On the Rocks: Fine Food Fotography Workshop

Food blogs have never been more popular, and fantastic hunger-inducing photographs are crucial to a successful one. I certainly judge a cookbook by its pictures, and an online blog is no different. For all of you aspiring food bloggers, the Fine Food and Dining Society will be holding a photography workshop as part of the On The Rocks Student Arts Festival in Week 9. 

Student photographer Celeste Sloman, who has experience with the New York Times, is leading the workshop, and will teach participants the tricks to taking professional photographs, promising to "banish grainy instagram pictures".  The workshop’s organizer, Freya Gabbutt, gives us the lowdown on the event. 

What is the motivation behind organizing this workshop? Why do you think food photography is important?

Foodie photos are really popular; you can't go online without seeing what your friend had for lunch on Instagram, seeing the fancy plate of food from some posh restaurant on twitter, or someone promoting their food blog on Facebook.  However, presentation makes a massive difference. In cookbooks, for example, the recipes with the best pictures are the ones that I want to make. So, a fantastic photo of your home cooked dinner will have all your friends salivating, whilst a bad one will remind me not touch your food with a bargepole.

Taking good food photos is harder than you would believe.  When I take my camera out and snap my dinner, it never looks as good as it tastes. So, really I have organised this workshop because I've always wanted to have a lesson like this myself.

Most importantly… will the food samples be edible after the photography class?

There will be food, that you may eat – but it maybe cold by the time you get to eat it after photographing.  We have to make sacrifices for art.  

Will participants be making food themselves or is this particular workshop all about the art?

The plan is to give the participants a chance to do food styling, which will involve preparation, a little cooking, plating and set up. We don't have enough space for everyone to cook everything themselves, but I want it to be a workshop rather than a demo… so the more participation the better! 

Are there any food blogs you would recommend for their excellent photography?

I really like What Katie Ate. It is well set up, with rustic and beautiful shots.  I particularly like her photos with dark backgrounds, contrasting with the bright food in the foreground. Delicious. No offence to all my friends with food blogs. And Food Gawker is always good for comparing good (and bad) food photography (caution, it may become addictive).

An event not to be missed, the Fine Food Fotography Workshop takes place on April 10th from 5.00pm-6.30pm at St Andrews Episcopal Church. Tickets are £10 for non members and £8 for members. The On The Rocks Festival has a whole range of exciting shows and events going on across the week. For more information about the Fine Food Fotography Workshop and other events, check out the full programme on their Facebook page or website.


Images contributed by Alexander Harsono & Daniel Krieger Photography.

Images compiled by Genevieve Gralton.