{Wrap up} of a Food Photography Workshop

For months I had ideas of a workshop churning in my head followed by months of making lists of what to cover, how to cover it, what to bring, where to hold it, what to serve at it, my expectations, the attendees expectations…
There is so much that goes into preparing to teach and share not just through talking, but through hands on and doing.  It was so important to me that every single person leave the workshop having done one or all of:
overcoming a fear, learning something (of value) new, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, understanding the importance of the fundamentals, the art and the design aspects of photography, of their story, of their journey and how it makes their work authentic, of creating community through working together, being open and sharing, putting the elements into action by looking at their subjects with new eyes, and by having been empowered and inspired to keep practicing, creating and learning on their own. I wanted to provide an environment where everyone would be relaxed and open to sharing and growing. I wanted to be an open book in every way.
No walls, no big secrets (there are none.)
Those were my goals.

Looking back over that checklist list, photos, emails and conversations afterwards, and my memory of the day, my favorite parts from the workshop would read like this:

  • FIRST & FOREMOST, the creative, intelligent, attentive, determined, collaborative woman who joined in, listened, watched, learned, and put into practice what they learned. Their warmth, smiles, participation, head nods and mere presence were inspiring as a group and (also) to me, far more than they are most likely aware.
  • The absolutely PERFECT setting for this workshop. Many thanks to Marti Heard, of 915 Monmouth Street, for generously letting us use her light filled, textured/weathered/colorful/eclectic/gorgeous studio as our setting. Honestly, I could not have asked for more. The mere atmosphere paired beautifully with the style of rustic, textural undertones of natural light food photography I lean towards and was teaching.
  • Renee Schuler and all the crew at eat well celebrations and feasts for catering the workshop with their fabulous spreads, big smiles and extra styled dishes to photograph.
  • My beautiful shutter sister, crazy talented photographer, and friend Peggy Joseph, who shared with us both her expertise and artful eye, and joined us for the hands on shooting all afternoon.

Below are some images from our day ~ from a few iphone and camera picts to images Peggy was sweet enough to document from the afternoon~while everyone was busy practicing and creating;)

It was fun to see all the vessels, fabrics, surfaces, props, and food set out on the enormous antique wooden printer’s table. Lots and lots of choices to be made be everyone, a little later on.

The morning was spent going over all the elements involved in creating an image from both a technical and artistic point of view. We picked everything apart and looked at them individually to understand how, why, and when they worked into telling a story.

The afternoon was time to apply what we covered {with assignments.}
I was so impressed with how these women pushed themselves and explored so many of the concepts we discussed earlier. Taking time to carefully consider light, props, angles, compositions, etc.
It’s much easier to dive in, but to create an environment and voice to an image, takes discipline, patience, and thought.

Did I mention how beautiful the light was? Floor to ceiling front banks of windows across the whole front span of the studio mixed with to die for textures and colour everywhere. Have I already said THANK YOU?!

As everyone uploaded their images and started making selections and adjustments, I was so impressed to see the imagery and parts to their stories they had been working on. In the short time we were together, I could see a part of each of their personalities coming through in their stories/images…which, in my opinion, is the only element that makes each of our work unique.

I’ve also been excited to see how everyone ended up putting their ‘stories’ together ‘visually’ on their blogs, as we discussed the importance of laying the images out in a story form as well.
I’ll come back and add everyone’s links as they finish up.
Vanessa of Nessy Designs was the first to get her post up. Here is a beautiful image and example of integrating imagery and text ~ you can see so many more of her images from the workshop on her blog.

Thank you, again, Mary Ann, Judy, Karyn, Ileana, Amy, Jamie, Vanessa, and Jill for coming out, being open, sharing with all, and spending the day together learning!
xo Gina

*The studio at 915 Monmouth houses 5 fabulously creative women ~Marti’s Floral Design, five dot design, CINCY EVENT PLANNING, jmm Photography, and CINCI MAKEUP AND the studio is regularly offered as an event space.
I can not recommend it enough.
Please contact Marti Heard at martisfloraldesign@gmail.com for more information.
*If you would like to be added to the email list for future workshops and events, send me an email at gina @513eats.com.

Networking with Your Peers and Sharing a {Seattle Workshop}

While in Seattle this past September, I met up with a fellow food photographer. A fabulously creative food photographer named Clare Barboza. You can browse her work and quickly understand what I mean. One of the first things I noticed, is that she, like me, loves to tell a story. There are all kinds of ways to get there, and I was drawn to her particular way. We exchanged a few emails here and there and when I knew I would be in her home town, I was hoping to meet up in person. My visit came at a busy time for Clare, but she made space and we did, in fact, meet up for a wonderful visit at the yummy Macrina Bakery.
Some wonder why I, or anyone, might want to ‘be friendly’ with someone in the very same profession as myself. Aren’t they the competition? Won’t they try and take your clients away? Won’t they try and get all of your secrets? Fair questions…if you’re a fear driven ‘island’ type of person. I’m not. I’m of the ‘let’s all play together’ type of person. My feeling is that our professional life (as well as life in general) is richer through connecting and sharing (not to mention fun) with honesty and integrity. If you are running your business from a place of authenticity, ten people may very well do or offer the same product or service, but there will be a difference between each and that authentic difference is what will attract their like minded market/clients. Therein lies the beauty of connecting.  We grow, learn and are inspired through relationships. Here’s to sharing, collaborating, networking and making new friends.

So, having said all this, I’d love to share with you a farm to table workshop that my friend and fellow food photographer Clare Barboza is holding on the majestically beautiful Whidbey Island, WA this May 23-26. Let me just say…what a treat it will be and how I WISH I WERE ABLE TO ATTEND!
If you are lucky enough to go, and it came from this post, please be sure to tell Clare hello from me!
Here is her blog post link with all the information as well as the registration link.
Clare has given this workshop several times now, so you can look through her blog and see the amazing imagery from the farms and markets that will be visited. Here are a few of Clare’s photos to get you started:

photos ©Clare Barboza


Food Photography Workshop

Remember when I told you that there would be exciting things in store for this year? I gave a few teasers a little while back and holding workshops was one of them. Well, it’s no longer a teaser. It’s happening and I couldn’t be more excited!
This past year has been filled with some pretty incredible experiences, among them, shooting and producing four 513{eats} magazines, editorial assignments for other magazines, and hanging out in the very best of kitchens watching, learning, shooting and of course, tasting the finished dishes.
My goal through all of it, was to tell visual stories about people and food in a beautiful, engaging and enticing manner. Through this workshop, I’m happy to share my thoughts and approaches with you.

Natural Light Food Photography Workshop ~ on May 11th

This will be the first in a series of photography and photography/cooking workshops. Each will have a different overall theme/topic- such as field trips, foraging, farms and chefs…all with an eye on telling visual stories. I will share more about those a little further down the road.

For now, let me tell you about this first workshop…
**Although this workshop is called Food Photography Workshop {the basics} – this is NOT a Photography 101 class. I know some pretty amazing photographers who offer that course and I would be more than happy to pass their names and information on to anyone looking for/needing that before joining in on this workshop.
 To enroll in this digital natural light food photography workshop, you need to already have an understanding of your own camera and it’s manual functions. You do not need to be a professional photographer or own the latest, most expensive camera equipment to take this workshop. This workshop is perfect for anyone (food bloggers, food writers, hobbyists, amateurs) wanting to learn to improve the quality of their images and/or how to approach, set up, style and make beautiful images of food using natural light in the simplest of settings. I create many of my food images in the dining room of my own home with simple props and basic equipment, and you can too. 
My goal for this {basics} workshop is to share with you my approach along with the components of creating beautiful photographs of food that you can take with you, continue to practice with and use to create enticing images to grab your reader’s/client’s attention on your own websites, blogs or personal projects. Let’s be honest, it’s the visuals that grab your audiences attention before anything else, so strive to make engaging imagery to hold your reader’s/client’s attention so that they keep coming back for more.

You will need to bring your digital camera and it’s manual, extra charged batteries (just in case), additional lenses (if any), a tripod (very helpful, if you have one), a laptop (with all necessary cords) with your editing software, and cards/card reader as this is a hands on workshop. You will be shooting and uploading your images.

Topics we will cover:

What makes a good {food} photograph:
Slideshow of imagery for discussion.
The thought process behind a food shoot – purpose/theme/color palette/mood
Choosing backgrounds, props and styling simply (and the importance of not over-styling)
How to see and find light as well as understanding the differences in the qualities of light.
Ways to light your food.
How to manipulate light with simple and affordable materials.
How your manual settings play an important role in the artistic choices you make in creating an image as well as understanding when and why to make certain choices.
Camera Angles
Hands on shooting with foods/props and specific exercises to practice.
There will be beautiful foods for you to photograph along with plenty of props on hand for use to practice some of what we will cover.
Post Production:
I’ll walk you through some of my basic editing as well as share some examples on how I marry imagery and design for interest and impact.
You will upload and choose your favorite images and we’ll share with a show and tell of everyone’s images from the day.
I’m here to share with you and you’re here because you want to learn, so don’t be shy. Ask away, I’ll do my very best to answer anything and everything to the best of my ability.

Marti Heard of Marti’s Floral Design has graciously opened up her uber creative, colorful, and beautifully styled studio at 915 Monmouth for this workshop. You can take a peek at the studio right here.  You will immediately see a plethora of fabulous surfaces as well as beautiful light that will be available for us.
I’m also so excited that eat well celebrations and feasts will be catering our lunch as well as a light breakfast offering while we’re getting settled in. There will be no shortage of beautiful, delicious food. Thank you Chef Renee Schuler!
** If you have special dietary needs or severe food allergies, you may want to consider bringing your own snacks and lunch, just to be on the safe side. Regardless, please let me know.
Seats are limited. Full workshop fee is due at time of booking and reserves your spot.
Please know the workshop fee is non-refundable. If something comes up and you must cancel, you will be responsible for finding someone to replace your seat. Should there be a wait list, I will also help with finding a replacement.

Email me at gina@513eats.com with any questions.

Date: May 11, 2013
Time: 9:00am-4pm
Location: 915 Monmouth, Newport, Kentucky
Cost: $295 per person SOLD OUT


***If you’d like to be put on the email list to be notified of upcoming workshops, just send me an email at gina@513eats.com
Thank you!

Making Ravioli with Chef Josh Campbell

One of the perks of sharing what we’ve seen is being right where the story is happening. My favorite place, hands down, is in a chef’s kitchen. This past February, Ilene and I spent the morning with Chef Josh (of Mayberry) learning the finer points of making pasta by hand and then watching him turn it into a savory combination of Ricotta Beet Ravioli with Prawns and Shellfish Broth.

Below is some of what you’ll see in the mini gazette we created for his story.
Click any of the images to view the full story as well as the full recipes. ~Gina

photography ©Gina Weathersby




Head down the flight of stairs from 6th Street’s Boca, and you enter a whole other world. Sotto, (or below, in Italian) is the subterranean sibling, and more casual dining experience from Chef David Falk and his team. If you’re fortunate enough to be at Sotto for this Monday’s grand opening, you’ll be greeted with one of the warmest, most inviting spaces we’ve seen in quite some time. After many years, Chef Falk’s vision of an authentic Italian trattoria with a menu of comforting, “grandmotherly” type dishes has finally come to fruition.

The former La Normandie is completely unrecognizable, having been entirely transformed; stripped down to its bare bones of wood and raw brick, exuding rustic warmth you could expect to find on a holiday abroad. Small, thoughtful details are evident everywhere, including some of the light fixtures, which were handmade by chef Jono Fries, and the tables, which where all fashioned from re-claimed wood, hand hewn by Cincinnati’s own Brush Factory.

In keeping with the traditional style of an authentic Italian trattoria, the menu is filled with simple, straight forward dishes. Fresh pasta plays a huge part, and indeed there is a pasta prep room complete with viewing window for your inspection. Steaks will be fresh cut and grilled on a de riguer hearth. Authentic bruschetta, fresh vegetable antipasti, fresh fish, and pork round out the rest of the menu. An extensive list of Italian wines, beers, and cocktails will be served. ~Ilene Ross

Here a few peeks from our visit yesterday.

Photos ©Gina Weathersby

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