Life changes, and our roles and paths change as we grow. Over the past couple of years I had to drop so many things that I previously could accommodate into my schedule, and no longer seem able to find the time for. So many projects and activities that I used to enjoy tremendously had to drop to make way for the demanding and very tight schedule I seem to be running these days. But one activity that I have constantly worked on since 2013 and always book at the beginning of the year, to ensure that time slot is reserved... is the Food Styling & Photography Workshop I organise here in Dubai and hold with my very dear friend Meeta K Wolff. This is the one project that I consistently keep space for every year, because it is a time when I get together with my friend Meeta, in a very fun and creative activity that we both love and enjoy so much.
This Food Styling & Photography Workshop is part of a series of workshops that Meeta K Wolff holds in many areas. She, with the help of different local organisers, organises and conducts different food styling and photography workshops in different cities. Her workshops are always so much fun, and her experience with photography, as well as her very beautiful and artistic eye always ensure that her images truly stand out. Many people do food photography and food styling, many have amazing style. Meeta still sticks out, there is something very artistic, and very timeless about her photography and moods, I find her talent to be very unique. And she so passionately shares this knowledge, skill, talent and vision with participants which makes her workshops always a great success.
As such, she was my choice for the photography of my cookbook, Plated Heirlooms, as I felt she was able to understand the look, feel and content of the images I was after. I felt no one can better bring my vision to life than she could and eventually she did produce amazing images for me (see the video at the end of the post).
Every year in October, Meeta flies in to Dubai from Germany, and we get together with the registered participants for a two-day intensive workshop where Meeta explores with them photography, composition technicalities as well as styling methods and techniques (both in theory and hands-on practice), and I explore with them food and content, from concept creation, to the cooking for
photography and the accompanying written content (both in theory and hands-on practice).
You see when participants join this workshop, Meeta and I make sure that they actually benefit and make something out of this participation. Not just have a good time and learn a few things, but in fact in a very short period of time, the participants feel (as they usually describe in their feedback, see this link) that they have come in with a set of skill and understanding only to go out with a completely different set of skill and understanding of this topic that is on a much higher level. We work on the technicalities, on the know-how's, the tips and tricks, but we also work on the creativity and unleashing that energy that each one of us has. This energy, these exercises and the content that eventually becomes the workshop is what sustains what these participants learn and sets them off with a completely different point of view, one that they will use to hone and further excel in what they go on to do. (watch participants' testimonials on this link)
This year promises one of our best workshops so far, because this year we are broadening our horizons and going for the theme 'Globally Influenced'. We are thinking bigger, better and more openness to all kinds of influences, impressions, experiences, locations and even trends...
So this year we are again teaming up with our amazing partners.
Our venue again this year will be hosted at The School of Culinary and Finishing Arts - SCAFA situated at the Jumeirah Lake Towers. We will have exclusive access of the professionally equipped kitchens where there will not only be the several cooking demos but also SCAFA's labs provide the ideal space for our photography and styling sessions with lots of natural light, individual workstations and presentation room. We will also enjoy relaxed meals and chill-out at their own restaurant Scafé.
Russell Impiazzi of Lafayette Gourmet has been part of this workshop since the very first one. He continues to support us each year by providing all the ingredients required for all the sessions, creating an amazing Welcome Brunch, and his signature Finale Dinner. Not only that but he also provides valuable input and ideas for our food adventures.
This year, and under our "Globally Influenced" motto, Russell will create a special brunch menu bringing fashion and food together. Our participants will be pushed to think out of the box and integrate both aspects into their photography.
Also this year, and having chosen, this very open theme, "Globally Influenced", I am pushing the lunch menu and that lunch session beyond just the eating of a fantastic lunch, but to also offer a full body/mind/soul lunch experience, which I have designed to encourage the creativity process and to exercise being open to all types of influences, and incorporating all that into your creative thought process.
There really is very few outlets for me to explore such concepts that I often find myself thinking about, and this workshop is usually that space where I get to excercise that side, which is why this workshop is to me kind of like a retreat, where for two days, I am just excercising the creativity part of things and I fully appreciate FotoDubai for this reason.
Hope I could tempt you to join us! Here are the details ...
DUBAI 2016 | FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY AND STYLING WORKSHOP
DAY ONE - SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER 2016
- Celebrating The Fashion Capitals of The World
Meet & Greet Brunch - Getting to know you
- Photography Fundamentals & Techniques by Meeta Wolff
Capturing the perfect shot: Mastering the camera, harnessing and understanding natural light, finding your focus, the angles etc.
- Styling Techniques by Meeta Wolff
How to style your shot: composition and placement, creating a mood/atmosphere, the importance of props, color, texture etc.
- Styling demo & the secrets of a food stylist by Meeta Wolff
- Fashion meets food
Free-Style Photography Exercises - Group Work
- From Concept to Completion by Dima Sharif
Working and publishing a cookbook: the idea, the writing, the photography and publishing
- Dinner Delight - a feasting menu of a different kind.
DAY TWO - SUNDAY 16 OCTOBER 2016
- Enhancing your Images with Lightroom by Meeta Wolff
- Cooking demo and cooking techniques by Dima Sharif
- "Globally Influenced" Menu by Dima Sharif
A menu from around the Globe with a focus on healthy food, health requirements and new age food trends from vegan to superfoods
- Intensive work on assignment - Group work
- Evaluation, discussion & critique on assignment
Constructive feedback, discussion and critique on exercises
- Industrial - Urban inspired by Dubai
Surprise Finale Dinner prepared by Russell Impiazzi
- 2 day food styling, photography and cooking demo sessions with Meeta & Dima
- Saturday: Meet & Greet Brunch, coffee break and Dinner;
- Sunday: Lunch & Cooking Demo, Finale Dinner
- Snacks and beverages during the workshop
- Transport to and from the off-site assignment
- All material/equipment is provided for the shooting /styling sessions
Register now for the Dubai 2016 Workshop as it promises to be an exciting and an invigorating two days! We look forward to welcoming you to Dubai!
Read: Priority registrations have been open for my subscribers on my mailing list for the past week. There are now only four free slots available on this workshop.
Please Note: The organizers reserve the rights to modify the programme should the need arise. Presentations and main workshop language will be in English (instructors speak German, Arabic and Hindi and is aimed towards beginners, novice and advanced level participants).
Watch the video below where Meeta describes our experience together working on my cookbook photography.