When Dita Wistarini moved to Kuwait in 2007 with two young girls, she knew it was the start of a great adventure. An artist at heart, who transferred this love to her children, she had no idea what she and her family could expect.
“I still remember, there was not much information about Kuwait at that time,” she said. “We did not have any idea at all on how life could be in Kuwait. With limited information, we made up our minds to move for the sake of a life adventure, to color the story of our lives.”
As the daughter of a professional photographer and the wife of a motion graphic designer, Wistarini has a strong appreciation for creativity and the positive impact it can have on life. She had started blogging in her home country of Indonesia after the birth of her first daughter, Arwen (named after the female elf in Lord of the Rings). She documented her experience as a new parent in a way that not only gave insight to others in the same life situation as her, but also garnered advice.
As her first child grew, Wistarini felt the need to hone her culinary skills, and joined a large Indonesian cooking mailing list. The group of expert bakers shared recipes, tips and tricks for the kitchen. She tried and experimented with many of the suggestions. Most of those on the mailing list had published blogs, and she felt it was important to file her tested recipes for her children.
“Food and art are inseparable from us,” she said. “When the kids grow up, I want them to have a wonderful memory about their parents, about the food smell in their home, their good cook mother, and their fun and beautiful moments making craft that they spent with their parents.”
Her first post on The Yummy Corner, a Baba Black Sheep chocolate ganache cake, featured an unremarkable photo taken with a simple digital camera. Yet, as her love for all things food and blogging intensified she realized she needed to get better equipment and learn as much as she could about food photography.
She bought a professional camera and created contacts with bakers all over the world. They taught her the tips and tricks of lighting, scene setting and finding the perfect angle for each dish. She also created a flickr community of Indonesian food photographers who critiqued and discussed each other’s photos. Through them she learned the secret to beautiful food photography.
“Food photography should tell a story and make people taste the delicious food by merely looking at the photo,” she said. “So, it is also about the table setting, props, food styling, light and mood. It is about the atmosphere that depicts the mood and message of the photograph. It’s art.”
Wistarini’s flickr account is filled with delicious dishes from her home, and some of the most popular restaurants in Kuwait. Her book, Home Food Photography Made Easy was published in Indonesian in 2011. She’s also made a splash in Kuwait through her involvement with the Qout market where she sold Indonesian street food and vintage Polaroid cameras in her booth Unpredictable Beauty.
Now a mother of three, her other two children are named after the Star Wars character Leia and The Matrix’s Leo, Wistarini runs both her food blog as well as Neverland Journey which documents her creative journey with her children in a new country. Her extraordinary talent for all things art fuels her relationship with her children in a away that allows them to grow and explore the world around them. They document trips through drawings, celebrate holidays through videos and create a world that is filled with bright colors of happy expression.
“I enjoy making do-it-yourself projects,” she said. “Our children are accustomed to drawing and making their own toys. At home, we decided not to have a television, so they spend their days crafting, drawing or creating something.”
Wistarini is now taking her baking skills to a new level with cake decorating, and will soon begin offering classes on the subject. She is also working on her second book on food photography to be released later this year.