How many 17-year olds do you know that have more than 50,000 Instagram followers? Followings of that size are usually reserved for rock stars – and in the world of food bloggers, Zainab Alasadi is exactly that.
Zainab first began blogging when she was just 13, “I’ve just always wanted to share my experience with others hoping to inspire them just like they’ve inspired me as well as keeping myself busy during the weekends and of course, spreading the love for baking”.
Showing baking and photography skills that are the envy of bloggers twice– no, five time times her age, this Sydneysider and self-confessed peanut butter addict started baking when she was “tiny”. As you can see, a splash of practice mixed with a tonne of natural talent makes for some incredible culinary creations!
Thankfully Zainab had time in her busy schedule to share some of her story and insights with us.
Being such an active and creative baker do you have a favourite dessert you like to make?
Ooh, I get asked this a lot and it’s super hard to choose! I am a huge cake person and I love anything that has cake in it but when preparing any sweet treats, I love making pastry. I find the process of creating any type of pastry so therapeutic and calming, call me crazy all you want considering that most people find pastry super stressful!
You also used to be a vegan. Tell us about that.
I still am vegan, whenever I can be; I’m a part-time vegan! Yay! Being a vegan was most probably the best thing I’ve done for my health. I think that veganism helps with eliminating all the junk that we eat, which is mostly processed and packaged foods. It’s also influenced me in creating whole, nutritious foods and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Do you have any advice for young people who would like to do what you’re doing?
When I started blogging, I would often come across people who would ask “but you’re not getting anything out of blogging?!” Yes, sometimes that’s true. Some new bloggers often start up their blog just for revenue, and that shouldn’t be the case. Start up your blog purely for the passion you have in that particular field, learn, grow, ask heaps of questions, practice and interact with your audience and other bloggers. It will definitely be hard to gain exposure at first but if you keep doing what you’re doing, put time and effort into your work and there will be no doubt that people will come running your way.
With regards to your photography, your photo shoots are very professional. Do you have a favourite setup?
First of all, thank you, I’m glad you think so! My style of photography is constantly changing and you can most probably see that throughout my work. I do, however always shoot from the same location, near a North-facing window, which has been diffused with a thin white cloth. The cloth helps with softening out the light and diminishing any hard shadows and lines. That’s my basic set-up, which is used through all my photos (except for outdoor photos) Reflectors, diffusers and different angles are used according to the style of photo.
With your website and blog, do you see this as being your career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I started my blog as a way to fill up my spare time, it was something I would do on the side whenever I can or wanted to but now I begin to make time for blogging, schedule recipes, purchase props and assign photography shoots. What seemed like a hobby slowly transformed into a part-time job in conjunction to school. While I do enjoy blogging, recipe developing, food styling and photography, I still have a sea full of career choices to choose from, I’m particularly interested in computers and IT (anything geeky, really!). As for the future, I still see a blog, a part- time freelance food styling and photography job, University and hopefully a cookbook (that would be super exciting!)
You can find even more of Zainab’s inspiring recipes and mouth-watering photos on her website.
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