know when a piece is finished

Posted In: Art | Creativity
All creatives have been through this. You have an artwork, song, article or blueprint that you can keep working on indefinitely. Something that could be continually improved upon. The challenge to that desire to create good work or to be seen as skilled or gifted is that it sometimes gets in the way of being able to finish, get paid, be profitable and progr[...]
Claire Gunn creatives

Hey frustrated Creatives! I’m talking to you…

Posted In: Creativity
How many times have you been in a creative hole? Once a month? Daily? For the last 5 months? 5 years? I know the feeling... You are a dear, creative heart who lives for the highs of creating special pieces who then has to deal with the gut-wrenching, life-sucking vacuum of NO-thing being created either for a little while straight after experiencing the high[...]
claire gunn find my purpose

How do i find my purpose?

Posted In: Creativity | Life
This question is the same as 'what is the meaning of life?' I have found that the human brain needs this question answered. We need a purpose or a meaning. The brain needs to operate from a core out into the world. It needs this as a biological motivator behind every action, besides survival. What I have found is that I have answered this question of purpos[...]
Claire Gunn

Introduction to Food Photography

Posted In: Creativity | Food | Photography
I am going to share one of my passions with you today: food photography. I started photographing 8 years ago after changing industries from being a full-time chef to a full-time portrait photographer. I started with weddings and conceptual portraiture, then moved back to my original love - food. This was 3 years ago. Now I shoot Cape Town's most exciting re[...]
claire gunn

How to up your phone photo game

Posted In: Creativity | Photography
One of the quickest and most accessible ways of improving your photographic skills is to use the camera that most of us have readily to hand almost wherever we go: our phones. While it might feel like cellphone cameras are lightyears behind the cameras professional photographers use on shoots, the truth is that they are, generally speaking, quite capable[...]
Jim Sullivan by Claire Gunn 2018

A Portrait of Photographer Jim Sullivan

Posted In: Art | Photography
I’ve been a fan of Life & Thyme for a long time. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to contribute to a few articles there. Not only is Life & Thyme a fantastic source for great stories about food, it is a treasure trove of information and inspiration. I regularly take a look at what’s on offer, and I am always rewarded with n[...]
claire gunn children portrait 9

What you gain from looking at your old work

Posted In: Creativity | Photography
Creative people tend to be very self-critical. It is the mechanism that drives improvement so it is useful if kept in balance. An example is looking back at old work and feeling the cringe in every fiber of our being. This is the brain recognizing PROGRESS. The cringe reaction is the biological response to noting that the work we produce now is better than[...]
Wolfgat Claire gunn


In January 2018 I was full of inspiration to find out about ideas and actions that were different in the food world. I craved a story with a deep respect for the environment before anything else. I had heard about Wolfgat and the foraging culture Kobus van der Merwe used there. Mostly it sounded like a chef who was doing something a bit differently and ye[...]
Urbanologi Claire Gunn

A day in the life at Urbanologi

A trip to Jozi to spend a day in three different kitchens led me to Urbanologi at last. I was writing and photographing for an article about Jozi staff meals and after I had thoroughly  intruded on what is usually a peaceful staff chow, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of staying to experience the night service. A coffee and chat with head chef Jack[...]

Schoon bakery

Posted In: DESTINATIONS | Food
Our favourite Cape Town bakery, Schoon, has relocated and opened up a little shop in Somerset West. When I visited, it was clear that they already have a loyal local patronage and a warm, authentic feeling is in this very pretty space. Coffee is strong, bread is sour and dark, and the pastries are light and nibbly. Perfection and integrity as usual. The core[...]

How to choose subjects for your art

Posted In: Art | Creativity
I am often asked where I get my inspiration from or why I choose to create what I do. It's not quite straightforward as I create for many different reasons with many mediums, and each of those with their different reasons for exploration. Inspiration is everywhere and limitless. Life inspires me, the miracle of living and my personal choices within it inspi[...]

A night at the Pot Luck pass

I recently photographed a travel guide for design-minded travellers, edition Cape Town. I was asked to photograph a dish, a portrait of the head chef Freddie Dias and an interior or two. The Pot Luck Club was on that list of must-see places of course, but just capturing the required images would have been a colossal waste of fortuitous circumstances. I often[...]
Boschendal by Claire Gunn


Posted In: DESTINATIONS | Food origins
I recently had the excellent fortune of shooting for one of our oldest Cape Dutch homestead farms, Boschendal. I had asked the universe to lead me to a property that had the potential for me to photograph and witness the life cycles of foods being grown, harvested and cooked in a yearly pattern; a place that cared about nature, and the authenticity of our f[...]
Claire Gunn Peanut butter and salted caramel banoffee pie


Posted In: Recipes
Banoffee pie is one of the simplest traditional American pies. With layers of caramel, bananas, whipped cream and chocolate shavings in a buttery pastry shell, what’s not to love about the flavour combination? Here I have replaced the sugar and dairy with the peanut butter and date caramel, and whipped coconut cream. The pastry shell is made from nut[...]
Claire Gunn 2017 Fire

Photographing fire

Posted In: Photography
I spent all of my twenties in a kitchen. When one chooses the life of a chef, you don't have a pencil holder on your desk, you have stifling heat, fire, burns and singes. Unluckily for me, there have been numerous occasions when I have literally been burned by the less-than-glorious reality of life in commercial kitchens. All-day shifts are gruelling and yo[...]
Claire Gunn Food origins

Foraging in Franschhoek with Chef Chris Erasmus

The idea of foraging for your daily food is not fun for all - especially if you haven’t got a clue of where or what to forage for - so it may seem like madness to forage for a whole restaurant daily. Twice daily, in fact. That's what it takes to find the quota of special ingredients as close to their natural state for Foliage restaurant in Franschhoek.[...]
Claire Gunn

Finding your artistic style

Posted In: Art | Creativity | Food | Life | Photography
I have asked myself this question so many times: "What is my style?" People often remark that they can tell if a photograph is mine, because they recognize my style. What style? What do they recognize?     If I describe my style, I say it is dreamy, attentive and impressionistic. I achieve this by choosing certain equipmen[...]
Blueberry and lime cheesecake by claire gunn


Posted In: Recipes
I was craving a big wodge of tangy, creamy cheesecake. Also, as usual I had a craving to make pretty pictures of sweet, colourful foods with flowers. This recipe is quite easy if you have a food processor and a desire for healthy food making. The essential two ingredients are soaked cashew nuts and blueberries – fresh or frozen is all good. If you wish, yo[...]

Eike by Bertus Basson

Posted In: DESTINATIONS | Food | Photography
  The unstoppable empire that is Bertus Basson opened a new restaurant, Eike, in the heart of historic Stellenbosch town last week. The cosy, pretty dining room offers an intimate atmosphere. The menu is a celebration of what's good right now seasonally in South African ingredients while drawing on nostalgia, all re-interpreted by Bertus' outlook[...]