ST: Welcome lovely readers! We are so happy to welcome Lean Timms from Lean and Meadow to Style Tastemakers this week! Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself and your background.
LT: My name is Lean Timms (my full name is actually Selena, but I never get called that!) and I am a travel, lifestyle and food photographer and occasional blogger, currently living on the beautiful South Coast of NSW, Australia. I didn’t set out to become a photographer or have a blog. Growing up in a small country town in Queensland, I had always dreamed of being a dancer or a teacher. I did both, but then I realized I was still searching for something more and wanting to be something else. I had an overwhelming feeling to create! When my husband, our German Shepherd Taj and I moved to the USA for two years in 2013, I promised myself that I wouldn’t return to my previous work as a teacher and instead I would find a way to spend my days doing what I love most. Soon enough I picked up a camera, introduced myself to the blogging world and by the end of that first year, inspired by all our traveling and the day to day, lean + meadow was born. I now spend my days back home in Australia doing what I love. And when I’m not behind the lens or editing photos, I can usually be found out and about somewhere usually with Taj, sipping tea (or wine!), watching movies, lazing about over breakfast, foraging for and arranging flowers, cooking locally grown food and exploring the outdoors with my husband.
ST: Sounds perfect! Traveling for two years must have been amazing. What was the best part about traveling that much?
LT: Living in Florida was such a thrill for us. We did travel a lot, however we also stayed at home a lot too. Just being immersed in a new part of the world and its culture gave us so much joy. We made wonderful friends, constantly explored new territory and were ever inspired by the newness and richness that surrounded us. It was the best two years of our lives.
ST: So, what was the worst part about traveling that much?
LT: We expected to get home sick, but honestly that never happened. We loved it. I suppose there was always a little voice in the back of our heads telling us that soon we would have to leave it all behind. As present as we stayed and as in the moment we lived, that little voice telling us that we would one day have to return home was probably the worst part. We are happy to be home in Australia now, but we do miss our American lives and friends terribly.
ST: Your photos are all stunning and your food always looks delicious, but your writing style is equally as beautiful! You do such an amazing job of putting the reader in the scene you’re painting for them. What inspires you to write the way you do?
LT: Thank you! You are so kind! If I am totally honest with you, writing is often the most challenging part of my work! I do enjoy the finished product, but it is the process of writing that I find most difficult. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I can easily get stumped and hold myself up for hours! A friend of mine just encouraged me to nurture my weaknesses more – so I am working on it! As for inspiration, there are a few fellow bloggers and magazines and writers that I often turn to. My good friend Beth of Local Milk always throws out the most pensive and inspiring words. I am also really enjoying some of the more conceptual articles coming from Kinfolk Magazine these days. I also find inspiration from allowing myself to write with more feeling and less head. Often this can get a bit whimsical, but I like that. I like writing that totally carries you away, contains a little mysticism and invites you think and reflect.
ST: Who’s work inspires you?
LT: As far as photographers go, Gentl and Hyers, Ditte Isager and Nicole Franzen are on the top of my list. Their work is to die for. Oh, to live their lives! I also love listening to podcasts while I edit, especially those about other creatives and their lives. After the Jump and Radio Cherry Bomb are two of my faves. And finally, on a more personal note, my dad will always will be the biggest inspiration for me. Growing up, he was the one that continuously encouraged my creativity. He was a carpenter but had such talent in so many creative fields. We would sing together, dance together and he would teach me how to draw. He appreciated life so fully and was always so attentive to nature. I always think of him and aspire to live my life and the way that he did. Never complaining, always moving and always ever so grateful of life.