Food connects. – This is something I definitely noticed once again on my recent trip to London. The reason that I went to London was that I joined the London Supperclub Food Styling and Photography Workshop which was hold by Meeta K. Wolff from What’s for Lunch Honey?, Sumayya Jami from Pukka Paki and Jeanne Horak-Druiff from Cooksister. Thus I had the chance to meet three wonderful inspiring ladies. A first preview I gave you already last week by sharing my Instagram shots. But now it is time for some more views behind the scenes.
After the Food Styling & Photography Workshop in Weimar which I attended last summer, it was for me the second time that I went to a workshop hold by Meeta. Therefore I also thought that I would have had a rough idea what to expect. But I was wrong because in the end all my expectations were just blown away by two fabulous days which I had together with 11 other inspiring participants from almost all over the world. I guess that one reason what made this workshop so special was that this workshop was not only about food photography and styling but also about fabulous food itself. Thanks to Sumayya, an important part of this workshop was also the chance to try Pakistani food, which was for me definitely one more reason why I was so eager to go to this workshop.
And so I made my way to the Central Street Cookery School in London which was a fabulous place for this workshop: large windows, enough space and still very comfortable. There the workshop was kicked off with an informal meet and greet. Which meant that we had some Pakistani brunch while every participant gave a short introduction. And maybe it was the food which immediately connected all of us. Almost right from the beginning there was chatting, talking, giggling, joking and lots of laughing within the group, which also did not stop during the two days. The change from brunch over to the first lession about food photography by Meeta was then almost fluent. A few weeks before the workshop we already had received from Meeta A Guide to Basic Photography Techniques so that she could put the focus of her presentation directly on those aspects which are especially helpful when it comes to food photography, like the influence of light and how to handle it best. And in addition she also shared with us one or the other anecdote and behind the scene story from her long lasting experience so that already at this point I felt filled with lots of inspiration and input which I liked very much.
Also during the following presentations which were about styling, about restaurant photography with low light and about post processing those photos with Photoshop I had some real aha-moments. While the styling lesson was also hold by Meeta the other two presentations of the day where done by Jeanne. These two ladies were just the perfect mix for this workshop. Both are very succesful with their blogs and photographs, and they both have their personal individual approaches so that by this they perfectly demonstrated that there is no question about right or wrong. Instead of this it is more a story about preferences, given situations, personal taste and finding your own voice. For commercials this might be different.
To close this fantastic first day we went for dinner to the Chiswell Street Dining Rooms. This dinner was also part of our workshop assignment for which we had to create a story for a certain magazine, which had to consist of 4 different kind of photos, one being a low light restaurant photo. You can clearly imagine what happened when 14 foodies with cameras and this assignment in mind meet very delicate food :-). It was like a whole bunch of food paparazzi, but luckily the restaurant knew that this could happen so that we had a room for our own and the waiters were just great. If you take a look at the photos you will understand what I mean. But be assured, we did not only photograph, we also enjoyed the fabulous food and had some very great talks sitting around a large and very festive decorated table.
The main focus of the second day was the assignment. After a presentation about post processing in Lightroom Meeta gave us also a practical styling demo so that we could also see how she usually plans and arranges her photos.
And then it was our turn. Together in small groups of 2-3 we had to take first an ingredient shot and later an action shot. For this action photo Sumayya showed one half of the group some cooking techniques while the other half took the photos and then the groups changed again so that everyone had the chance to take photos.
And the last photo of the day was for each group was the cover shot for the story. My group mate was Petra and I just had the feeling that we complement one another very well. While she is definitely an absolute marketing professional who has in additon a long lasting experience when it comes, for example, to choosing photos for catalogues etc. or creating stories, I could add my experience when it comes to camera technique or the post processing. And as a team we just had lot of fun together, also because of the story Petra had created for our assignement in which the waiter from the previous evening was the star. Therefore just have a look at the photo she had taken.
While presenting and discussing all the results of the different assignments with the complete group, we had of course, again lot of fun. But besides this, everyone received also a lot of good input and ideas what you could do in a different way next time. By this, this final round had again plenty of helpful information and feedback. And then it was cocktail time and again it was Sumayya’s turn. After she already had prepared a wonderful Pakistani lunch for us on this second day, she mixed for our workshop final very delicious cocktails by using a Vitamix machine. And in the end there was even one lovely participant of the workshop who won this machine and could take it home. Isn’t this a great final for a great workshop?!
And if you now got interested, there currently is the chance to get one of the last seats at one of the following workshops which are also organized by Meeta.
Inspired by Meeta’s book recommendations, I bought already following two books in the meantime, which I can now also recommend.
- Cindie Flannigan, Denise Vivaldo: The Food Stylist’s Handbook*
- Bill Brady: More Digital Food Photography*
And what some of the others wrote about this workshop you can read here.
- Cooksisterblog via Storify | London food photography workshop
- What’s For Lunch Honey? | Impressions of the London Food Styling and Photography Workshop
- What’s For Lunch Honey? | Spice it up: London Food Photography and Styling Workshop
- Two Lights: London Supperclub Food Styling and Photography Workshop
- Veggisbloggen | Inspirasjon: Fotoworkshop
* These are Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on the links, I’ll receive a small provision.