A few days ago I crossed the Blue Mountains of Australia, back to Sydney, in my little car beaten by a heavy rain, crossing rivers of storm water running across the road. My head was buzzing with millions of ideas, my heart warmed by a fabulous journey I had just experienced.
I was returning from a Food Photography workshop organised by Sophie Hansen, the magician behind “Local is Lovely“. It took place at Kimbri Farm near Rydal. A glorious landscape looking like Switzerland planted with Eucalyptus. The farm belongs to Sophie’s parents; Annie Herron her mother is a painter and painting teacher. Her house is a paradise where all rooms all decorated with multitudes of fabulous books, paintings, pots, plates and comfortable furniture. My dream house…
Annie Herron has created a very special working space for her own painting and her workshops. It was the ideal setting for our Food styling and photography workshop with Aran Goyoaga the famous Basque-American photographer and Luisa Brimble, one of Australia’s top lifestyle and food photographers.
The organisation of this event including food preparing, beautiful table setting and program creating was orchestrated by Sophie Handsen with the help of Annabelle Hickson, the charming creator of the blog The Dailys, who lives in a remote Pecan farm at the border of New South Wales and Queensland. She is so talented it’s incredible. She can turn a simple table into a feast.
Our group of keen photographers and food stylists has been served amazing fresh and healthy food, taken on a degustation and discovery tour of The Epicurean Harvest plantation field. The couple behind this top organic food project, Erika & Hayden, have rented a paddock to plant the most refined, delicious and unusual vegetables & herbs which they sell to top restaurants in Sydney and its surrounds.
Isn’t it any food photography fan’s dream to have the best of the best setting up several scenes with delightful props and really good food to shoot? We were treated with “ready-to-shoot” vignettes and were taught how to create them, how to approach them and finally when to press the button.
The atmosphere of the painting studio or shed was absolutely ideal and allowed us to sculpt light in order to get very different results and very different ambience.
Look at this scene for example: lovely wild roses on a window sill, broad beans, an old teapot & pans and artist’s sinks. We were 15 students and had 15 different views of that scene. That too was very interesting.
Wandering in a rose paradise…
My mum is a rose specialist and has participated in creating new roses. She can identify any rose and knows their name in Latin and French. Imagine her wandering in Annie Herron’s garden which has the most spectacular collection of modern and ancient rose, classic and “designer” ones such as David Austin’s.
I took hundreds and hundreds of photos of roses for my Mum, including one Annie wishes to identify. I hope Mum can help :)
There is nothing like a rainy day to take pictures of flowers. I love this iris. It is just waking up…
Imagine being in an enchanted garden, sitting at a long table covered with pretty branches and large bouquets, eating a tangy risotto enhanced by fresh herbs from the garden bed…
Imagine a house where all the plates and bowls are handmade and filling all spaces and corners…
If like me you are disappointed by many fresh peas you have tried coming from grocery stores or from your own garden, after a visit at Epicurean Harvest you know that there is still hope to eat real peas. I’m on a quest for this “real pea”: the crunchy green taste I remember from my childhood when my grandfather was picking them sitting very low on his favourite mini three legged stool he used to harvest berries and beans in his veggie patch.
Erika promised me to give me the secret of her organic pea seeds. I can’t wait to try them out.
Sophie Hansen welcomed me to her parents’ beautiful home and while showing me my room she told me she was a bit worried to have a French cook at her table with the croquembouche knowledge and all… I laughed thinking that I love any kind of food anyway. Little did I know that her food was going to totally blow me away. Not only the food itself was fantastic but the delicate way it was prepared, the freshness and quality of each ingredient, the creativity involved in every dish, every drink she made or had made for her by her super-team.
Local is Lovely food photography workshop was a truly life changing experience…
I met very interesting and passionate people and hopefully improved my photography and my composition skills. I would recommend this to any keen food stylist and/or food photographer.
It is the start of a whole new adventure for me…
Web & Blogs
See the complete program of this workshop or pracshop on Local is Lovely’s website
DO NOT miss the beautiful website of Luisa Brimble. Click on her portfolio, see her food and lifestyle photography.
Check out the famous Cannelle Vanille blog and admire Aran Goyoaga’s unique photography.
More workshops to come HERE.
Participants (list under construction :)
Mel Ekman @isabella_and_george
Laura Reid @lauradmd
Lyn McCreanor @inallthingsbeautiful
Jill Haap @haapsandbarley and haapsandbarley.com
Leanne Ambrogio @sweetstyle and sweetstyle.com.au
Camilla Quiddington @camillaquiddington and camillaq.com.au
Melanie Muddle @houtenplank1 and houtenplank.com.au
Hannah Mccowatt @hannahmccowatt and hannahmccowatt.com
Jo Anderson @the_luminous_kitchen and theluminouskitchen.com
Justine Kajtar @justinekajtar and healthlust.com.au
and me :) Flore Vallery-Radot @thefloshowcuisine