Hello and welcome to Salima’s Kitchen, aka, my kitchen! I’m so happy you stopped by. I’m Salima Benkhalti, a food photographer and recipe developer living with my husband and puppy in Olympia, Washington.
As a photographer, I’m super passionate about capturing the elements of food that we all know and love. Sometimes this means taking a torch to my pizza to capture that bubbly brown melted cheese, piping homemade frosting until the peaks are just right, or showering a pastry in powdered sugar until the entire kitchen appears covered in snow.
As consumers, we are constantly being bombarded with food media, so my mission is to highlight food in a unique and authentic way. My ongoing goal is to make anyone looking at my pictures feel hungry 😊.
Here at Salima’s Kitchen, the focus is all about flavorful & approachable recipes, usually inspired by my Moroccan and Puerto Rican roots. Because these cuisines are new to many home cooks, I like to share tips and tricks to help you feel comfortable making dishes for the very first time.
What Is A Food Photographer?
As a food photographer, my job is to create and capture food for restaurants, cookbooks, websites and brands.
You’ve likely been exposed to many different forms of food photography such as:
- Restaurant menus (both physical and digital)
- Online food & grocery delivery apps
- Commercials for restaurants & food brands
Food photography is an effective marketing tool as it helps to tell a story about a product, business or individual. The way a particular food or product is photographed can largely determine how we feel about that item, creating a lasting impression.
I think it’s easy to say that most of us would feel more excited ordering off a menu where we have actually seen the food, as opposed to a menu with only text. There’s something about food photography that triggers our emotions, making it a very effective tool.
Credentials & Brand Partnerships
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Education, Pacific Lutheran University
- 5+ years of commercial photography experience (both with artificial & natural light)
- Partnerships with: S. Pellegrino, Albertsons, New Seasons Market, Mutti, Bush’s Beans, Annie’s, The FeedFeed, Jimmy Dean and many more.
My Food Blogging Story
If you’ve been following the blog for a few years you know that Salima’s Kitchen originally started as a place to share my family recipes when I wasn’t busy teaching second grade. The original life plan was to go to college, graduate, and teach elementary school. Looking back, it’s funny how much has changed!
Growing up in a multicultural family, food was always a central part of our home. When I started 7th grade, my mom sat me and my brother down and told us we were going to be responsible for cooking dinner once a week. What was intended to be a chore quickly became one of my favorite activities.
Once I graduated college and moved away from home, I really missed the Moroccan and Puerto Rican recipes that were once a staple in my diet. This blog (and my Instagram account) became a wonderful way to not only share and record these recipes, but to meet like minded people who also have a passion for cooking!
Since then, I’ve spent countless hours testing, writing and shooting recipes, and found some really amazing clients who grow their businesses using my photography.
In 2020, I made the difficult decision to leave teaching and focus on my blog and photography 100%. It’s been such a rewarding experience and I am so thankful for every single one of you that has made a recipe, left a review or comment letting me know!
Where to Start
I always recommend new readers start with my most popular recipes below:
5+ years of photography and recipe development means lots of experience working with brands.
I provide food and product photography / videography, as well as recipe development services to national food labels.
Interested in hiring Salima's Kitchen to feature your product?