Cornwall-based Photographer & Graphic Designer, Ali Green, is responsible for much of our branding here at The Maverick Guide. Ali has worked with an impressive portfolio of West Country clients, from social media influencers to chefs and premium spirit brands. We’re completely in awe of her eye for detail and we were keen to find out more about what inspires her as a freelance creative…
How long have you lived in Cornwall?
In 1998, my family and I moved from Worcestershire to Cornwall, when I was 6 years old. Prior to the move, Cornwall was the only place we went on holiday and this had been a long-standing tradition for my mother, as she spent every summer as a child in Crantock (near Newquay).
In early 2019, I began working as a Freelance Photographer and Graphic Designer, specializing in food and lifestyle.
What’s the best thing about being a freelancer based in Cornwall?
The Cornish food industry! Over the past few years, the food industry in the South West has become really exciting. Artisan and ethical producers have raised the bar with brilliant ingredients and produce. As this has grown, so has my love of food photography and this has made Cornwall an exciting prospect for my career.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Slowing down. When I’m not at photoshoots or meetings, I mainly work from home. This makes it hard to step away from my work, as I really do enjoy what I do. My work is such a huge part of my life now that I need to learn to stop and take a step back.
Also, being my own salesman. Blowing my own trumpet is something I will never get used to. In freelance, you effectively become your own boss, account manager, and accountant but who is going to bring in the work if you don’t do your own sales? It’s a learning curve and I hope with time I will master bigging myself up (but in the most modest way possible, of course).
How do you source props for your photography?
I source my props from second-hand shops, charity shops, car boots, vintage fayres, and flea markets. I occasionally buy new crockery from shops like habitat, however, I try to source from more ethical brands like Nkuku or from local makers.
I also create my own wood and textured surfaces as photography backgrounds. This process has been a little hit and miss. However, it’s a very enjoyable way of getting creative with plaster and spray paint! I’m looking to take up pottery as a new hobby, as I hope this will allow me to create my own crockery and unique pieces.
Where’s the best place nearby to grab a coffee with friends?
Duchy Nursery Cafe is my local haunt. It’s a 20-minute drive away and it’s the best local place for a coffee and cake. I could happily spend half a day there without realizing it, sipping coffee by the fireplace or browsing the shop.
Where is your favourite place to shop locally?
Alice in Scandiland is a beautiful shop in Lostwithiel. It sells amazing homeware, furniture, vintage pieces, prints, and magazines – all in great Scandi-style!
Whenever I find myself in Falmouth, I have to visit Botanical Atelier. It’s a wonderfully curated shop dedicated to all things botanical and beautiful, with homeware, books and the most amazing paintings and prints by the owner of the shop, Sarah Humphrey.
What’s your favourite Cornish restaurant?
I highly recommend visiting Appleton’s Restaurant. They were based outside Padstow, but in March 2020 they are relocating to Fowey. The brunches are incredible. There was literally nothing on the menu I didn’t want to try! They also make the most amazing selection of negronis and the evening menu is outstanding. They explore amazing flavour combinations and everything is cooked to absolute perfection.
What’s a Cornish brand to watch out for?
Tinkture Gin. These guys make the most incredible Organic Rose Gin. I know the gin scene in Cornwall is spiraling out of control, with so many flavours and brands. However, Tinkture’s Rose Gin is my absolute favourite and they are definitely a company to watch out for. Those guys are making things happen; exciting collaborations, ethically leading the way and setting new standards. They’re creating products with such care and attention to detail; all with their own unique style and edge.
Where is the most instagrammable location near to you?
You can not pin me down to one location!
For the coast, it’s ‘Lantic Bay’; a beautiful little bay between Polruan and Polperro with its own micro-climate. The bay is isolated and quiet with beautiful views. However, it’s worth noting that the walk to the beach and back is not for the faint-hearted.
Inland, Bodmin Moor’s beauty really comes into its own on a misty or moody day. It’s very Wuthering Heights. There are so many beautiful places to explore nearby, like the Cheesewring and Golitha Falls. Also, Cardinham Woods or Lanhydrock have some of the most beautiful woodlands walks.
What sort of brands are you looking to work with and how can they reach out to you?
I look to work with brands that share my passion for ethical and sustainable business. I’ve worked alongside some lovely brands that are conscientious and forward-thinking. It’s wonderful to be a part of their projects. I enjoy supporting companies who are setting standards and paving their own way. The best way they can reach out to me is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Instagram (@workbyali).