Pictures from the very beginning of L&OO

On February 16, 2007, I posted my very first recipe on this here blog. A seared tuna salad, in fact. The post contained a single image (shown above, top), and a measly 3 sentences of text (apparently I was much more concise back then). Despite the fact that it was a recipe for seared tuna salad, I did not include the seared tuna in the actual photo. As you can see by the unpublished image underneath, it wasn’t exactly appetizing.

Apparently that image was so horrifying that it took me 6 years before I finally attempted to photograph tuna again.

NicoiseSalad-SM

My my how far we’ve come.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, as much as those old photos make me cringe, I will never delete them. I will never rephotograph those posts. They are my history, proof of just how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown as a cook and an artist in the past 6 years.

What do they say, you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been?

Well, I know.

And where I’ve been is publicly on display for anyone brave enough to venture into the depths of my archives.

I’ve come from a horizontal land of lime-green dishes and florescent overhead lighting. From a place where juices ran wild and the goal was to get as close as humanly possible to my food.

I’ve since learned that you have to take a step back to truly see the bigger picture.

Such is food photography. Such is life.

With that I say, I wouldn’t trade these past 6 years for anything. Here’s to personal growth, to accepting who we were and anticipating who we are to become, to taking the good with the bad and learning from our mistakes. Here’s to eating those mistakes (because we are, after all, food bloggers). Here’s to building ourselves by building the community around us, not by taking others down. Here’s to cooking for the sake of cooking. Baking for the sake of indulging. And indulging for the sake of pure enjoyment, not profit.

And here’s to many more years to come.

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61 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Happy Birthday to L&OO! Very refreshing to hear your perspective on the early years.

  2. Oh how I love your perspective on those early images. I too look back on my early posts and am so tempted to press delete on some of them. But you are so wise in realizing that they show proof of how far we come and how much we’ve learned.

    Happy 6th blog birthday! And many more.

  3. I agree…we only get better with age!! Happy Birthday:-D

  4. I love this post so much. I really love your blog and find it so inspirational. Not that your first photo is bad or anything but it shows how much we can grow and as a somewhat new blogger, I find it really inspiring. Thank you for posting and happy birthday to Love and Olive Oil!

  5. Well said!!! Well said, I love your words and perspective. Glad to have you as a dear friend in this community. Here’s to even more success for Love & Olive Oil and congrats on 6 years of blogging!! xoxo

  6. That was well said. Your blog is beautiful and so are you. We are works in progress. The point is progressing. You’re doing that well.

  7. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!! I love your blog AND your tuna dish looks beautiful!

  8. Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing this post, it is comforting to know that even the most amazing bloggers have to start out somewhere. I love the photos (and obviosuly the recipes as well!) on your blog, and being new to blogging, I’m hoping one day years down the line I can do a post like this :)

  9. Congrats on 6 years! Thank you for sharing your first post with us, yes, Love and Olive Oil sure has come a long way and is encouraging for new food bloggers (like me) to know that there is so much room to grow!

  10. Congrats!!! I have followed your blog for such a long time and I still love it :)

  11. Wow congrats! I really love your blog and hope to follow you for many years! Thumbs up for you!

  12. I can’t believe that it has been 6 years! Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever followed, and is still one of my favorites. Cheers to many more great years to come! :)

  13. Happy blogiversary!!! Here’s to many more years!

  14. Congrats on 6 years! That’s quite a journey to make! Your first pictures still dominate my own! I think its awesome that you don’t re-post any of those photos, what a great way to keep memories!

  15. Happy 6 years! You have come so far and thanks for leaving up the old pictures so people like me can see that you start from somewhere. Everyone does.

    Can’t wait to see what your 7th year brings!

  16. Happy 6 years, and congratulations on your ever-evolving blog! Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us!

  17. Happy happy blog birthday! You’ve turned this into one of my very favourite spaces online, I look forward to each and every post.

  18. Congratulations for your 6th year anniversary. I’ve only been blogging for a few months and I can only hope for it to be as popular as your blog is. I look forward to seeing what delicious recipes appear in my inbox from you next. Well done Lindsay!

  19. Happy Bday to L&OO and I think we’ve all been here “a horizontal land of lime-green dishes and florescent overhead lighting” and as you said, you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. I am glad you didn’t delete your archives and re-photograph food. I admit to going through your archives maybe a year or so ago -I was looking for a recipe, can’t even remember what, and saw your Then photos to your Now photos and loved the evolution and the growth.

    My archives are still fully intact as well, and I cringe every time I go back there! And for a 1st post, your photography was stunning :)

  20. Happy birthday! Here’s to six more years! :)

  21. Happy 6 years to your amazing blog! Such a great and inspirational post and very well said. Hope to follow this beautiful blog for many more years to come!

  22. Congratulations on six years! I always look forward to reading your recipes and seeing your photos. And I love this: “I’ve since learned that you have to take a step back to truly see the bigger picture. Such is food photography. Such is life.” Perfectly stated.

  23. My how far you’ve come. I’m the same way. I’m embarrassed when I go back and look at my first photos, but it goes to show that I’ve learned so much! Happy Blogiversary! :D

  24. Happy 6 years! You are a true blogging inspiration, from writing to creativity to photography!

  25. Happy 6 years! Mine will also be 6 in April. Funny how much has changed for all of us. I agree with not going back and deleting photographs. I have gone back and reshot some things, but I leave the old photos up for reference. I’m looking forward to how much you will accomplish for the next year!

  26. Happy Blog Birthday! I was actually just looking at my 2nd ever blog post for Brazilian shrimp stew. Just remade it a couple times this past week and while I still love the recipe, the photo definitely leaves something to be desired :)

    But hopefully in a couple years I’ll look back at the photos I’m taking right now and think the same thing. I still have a lot to learn!

  27. Thanks for sharing this- it’s very refreshing to hear someone speak honestly about their progression. I’m just getting into food photography….have a long way to go, and a lot of new crockery to buy before it is even half as great as yours, but, hey, give me 6 years and you never know ;)

  28. I’ve followed since the beginning! Since 2007 Tomato and Olive Penne is a staple at our house, along with many others. Congrats on six years!

  29. I hope there is many more years of recipe sharing to come. Happy Birthday!

  30. Congratulations on 6 years! Sometimes it’s fun to look back at old posts to see exactly how far you’ve come. Of course never rephotograph! Enjoy your early days :)

  31. Happy Birthday to LOO! Your photos are gorgeous and your blog is inspiring.

  32. Happy Birthday! I admire your view on not replacing the older original photos its inspiring to newer bloggers.

  33. Happy Birthday dear blog! Well said, and I agree. I love that you don’t delete or rephotograph as a memory and reminder of how far you have come. I am doing the same and man is it eye opening. And I am no where near your amazing photos. But when I started I super sucked, and it is ok. So congrats on you achievements, you rock!

  34. happy 6th bloggiversary! I’m so proud and happy of what you guys have accomplished :) you’re such an inspiration!! xoxo

  35. Congratulations on 6 years of food blogging! Your words are truly inspiring for bloggers like me. Lots of hard work and dedication pays off :D So congratulations again: You’ve earned it.

  36. Happy 6th Lindsay! What a year its been for you too. Couldn’t be happier for you. I’ve loved visiting your blog and trying to make some of the delicious creations I read about. Here’s to many more years!

  37. The ingredients were good, and with that, how could you NOT come up with a recipe for success!!!! Happy 6th anniversary.

  38. Love this post, Lindsay – such a great perspective on blogging, photography, and life. It’s so important to acknowledge and appreciate the path we’ve taken and all we learn in the process. Happy blog birthday!

  39. Happy anniversary! Your blog looks gorgeous!
    I too have just started one and feel like I’m learning more and more with every meal I take a picture of. I’d never thought it’d be so tricky to photograph something non-moving :)

  40. Congrats on 6 years of blogging! Yes–you have come insanely far. I’m sure you would have never imagined being a coobook of author of 2 books! I too cringe at photos from the past but it is a great reminder of where I started. lol.

  41. Happy 6 years!!! You’re doing an amazing job and are such an inspiration.

  42. Happy 6 years of blogging! I just celebrated 2 years, and if in 4 more my site has grown to be what yours is, I’ll feel like a great success! I love everything you post and your photography is a constant source of inspiration! :)

  43. Happy Aniversary! Such an inspiration — you remind me that my photo’s will continue to improve and that I shouldn’t beat myself up whe they’re not – it’s a process, as is life!

  44. Happy Anniversary!! I’m into 2 years with my blog so I can definitely appreciate what an accomplishment that is :) Congrats!

  45. congratulations! and happy 6th birthday!! i’m still in my first 6 months….. just a baby, i am :) thanks for all of your inspiration. to me, you and your blog are flawless!

  46. Happy 6th birthday…that is so awesome you’ve been blogging so long…and your current photo yeah the tuna looks amazing! and blessings for another 6 years of blogging! keep the great recipes coming :-)

  47. Happy birthday!! Here’s to photo improvement and nice meals!

  48. Happy blog birthday!

  49. I LOVE this!!! My very first post (5 years ago) was a cake that I took a photo of with my camera phone (flip phone!!) and a couple sentences about it (no recipe or anything!). I think it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way? You’ve had SO many huge accomplishments and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. Congrats on 6 years!!

  50. “I’ve since learned that you have to take a step back to truly see the bigger picture.

    Such is food photography. Such is life.”

    LOVE this.

  51. oh and duh, happy bloggaversary! :)

  52. Congratulations! Love your photography! Fun to see how much your blog has grown!

  53. Congrats on 6 years!

  54. Happy 6 years and to many many more!!!!!

  55. So glad to see this post!! I’m in my first year and still have a hard time getting good photographs. I work full time so i’m always cooking at night. My apartment gets ZERO natural light making shadows unavoidable. And I live with a roommate so I can’t have all my camera stuff set up all the time. UGH – People don’t understand how HARD it is!! (And now your food’s cold.) haha

    I love your blog and I love seeing how far you’ve come! Look forward to many more years of reading!

  56. Happy 6th birthday! I just discovered your blog and was just going to comment on how delicious your food looks because of your gorgeous pictures. I just hit one year and I’ve been looking at tons of food photography resources and pictures to try to improve my pictures. My pictures (especially the early stuff) looks a lot like your close-up tuna salad. I was thinking about reshooting my early posts, but there is something to be said for seeing how far you’ve come. It’s posts like this that I find really inspiring!

  57. I hope I will have come as far as you have in a few years time :) I think I’ve already made massive progress but there’s definitely more to come! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  58. CONGRATS on your six year anniversary!!

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