LONDON FOOD STYLING AND INSTAGRAM WORKSHOP / BEHIND THE SCENES

London food styling and instagram workshop with ceramic (top left) by workshop partner  Hend Krichen

London food styling and instagram workshop with ceramic (top left) by workshop partner Hend Krichen

In the lead up to every food photography and food styling workshop I host right here in London, I’m always frantically running around till the 11th hour, sourcing the most photogenic food, getting the right food photography props and scouting the perfect lunch locations, whilst wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But then, when students come from near and far (and this time they came from Dubai, France, Holland and beautiful places all across the UK), I realise it was all so, so worth it!

Sharing my passion for food photography, food styling and instagram is a privilege, especially when I get to teach alongside camera wiz kid, Lauren Caris who was a total star to work with. Moreover, we had the BEST, the warmest and the most committed students EVER, making the workshop so much fun, filled with boundless energy and creativity!

As I had such a wonderful time this March teaching the 3-day London workshop, I thought perhaps you'd like to see what happened over the course of those days, what the final shots taken during the workshop looked like and basically, what exactly went down. Ready to take a look behind the scenes? Then please scroll down and read on … 

London food photography and food workshop - one of our lovely students
London food photography and food styling workshop - The Little Plantation

DAY 1 - FOOD STYLING AND FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

We kicked off the food photography and food styling workshop with a talk on camera basics, ISO, aperture, shutterspeed, the works! Thereafter we spent considerable time exploring the inter-relationship between, light, shadow and the food we want to capture. Lauren and I styled a scene together (top shot) and then gave students ample time to style their own food scenes, putting their learning into practice. That’s because I strongly believe we learn by watching, but we learn even more by doing! Consequently, hands-on practice formed an important part of day 1 of the workshop.

You can see one of our students in action, as well as a scene styled by two of our attendees above.

After sharing constructive feedback with our attendees, we took a break for lunch, headed to the gorgeous BABUR restaurant, which has been featured in the Michelin Guide, where the chef prepared a 2-course vegan meal just for us.

With our bellies full, we were able to focus wholeheartedly on the last section of the workshop during which we styled and shot a gorgeous vegan cake. You can see an outtake from the afternoon session below, with my co-teacher Lauren Caris hand modelling like a pro. The day ended with our students’ camera full of beautiful shots they never thought they’d be able to take as well as with a carefully curated goody bag.

London food photography and food styling workshop - The Little Plantation
London food styling and food photography workshop - The Little Plantation
London food photography and food styling workshop - The Little Plantation
London food styling and food photography workshop - The Little Plantation

DAY 2 - VISUAL STORYTELLING

On day two, our focus shifted towards visual storytelling which is the art of using a set of images to tell a story about food - from gorgeous produce to delicious recipe. Seeing that we were on the cusp of entering into Spring, Lauren and I decided on seasonal vegan kale, mushroom and carrot gyozas as our main subject, thereby venturing into brown, savoury food to really stretch our students’ creative muscles! Our attendees had ample input in the styling of the shots and together we discussed how the visual story would unfold. You can see the end result below.

Lauren and I were keen to ensure that the shots captured on day 2 were rather different from the ones taken on day one - that’s because we wanted our students to find their voice and grow in confidence; by trying an array of food styling set-ups we felt they would be most able to develop adaptable food styling skills, no matter what situation they find themselves in as they move forward on their food photography journey.

After concluding the morning session, we took a comfort break for lunch and headed out to MAMMA DOUGH restaurant for the best sourdough pizza in London! When we returned, we had the afternoon to delve deeper into Lightroom editing before calling it a day with yet another glorious goodie bag.

London food styling and food photography workshop with Kimberly Espinel from The Little Plantation
London food styling and food photography workshop with Kimberly Espinel from The Little Plantation
London food styling workshop, behind the scenes - The Little Plantation
London food styling and food photography workshop - Behind the scenes

DAY 3 - MOBILE PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY AND INSTAGRAM INTENSIVE

This was the first time I ran a full day, focusing entirely on mobile phone photography, food styling and editing for mobile phone photography. I must say, all new things are a bit daunting, but I'm delighted I took the plunge and over the moon with the mobile shots we took on the day. You can see a selection below.

Whereas day 1 and day 2 of the workshop took place at my cosy home studio, we moved day 3 of the workshop to the gorgeous professional daylight food photography studio, Kemble House. Lauren and I decided to try out this new venue, as it allowed us to take a slightly larger group and give our attendees the experience of being in a professional food photography studio.

Mobile phone food photography workshop - behind the scenes
Mobile phone shot of students’ work on the day.

Mobile phone shot of students’ work on the day.

Mobile phone food photography workshop - behind the scenes

In the morning, we focused a lot on hands on practice (learning by doing, that old chestnut again!), reining in our teaching and giving students more time to experiment, especially on the food styling front. The aim was to see where students were getting stuck and then gently support them to get unstuck and create the scene they envisaged in their hearts and minds. We gave students the opportunity to shoot and style sweet food, drinks and a savoury buddha bowl. It was incredible to see everyone interpret the task at hand different, allowing their vision, individuality and creativity to shine through.

Lunch took place at the gorgeous Dartmouth Arms, a local gastropub that got the thumbs up for their (vegan) Sunday roast! Much as we all loved the food, I have decided that for future workshop hosted at Kemble House (yes, more are in the works), I will ensure that lunch is held at the studio - it’s so inviting and more intimate that way and gives us more time for teaching, which, to me always needs to be at the forefront of my workshops!

Having said that, the refreshing walk back to the studio really helped us digest our food and allowed us to fully focus on the afternoon session all about editing your mobile shots on your phone and developing a clear instagram strategy. More goody bags followed, before Lauren (who did a write up on the workshop on her blog, which you can find by clicking here) and I called it a day!

To conclude the workshop and as a little bonus, students got sent my presets, my instagram tools list, Lauren’s artificial light guide as well as her incredible tripod guide, plus LOTS MORE!!!!

Mobile phone shot of students’ work.

Mobile phone shot of students’ work.

Mobile phone shot of buddha bowl, styled on the day.

Mobile phone shot of buddha bowl, styled on the day.

Before I thank all the generous partners, without whom this workshop could never have been possible and before I tell you how you can join my next food styling workshop, I wanted to say a big, massive THANK you to our fabulous creatives who shared these food filled days with me and Lauren. YOU ROCK!

Maha - Kristina - Camilla - Kim - Milou - Costas - Candela - Sarah - Jess

BTW they all took incredible shots on the day, which you can check out on their instagram profiles, just click on their names and the internet will take you to their gorgeous IG galleries ;).

OUR GENEROUS FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY AND FOOD STYLING SPONSORS

Thank you all so much for gifting us and our attendees your beautiful (and delicious) goodies. This workshop could never have been what it is without your input.

  • AUGUST TABLE for your gorgeous linen napkins. Made our goody bags extra special.

  • INTERRA CERAMICA your ceramics are made with some much love. It’s palpable! 

  • CAPTURED BY LUCY loving your colourful backdrops. They are gorgeous to shoot on!

  • HEND KRICHEN your ceramics are beyond elegant. Thank you for your generosity.

  • GOLDENBALLS ENERGY BITES our attendees got to start the day with your goodness. SO lush. Thank you!

  • RAWR CHOCOLATE incredibly moreish vegan chocolate. Thank you for contributing so generously to the goody bags.

  • CLEARSPRING your Japanese snacks are so addictively good. Yum!

  • NAKD ENERGY BARS so good for on the go! We were delighted to include your bars in our goody bags. Thank you!

WANT TO ATTEND ONE OF MY FOOD STYLING AND FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP?

Then please check my food photography workshop page here OR better still complete the contact form below. FYI, There will be a 1-day group workshop taking place in June, 2019 and a 2-day workshop in September. I’d love to have you join. I can't wait to hear from you and teach you all I know.   

STILL NOT SURE ABOUT WORKING WITH ME?

Then please feel free to check out my testimonial page or tune into my podcast, Eat, Capture, Share to get to know me better. I have taught and worked with over 150 food bloggers, foodies, food instagrammers, food photographers and passionate home cooks, meaning I have LOTS of experience in helping my students reach their creative potential. I’d love to work with you too!

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Our sponsors inter Ceramica, August Table napkins and Goldenballs goodness on display in this shot taken in my home studio a day before the workshop.

Our sponsors inter Ceramica, August Table napkins and Goldenballs goodness on display in this shot taken in my home studio a day before the workshop.