The opportunity that Bloom Founder and Owner, Brenda Acuncius, gave me to teach my Food Photography Narratives workshop through her Everything Bloom & The Bloom Forum online platform was ~ truly an incredibly experience ~ as was her involvement from start to post workshop, which was prompt, professional, helpful, friendly and hands on.
If you’re not familiar with Everything Bloom, it’s ‘a one-stop, everything-photography shop on the web. They have members, both amateurs and seasoned pros, who participate from around the world. You can join a discussion, find answers to all of your photography-related questions, learn from the best and brightest photographers in the country, take exclusive online photographer workshops, and network with others who share your passion.’ All genre’s of photography are represented on the site, offering a plethora of information, comradery & learning tools. It’s a photographer’s playground. You can find out about membership here.
Of course, I could not have taught a workshop with out people to teach it to. This Food Photography Narratives workshop was intensive and required a substantial time commitment. I was humbled by the passion, participation, and dedication of the students as the pace was fast, and the assignments many (depending on the skill level.) Their enthusiasm, questions, a ha moments, openness and trust equally inspired me to give/share all I had, and filled me with joy to be sharing my experiences, approaches and beliefs, knowing it was helping/guiding other creatives through their own photography journeys. I am grateful to each and every artist who took the time to sign up, show up, and give of themselves; and who now have some new tools to continue to work on their craft, grow and create with ~ from their own, beautifully unique voices.
Those who know me, know that I am deeply passionate about discovering, honoring and using our own voices as artists in our work. Although this workshop was built around food photography and story telling, it was to come from from our own ‘place’ on our individual journeys, which was a purposeful and continuous theme throughout this workshop. I spoke to this subject, and refereed back to it, throughout the lessons. To not only hear feedback of this topic, but to see it in action through the student’s work, was, for me, the highlight of the workshop. We all have the ability to learn, but to take that knowledge and attach our own voice/style/interpretation to it, are two very different things. Without the later, it’s just something taking up space. With the later, it’s a part of a person’s journey. Art, crafted through individualism, which has meaning and soul. I witnessed this understanding over and over again from these ladies.
This was my first experience teaching online and through a forum based interface – meaning, writing lessons/showing examples (lots)/sharing videos, communicating via posts within a daily forum – and, I loved it. The amount of information I was able to share, in the way I was able to share it, was possible because of the workshop being spread over a period of time, and, was wonderful. It was equally valuable to allow everyone to comment, ask and answer questions, share tips/experiences/opinions – overall, to be involved.
I could go on, but what I really want to do is to share a sampling of work created from a handful of the groups active participants, implementing all the lessons into their final assignment, which was to come up with a story, prepare a shot list/storyboard, look for and gather all the necessary elements, shoot, edit, and show a food narrative either through their blog or create a mini magazine. This workshop was based upon storytelling, while incorporating solid technique, camera as well as artful considerations, and, of course, creating beautiful imagery of food.
I am so very, very proud of these ladies for putting such heart into our time together and of the BEAUTIFUL food imagery and narratives they created.
A few people are finishing up, you will see their names and stories at the end of the post. I will add their images as they come in.
For those of you who could not, at this time, finish up the last assignment, my hope is that you do, indeed, find the time to do so, email it to me, and I will gladly add your work to the grouping here! x~Gina
Kelly created both a blog post & a mini magazine. Here are a few images as well as her links to view them both in full.
Her story was about documenting a ‘picnic for one’ – a small table and one chair outside, a small picnic basket, a blanket, a couple of good books, some delicious homemade snacks.
To view the complete magazine spread, via issuu, go here.
To view the complete blog post, go here.
Connie created two stories. One of her family, documentary style, shopping for and making sorbet.
Connie is also a regular contributor to the recipe section of the blog Housetrends
and her second story revolved around one of the recipes:
A citrus bunt cake, with a moody, traditional feel.
Jennifer is a full time resident of her neighborhood, where many are simply seasonal residents. As such, there are a few events that occur in the summer for this crowd and their kiddos. One event is Halloween. Yes, Halloween in the summer…Jennifer document the festivities (parents and relatives lined up along the streets, offering candy, costume parade, etc.) as well as featured a homemade candy recipe to go along with the images.
You can view the entire issuu here.
Claire and her husband run Finn Meadows Farm. Her story revolves around people at the farm, as they starts seeds, transplant, weed, harvest, and prep food for a meal. She wanted to convey the hard work involved with getting food to one’s plate as well as the enjoyment of time spent in nature and the thrill of picking and eating food that you grow.
Some photos will be of exhaustion, hard work, others will be of smiles and pride as we bring in the harvest. I think there is a natural juxtaposition here at the farm between hard work and relaxation, frustration and joy, and of course, hunger (of many types) and fulfillment. Sustainable farms are challenging yet nourishing to all facets of human life – the physical, emotional, and mental. I would love to be able to show this juxtaposition through photography, yet still incorporate the actual food into my photographs.
Claire really pushed herself to keep up with this workshop, amongst their busiest time of year on the farm. I am so impressed with both her work ethic and her dedication to learning this craft in order to tell the stories, visually, of their life and work – which are one in the same.
Here are a few of the first images Claire sent over that I thought were full of heart and indicative of her love of farm life.
Jen’s story is about an al fresco peach pie–a summer time, farm fresh peach pie eaten on our back deck.
View the entire post here.
She also created another story of her husband’s tea time ritual for one of the other assignments, that I just adored, and is every bit a food narrative.
I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing both;)
You can see the full post here.
Two weeks ago, Sarah spent 9 hours on a garden adventure around Hamilton, OH. Alfred Hall shared with her several gardens he helped create and maintain.
Her mission was to show how urban farming builds a community from the seed to the table. She wanted to capture the collaboration between individuals and the beauty of the process.
You can see the entire publication here.
For Jessica’s final project, she wanted to capture breakfast at the farm, a place that has been so important to her and her family this summer.
You can view the entire post here.
Mollie created her story around a blackberry crisp, dark and woodsy, something you’d make at your lake cabin. Maybe include an old basket with wild berries, like just picked. Some moss and greenery.
Colors she envisioned were browns, greens and blues.
Seethe entire post here.
Brittany’s story is ‘From Hen House to Quiche’
Margo is working on I’m a story about strawberry lemonade sorbet.
Her word list is: Bright, fruity colors (pinks & reds), patterns, playful, tart, juicy, lemons, strawberries, summer.
I will tell you that Christina is even more detail oriented than I am. I just loved when I read her extremely thought out outline for this assignment.
I HAD to share;)
Theme & Purpose/ Inspiration for the Shoot
For Blog to showcase a styled fantasy, lifestyle food shoot with a person interacting with the food
Season & Setting
A Summer Afternoon in the Woods/ Vacant Land
Feel & Emotions
Carnival, Playful, Abundance, Fantasy, Carefree, Willy Wonka, Sugarland, Mad Hatter
Beginning: Plethora of Sweets | Middle: Decadence | End: Overindulgence/ Drowned in Sugar
Primary: Red & White Stripes & Circles
Secondary: Colorful table settings sweets packaging with bright yellows, teal, orange, violet swirls, circles with white
Foods for Set
Colorful Soda Bottles
Licorice (Red & Green)
Sugar & Colored Sugar
Red Striped Straws
Clear Ice bucket
Grey Top hat
Red/White Mini Flags
Red Striped Dress
Silver rain boots
White plates/ White linens
Large Spiral Lollipops
Sugar Bowl & Spoon
Vintage Tea Cups or All White Mini Espresso Cups
Accordion Music Maker
Overhead shot of Table
Level Shot of Table
C/U of Place Setting
Stacked shot of Cookies/ Macaroons
Wide Shot of Sweets
Sweets on Top Hat
Soda Pour/ Decadent Sip
Tight Shot of hand holding sweets
Out of focus shot of lickinglipop (lipop in focus)
Spoon of Sugar (tight & Wide)
Shot of Flowers/ Greens
Over body shot of Death by Sweets OD (candy covered hand on forehead)
Remember (1) Tight & Wide (2) Change our Lenses
Magnifying Glass shot of 1 tiny candy
Sugar covered smile with crumbs eyes closed
Crumbs on table/ deconstruction/ destruction