Monday, December 10, 2012

'A workshop on food photography basics' - Something I had looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed

I have been away, travelled, had fun and now am back. I apologise for not keeping up with the many posts you put up, missing to wish on birthdays, blog birthdays and many important occasions that may have been over the past month and a half.
This time we decided to take a longer (than our usual) vacation and planned an itinerary of sorts to visit few places in India, meet friends, celebrate deepavali with family and NO REST! I am glad we did all of that was planned, well mostly 'ALL', for with some unexpected travel hiccups, we had to cut short a day in one of our trips and that meant leaving out visiting one of the great historical sites. There is always a next time, I hope.

As I was working this trip plan, Aparna had decided to conduct a workshop on food photography sometime in November and had sought interested people to join. That was one opportunity I did not want to miss and promptly enlisted for the same. The workshop was to be in Chennai which was an easy location for me to include in my itinerary and it would be for a whole day. I could not have asked for more.
However, November is the month of monsoon in Chennai and I had my misgivings about the light that is the important  factor for photography. Now, if anyone tells me that if you wish hard enough, things will certainly take place, I would blindly take that. It was November, but the weather was beautiful, not the hot and humid Madras weather at all nor was it pouring down.
Nithya had co-ordinated with Aparna, who had travelled to Chennai for this and a short visit to her family and organised the same. Nine of us had registered and THE KETTLE TEAHOUSE, Anna Nagar was just the right place for that. They had arranged for the morning session indoors and had kindly let us use the patio through the afternoon for experimenting the theory we had absorbed earlier.

Aparna had put much work to make this worthwhile for all of us. She discussed many aspects of photography in general and when she moved on to food photography in particular, we were hanging on to every word she uttered. She made it simple and interesting through the discussion which covered even small details that we did not know mattered.

It is simple, you do not have to own something fancy to be good, but if you did have something that mattered, make use of it as much as it can work for you. Thus, what lenses worked best for what type of photos, how to effectively create the mood for the photo, use the light and play with light were are shown with slides.

She discussed technical aspects of photography, with special detail to food, depth of field, angles, composition and other aspects such as styling tableware etc. along with tips that will make a difference to your pictures. At the same time, she also lectured in detail what she has already written in her posts earlier on this topic.

How to make your reader look at your picture again with the correct angle, clarity, proportion, styling and more were suggested and shown through her slides.

The afternoon session was a fun filled exercise that we clicked pictures of food that The Kettle Teahouse  had made available. Aparna had actually carried with her, some paper that work as good background, few handy reflectors and diffusers and material too. That will emphasize on how eager she was to share her expertise.

There was a small challenge thrown in by Kettle TeaHouse. They had wanted the participants to click shots of one of their teas and post on their facebook fan page and there was a prize to go with the chosen shot. I did not think my pictures worthy of the contest, but certainly want to share with you.

Having enjoyed the workshop, it is only fair to acknowledge the hospitality shown by the management of the venue. They were more than accommodating as we pulled and pushed their neatly arranged furniture to make ourselves comfortable; provided us with a much needed Masala Tea and some sandwich for a mid morning snack, a satisfying meal with a choice of rice and Thai curry/ pasta with starters and ice cream for dessert. By the end of the session we had garam samosas and tea of  choice.

If there was food for thought and the stomach, Aparna  sent us home with a goodies bag too. The cute props shown below are her gift to us, the white ceramic dishes being sponsored by Urban Dazzle.

Most of the above pictures have been taken by me and I have borrowed one  or two that my daughter clicked when she came to pick me up. The group picture was from Aparna which she allowed Niki to click.

Pictures of the workshop, participants and more can be viewed in Aparna Balasubramanian Photography page on facebook which has a collection from all of us.
You might also like to read Divya's and Rajani's experiences; please head to their respective posts just clicking these links below.
Divya's Easy Cooking

Rajani's Kitchen Trials

I hope that I have learnt something and that will reflect in my work in future. If that shows then you know who I must thank for. This workshop was a chance for me to catch up with few of my blogger buddies and introduced other new friends. I just had another beautiful day and I hope to have accounted for the same as interestingly.


  1. Well Written ! Thanks for sharing my picture ! i loved it .

  2. Looks like a fun and informative workshop..such cheerful pictures!

  3. It was fun meeting you all and sharing what I know. :)

  4. your girls are lucky, if i were in chennai would have definitely come :)

  5. Wish I was there to :) I miss everything :(

  6. The workshop sounds fabulous and I can see that you've been having a great trip.
    lovely to see the picture of all you beautiful ladies too :)

  7. Really well written Lataji :) Love the pictures :)

  8. Workshop sounds truly worthy and fantastic,missing all these beautiful moments like this..You are so lucky Akka..Lovely clicks.

  9. Btw regarding ur q'n about zero oil chips Akka, they tastes exactly almost like sun dried potato chips.

  10. Workshop looks like a wonderful experience. It is always nice to meet fellow bloggers in person.

  11. Wish I was also there. Missed the fun. Nice pictures

  12. lovely and wonderful pictures and informative workshop which I missed out.

  13. It is such a wonderful thing to see all this, wish I was also there, may be someday I would be able to meet you all. Beautiful clicks Lata akka..,

  14. You have described the day so beautifully - I love the flow of language, the easy comfortable style and the beautiful pictures :)

    I loved the workshop and found it very useful. But the icing on the cake was meeting all of you!

  15. I have one thing to say on this that this is truly an inspirational and superb post… Thanks for sharing!!!


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Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.