So I attended a food photography workshop

Last weekend the stars aligned in my favor and I slipped away from everything – dishes, diapers, and other domestic duties – to attend a food photography workshop here in Montreal with Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille.

Organized by the resourceful Mayssam, to whom all credit is due, the intimate workshop was held at Montreal’s SAT food lab, a thoroughly modern yet rustic setting.

I came expecting to learn from Aran, as well as network with a few fellow bloggers; what I didn’t expect was the affinity that formed within the group, nor the lump in my throat that came while watching Aran fashion her magic.

With absolutely awe-inspiring focus, she demonstrated the making of a definitive ‘Cannelle et Vanille‘ photograph. I learned so much just by watching her, but perhaps my greatest lesson of the session was to slow. down. Think more about the shot, the story, the light.

We got to play around in the afternoon session. Here are a few favorite shots of mine that I snapped.

Roasted tomatoes on the vine. Styled by Aran & Anile.

Girls with style: the adorable Anile with camera, and Christelle acting as assistant.

Food photography props.

A closer look.

Aran at work in the sunny SAT food lab.

Strawberry trifle assembled by Aran, styled by me.

More gluten-free strawberry trifle (cake and custard recipes available from Cannelle et Vanille.)

Simply berries. Styled by Aran.

Rustic roasted cherry tomatoes styled by Aran.

I can’t wait to put what I have learned into action, however, I realize that these things take time. At least I am feeling better equipped, thanks to Aran’s workshop and a camera upgrade.

Do you have a hobby or occupation that you would like to improve on?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. I’d love to improve my photography too! But I’m too impatient…

  2. Ariana {And Here We Are...} says

    Oh, I dream of going to a workshop like that! Aran is absolutely one of my favorite bloggers, and her images are so powerful as an escape for me… I am continually working on my photography, and could definitely use some help with the technical aspects…

  3. Oooh lookse like such fun! I can’t wait for Aran’s workshop in Whistler this August now!!!

  4. SO lovely! The next best thing to being there is a glimpse in like this. Can’t wait to see where you take this 🙂 Also, major prop love!

  5. thyme (sarah) says

    They are wonderful photos. I love hearing about the workshop and then seeing bloggers who were there each tell their story of the experience. One day, I too, dream of leaving it all behind and attending one of these fabulous events.

  6. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    That looks like a fabulous workshop, Aimee, and a well deserved break with adult time built in! I’d love to improve on my photography. My biggest issue is not using a bounce. I need to figure out a way to make that work in my current set up (the kitchen).

  7. Aimee! I have been looking to find spoons with a print on them like those in the “props” picture. Where can I find those? Thanks!

  8. Wow, I guess I never realized so much went into it! I suppose it makes me feel better when my culinary creations never look particularly blog-worthy.

  9. What a fun day! Loved following along on Instagram. And love your strawberry trifle shot!!

  10. What an AMAZING experience Amy, and so beautifully shared. That is one workshop with Aran I would have LOVED to attend. Her work is dreamy. I hear you. Slow down. Must do that, and THINK! Thank you for this post!

  11. Beautiful strawberries! I am working on organizing my many photos this summer. I met with a photo organizer to get started.

  12. I’d love to attend a workshop like this!

  13. Sounds like an amazing workshop to attend! I recently purchsed an SLR camera and have so much to learn. Your photos look fabulous.

  14. I first read this on my iPhone this morning, and made a note to come back and read it on the laptop. Oh, I’m so glad I did. Your photos are stunning! That strawberry trifle looks absolutely delicious. What a fun workshop!

  15. I would LOVE to improve on my cooking! I would love to be confident enough to stray from the recipe & make it my own. LOVE your pictures, beautifully done!!!

  16. What an amazing opportunity to learn! Looks like you had a wonderful experience.

  17. Aimée, I couldn’t agree more with everything you said 🙂 It was such a perfect day, from start to hilarious finish. I too was in awe of Aran’s grace and ease, watching her work was just amazing after having admired her work for so long. My reasons were definitely different but to have a day all to myself, learning, engaging and above all enjoying, was really something special – I can totally relate! And getting to know you and the rest of the gals was the cherry on the sundae. Loved our group. Also, your styled trifle shot is beautiful!!

  18. How wonderful! I would love to improve my photography as well, but I just don’t take the time to slow down and, like you said, think about the story. I do believe that as time passes maybe I’ll have the time to breathe and practice, practice, practice.

  19. Beautiful strawberries! Good job for Amiee… Thanks for sharing.

  20. What a lovely post Aimee and thank you for the mention! 🙂 I loved hanging out with all of you and getting to know you better. Until the next time!

  21. Food photography is definitely my hobby that I would like to work on. This post was very inspirational for me and perhaps I should learn to SLOW. DOWN. too! Thanks for sharing.

  22. I love the shots that you got from the workshop. Photography is still so new to me that I wonder if it will ever feel less like a work-in-progress.

    I think it’s great idea to slow down and consider the shot and the story. I’m actually writing a little reminder for myself to do that with my next shoot.

  23. Looks incredible!

  24. Oh, you are so lucky to attend this food photography workshop. I really want to attend this sort of workshop. I hope there will be this work out near in my place.

  25. i love love this. I use a simple camera and try taking some fun shots with it for facebook. i like the idea of having a blurred background while the element of display is focussed so very well. how is this achieved. love it really

  26. I have attended food photography workshops one time and I really enjoyed what I have experienced on the workshop. I have the chance to capture beautiful images.

  27. I’m so sad I had to drop out of that very class!!! (I’m still nursing my infant baby and didn’t want to be far away…) Oh well, looks like I missed a wonderful workshop. Maybe next time…

  28. Dear Aimee, thank you so much for this generous post. I learned very much for all of you as well and felt so at ease in the creative environment we harbored. Joe Beef was so much fun and thank you for taking time for Clara to be with us. Can’t wait to be back!

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