Months ago, I was lucky to attend a photo styling workshop with the fabulous, talented, and funny Clare Barboza and Becky Selengut.  I offered my skills as a dishwasher (aka kitchen manager) and in turn was graciously offered a space in the workshop.  I definitely got the better end of the bargain!

I have to admit, I was the only one among the students with the point-and-shoot camera, and might have experienced a bit of camera envy and camera inadequacy.  But I carried through and had a fantastic time.

Here are my favorite and, in my opinion, most successful photos from the shoot.

Thanks ladies!

Lesson: use texture and color.  Sprinkle powdered sugar right at the last moment.  Think of what mood you are trying to set.  In this photo, I went for earthy, natural colors to go along with the cinnamon sticks and sage leaves used as both a garnish and a component in Becky’s butternut squash and apple beignets.

The difficulty with this photo was the food itself.  As delicious as it was, it clearly isn’t the prettiest plate of food we have seen.  The challenge was to allow the food to speak for itself.  How would you photograph rice and dahl?  I chose to go with vibrant colors underneath the plate.  Also, I wanted to showcase the condiments on a side, adding extra color to the composition.

Here’s one more shot.  You can see the additional texture of the wood underneath the condiment plate.  I also garnished the main dish with a dollop of yogurt, hoping to break up the brown colors in the rice and dahl.

The last exercise during the workshop was salad.  We were challenged to plate the salad “outside of the plate” so to speak.  I was immediately drawn to this particular white plate.  I fanned the figs, halved in the center, trying to focus on them as the main ingredient.  On either side of the figs, I arranged toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped and a chunk of blue cheese, sitting in the pool of balsamic.

I am excited to take the lessons I have learned during the workshop and apply them in my future photography projects.  Who knows, perhaps one day, I will too be one of those people with a big camera and multiple lenses!

For now, I continue my search for the next best napkin, surface area, and other fun accessories.

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