Olia is the talent behind the popular Instagram page @ps.ny, no doubt you have seen her extremely cute red poodle Cookie pop up in your feed at some point. Based in NYC, PS.NY is all about vegan food, mindful lifestyles and good vibes. We chatted to Olia about blogging, her lifestyle and all things Cookie... Happy reading!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Olia and I’m a photographer and artist based in New York City. I’m originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. Before moving to NYC in 2009, I lived in Germany and Italy for over fourteen years.
When did you start food blogging on Instagram and what inspired you to start PS.NY?
The story of PS.NY began in the fall of 2012, when my daughter Lara created an Instagram account for our puppy, Cookie. She called it “Pumpkin and Sunshine” after their nicknames. As Lara became older, she decided to change the account's name to PS.NY. I helped Lara with running PS.NY until I took it over a couple of years later.
What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food/lifestyle blogger?
One of the biggest perks is that I get a lot of free vegan food from various brands, but it can also become challenging because before my family and I can enjoy it, I need to take photos. Sometimes I get something really fresh and pretty for a photo shoot, but my husband or my daughter will eat it before I take pictures, which is very annoying. I even decided to buy a separate mini fridge to keep my “props" there, so they don't "steal" them ;)
Your red poodle, Cookie has certainly risen to Insta fame. I think the question on everyone's mind is- how do you get him to do those very cute poses and cooperate so well for photos?
Cookie loves attention, he enjoys it when people take photos of him and tell him compliments - he totally understands the word “cute” and will pose whenever he sees a camera.
Does Cookie do any dog modelling apart from his work on PS.NY?
Cookie became quite popular in 2015 and was featured on various TV and radio shows and we had many brand collaborations. It became quite overwhelming for us and I decided to pull back. I cancelled a lot of photoshoots and events because I’m not really interested in making Cookie a star, especially because he's quite shy by nature and he's never really liked crowds.
What are some things you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love practicing yoga, drawing/painting and walking Cookie in Central Park. If I didn’t have to work, I’d probably give up my job and become a full-time artist.
Your photos are always styled so nicely, what tips and tricks can you share to assist in creating such great images?
I’m actually still trying to figure that out ;) One of the most important and challenging steps to create a visually appealing feed on Instagram is having a consistent look. Although I love many different styles, I realized that I have to limit them. At the beginning, I was using a lot of different backdrops and props, but now I use just a few. I also reduced my color palette. I created my own filter presets in Photoshop and I use them on all of my photos.
You’re lucky enough to live in lively New York! What is your favourite thing about living there and where is your favourite place to eat?
I love the fact that there are all kind of people with different backgrounds, nationalities and religious views. The amount of cultural organizations, events and classes available is indescribable. I can find practically anything here. To be honest, I don't really have a favorite place to eat. We don’t go out to eat very often, and when we do, I try to go to different places to discover new things.
What is your favourite thing to eat in your Coconut Bowls?
Smoothies and granola with fruits and various toppings.
What is your favourite thing about your Coconut Bowls?
I love that they aren't symmetrical and every bowl is a little bit different. They are very pleasant to hold in your hands and they are very “photogenic”. I wish I had more of them ;)
Thanks, Olia! Big love from Coconut Bowls ❤
Be inspired and follow Olia and Cookie's adventures over at @PS.NY