Food Stylist and Photographer Sophie MacKenzie eating fruit in her garden

Ever wonder how all those pretty food photos you see in cookbooks get so pretty? I’ll let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t just happen on its own. Food photography takes a village: from recipe developers, to produce choppers and recipe tasters, lighting assistants to backdrop creatives, and OF COURSE brilliant food stylists and photographers like Vancouver-based Sophie MacKenzie. 

Sophie is the recipe developer behind the popular blogs Wholehearted Eats and Baked, the Blog as well as a successful stylist who helped Allsorts host Desiree create both Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut get so dang good looking.

Today’s episode is a conversation between friends in food. We learn how Sophie stumbled into food styling and what it’s actually like to build a blog and a brand. Trust her, it asks a LOT of its creators…especially in a sea—no wait, an ocean—of bloggers. And why, sometimes, it’s the people you meet along the way, and a stroke of luck, that gets food bloggers or photographers where they are (so don’t be too hard on yourself!)

Well, let’s get all those burning questions answered! But first, a bit about this creative beauty:

About Sophia MacKenzie:

Sophia MacKenzie (who goes by Sophie!) is just your average west coast girl through and through. She’s happiest when exploring the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest or partaking in a love of natural foods (yes, those hippy spreads + sprouts). Inspired by the iconic whole foods she grew up with, Sophie created the blog Wholehearted Eats to share her west coast eats with all of her lovely readers, no matter where they are in the world. She’s also a food stylist,with past clients who include Luvo Foods, Whistler Water, SeedibleWest Elm, Joey Restaurants, and many cookbooks. She has years of experience designing recipes having done so for blogs, cookbooks, and restaurants. Besides working on a Masters degree in Publishing, Sophie’s also written for magazines such as Taproot, Eat, Food52, and Alive.

Food photographer, blogger, and stylist Sophie MacKenzie featured alongside graphics promoting her episode on The Allsorts Podcast.

On this episode we chat about:

  • Why Sophie started her food blog and what got her interested in food 
  • Where Sophie learned to cook and how nostalgic 70s recipes inspire creativity in the kitchen
  • How Sophie landed in book publishing, recipe creation, and food styling
  • A few styling tricks (did you know you can spray glycerin on a glass to make it look dewey?! So cool!)
  • What publishers are looking for in a cookbook proposal—and the difference between publishing in Canada vs. the US
  • Why Sophie is excited about the direction food photography is going in. (I mean, when cookbooks can start looking like glossy fashion magazines, you KNOW things are heating up in the industry!) 
  • Why to go against the grain with things like lighting!
  • If you don’t have a well-connected network, where to go for information on how to take your food photos

Learned something new? Have questions?

Keep the conversation going on Instagram! Have something to say about what you heard? Screenshot this episode and tag us @theallsortpod @sophiamacken with your questions and/or comments!

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Connect with Sophia MacKenzie:



Instagram: @sophiamacken

Facebook: @wholeheartedeats 

Sophia MacKenzie Recommendations:

The blog Artful Desperado by Gabriel Cabrera

Cook This Book by Molly Baz

Super Natural Simple by Heidi Swanson

One Pot: Three Ways by Rachel Ama 

Francis Bebey’s 2000 album Mbira Dance