If they told me our first in-person food photography workshop would have been amazing, I would have said "Yes I am fully certain of that!". But if someone told me it was going to be THIS memorable, I would have smiled and just...hoped:) [at the bottom of the page you can find good news!]
We, me and Sam @frostingandfettucine, had been planning this for over 2.5 years. From the moment Sam was in Italy back in July 2019 and DMed me "Hey, do you wanna do this?" and I replied "Yes let's do it!"
From the moment we sat down at our desks to plan where to go, where to sleep (we had booked a castle!!!), the activities, and the rest of the crazy amount of things to think about. From the moment C*vid hit my beautiful country, Italy, first, and then the rest of the world.
From the moment we "virtually met" Strada Toscana and sold out the tickets in 36 hours. From that (difficult) call we had on Zoom, when we (unwillingly) decided to postpone everything, because of the pandemic.
We had been patiently waiting, both confident that we were going to do this sooner or later. And Spring 2022 has been the magical moment, everything came true.
It has really been a dream for both of us, to take our students to such an amazing place to learn and take photos (and it also required pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, aka shooting out of our home studio). But it was not just about that...
Not only a food photography workshop, but a memorable experience as well
All our days started with a delicious breakfast at the villa near Città della Pieve, such a stunning place that I really hope you get the chance to see at least once in your life (indeed, workshop or not, I'm sure I'm gonna visit soon!)
But then every day was different. Our week started on Monday with a lesson on lighting and then composition. Finally, after that, we had a full day of shooting. In the morning we experimented with light scenes, a layer cake and a delicious crostata.
In the afternoon instead, after a quick but yummy lunch outside, we shot some savory ingredients (veggies and herbs), and the crostata again (photo below) to experiment with dark and moody photos.
But the best part in my opinion has been taking advantage of the beautiful garden and gazebo to take nice photos of the cake (at the beginning of this post), in a different environment. Such a romantic scene!
Our Monday ended with a olive grove walk 🫒 breathtaking! And aperitivo of course.
Second day was so much fun...and different. We went to the flower farm to pick some flowers, talked about flower composition with Giulia, the florist. It was so cool to notice similarities in photography and flower compositions.
In the afternoon, we had our editing lesson: little bit of Lightroom, little bit of Photoshop. And aperitivo again (spritz/wine and snacks) eheh
On Wednesday instead we went visiting Città della Pieve, nearby. I just love love LOOOVE how picturesque that village is, and how much history you can breath from the typical brick houses. And even though it rained all day long, it was pure magic. Especially because we had the chance to shoot at a local old forno (bakery), now turned into a photography studio.
While we were shooting, I accidentally spilled some coffee...and the magic happened. Yep, you never know what can happen on location.
Lunch at Città della Pieve was risotto allo zafferano (saffron risotto), and it was so delicious that I will never forget it (no, I'm serious! Best meal.)
Day 5 has probably been one of my favorites. Me, Sam and Pamela left early to go to Cantina Murogrosso (a few km from the villa) and prepare the space for the ladies so it was ready to be shot.
In reality, everything was ready when we got there! 🙏 But at least we had some time to take some photos of cheese and capocollo (below) before the ladies arrived, so we could leave them the space, later. It was a morning full of practice, practice and practice: the ladies shot cheese, fruit, also some wine action shots.
I'm especially grateful for Paola, such an amazing woman and sommelier, that took time to explain a bit more about the Cantina's wines (super interesting, btw) during the mouthwatering lunch.
On day 5 we also had our very intense business session, before a delicious dinner (well, delicious like every single meal we had!)
The sadness came on Thursday night when we all started packing, to leave the next day. It was the best experience ever, and the reason is we didn't only have a group of curious photographers with us, but a group of friends. After all, what counts is...people.
Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors
Putting together a workshop is a lot of work, loooots of things to think about. One of them is all the tangible things that are needed, from props, to backdrops, gifts for our students (because we absolutely wanted to give back!) and much more...
Luckily we had amazing sponsors thad made this possible. Huge thanks to:
- Polder's Old World Market @poldersowm, and their amazing handmade spoons!!!
- @biofficinatoscana, for the beauty products (that I personally have been using for years ✨)
- Anberlinen (Etsy), for napkins. So soft! I recommended them in the past on my props' collection post.
And huge thanks for our backdrops sponsors @fondosparafotografos (Spain), @cblbackdrops (UK). I've been using them both for years and they're the best!!! Go give them a follow and if you need recommendations for which to buy, give me a holler!
And THANK YOU Strada Toscana and our beautiful students!
We would have never been able to host a workshop without Pamela and her team at Strada Toscana (Lorenza, Paola, Jessica...and everyone really!!!)
Words are not enough to describe how grateful I am (and Sam too!) to have met amazing people. Talented professionals (can you see the cakes on this page?! All made by Natascia!), super nice human beings.
Last but not least, look at these amazing women!!! Our beautiful hardworking students. Like I said above, words are not enough to thank you all: Brita, Liz, Stephanie, Allie, Wanda, Isabella, Jana, Rena, Tara, Sara.
Ready for 2023 👀
The good news? We're gonna do this again in 2023, hurray!!! 🎉
Sign up here to join the waiting list! (and keep an eye on your inbox, spots usually sell out fast when we launch!)