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July 02, 2010

Food and Light: Best Workshop Ever

Blueberries

I've been playing hooky from work and blogging the last few days to enjoy bucketfuls of sunshine, outrageously good food, and the company of some of the most talented bloggers around.

The Food and Light Photography Workshop, organized by Jen of use real butter in collaboration with Helen of Tartelette and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, was hands down the best photography workshop I went to. It really didn't feel like class...more like summer vacation with some great friends.

Although food bloggers are a wonderfully friendly and giving lot, Jen, Helen, Todd, and Diane stand head and shoulders above the rest. I have never met more generous people, so ready to share their knowledge and experience with others. And they are also FUN...see the dinner Jen threw for several of us out-of-town bloggers the night before the workshop (Yes, the workshop also sort of felt like a overachievers' convention).

When I talked to Jen about the workshop, she told me that her goal was to create a class that offered more than the average photography class: a class that gave real, practical advice to photographers on how to take photos, and would give them the tools to let them continue improving their skills on their own after the class.

I think she and the other instructors succeeded fabulously; from the moment the workshop started we could tell how much preparation had gone into organizing everything, and how passionate the instructors were about photography and food. We had lectures that covered the gamut of concerns that many a food blogger has: photography basics, equipment, lighting, and styling.

The lectures were broken up by hands on sessions where we could practice shooting different food items, implementing things we had just learned, and getting instant feedback from the instructors. I really thought this was what set this workshop apart and made it so useful and rewarding. There's no substitute for learning by doing, and having an experienced professional to give you a personal critique was pretty much worth the value of the workshop. I know all the participants appreciated that all four of the instructors were willing to open themselves up and answer endless barrages of questions!

Below, a few shots I took during class. The rest of the class shots are at this flickr group  - you can see how quickly people starting picking tips and tricks from class!

Carrots

Berriestop2

Cupcakes

Bread 

Finally, all the workshop participants were asked to submit their favorite images taken during class to be judged by their fellow classmates and the instructors. We were asked to vote for images in categories such as Best Overall, Most Improved, and Most Original. I'm so thrilled that the class chose this image I shot below as Best Styling :

Cherries 

I call it Little Red Corvette. Thanks again to Jen et al. for awarding prizes and swag bags to the participants - I have never been to a workshop where you got so much free stuff!

Thanks again to Jen, Helen, Diane, and Todd for such a great experience. And another thank you to Lisa, who kindly let me stay with her at her family friend's home and was a blast as a traveling companion. Couldn't think of a better way to start off the summer!

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Fabulous. I love your winning photo too.

beautiful photo!

Oh, so jealous - I just knew that workshop would wonderful with those guys. Your pictures are gorgeous!

It was great to meet you, Anita! And that photo definitely deserved to win! It got my vote :)

Wow, these photos are lovely! I soooo would have loved to go to this workshop!! Super jealous :)

Beautiful work, Anita! Sounds like a blast.

Wow! That sounds like fun! I wish they will hold workshops in the bay area someday :). (This is Hany from SFBI, btw :))

The photo deserve the award. It is the best styled. It looked like a heart in a spoon. I liked the bread and jam too. Congratulations!

really nice photos, just wondering what camera you use?

What a great workshop. I'd love to attend something like that here. Your little red corvette shot-gorgeous! You're a pro already. All your photos are so beautiful and have inspired me in so many ways.

I'm checking all the blogs of you guys about the workshop....I'm sooo jealous. Next time I really have to come! And beautiful picture!

this is truly beautiful, so envy of such event. But your last photo is truly beautiful, a little cherry can be big too! :) great how foodies can be! :) . . .from the boys

What a beautiful post! I love all of your photos, but especially the winning shot - great styling!

Your photographs are beautiful examples of still-life, Anita. They're so gorgeous, delicate and really tell a story.
Thank you for joining us, it was such a treat to meet you again and to really spend more time with you. xoxo

Anita, your photos look great! Wish I didn't live in South Africa :(

lucky you!!!
would have loved to attend.
Seattle seems the ends of the earth from here but I bet it's way cooler.
Loving especially the cherry on the spoon...
http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2007/07/spoon-collector.html

It was really fun to meet you Anita! I loved your "red corvette" cherry shot. It totally got my vote for the best styling!

Loving the red corvette pic, very contemporary! You've got a good talent for food photography!

This sounds like such a great workshop. Beautiful light and composition in your photos. I loved the one of the berries

Hi Whatcouldicook,

I currently use a Canon Rebel XTi with a 50mm/f1.4 and 100mm/f2.8 - the 100mm is my favorite:)

what camera do you use? from ur profile it looks like a GF2 :)

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