Whoop whoop. It’s ma birthday!
The big 32! Kind of a boring age, although not sure 33 and 34 will be much more exciting. I actually happen to love my thirties! I know, it’s only been 2 years. But I must say, 30 somethings have been where it’s at these days. and I’ve got lots to celebrate this year. I’m lucky to have such wonderful family and friends, 2 beautiful baby girls, and the greatest husband of all time who got me the best gift a crazy food loving freak like myself could ask for.
Yep. He sent me away for the weekend to a two day food photography and styling workshop, taught by two of my favorite food bloggers, Todd Porter and Diane Chu from the White on Rice Couple food blog. As if going away by myself wasn’t great enough!
I can’t even begin to tell you how inspirational the weekend was. Todd and Diane are professional food photographers and stylists, and have an amazing cook book called Bountiful, which I was lucky enough to receive the moment I walked into their studio door.
They cooked and served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with plenty of snacking in between.
So wait. Let me get this straight. I get to be here alone, with no kids tugging at my leg, eat amazing food, learn and play with food photography and styling shoots and NOT DO ANY DISHES???
Literally in heaven.
Speaking of heaven. They have the most incredible prop room I could ever dream of. There is every wood, stone, metal, or ceramic piece you need. Napkins, forks, spoons, straws, platters, cutting boards, bowls, plates, and mugs. I literally felt I died and went to food blogger heaven.
Needless to say, going back to my 3 plates and 1 ceramic bowl from Home Goods, was severely depressing.
So, how did the weekend work? We ate, watched, styled, ate, shot, watched, ate, shot, styled, ate, and ate some more. There are no two better people to learn from than Todd and Diane. Such a dynamic duo, and incredible to watch and learn from. She styles…
Unlike the craziness that happens in my kitchen when I’m sweating, breathing heavy, and flustered as I try to get the perfect shot of my already melting ice cream for a blog post. The end results are okay, but the process is a crazy disaster.
The most inspiring thing about these two, is that they’re completely self taught. They woke up one day, just like I did and decided they wanted to share their recipes online and created their blog. Now they have developed something so much bigger and are living their dream.
Aside from being inspired by Todd and Diane, the energy in the room from the other people in the class is what made it so special. There were other professional photographers, wedding photographers, nature photographers, food bloggers, and beginners just like myself, and we were all there to support and learn from one another.
I was able to play with angles, and different camera lenses.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was an activity where Diane and Todd set up 11 different stations of already styled food. We each had 30 seconds to shoot each station and get our shot. We weren’t allowed to touch the food, or adjust the scene. Just shoot and go. It taught us that you don’t need to take 1,000 pictures of the same thing to get the right shot. It’s just a matter of lighting and simple styling. Check out some of my shots below from the speed round.
It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.