Monday, September 21, 2009


Last week I attended a day long photography workshop called FoodSnap. I find it challenging taking pictures of still life, so I thought this could be useful.

The morning was spent listening to a lecture and reviewing photos. The best part of the class for me was the instructors' review of participants' previously submitted photos (anonymously). I learned some general principles about composition. The afternoon was spent taking photos of displays set up around the room, with photographers available to help as needed.

I didn't particularly enjoy the picture taking session. As I thought about it afterward, I realized part of my discomfort was with taking photos of things I had no connection to. The cupcakes weren't from a bakery I've ever been to; the objects weren't from a store I frequent; a total disconnect from my life.

I also realized that I simply didn't want to photograph some of the tables. I really should have just done it, it would have been good practice, but I just didn't want to take pictures of things that I wasn't inspired by or that weren't my style. (A nice revelation for me as I was having those thoughts: I have a style!)

Overall, I was glad to have attended. I left with more (new) questions than I came in with - to me, a good sign. And I got to meet a few bloggers and twitter friends in person.


Jeannette said...

You might not want to work as a food photographer but you do make unbelievable beautiful picutres. Each and everyone of these are gems!

pve design said...

I think the "connection" one feels as an artist is so incredibly important and it was refreshing to hear your take on describing a certain level of discomfort.
Your photos however, do a great job of masking any discomfort.

Cate said...

very interesting post. YOUR food snaps are always related to you, lecia, and they are beautiful. i have to say, though, that if you hadn't described your feelings, i would have felt you did have a connection to the objects above. especially the first two.

and, yes, of course you have a style. so glad that you made that conscious for yourself. keep snapping, lecia, the things that you love. we all love to see them, too.

Francesca said...

Yes, you have a style! And I love it!

KPiep said...

It sounds like a fun - and very helpful class! (And I had to giggle a bit...there's a reason why I don't ever talk about/show my own cooking, no matter how special the dish)

I completely agree with your observations on the importance of connection. I think that's an important thing to discover, if for no other reason than it helps to fuel your everyday creative work just that much more.

Barbara said...

I've always thought your photographs were lovely...but then you have always been "connected" to your subjects. Those make the best photos.
And these are really excellent too. It was worth taking the class-even though you had some doubts.
I'd love to take a class like that just to get some tips and a new outlook for my pathetic blog photos. Perhaps I should begin with a decent camera?

Ina in Alaska said...

Among my top favorites of your photo compositions are the starfish. I have never before seen starfish so beautifully presented and so memorable.

I would love to hear ONE anecdote you learned about magazine food styling. I subscribe to a number of food mags and I often wonder what it takes to produce those lovely photos.... maybe another post??? xoxo

sweet fine day/Jenna said...

Yes! Food styling is very tedious which is why even though I enjoy it,I dread all the setup and cleanup. I think our shots could be more interesting, but I am too lazy, lol!

Anna said...

oh i love the still lifes of black and white objects! beautiful work and really interesting thougts.

nicola said...

stunning, lecia. simply stunning. your photography was fabulous when i began reading your blog, but it has truly improved since then. you have a good "eye."

Joyce said...

I enjoy looking at your photos and what you see through your lens. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Keep on snapping away my friend. xoxo

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I always enjoy your photos because you do such an amazing job of allowing me to "see" through your eyes. Which is probably why you find the art of still life challenging...your used to showing so much "life" in your work! These photos, however, are still stunning. Your uncertainty certainly doesn't show through a bit.

And please say you got to eat that cupcake. ;-)

frantic foodie said...

thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks for coming to Seattle

your photos are beautiful~