Each week we’re teaming up with a popular food-stagrammer who will take over our Instagram feed and fill it with their own delicious pics. This weekend on #TastyTakeovers Sam Ushiro, who runs the infectiously fun and colorful account @awwsam, is our guest. Learn her secret for taking delicious photos in the Q&A below and head over to Yahoo Food on Instagram to watch her foodie adventures unfold all weekend long.
Photo: Sam Ushiro
Hi everyone, I’m Sam and I’m the dessert-lover and girl boss over at Aww Sam! I currently live in Brooklyn, New York with my boyfriend, but I’m originally from the mitten state of Michigan. I have a background in Industrial Design (think furniture making, woodworking, etc), but my real love lies in baking and crafting cute, colorful things! I’m also known to love a good independent film and collect graphic novels!
Sam’s playful gingerbread cookies (Photo: Sam Ushiro).
I’ve always loved looking at cute food online, but I never thought I would able to make cute food myself until I started experimenting. I knew I wasn’t passionate about Industrial Design, and I searched for something else as an outlet to show my creativity. I never knew it would be baking and would have a whole career around baking and DIY! But it became necessary for me to learn photography and invest in equipment when I wanted to start sharing tutorial and recipes with my followers and fellow makers!
Banana split donuts. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
I love to walk around party stores or look at the murals in Brooklyn. I find a lot of inspiration in the really strange things you can discover in a party store, and I thrive off of the challenge of taking a silly party supply and trying to style it in a way where it takes on a completely different life! I also am a huge film lover, and draw a lot of my inspiration from Surrealist filmmakers such as David Lynch and Michel Gondry. There are so many bizarre things that exist in Surrealist film that can inspire a lot of really fun ideas or at least get your mind moving in a creative direction.
Metallic disco ball donuts. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
@sophlog: Sophie is like my long, lost color-loving twin. We met over Instagram and I immediately fell in love with her feed! So many bright colors, and she even started a hashtag called #happyhousedreams, so if you’re interested in staring at dreamy houses, she’s your go-to gal!
@mattcrump: Matt’s feed is a constant source of inspiration. Whether he’s showing you a crazy beautiful skyline or carefully arranged, colorful objects, there’s always something to get lost in on his feed!
@vickiee_yo: Vickie and I have been following each other since the beginning of our Instagram journey, and she’s got insane talent for baking! As soon as you think she’s made the most amazing cookies or donuts you’ve ever seen, she goes and outdoes herself with another crazy creation!
Over-the-top milkshakes. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
First of all, thank you so much! I stared baking about two years ago (it all started with chocolate salted caramel donuts actually), and I’ve loved baking ever since. I’d never done much cooking before; I was still in college so ordering out was so much easier than making food at home, but in my final year in school, I found baking to be a much needed stress reliever and I’ve been doing it ever since! My mom actually runs a designer cookie business in Michigan, so I guess you could say decorating baked goods is kind of in my genes!
Emoji cake roll. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
I’ve been able to meet so many other creative people through Instagram that I would have never been able to meet otherwise. Actually, a lot of my good friends in New York are people I originally met on Instagram! It allows people to not only build up a strong community of supporters and creators online, but you’re able to collaborate and team up in the real world as well.
Emoji heart donuts. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
I promise I don’t only eat desserts (you’d never be able to tell based on my Instagram feed, ha!), but most of my favorite foods are savory! New York has some great pizza, and I get Roberta’s Famous Original pizza right around the corner from my apartment constantly!
You don’t need any fancy equipment to take a great food photo! When I first started out, I was using a piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil as a light reflector. Ha! Simple hacks like that, and utilizing any natural light you have can make a world of a difference in your photos! And just have fun with it!!
Holiday cookie macarons. (Photo: Sam Ushiro)
My followers are going to kill me for not saying donuts (I’m kind of known as the “donut girl” on Instagram), but I really love a good taco! And a side of chips and guac!