This time the focus was not so much on still-life food photography and composition as in the previous workshop I attended but instead gave us a chance to photograph food in action.
Helene had teamed up with the incomparable chef John Ondo of Lana Restaurant in Charleston, and while Helene talked about food styling and plating, lighting for food photography and gave us invaluable insights into her day-to-day working relationships with her styling team and editors; he whipped up fabulous gourmet meals, all the while discussing his cooking techniques, answering questions and letting us take as many photos as we liked.
Helene and John had rented a house by the beach on Saint Simons’ Island about an hour out of Savannah, Georgia, and the workshop included a day in Savannah, a field trip to the cute and exceptionally photogenic Back in the Day Bakery and dinner on the outside terrace of a Savannah restaurant. I absolutely adored Savannah, of which more in a future post, while the Bakery also was a dream to photograph and also warrants a separate blog post. Chaps, I have so much pent-up bloggery to share with you!
John showed us how to make gnocchi with a couple of different sauces.
While Helene got us styling salads, pasta and bruschetta (please ignore the shitty prop styling and iPhoneography – the bruschetta below is just placed on a garden chair – and look at the FOOD! All of these sessions ran over as Helene had so much good stuff to impart).
Then John prepared one of the most incredible hunks of herb-encrusted lamb it has ever been my pleasure to experience.
Even the lamb though paled into insignificance against the fact that Libby was there again. Libby acted as the workshop’s sous-chef, photographer, general factotum and mother hen and is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people you’ll ever meet. Nothing is too much trouble for her.
She is also one of the funniest people I know and yet again had me weeping drunken tears of laughter well into the wee small hours.
In fact, despite the beauties of Savannah, the fabulous education, the gourmet meals, the lovely beach, excellent wine and exquisite lamb, it is the laughter and friendship which stick with me from this workshop.
Chaps, these people are utterly bananas. In a very, VERY good way.
I was moved to write the post as I notice from my Facebook page that there are still a couple of spaces left on Helene and John’s next workshop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If you’re into food photography, want to learn a ton of good stuff AND have the most incredible fun time imaginable I can’t recommend this highly enough.