1. Tell us a bit about yourself....
My name is Marcela Macías. I was born in Córdoba, Argentina, where I lived for 29 years, minus some globetrotting here and there. I currently live in Nicosia, Cyprus, with my husband (who is from Serbia) and our 4 year old twin children, Luka and Zoe.
I am a blogger at The Celebration Girl, and I have recently started to work as a food and lifestyle photographer and stylist. I am completely in love with every single aspect of this profession and the magic of bringing food to life in one picture.
I love the sound of my children’s laughter and their strong hugs. I love photography, cooking, card-making, entertaining and gardening. I love Cyprus’s beautiful sunny days that are ideal for taking pictures, the cool summer breeze that starts to blow after the sun sets, and the calm beauty of the first hours of the morning, when I practice yoga alone, and the house is in silence. I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the perfume of magnolias, the sight of lavender fields. I love how the grass smells after the rain, the breeze of cool summer nights and the sound of autumn leaves crushed under my feet. I love jazz, and blues, and old French classics, Latin American literature, travelling and the movie Amélie.
2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Every day life and, mostly, my children. I had never been creative before them and I guess playing with them, and making things with no assigned purpose, just for the pleasure of having a fun time together, liberated something inside of me and freed me to start experimenting with arts and crafts. I started decorating with fondant, for example, inspired by the play-dough sculptures I was doing with my kids and I decided to try my luck at decorating cookies after playing with tempera with my daughter Zoe. I believe beauty is all around us and that every moment has the potential to provide inspiration, if we let it.
When it comes to food photography, I am mostly inspired by the dish itself, its ingredients, preparation, and how it was created or shared. I like to create or convey moods with my pictures, to tell a story.
3. Tell us about your business...
The Celebration Girl is a blog that celebrates life in the small things: food, easy crafts, and relaxed, everyday entertaining. It’s a blog for those who, like me, are not experts in any of these things but who enjoy creating something with their hands, and who want to make their daily lives prettier. I try to use simple ingredients that anyone can get, and affordable, easily found materials for my crafts and table settings. I want to provide doable inspiration and detailed step by step instructions, so that my readers can feel confident that they, too, can do anything I do. Paraphrasing Martha Stewart “If I can do it, anyone can do it”
4. What led you to start your business....
That’s a bit of a long story and one that has to do with a life crisis.
I used to be a lawyer, specialized in Public International Law and Human Rights. I met my husband while working at UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Cote D’Ivoire-Ivory Coast) as a UNV (United Nations Volunteer), we got married shortly after we met and lived in Africa together for 2 more years. In 2007 my husband found a job here in Cyprus and we decided to move, because we wanted to start a family in a place that was not at war and where there wasn’t malaria (which I had had twice). Moving implied that I had to quit my job but I didn’t worry, because I thought I would eventually find something.
I got pregnant pretty much as soon as we arrived, with twins (which was quite unexpected) and life circumstances made it clear, after a while, that it was not going to be possible for me to go back to work. And I didn’t know what else to do.
I was an avid reader of lifestyle and food blogs by then (I used to browse them in the long sleepless night of breastfeeding, to prevent me from falling asleep with the children in my arms). One day, I don’t really know why or how, I decided to start trying my luck at some of the pretty DIYs and recipes I kept looking at, just to keep my mind occupied. Then I tried some more. Then I tried different techniques. Then I started photographing what I was doing to show my creations to my family, and my friends started asking for instructions. I was writing so many emails with recipes and instructions by then, that I decided to start a blog. To my surprise and delight the community of readers grew and I now have over 800 followers on facebook! I am deeply grateful for that.
5. What does an average day look like for you?
My children are not in school nowadays, so no day is like the previous one, but in general I wake up early (4:30/50), I meditate and practice yoga and then I write for one hour. Luka and Zoe wake up at around 7, we have breakfast, and then we go to the park. We come back before lunch, I take some pictures if I need to, cook while they play, and then we eat together. After lunch we read stories or do some arts and crafts, and I test recipes (they are keen helpers!). Twice a week they have some other activities in the afternoon, but when they don’t, we go to the park again or bike around the neighborhood after my husband comes back from work. After that, it’s dinner and bedtime at 8 and my time to work. As soon as they fall asleep I turn on my computer, edit pictures and work on the blog and in my book, This is the time when I also prepare any craft projects to be photographed the following day. Once a week, we have a date and movie night at home with my husband (well, it’s mostly series, not really a movie, but we love it ).
6. What is the one thing about your job that makes your heart sing?
I love everything about the creative process: coming up with an idea, polishing it, bringing it to life. This is particularly so when it comes to food photography, because I get to be a part of every aspect: choosing beautiful ingredients, cooking them with care, planning the set, selecting the right props, playing with the light and the camera settings and then doing the final editing and posting it in my blog. Everything about photography makes my heart sing with joy. And when my readers make what I share and they love it, oh that makes it all 10 times better!
7. Share a secret with us that has never been shared online before ...
Ok, here are a few fun facts:
- I couldn’t find how to adjust the aperture in my camera for two years and it drove me CRAZY! (The manual didn’t say anything)
- When I started photographing I had no idea what white balance was so all my pictures had a bluish hue (the white balance was set to tungsten!)
- I don’t drive
- I had nightmares for months after watching the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, especially if I happened to wake up at 3 am.
- I’m very goofy.
- I’m crazy about fantasy literature and my cat’s name is Galadriel because of LOTR.
- I love the Harry Potter’s books. I wish I had gotten a letter from Hogwarts when I turned 11.
- I’m still surprised when I am called creative because I always saw myself as a nerd with no artistic skills whatsoever.
Marcela Macías is a food and lifestyle photographer currently living in Cyprus. She writes at The Celebration Girl, a blog about finding joy in the small things and is a regular contributor of Spanish online magazine Petit-On. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart’s dreamers into doers, Whole Kitchen Magazine and Catch my Party. She licenses her photographs both privately and through Getty Images.
Website : http://thecelebrationgirl.com
Facebook : http://facebook.com/thecelebrationgirl
Twitter : @celebr_girl
All images property of Marcela Macías except for Inspiration Sunday Banner