The Ethical Christmas Table Styling and Food Photography Workshop was an amazing day packed full of learning, fun and festive cheer. We were welcomed on arrival by Jane Burkinshaw, Karen Barlow and Nikki Hill and had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other.
Nikki was the hostess with the mostess welcoming us into her beautiful and very photogenic home and catering for our every need. The workshop started with Karen introducing us to the very relevant and important environmental issue of ethical styling and had prepared a beautifully presented table to demonstrate how ethical can be beautiful and classy. She gave us lots of tips including how to forage for items we could use for place settings, how to make crackers and ways of wrapping presents using natural materials. She also shared her styling expertise in terms of how to combine different elements together to achieve impressive visual displays. Karen’s table provided many photographic opportunities itself and proved to be a fantastic backdrop for our food photography session that followed.
Following this Jane went through good camera settings to use for food photography, as well as tips for styling food to look professional and non-staged to impress on Instagram. She consciously catered for every photographic ability level by directing her support and feedback in a bespoke way for each of us related to our level of competence. We also worked in ability level groups so we could help and support each other. The different examples Jane and Karen had set up enabled us to get some amazing photos straight away and demonstrated the styling tips we had been taught. We all then felt more confident to use the massive array of props available, many of which had been kindly provided by sponsors of the day, to style our festive food photographs.
In the meantime Nikki had been busy preparing us a feast for lunch that was fit for a king. This included an amazing glazed ham, roasted vegetables, cheesy potatoes, pastry creations, sausages wrapped in bacon and many other delights. It was really delicious and much appreciated by all of us.
Then the food photography continued into the afternoon. Jane stopped us as the light was fading to explain bokeh and how to achieve this magical effect. We then lit candles and turned on a variety of fairy lights so that we could experiment with achieving bokeh in our own photos. Jane also offered to print us a copy of our favourite photo which was a lovely gesture.
It really was a fantastic day which I cannot recommend enough. I will definitely be booking again for the next one.