Kimberly and I began our blogging journey around the same time a few years ago, and stumbled across each other’s blogs early on. We kept in touch for a couple of years before realising that we lived SUPER close to each other and had to meet. Well… as they say, the rest is history!
When Kimberly asked if I wanted to host a 3 day, in person workshop with her in our beautiful home city of London, the answer was without a doubt a resounding yes! We couldn’t wait to bring our different styles together for this 3 day intensive workshop. We welcomed lots of different students from all over the world over the three days, which was SO inspiring. Hearing their different stories and journeys gave me a fresh burst of inspiration in my own work.
On day 1 we were joined by students from Denmark, France, Australia and Dubai (how crazy is that!). We began with introductions and some tea and energy balls, getting us set up for the day ahead.
We then proceeded with the workshop, breaking the day into three different sessions. We began with a technical talk about camera settings, to make sure that we were all on the same page with our aperture, ISO and shutter speed, before moving upstairs to style a breakfast scene together.
Kimberly and I began by doing a demonstration of a breakfast scene, both giving our input on how we would set up the scene ourselves, before letting our students loose with an abundance of beautiful breakfast foods and props for them to set up, style and shoot their own scenes. Seeing how they worked together each bringing their unique voice to the table was fascinating and encouraging. It’s a reminder that we each bring something different with our own creativity, and outside of our comfort zone is definitely where we make the most progress!
Next we headed out for a delicious, vegetarian lunch at a local restaurant where we enjoyed some great food and spent some time getting to know each other.
When we headed back, it was time for our afternoon session, styling and shooting a layer cake.
Styling this cake together gave us all the opportunity to think about height, colour, texture and shapes. We talked through different ways of placing the hero flower on top, framing it with the other beautiful pieces that we had available.
We talked through our favourite composition techniques with our students, teaching them about shapes, framing and balance which all go towards creating those stunning, stand out compositions.
We covered SO MUCH, in just one day, it was hard to believe we still had two days together – but we were all very glad that we did!
On day 2 we also had 4 students (3 of whom joined us for the full three day workshop).
We started off with Kimberly leading us in a session on visual storytelling. Together with the students, we learned how to plan out a mood board for a shoot. We thought through what we were shooting (vegetarian gyoza) and a mixture of different shots we could take to really tell the story behind the dish.
This is something that we put into practice when doing client work in order to convey and agree the vision with the client before the shoot starts!
We started out with an ingredient shot, making use of soft, composition techniques like the S Curve and the C Shape, along with colour theory.
Next, we moved onto a macro shot of these gorgeous mushrooms. Seeing everyone’s different take on this shot was so interesting, as everyone had a different favourite mushroom! When it comes to food styling, it’s all in the details, so we spent quite a bit of time putting this picture together, making sure every mushroom was placed exactly where we wanted it to be.
Next was an action shot. Ahhh the magic of action. This shot gave us the opportunity to teach our students not only about composition, but also how to nail your camera settings for shots like this, where you can achieve just the right amount of motion blur to accentuate your movement, without creating a blurry photo.
Lastly we styled an abundant table scene of the final dish together, using layers, shapes, colours and hands to create this interactive photo.
This was an intense, but highly rewarding session with everyone wishing we could “just take one more shot”! But it was time for us to head out to lunch, where we enjoyed some gorgeous sourdough pizzas, and back for our afternoon intensive all about editing.
I walked our students end to end through my Lightroom editing process, showing them the ins and outs of how to properly create catalogues, organise their photos, different editing styles and how to export them for their blogs and instagram. Kimberly also showed us how she would edit a dark and moody photo, so we could compare our different styles again.
Day three was a bit different to days one and two, as we had a total of 7 students, and we moved our location to the gorgeous Kemble House Studio in south east London.
On this day, we focussed fully on smartphone photography, talking about what’s really inside your smartphone, how to make the most of it and how to shoot really stunning photos with just your phone.
We began styling a dessert scene of mini meringues topped with cashew cream and some seasonal fruits. We were also extremely privileged to be able to shoot on the gorgeous backdrops from Capture by Lucy, who kindly provided us with many different surfaces to shoot on throughout the day.
Next, we moved onto drinks, giving us the chance to shoot with backlight, which is not the easiest, but it’s just magical. We talked about capturing specular highlights, which angles work best for backlighting and how to really make those colours in drinks pop.
Next we styled veggie Buddha bowls together, each creating a different masterpiece from the same ingredients. It was so interesting to see how different each bowl was, even though they each had pretty much the same elements.
The way each of the students used different styling techniques and backgrounds gave each photo a completely different feel. We talked through how to style in a dark and moody way, as well as a light and bright way.
Surprise surprise… yet again we wished we had more time to shoot 10 more dishes… but it was time for lunch. As it was a Sunday, we took advantage of that heading out for a classic Sunday roast at a local restaurant, before heading back to the studio for the afternoon.
The afternoon began with a session on smartphone editing, using mainly the Lightroom Mobile app. We were able to teach our students just what a powerful part of the food photography process editing is, and how this little app can unlock lots of potential in our images by learning to work with selective editing and colour.
Kimberly then lead us in an incredibly valuable Instagram and business session, where she shared her top tips to successfully branding and growing a thoughtful foodie account. We sat down with a well deserved tea and snack, devouring every word Kimberly had to share, leaving with full tummy’s and full of inspiration!
Kimberly and I would also like to thank our incredible workshop sponsors who made this event extra special, by allowing us to send each of the participants home with a beautiful goody bag full of snacks and props. Our sponsors are:
Capture by Lucy – @cblbackdrops, Hend Krichen ceramics – @hendkrichen, Interra Ceramica – @interra_ceramica, August Table napkins – @august_table, Goldenballs energy balls (our morning snack on most days) – @golden_balls_goodness, Rawr Chocolate – @rawrchocolate, Clearspring snacks – @clearspringuk, Nakd energy bars – @Nakdwholefoods
Keep an eye out for my future workshops (more coming in 2019!) or send me an email to lauren [at] thatssag [dot] com if you are interested in a one to one teaching session at my home studio here in Zurich.