On Saturday I rocked up at Clapham Studios in Lavender Hill, London to attend a food photography workshop. I had no idea what to expect – but as I’m trying to build a career in food marketing I figured it would be pretty useful.
Pictured above was our lovely tutor Carole. In the morning we focussed on technical talk. Aperture, shutter speed, how to make the most of lighting, why it’s important to use a tripod, colour theory etc. Ok this totally was not my favourite bit of the course, but it really was bloody useful.
Next up Aimee the second tutor on the course styled a cake for us, creating a scene for us to photograph. The cake (a four tier butternut squash cake – yum) got adorned with beautiful flowers and the background was made up using autumnal influences, ingredients from the cake and vintage accessories – so things like ivy, leaves, apples, blackberries and butternut squash. It was very informative to see how Aimee put the display together. I’ve always been a bit unimaginative and literal about my food photography – for me it’s just an aerial photo of a plate of food and job done! I now know better.
After a lot of snapping of this styled piece we were treated to a very tasty lunch of homemade quiche and salads and obviously great big slabs of cake! Get in! Lunch was a nice opportunity to get to know everyone in the group – we had bloggers, a personal chef, a pastry maker, a cookbook writer. It was really interesting to hear about everyone’s motivation for doing the course.
The afternoon session was the most fun because we got to be creative. We started with Carole demonstrating a flat lay – i.e. – creating a scene on the floor which you photograph from above. Carole talked us through her creative thought process as she laid out her accessories – making sure to create some layers and movement within the scene. Then it was our turn and we were given free rein to put together our own scene . I got very enthusiastic and did three!
The final part of the class was doing a three dimensional side view picture, so again the tutor showed us what to do – and here layering and getting the sizes of accessories in an eye pleasing order was particularly important. This was my attempt below.
The course gave me so many ideas about how to set up pictures and to be indulgent about really taking my time to get it right. I’ve been practising since and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome! Have a look below. I think my photos are really starting to look professional. I’ve also been shopping for accessory nick nacks on amazon and in charity shops – hence the nice tea towels and vintage crockery. And I bought a white box with lighting (very cheap online) which also makes a big difference to how bright my photos look.
If you’d like to find out more about the courses that Carole and Aimee run here are the links to their websites: