This weekend I got to play. The wonderful West Coast Events had invited me to host some food styling, photography and cookery workshops at their Autumn Food and Home Fair held in the old manse (Bishopton House) in Lochgilphead. My space was beautifully styled by the fabulous Sara Qualter of West Coast Living and she created for me the most inspirational dining room with a huge white dresser (which I ended up buying - oops!), marble topped side tables and a simply enormous rustic table onto which I was able to unload and display almost my entire collection of vintage food styling props. Happy would be understating my squeeks of delight.
|The beautifully styled space - thanks to Sara of West Coast Living - and the fabulous set of baby weighing scales that I bought from a very nice man on the day. Now they are perfect for displaying meringues - and now I can sell them by weight. Cool!!|
The light was challenging. Huge windows channelled the low, bright, Autumn sun onto every surface, creating just lovely pools of light in some areas and huge black shadows in others. I couldn't really diffuse the light easily without offending the sunniness of the day, so instead decided to work with it, encouraging those keen to learn about food styling and photography to take advantage of the shadows to push forward even more the images they were capturing. The results were fabulous - reminding me a bit of old old oil paintings a la Velasquez.
|Some eager student styling their shots.|
I also wanted my aspiring food photographers to understand the importance of breaking down the elements of a dish in their heads first, in order to then build up and style a photograph that would make you hungry for the end result.
We also baked so that we could photograph the process - who knew that pastry making could be so exceptionally beautiful when the light is right and an entire Autumn harvest is spread across a table.
I met some lovely people on the day and I think we managed to capture the taste of Autumn pretty well! And I hope that everyone who came along feels inspired to switch their cameras off auto and play to their hearts content.