Local is Lovely Food Photography and Styling Pracshop

Photography has always been what I'd describe as a secondary passion of mine. It is has taken a bit of a back seat over the years, behind my other passions such as; cooking, eating, gardening and writing. However, photography is something I really enjoy and something I'd like to do more of, like all my passions, I know I still have so much more to learn. Toward the end of last year I made an investment into further developing this back seat passion of mine. I bought myself what I would call a 'phenomenal, serious business, so smart you barely need to try too hard, style of a camera!'. That's my layman terms for what the industry calls a Canon EOS 5D Mark III - it is 'a drool worthy specimen' indeed! You can tell I already have a deep affection for this new photo making machine of mine!

The next step was how do I work this piece of 'image capturing genius' to get the very best out of it and me. The answer, go and learn from creative people, ones who know more, real photographers and food stylists with real skills, knowledge and experience. (because let's face it, food is high on the list of things to be photographed by me, plus combining my passions can only be economical and wise!). So last week I went road tripping to the countryside of NSW, to attend what was called a Local is Lovely Pracshop. A two day residential experience hosted by delightful, food writer and cookbook author, Sophie Hansen and her gorgeous, artist mum Annie Herron, on their property Kimbri in Rydal, NSW. 

We were learning from the exceptionally talented food photographer Luisa Brimble and the calmly creative, food stylist Stephanie Stamatis. Never have I spent two full days focusing on developing my photography and in such a visually rich and giving environment, it was all quite surreal. Sophie and her friend Pip cooked us three meals a day, plus morning and afternoon teas for all. Once the food was more than amply photographed, by all sixteen budding student photographers present, we devoured it's deliciousness, most gratefully. I still can't single out a favourite moment, it was simply a great pleasure to gather with a bunch of like minded people, focusing on a common goal to learn and improve our skill. 

The farm setting, the shared table meals, the warmth of the open fire. The crisp autumn mornings, the process shots from apple tree to apple pie, the early morning breakfast in the paddock. The lunch time picnic on the grass in the sunshine, the exchange of stories and laughter, the chestnuts roasted in the wood fired oven. The red and white painted doors of the shed/studio where we sat each day, the sunlight filtering through the open windows, the continual feast of cake. The delight of the different voices and perspectives shared, the little green caravan named Clarice  and the baskets of abundant produce from Dougal's nearby farm. These were a few of my favourite things and some of the reasons why, I'm still thinking on my indulgent days at Kimbri in Rydal.

Special thanks to resident dogs Maggie and Barry for sitting so still for this image!

 Annie Herron

Sophie Hansen

Floral arrangements and styling by Amelia from The Flower Era
If you have a few more minutes to spare take a look at the gorgeous video (below) of the pracshop brilliantly done by film student Hannah McCowatt.