Let’s Prioritize

I spent last weekend at a food photography workshop with Andrew Scrivani (to read more about the awesome course check out my earlier post. Better yet, to watch to course check out creativeLIVE) We learned so much during this time that I couldn’t possibly implement it all at once. I’ve decided to start with three things:

First, I want to start collecting interesting surfaces, dishes, napkins etc. to photograph on. I’ve always had a thing for textures and interesting designs on objects, but now I have a reason to actually hoard…err, collect…them (friends, if you’re ever struggling with gift giving ideas for me, pass on a cool plate you found at a garage sale and I’ll be happy as a clam).

Next, I need to sit down with my husband and discuss plating. I’m thinking we should start preparing separate dishes; one hot dish that is all about the flavor for him, and one not-so-hot dish that is all about the presentation for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious hot spread, but we need to prioritize here! (Andrew taught us a few great tips on how to work with spaghetti, dollops, and herbs but I’m really interested in learning more techniques. If anyone out there knows of a great resource, please let me know!)

Finally, I will work on my lighting to discover a style that works for me. So far, most of the shots I’ve posted have been in my backyard, with fairly flat natural light. Now, I’m not sure that my style is quite as moody as Andrew gravitates toward, but it could certainly use some improvement on handling the shadows and highlights to create a more interesting image.

Here’s my first image since ‘graduating.’ Fried green tomatoes, topped with smoked salmon and a honey mustard sauce.

I’m not entirely happy with the shot. For one, I think I started with a difficult dish and the color is less than appealing. I also really need to get on collecting fun plates. The one I used for this photo is from our kitchen cupboard and is very shiny and not all that interesting to photograph. Plus, I find the blue edge distracting. But, it’s a start!

fried green tomatoes

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Food Photography: “If the door is open a crack…”

The idea of being a ‘food photographer’ is new for me. Sure, I’ve photographed plenty of dishes over the years, but it was until quite recently that I thought, ‘hey, maybe I could really do something with this?’ Andrew Scrivani’s course at creativeLIVE emerged at the exact right time. On a whim, (and with my husband’s encouragement) I sent in a video to request being part of the live audience.

I was thrilled to have been chosen to learn tips and tricks from a renowned professional. But I could never have guessed how incredible the entire experience would be.

I was part of something truly special. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how to adequately describe this experience and I’m at a loss. Sure, I learned a ton about food photography, but it was more than that. Between our incredible instructor, stellar CreativeLive team, and of course the other audience members, there was such an amazing, dynamic energy in the air. That’s not to mention the inspiring quest contributor, Shauna Ahern, who deserves a post of her own.  I’m just so thankful to have been a part of it all.

So now what?  Well, I believe it’s time to start photographing food in earnest. I’ll start small and keep shooting the interesting dishes my husband and I create, continually working on improving my style. Right now my images are okay… but they are not great. But as Andrew said at the beginning of the class “you are as good as the last photo you took.”

Thank you again to Andrew and everyone at CreativeLive. This meant the world to me.

And finally, to leave you with my favorite quote from the weekend (paraphrased because I can’t remember word for word what was said): “if the door is open a crack, don’t just peek in, crash through.”

My fellow audience members. You all rock!

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

The CreativeLive Crew. I have so much respect for this team, I can’t wait to join you for another workshop!

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Photo Credit: Marianne Hawkins Sabrier (www.mariannesabrier.com)

Starting with a walk

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”  – Walt Disney

I’ve been talking a lot lately about ways to share my day-to-day photography and designs. Starting a blog was the first step; the next challenge is to find other ways of presenting my art (perhaps some notecards?)…Oh and to maintain the blog, that’s a challenge in and of itself. Two posts down, hopefully many more to go.