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Beth Kirby is the creator behind the lifestyle and recipe blog, Local Milk. Her writings span from motherhood to travel, with a theme of living slower and savoring the moment. She focuses on "finding the sacred in the mundane and the beauty in daily life", which is something we could all use more of! Beth has an eye for capturing beautiful moments on camera and brings her blog posts to life with her descriptive words and honest musings. We're thrilled to feature her and hear more of her story! Read on to find out her photography + editing tips, advice for curating a lovely 'gram, and more.
Hi Beth! Please give us a history of yourself and your background.
I was a passionate cook & writer that had never touched a camera, but I decided I wanted to be a professional blogger & cookbook author, so I jumped in with both feet and taught myself photography, styling, and editing. I soon fell in love with visual storytelling and launched my brand, Local Milk, a food, travel, & lifestyle website & event company. I'm now writing my first cookbook and launching a podcast & e-course this year that will teach other creatives how to build their dream life too!
When and why did you decide to start @local_milk? How has it evolved from when you first started?
I decided to start when I was 28. I'd just dropped out of college for the umpteenth time. I was newly divorced, and just finally crawling out of the hole of depression that had put me in. I got healthy, and I needed a new direction for my life. So I looked to blogging, and I found not just my calling but my community there!
Your blog and brand emphasize the art of "slow living". How do you define "slow living" and how do you incorporate this mantra into your daily life?
I define "slow living" as the time it takes to do anything well — whether that's your marriage, parenting, building a business, taking care of yourself, or experiencing life to the fullest. For me, it means a lot of saying no so I can say a very few, very important BIG yeses. I think a lot of people think slow living is all cups of tea, knitting, and baking bread from scratch. It can be that. But it can also be travelling the world and being an entrepreneur. So long as you're guarding your time for the important things to you, that's slow living to me. Not getting caught in the hustle and the world's expectations is slow living. Refusing to be busy, exhausted, and overwhelmed is slow living.
Describe your "day in the life." How do you start your day every day?
I make my bed! Okay, like 90% of the time anyway. I have a whole morning routine that I sometimes do bits and pieces of, and sometimes in its entirety. I try to meditate, do a few sun salutations, journal, have my detox elixir, have breakfast, tidy up (myself and my home!), and then get to work!
Your photos are impeccable! Describe your photography style, your top photography and editing tips, and how you create content and curate your Instagram and blog "look"?
- Photography style: I'd describe my style as wabi-sabi, light-driven images that celebrate the beauty of the mundane & perfect imperfections. All with a dash of modern romance.
- Photography and editing tips: Use a real camera (I'm so not an iPhone only girl! I love my DSLR!) with a fast lens, only shoot in natural light, and make sure all the lines in your photos are straight that should be straight! I edit in Adobe Lightroom and try to keep the light temperature consistent using the temperature and tint dials. I love cool images with a pop of clarity! Learn to use the radial mask and brush tools! They are great.
- Content creation and curation for Instagram and blog: I followed my eye and developed my visual voice over time by simply paying attention to what felt like "me". It's a lot like fashion. You can love a dress on someone else, but somehow it doesn't feel like "you". Editing and photography are similar. I love lots of different styles, but mine feels right. And it's always changing! That's creativity! So the answer is just studying lots of images, creating lots of images, and using trial and error until I came to find my style (that's always changing!)
We love all of your content on Instagram! What are your top 3 tips when it comes to posting on IG?
- Be visually consistent both in color palette, light temperature, and quality of image. That's what makes a feed look pleasing and creates brand recognition.
- Only post your best work. Instagram is a place for the cover shot. Use Instagram stories for behind the scenes and less attractive shots!
- Be social...it's social media! And to grow organically, you need to interact!
Your blog touches on a variety of topics including motherhood, lifestyle, recipes, travel and more. What is your favorite thing to write about and what are your top favorite recipes?
Such a tough question! Some of my favorite things I've written lately have been my Travel Guide to Paris (complete with a map you can use on your phone that has all the best Instagram spots in the city on it!) or my guide for parents for traveling with a baby under one (our daughter Eulalie has been to 10 countries before her first birthday!). My favorite recipes include a simple Lemony Kale Salad with Charred Tempeh, a Golden Coconut Cauliflower Soup, and my Rainbow Bowl with Slow Roasted Miso Salmon. I could so eat that last one right now!