interesting to me.” Or did that still take awhile for you to develop that and start to understand your deep interest in that?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah it really did because I still never thought, “Oh I’m gonna have a career in food.” or anything related. I was just I loved that topic and I just expected it to sort of vanish when my architecture career started. So I graduated and worked in Charlotte for a year at an architecture firm. And that’s when the economy took a nose dive.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative) So this is 2008-ish time period.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes. Exactly. So my husband, he’s in civil engineering and he was laid off in Charlotte and there were layoffs at our company as well and I luckily still had a job. But just was not super excited about what I was doing. Which I mean I was grateful to have a job but we still felt pretty young at the time and we had wanted to live in Colorado. So we just decided let’s move out there. So that was the next step.

Bjork Ostrom: So you pack up your bags and say, “Hey we’re gonna go to Colorado.” And you leave your job. Did you know what you were going to. Other than a state that you love which I love as well, love Colorado.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: And I can see where the drive would be. Did you have something in terms of jobs or career that you knew you were going to go to or did you say, “Hey we’re gonna make this move, we know that we’re gonna love this place that’s really important for us and we’re gonna have to build around that.”?

Ashley McLaughlin: Exactly, yeah. We really didn’t have anything lined up. We knew that we could live with Chris’s brother and wife for a while and so that kind of helped get us out there. And then we just searched for jobs. I remember … Gosh I don’t even know how many applications I sent out, or my resume to different architecture firms. And I believe I had zero interviews in a year.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative) So this is obviously a hard time to get a job as well 2008–2009. You go through the job application process, and for those of us who have been through it you know that it can be this long drawn out thing, not always super exciting. Did you say, “Hey I need something to be doing on the side here in order to keep me entertained and creative, and to keep the working side of me going while I’m continuing to apply for these jobs.”?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yep, that’s exactly what happened.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And is that when you launched Edible Perspective?

Ashley McLaughlin: It is, yes.

Bjork Ostrom: So that’s 2008-ish time period?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay, great. And when you launched that what was your thinking behind it?

Ashley McLaughlin: Well I forgot one thing that I did in Charlotte. Which I should probably back up and talk about, because it intertwines with the whole food aspect. So I started a granola bar business when I lived in Charlotte after grad school.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I was gonna ask about that.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. So I started a granola bar business because I … There were just no good granola bars on the market at the time. Now there are a zillion. So I just worked really hard on creating these granola bars, and at first I was just making them for family and friends and people were telling me I should start selling them. So I actually got a business license and did everything I needed to do, and I had to actually cook out of our friends condo because we had dogs and in Charlotte you could make food in a home kitchen but you couldn’t have pets, and it had to be inspected and everything. So we had a friend who worked out of town a lot and he was so generous and let me make granola bars in his condo when he wasn’t there.

Bjork Ostrom: Hah, that’s awesome.

Ashley McLaughlin: And I would store like 40 pound bags of oats in his closet. (laughs) It was pretty crazy.

Bjork Ostrom: True friend.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah totally. So I sold them once week at farmers markets in Charlotte and I’d be up packaging them and labeling them until 3 a.m. the night before the market, it was pretty wild.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about what you learned selling physical food product? Because I think that’s there’s probably a decent number of people that are either doing that right now, or interested in doing it. And I would assume much like many professions, that’s it’s very different than what you would think it would be when you get into it.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. I mean I did everything … I would say I did everything backwards. It’s not like I had a business plan and set it all up. It was kind of like oh I’ll start selling these, and then I kind of…

Bjork Ostrom: And then as you get into it you look back and say okay how am I going to make this as a business.

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. Yeah it was not … It’s hard, to make money, you’re by yourself. Even just granola bars is a lot of labor and getting ready for one day at the farmers market which is like four or five hours was so hard. I remember ordering all the plastic bags, and I had a heat sealer so I could seal them, and I had to design labels. I did everything by myself, and it’s tough for sure.

Bjork Ostrom: As you were doing it did you get into it and say, “Actually this is something that I think is too difficult to do.” Or did you get into and realize actually this is something that I don’t actually enjoy the process of? So the beginning stage makes sense, what did it look like in the winding it down stage, and why did you decide to do that?

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. It wound down because of our move to Colorado, but I probably would’ve kept it going and I was pretty gung-ho about it. I don’t know what the longevity of it would’ve been if I you know staying in Charlotte or if I maybe would’ve gotten a small space. Who knows if I stayed in Charlotte maybe I would’ve opened some little bakery or something like that. When we moved to Colorado you had to actually rent commercial kitchen space. And that was just not gonna happen at the time with not having jobs and whatnot.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Ashley McLaughlin: So I just let that go and it felt right, and it was fun while it lasted. I had the actual business for probably six or eight months and ended up breaking even at the end so I call that a success.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, absolutely. And a huge learning opportunity.

Ashley McLaughlin: Totally.

Bjork Ostrom: You now have an awareness and insight into business area that not many people do.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: So you have these experiences, both in architecture and food and those lead up to this moment where you make the move and it’s in 2008-ish time period. Not a great time to jump back into the job market. Architecture especially was that hit hard in that- the dip. It seems like that’s, I don’t know a ton about the industry but it seems like that reflects with friends and just in general the industry trend that architecture, it would have been an area where there would have been a lot of cuts.

Ashley McLaughlin: Oh for sure.

Bjork Ostrom: So I can imagine that it would be hard to get a job. So you’re there, you’re looking for a job and there’s this time period where you’re like, “God, I gotta stay creative and do things.” Create, whether it’s food or writing and happen to start a blog. So what did that look like in terms of making that decision, and did you know from the start that it was something that you wanted to really invest in and build a business around? Or was it more of the hobby side of things where you said, “I just wanna do something fun and creative as I’m looking for another job.”?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah it was definitely more the hobby aspect. And I even at the time the name Edible Perspective I was still trying to merge architecture and food with perspective of more in the architecture realm and edible obviously food. So that’s where that name came from and it was … It’s not like I started it I wasn’t talking about architecture or … I was talking about my day, back then it was like a journal. I was blogging what I ate in a day and all of that fun stuff.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting to look back at that. I was a relatively common thing to do, where you would say … And you get engagement and people following along saying here’s what I’m making and here’s what I had today and it was …

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. So starting it as a hobby, a way to stay creative. Was there a point where you said, “You know what, I think I’m actually kind of interested in investing more into this.”? Whether that be time, energy and was there a point where you said, “I think it makes more sense for me to go this route versus trying to find another job.”?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. Like I said I applied for a ton of architecture jobs and really I was getting no bites and my husband, he also couldn’t find work too much in civil engineering. Same sort of thing, development just had halted at that time. So I was working some part time jobs and definitely hadn’t given up on architecture at all. I was still hoping that that was gonna turn into a career for me. But I was definitely blogging full time, even though I wasn’t at the time definitely not making anything right away. And probably two or three years before we moved my husband bought, I call it the fancy camera. So he bought a DSLR, like a basic Canon DSLR. When he bought I was just like, “How much did that cost? And you bought how many lenses? Okay.”

Bjork Ostrom: For him he was just interested in photography, like just the idea of having a nice camera?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, exactly he was really trying to get into photography and I was like, “Okay, whatever.” And I’m like, “I am not using that thing, there are too many buttons on it. Not happening.” And he’s trying to show me some things, I’m like ,“Okay, whatever.” So we get to Colorado and I was like, “Where’s that camera? Let me see what that’s about.” Because I was actually starting to get really interested in food photography, just from looking at some different blogs at the time. And I remember Heidi 101 Cookbooks, I really enjoyed her blog and photos at the time. I was like, “Maybe I can start taking photos of food that look better than flash photography with a pocket.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah point and shoot.

Ashley McLaughlin: Little digital camera, yeah point and shoot there you go.

Bjork Ostrom: Which is so funny to think about how common those were. Like when people didn’t have camera on their phone then you’d have a point and shoot. You’d just carry that around with you.

Ashley McLaughlin: Oh, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: So you get this camera and you start to get a little bit interested in it and that ties into your blog a little bit. And you start to invest more of your time and energy into the photography side. Can you talk a little bit about what that was like, and how you went about the process of improving your photography when you were in those beginning stages?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. So I definitely had some guidance from friends, and Chris knew a little bit about the camera so he gave me some basic tutorials and he taught me a little bit about light room. So I got the basics down a little bit. Then just I was taking photos all the time, because like I said I was taking photos of meals that I was eating throughout the day. So I was just starting to play with natural light and just learning how to use the camera. So I would say some things that helped early on was putting the camera on manual mode even though it was extremely confusing and hard at first. It really taught me how to use the camera and how the functions worked together to give you a photo that’s properly exposed and with the right amount of bokeh in the background and all of that.

Bjork Ostrom: So, lets pause on that real quick because I think there’s probably some people that are listening that are familiar with manual, but they’re maybe a little bit intimidated by it. So can you give some encouragement to those people, and maybe some high level advice as to how somebody that’s wants to get a little bit more control of their photos can move into manual mode and why that’s important?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, so it just gives you the most flexibility and it does seem scary but I swear that it’s easier. It ends up being easier, and just if you flip in manual and you start playing around and your photo is too dark you start to figure out what you need to do to make it brighter. So I focus on the exposure meter on the camera. And you aim-

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative) And for those that aren’t familiar can you explain what that is?

Ashley McLaughlin: Sure, yeah. It’s just this little meter on the camera and reads on your display screen. And there’s a notch, well there’s a bunch of notches on the meter but there’s a zero point basically that should be properly exposed. So if the notch is below the center line you’ll have an underexposed photo to some extent. There may be a reason that you want it a little underexposed or looking darker, but for the majority you want it in the center. So if it’s above the center it might be overexposed. Which means it’s harsh, or the lighting could be really bright in one area and you want it to be that perfect in-between.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah, and that was … I am remotely interested in photography. I know what to do if … I take maybe 2% of the photos that Lindsay would in a typical day or week or year. But that was one of the things that even for having been interested in photography for a while, it took me awhile to realize, “Oh, there’s this little meter thing that I can see.” In general am I close to having the photo be correctly exposed? And so for those that aren’t familiar, if you have the DSLR, like you said it’s a bunch of those little lines and then there’s one that tracks alongside of it. And the idea is that its like a teeter totter, but it doesn’t move like a teeter totter. But the idea being that you wanted to get it like perfectly in balance. You want to get it to the middle.

So you were saying, if you haven’t switched to manual, switch to manual and use that as a starting point as a way to get your photo correctly exposed. Obviously there’s a lot of things that go into it with the shutter speed and ISO and aperture and all that stuff.

Ashley McLaughlin: See you know more than you think.

Bjork Ostrom: Well, I can say the terms that’s …

Ashley McLaughlin: (laughs)

Bjork Ostrom: The important thing is just saying the buzz word and then people will be like okay, yeah. So other advice that you have for people that are in the beginning stages, maybe they just got a DSLR, they haven’t switched it into manual mode yet. What are some other things that people could do to start to gain a little bit of confidence as they move forward with taking photos, especially in the beginning stages?

Ashley McLaughlin: So I would say if your too nervous to throw it into manual mode, aperture mode is the best place to start.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay.

Ashley McLaughlin: And use natural light, don’t use the flash on your camera. Find a window in your house, or a well light room and just start playing around. Set up a little table that’s at window height. If you shoot below window height it could throw a pretty big shadow. It might not have the best lighting so try at least-

Bjork Ostrom: And by that you mean don’t put it too low below a window or a-

Ashley McLaughlin: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Got it.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah or if you have sliding glass doors, that’s a great option.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay, and for those that aren’t familiar with aperture mode or aperture priority mode, can you explain the high level idea of what that is?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes. So that is just you basically are changing the aperture on your camera. Which is the amount of the photo that’s in focus. And so that is what you can play with on the camera. And then the camera is adjusting the shutter speed to properly expose the photo. Oh, it gets so confusing so fast. Did that make any sense?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, no that … It’s hard to do in a podcast.

Ashley McLaughlin: (laughs) I’m like using my hands right now.

Bjork Ostrom: This is the ultimate podcast challenge, is like explaining super technical things on a podcast interview. But idea being like you said, so there’s all of these different things you can change when you shoot. There’s ISO like we said, there’s shutter speed, there’s the aperture. But there’s also settings on cameras where you can just pick, hey I don’t want to change everything, which is what manual mode would be. But you can say I just want to change one of these things. And what you’re saying is that aperture priority mode is a good place to start with that. Where you change how much of it is in focus, and that’s the term that you used before was bokeh. Which is one of my favorite words, but the idea of how much of it is blurry in the background essentially, is that right?

Ashley McLaughlin: Right, exactly. Yep.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So if you’re a little bit intimidated by manual mode start out with aperture priority mode. It’ll probably be that “A” on your camera, that dial or switch on your DSLR. But from what I hear you saying, as quickly as possible try and move into that manual mode. Because that’s really where you have a lot of that flexibility and control over the look and feel of your photos.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. Exactly

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So one of the things I’m curious about is the type of camera that you use. I think that people always like to talk about gear because it a fun thing to talk about. So what type of camera do you do you shoot with right now?

Ashley McLaughlin: I shoot with a Canon, and it’s the 5D Mark III.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay.

Ashley McLaughlin: And yeah that’s it.

Bjork Ostrom: And what was your camera story? Have you always shot with Canon?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: And what were the ones that you used before that.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, that’s a great question because I did start out with a very basic DSLR entry level. And then as soon as you start to really dive in you start to realize, “Okay I need a little more capability with my ISO.”

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Ashley McLaughlin: Which allows you to shoot in lower lit conditions.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Ashley McLaughlin: When you get the higher quality camera it really helps smooth out the image quality. But I used that entry level for years, and then I moved up to the Canon 7D, and then the Mark III was exactly two years ago. Right before I shot Angela Liddons second cookbook from Oh She Glows.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and I’m super excited to talk to you about some of those cookbooks. It’ll be a good next chunk to talk about because I know that … I was looking through some of them and the photography is just so awesome with those and obviously a huge accomplishment.

Ashley McLaughlin: Thank you.

Bjork Ostrom: So one of the questions that I have with camera bodies, I always hear people talk about this idea of hey it’s more of the lens that matters than the camera body. But you made a really interesting point and said, “Actually there are some things that are important with the camera body.” Can you explain the idea of being able to … Like a more expensive camera body probably will allow you to take photos in lower light, and why that’s better. And also you talked about this idea of smoothing out the photo. Just general better photo quality. So is that something that you noticed as you bumped up the quality of your camera bodies?

Ashley McLaughlin: Oh for sure. So really to me it is the ISO is the major noticeable thing. You can do really great video with the camera I have, I don’t do video so that’s not something I notice. But it has a better image quality just in general as you bump up in the camera levels. But the capability of the ISO is just tenfold from the camera I started out with. So for instance, on that camera you might have … The one I started out with, the basic Canon DSLR, I maybe had six ISO options maybe eight. But if you go over ISO 800 you start to really get a lot of noise in the background which just looks like little granular bits that’s just not soft looking. It just gives a little grit.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Almost pixelized a little bit. Pixelized is maybe a little bit too strong but noisy.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. Which I mean sometimes is cool.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure

Ashley McLaughlin: But a lot of times its not. So yeah bumped up to the 7D and there were quite a few more ISO options and then … So okay, I just remembered the big difference between the 7D and the 5D and why I kinda made that jump. Is because the 5D is a full frame camera.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Ashley McLaughlin: And this is getting into the nerdy technical-

Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s good for people to understand the reasoning behind it. So can you explain what that means.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, so there’s this thing called crop factor. And I really don’t know why it exists or why it isn’t full frame on, I don’t want to say cheaper, less expensive cameras. So basically you have a lens and it has a certain capability as far as how much you can get in the frame.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. Yep.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. On the more beginning level cameras there’s a crop factor. It might be 1.6 or 1.4 I can’t remember exactly, they can vary. So you put the lens on, say you have a 50mm and you put it on a camera that’s not a full frame. So it might take it down to … Or yeah it might make it more like a 85mm so there’s less frame there if that makes sense.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. And I know exactly what you mean where it’s the technical side of why does this happen, it’s like….get into the weeds of the technicalities of it. But the basic idea being, I think how it works is lets say you had a lower end Canon, like maybe a Canon Rebel something.

Ashley McLaughlin: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Then the sensor, literally the thing that picks up on the photos is smaller. I think that’s how it works, and then, whatever technical reason behind that, what happens is that if you put a lens like a 100mm or a 50mm lens on, there is some type of magnification that happens because of that sensor. And what you’re saying is with these full frame sensors its the actual distance of the lens that you’re putting it on. Which the distance is, they take that from actual film camera DSLRs I think.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: So you’re saying if you put a 50mm on now for your Canon 5D Mark III it’s actually gonna be 50mm. As opposed to 85 or whatever it would be to be zoomed in. Which I would assume with food photography is kind of nice because a lot of times your gonna be working with 35 or 50 or 100mm lenses and if those are then zoomed up a lot more, than that quickly becomes difficult to work with because it’s not like you’re standing back shooting a model. Like your model is macaroni and cheese, so you’re gonna be relatively close to it. So is that the reason why you were excited to do to a full frame, is because you didn’t have to deal with a crop sensor? As well as the general quality?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah. So definitely the crop factor being a full frame camera just giving you that true lens, because the lenses do cost a lot. So it’s like letting you use it for what it’s purpose is. And then also the ISO capabilities, so with the Mark III I don’t even know how many choices for ISO…there are a lot. So when you do get the higher quality camera the ISO improves. So say on that level XTI or whatever I had starting out, I could only go to ISO 800 before you start to notice noise. On this Mark III I can go to ISO 3200 before you start to see noise. And when you raise your ISO a lot higher it brightens your photo, and so that allows you to shoot in lower lit conditions. So that’s the benefit of being able to really crank up your ISO if you need it.

Bjork Ostrom: And do you say ISO or ISO?

Ashley McLaughlin: I say ISO.

Bjork Ostrom: ISO.

Ashley McLaughlin: But I guess I don’t know, you said ISO and I’m like…

Bjork Ostrom: And I want to call myself out on that, because it’s ISO and then I was like but that’s not right. But it’s just this old habit that I have which is the unbuzz word of what I was saying before is like me discrediting myself by saying ISO. So that was really kind of you to not do the subtle correct of like if you say somebody’s name wrong and then they repeated it back to you the right way. So you could have done that and you didn’t so.

Ashley McLaughlin: So ISO.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah exactly, so I appreciate that. That’s very kind of you. ISO not ISO. Lindsay I would say at least once every few months have to remind me about that and she’s like, “It’s ISO.” And I was like, “Ah shoot, you’re right.” It’s a Bjork-ism.

Ashley McLaughlin: It’s a lot easier to say too than ISO.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah for sure, for sure.

Ashley McLaughlin: I was having fun with it.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay, all right, well good I’m glad that we could do that. So that makes sense. Great. So you’re currently shooting with the 5D, what are your favorite lenses that you use?

Ashley McLaughlin: I would say that the 35mm prime lens rarely comes off my camera.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Ashley McLaughlin: And that is partially due to I shoot overhead a lot and it allows you … That lens lets you not have to be really far above the food to get everything you want in the photo. Where as like the 50mm you have to be quite a bit higher to get the same amount in the frame. So the 35 is great, you have to be a little bit careful with it though because when you’re on the full frame and it is shooting with the full 35mm it’s starting to teeter on the edge of being a wide angle lens. So if you’re not perfectly overhead or shooting straight on you can get some skewing, like distortion.

Bjork Ostrom: Distortion.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, where it will look like not like a fish eye lens, which is kinda the really extreme example of when you put a lens on and it looks like I guess like you’re looking through a fish’s eye. Which I don’t know if anybody knows what that looks like, but really distorted, but it has that potential essentially.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, I mean I can even see it when I’m shooting overhead sometimes and its not perfectly level. And so I have this little bubble level that I actually fit into the top spot of the camera where like, if you have an external flash, that you would clip that in.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh sure.

Ashley McLaughlin: I have this little bubble level that I can’t live without.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh so that’s a little accessory that you attach.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes, and it probably cost like $8.

Bjork Ostrom: Normally where the flash would go, where you hook it in the flash, but it’s just a level so you can make sure that your cameras level when you’re shooting.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yep.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh, that cool. We’ll have to link to that in the show notes after. We won’t get the link from you now but we’ll grab that because I know a lot of people would be curious about that. So 35 usually, and then is that a 1.4 for the-

Ashley McLaughlin: Well that’s 1.4 yeah. That’s a 1.4L so I really … Once I started getting really big projects I stepped it up with the gear. I mean you really have to.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep. And the L essentially I always, I don’t know what it actually stands for but with Canon I always think of a luxury.

Ashley McLaughlin: I don’t either.

Bjork Ostrom: Like it’s the really expensive line of their lenses. So 35mm, 1.4L and then use the 50mm, I’m guessing that’s the 1.4 as well?

Ashley McLaughlin: That’s a 1.2L.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Got it. And can you explain just really quickly, this will be the last in the weeds question, but when we say 1.4 or 1.2 for those that aren’t familiar with what that number means can you explain what that is?

Ashley McLaughlin: Sure. So that’s kind of that aperture number that we talked about before. So that is what it allows you to … It’s like the f-stop, there’re a couple names for it and I don’t know why. So that is the number that it lets you … This is so hard to explain without a diagram (laughs).

Bjork Ostrom: This is an exercise in communication.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes. So that number is what creates the bokeh in the background and how much is in focus in your photo. So as that number lowers less is in focus.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm. So that bokeh or the blur you see, you have more of that?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yep. So when you have a lens that goes that low it just is giving you so many more options to take your photo into whatever direction you want. If you really just want this tiny part of the photo in focus and everything else blurred. So it allows that, but it also as you lower the aperture it also allows more light into your photos … Or your photo to be more lit. So that’s another way to play with if you have lower light and you can really crank that aperture down … Or yeah down.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, down, up whatever it would be.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah I know.

Bjork Ostrom: The idea is you’re opening it up, more light is allowed in. And in general like those-

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, it gets wider but what you see gets smaller.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes. And with lenses usually what happens is that the more expensive a lens will be … The lower that number is, lets say 1.2 or 1.4, the more difficult to make that type of lens in terms of the quality of product and the glass that they have to put into it. And so what will happen is those will be more expensive lenses resulting in better photos almost always. Even if you’re not using that super low aperture number. But it’s just one of those considerations, is that, okay this stuff adds up very quickly in terms of cost and expenses.

So that makes sense, we talk a little bit about the specifics of cameras of photography. We got into the weeds a little bit I think people will get a lot out of that and even if it’s just revisiting some of that information for people that are already familiar with it, I think it’s beneficial. So you’re starting to pickup on photography, getting a better idea of it and … I’m going back to your story now, and at some point there comes a time when you’re like maybe it makes sense for me to actually go into in this direction. That being the blog and photography and food photography versus continuing to try and find a job. In architecture, find a job in architecture. So when did that fork in the path present itself to you, and how did you go about making that decision? And what did that look like?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, so it definitely took awhile. We were in Denver for about a year, and I was blogging and like I said working. I worked at Whole Foods for a while, just working some odd jobs. And then my husband finally got a job in Fort Collins which is about an hour north of Denver. So we ended up moving up there, and still continuing the blog. I think at this time now I have ads running with Food Buzz, people remember Food Buzz back in the day. So I’m starting to make a little bit of money, like I’m paying for groceries basically.

So my husband has a job, so we moved to Fort Collins. Which is a much smaller town than Denver and still in the height of the economic downturn. And I think there were probably four firms for architecture in Fort Collins. So that was like this is probably not gonna happen. So again I just continued to do work here and there, I did samples for one of my friends, food samples at Whole Foods for one of my friends food businesses Love Grown Foods. Just did random things to try and get a little extra income.

But the blog started to pick up a little bit, so I was getting a little bit more money just from … Gosh I think I was at the time blogging every day practically. I guess now it was probably about three years in total after the blog started that I got and email about “Do you want to write a cookbook about gluten free doughnuts?” And I had to enter into the gluten free world when I realized that was better for my digestion and health. So I get this email and it one of those like “What are you kidding me?” Seemed pretty exciting at the time, to do my own photography and all that. So I pursued that and wrote this doughnut with a million different baked gluten free doughnuts. Which probably sounds awful, but I promise that they’re really delicious.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. And so this was a publisher that came to you and said, “Hey we have this idea for this specific niche wondering if you would be interested in developing the recipes as well as doing the photography for it?”

Ashley McLaughlin: Right. Yeah, and it was the best timing. Right when doughnuts were … It was published right when doughnuts were starting to gain a ton of traction.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And what was that process like for you? Was it something that you would do again? Or do you chalk it up as a learning experience that maybe you wouldn’t be interested in doing again?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yes to both. It was a huge learning experience. I had three months to write it and photograph it and create all the recipes, and think there were over 100. Which it is the same basic doughnut but still to have to churn out that many and test them, and eat them and photograph them. So it was quite the process for sure. And I did want to write another cookbook. I have a crazy passion for breakfast and I tried to … Or I did write a proposal and talked to a couple of agents but just nothing ever came from that. So I kinda pushed that to the side. That was a couple years ago, and I’m just focusing more on photography now.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah and at that point, I’m guessing when the cookbook comes through then you make a decision and say, “I’m not gonna pursue the architecture stuff anymore. I’m gonna focus in on this.” Was that a hard decision to make, knowing that you had dedicated all this time to pursing this degree and going through undergraduate and graduate school?

Ashley McLaughlin: That’s a really great question. And I felt mixed emotions about it because I had this amazing education and was I just throwing it away, and where was this gonna go? I had no idea, and I was still so new into the photography aspect. Am I gonna be able to actually make money from this? All of those things were running through my head, but I still really didn’t have other options in architecture. That just wasn’t happening, so I just decided to throw everything I had into trying to make a career out of this. And at that point it was already four plus years into being immersed into the food world and blogging and I figured that if photography and blogging at the time didn’t work out, that I could at least maybe get in with doing social or marketing, or something like that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah you’re still developing skills and abilities that could be used in other capacities, yeah.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, and I realized to that my degrees really both led me to were I was, and especially my grad degree. If I didn’t have that … I don’t know I could just think about so many things that helped shape what I’m doing right now and my eye for photography and how I worked as a architecture student, my design and stuff I can definitely see parallels.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, its one of the things that I love talking about, and when it comes up on the podcast is how seemingly unrelated things in our past can actually have a really big role and impact on where we want to go or where we are. And I think that’s a great example where people wouldn’t normally wouldn’t tie together architecture and photography, especially food photography. But in reality you learn things about structure and design and spatially arranging things, and all of that stuff that impacts the photography side of things. So you go through this super intense process of publishing this cookbook. And do 100 different recipes and photographs in three months. At that point are you completely burnt out on the photography side of things or do you say, “Actually this is something that is was interested in doing, and I want to pursue more.”

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, I really started to get into the photography at that point. I have to make a joke about that … In that time period was when I stopped tilting my camera to take these weird angled shots. I don’t know if you guys remember those.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Like not centered

Ashley McLaughlin: So holding your camera and literally tilting it to the side to take this angled and camera angled shot of food. Yeah, really great stuff. So I was definitely into photography at that point and really wanted to keep pursing it and see if I could make some sort of career out of it.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure, and so what did that look like? How did you go about making that decision? Obviously you had made that decision, but how did you move forward with that?

Ashley McLaughlin: Very slowly, and I say it now, it sounds like I was super confident and probably had a plan but I didn’t. Again going back to my granola bar business, I do everything backwards. I am not the business type person. So after the book happened a food company reached out to me and they were like, “Hey we really like your photos. We were wondering if you could take product photos and some lifestyle product shots of our bars.” It’s funny it happened to be a bar company. So it started with that and I started to get little jobs from food companies.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So it starts out and you … Like you said, back into it intentionally knowing that you want to do it but also not necessarily moving into it saying this is for sure, I know the exact plan that I’m gonna go about and implement with this. So how do you … What does that look like in terms of building that out as you go. Obviously you run into things like how much do I charge? And what do I send a contract out? How did you go about figuring that stuff out and any advice for people that are also interested in doing that?

Ashley McLaughlin: Oh my gosh. It just makes me laugh because I had no idea what I was doing. As of about a year and a half ago I finally have a legit contract that I send to clients. I mean it’s so hard and you … I’m at first barely making money and not making a lot so the thought of hiring a lawyer to make a contract. And it’s all so overwhelming, and I tend to get paralyzed by those big things like that and just want to focus on the work. But eventually you do have to get to them.

So when I started, you really don’t know how much to charge and I didn’t really even know where to start but I just tried to ask some friends who were photographers. Even people who did people photography, which I also ended up getting into at the time to help bring in more income because food at the time wasn’t enough. So I was definitely spreading myself thin which I don’t recommend doing and trying to come up with reasonable rates but something that would make me look like a professional. So it’s definitely tricky and I still … Every time a project comes in I’m still talking to friends, trying to ask opinions and see, well I charge this much for this job and it’s hard.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and maybe if nothing else it’s a good reminder is that there’s never the point were you’re like, “Okay, I have it all figured out.” Nobody has all that stuff figured out. Same thing for us, it’s like we’re always trying to revise and think about if … Sponsored content is an example. Are we charging the right amount? Should we charge more? Should we charge less? What does that look like? But I think the point that you made about finding that circle of friends where you can ask those questions. Or maybe it’s some type of group online where you can feel comfortable asking. I think is a really great idea because it’s people that get it, and then people that you’ll be able to bounce ideas off of and get a better understanding of where you’re landing.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: So one of the things I want to get to … We’re coming to the end, but I want to hear about … You’re getting into some of these freelance projects you’re shooting for companies and then eventually there’s this opportunity to shoot a cookbook for somebody else. And I want to hear what that was like, and just talk about that experience a little bit because that’s such an awesome accomplishment, and such a big deal.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah it was a dream, to say the least, of mine. It was always something that was like wow I wish I … You know when I was starting out I would love to photograph cookbooks. I seriously never thought it would become a reality. I actually helped a friend photograph her cookbooks; Peas and Thank You. My friend Sarah had a blog back in the day and she came out with two cookbooks. So that started it actually years back.

Then I did do work for food companies and the freelance was picking up, and then just a couple years ago … Which I cannot believe it was even probably two and a half years ago now. Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows, a very popular vegan blog, she emailed me. We had been good friends, we started blogging at the same time, she had a granola bar business when I did so we had a lot of fun connections and had always stayed in touch. And she emailed me and said that she was looking for a photographer for her next cookbook and that she didn’t want to take that on. She wanted to focus on the recipes, and I’m pretty sure I fell out of my chair and couldn’t talk for a day. (laughs)

Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome, and what was that experience like? I’m just curious to know shooting that … Curious to know what that was like.

Ashley McLaughlin: Awesome and bonkers, it was so crazy. I don’t know if you’ve ever followed on Instagram or someone who’s doing cookbook shoot, a lot of times it’s like this onset. So in location, and it’s a 10 day thing and the just bust it out and there’s a ton of people helping. So I’ve been shooting all the cook books at my house, basically by myself. So I am making all of the recipes and shooting them. And Angela had, there were well over 100 photos. I want to say around 120 or 30, so it was chaos. So amazing though, I loved it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and I think that’s one of the things that we learn as we talk to more people that have done cookbooks. We’ve never done one, but just how common it is for that to be such a chaotic, stressful, intense time. And it seems like whether it’s the photography or the recipes or the writing, it’s pretty extreme in terms of work, and the amount of work, and deadline and pressure and all of that stuff. But also fun, like you said, which is great.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, and it was a different level of pressure because you’re not just taking these photos for your blog, or even for another company, it was different. It was like you’re taking them for this person who has a … It’s like their cookbook, their baby and you’re taking the photos. (laughs)

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Ashley McLaughlin: So it was a lot of pressure.

Bjork Ostrom: Well that’s so awesome, and I think that’s a good note to end on. Obviously a really career height and something really cool. So we’ll be sure to link to that in the show notes as well. It’s even fun just on Amazon you can see the previews. So looking through that and checking out some of those photos was great. So last question actually, I love to end with a question like this. If you were to give advice to somebody that is just getting started out and wants to improve their photography, you talked about switching into manual mode, but what would be one other piece of advice that you would give to somebody who’s in that beginning stage of starting to learn about photography?

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah, I would just say to practice as much as you can. Which sounds lame but it’s so true. Even if you’re just using … You don’t have to cook an elaborate meal, you can just use produce from the grocery store. If you’re into natural light that’s the easy and not easy because it is temperamental. But you don’t have to worry about setting up a bunch of lighting. So find a window, if the lights too harsh throw up a white sheet to make it a little bit softer. Get a little table you can work with. You don’t have to spend a lot, especially at first. Just start playing, and take a couple photos, bring them up on your computer, see what you like, you didn’t like. And then take more photos and do the same thing. And if you have any friends who are photographers or food photographers, send the photos to your friends and ask for their thoughts, and go from there I guess.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s awesome. And it’s time, and intentional effort and experimentation. And I think that’s such a good reminder of, sometimes there’s not a lot of tricks to the trade. Its just setting up shop and doing it and spending time with it and not trying to rush through it. So I think that’s a really good reminder.

Ashley McLaughlin: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Ashley, super fun to have you on the podcast today. Thanks so much for coming on and we shared a lot of stuff in here. One of the things we didn’t talk about, you have this great page on your blog all about food photography tips and advice. So we’ll be sure to link to that as well, but thanks so much for coming on, really appreciate it.

Ashley McLaughlin: Awesome. Yeah, thank you so much this was a blast.

Bjork Ostrom: Thanks. (music) All right, that’s a wrap for this episode. Thank you for tuning in, really appreciate you and the time that you give us. Hopefully you get a lot out of it as well. I know that each interview that I do I learn something and I hope the same is true for you as you listen to them. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this podcast, I’d really encourage you to do that. You can do it by going to your podcast app of choice if you’re on your phone. If you’re on your iPhone it’s just called podcasts, it’s the purple app. If you’re on an Android phone you can use the google play app and that is the best way to listen to podcasts because then you can take it on the go. So I’d really encourage you to check that out if you haven’t yet and download the latest podcast episodes automatically, super slick. That’s all from St. Paul, Minnesota. Make it a great week, thanks guys.

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