This past weekend I was lucky enough to snag a spot in a food styling and photography workshop hosted by Helene Dujardin and Clare Barboza, two photographers I have come to greatly admire and... now... feel ever so grateful to have met. The experience was about as akin to playing in a sandbox... with some really fun playmates and some really great toys... as one can get.
In a nutshell, eleven women from all parts of the US and Peru (!), and from all walks of life, descended on a beach house on the Isle of Palms just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, and quickly discovered that they had one common denominator that could transcend all possible differences... a love of food and how it can be presented. And under the expert tutelage of Helene and Clare, we couldn't get enough of it. From morning until night, it was all about camera settings, lighting, composition, story telling, props (oh... the beautiful props!)... and food, food, food. Here is a bit of what I came away with...
Though the workshop was intense (especially for a rookie, like me), the setting was so relaxed and lovely, our instructors so very patient and experienced, and the company of women so equally generous in sharing what they know, that the whirlwind of activity and challenge was nothing short of amazing.
As much as I love cooking and chronicling recipes, I've come to realize that I love the images as well (and all that goes into a good image). I could easily sit amongst the pages of Food & Wine, Saveur, Donna Hay... and a mountain of other magazines and cookbooks... completely satiated by the amazing visuals.
And this weekend was all about the visual... styling and shooting a variety of images from breakfast to dessert, market to restaurant, "ugly" food to picnic fare... what a blast it was playing with food, working with props, styling images, and chatting with others doing the same.
While my intent among these pages has always been food and flavor... and the chronicling of recipes for my daughters... I am ever so grateful for the insights of both Helene and Clare. Due to their abundant generosity and kind (and fun!) spirit, we all came away feeling ever so thankful for their knowledge and instruction... in a sandbox, on an isle, outside of Charleston...
Thank you, Helene and Clare!