To me, taking gorgeous food photos is essential when having a food blog. Food doesn't only have to be delicious but also has to look delicious. I've written a blog post about this topic before, when I visited Suus and Johann, the couple behind Food Bandits. I enjoy soaking up the ambiance in food photography. The styling, the props, the light: it provides you with a glimpse of the life bloggers are living.
As a rookie I still have a lot to learn. That is why I attend classes. As a bonus I meet sweet and talented people who are interested in the same things as I am. A win win situation!
When I heard that the Bloesem Team was hosting four #instafood classes in Amsterdam, I immediately contacted Irene, the Dutch founder and editor of Bloesem. About 1,5 years ago I 'discovered' her lovely blog. On Bloesem Living, Irene writes about design, her love for handmade things, travels and much more (she even has a special blog for parents!).
Aside from the blog and an accompanying webshop, Irene also organizes classes such as a gold foiling calligraphy class, a tapestry weaving class, or a food styling and mobile photography class.
This multi-talented woman has lived in London, New York, Toronto and Kuala Lumpur. She is currently based in Singapore and that is why most classes are taking place there. However, Irene hasn't forgotten her Dutch roots and was convinced that food photography classes in Amsterdam would be a success. And she was right. She asked Zara S. from Singapore and Trisha Toh who is based in Kuala Lumpur, to host the classes here in Amsterdam.
Last week they learned Dutch foodies and photographers everything there is to know about food styling and mobile photography. Both Zara and Trisha don't have a professional background in photography but have become pro's and therefore popular Instagrammers through lots and lots of practice.
We gathered in Irene's apartment in Amsterdam on a cold afternoon. After introducing ourselves Zara and Trisha gave us a journal with lots of tips and tricks, followed by a powerpoint presentation. Topics as positioning, lighting, creating a mood through props and artfully styling, the presentation of food, and building a community on Instagram were discussed. Meanwhile, Jessie and Vera of Cousine Catering provided us with warm tea and tasty raw bliss balls.
Trisha & Zara told us they prefer to take photos in day light. Especially soft light is perfect for Instagram photos. To achieve this, try taking your pictures early in the day. Later on, the light gets harsher and the tone of your photo will change.
Zara explained that it's normal in Singapore for foodies to take a special LED lamp with them to restaurants. This way the food always looks pretty, also without natural light. We, down to earth Dutchies, had to laugh when she explained it to us. I can't imagine ever taking a small lamp with me during dinner.
Next we learned how to use the grid during photographing, how to balance negative and positive space, and were handed tips and tricks such as 'don't overdo it with the props' and 'keep it fresh, focus on your food'. After the beautiful presentation it was time to get our phones and practice.
Jessie and Vera filled a wooden table with late winter and early spring produce for the photography session. Each of us had to take three photos. It was like a dream to photograph in Irene's beautiful apartment. The reflection of the light was perfect. Plates were moved around, food was cut into pieces and placed in a specific order, and photos were taken.
During lunch, a delicious quinoa dish with avocado and blood orange, we discussed everybody's photos. This way, Zara and Trisha had the opportunity to give us even more advise. With a goody bag and a my newly acquired skills I headed out the door. I hope this isn't my last Bloesem class, because they all sound amazing to me. So Trisha, Zara, and Irene, hopefully we meet again if I am ever coming to Singapore...