A look back at our recent food photography and styling workshop in Sebastopol hosted by myself, Sarah from Snixy Kitchen and Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet.

Tillamook Oregon Strawberry Ice Cream with candied pecans and shredded coconut on an Erickson Wood Board

When the three of us started to plan out our first workshop, it seemed like a million months away before we had to play gracious hosts to 12 eager-to-learn attendees. But as cliché as it sounds, the time flew in and I was feeling a teeny bit nervous during my drive north to gorgeous Sebastopol.

Those nerves vanished quickly after meeting our group of 12 amazing people. Everyone was so different and the group gelled really well. Teaching alongside Sarah and Alanna was so much fun, they just ooze talent. Let’s not forget Carla who was our back end for everything including cooking and prepping for picture shoots. We rented a gorgeous house via AirBnb with lots of glass so we could manipulate and work with as much light as we could. It was perfect.

We prepped all of the food ourselves and used almost all of it as shooting and styling options, with the exception of our special chef we brought in for the last night (more about that later).

Our amazing Sebastopol base for Workshop #1

We were really lucky to have so many amazing brands and companies donate to the workshop and along with three sponsors, Lucini Italia, Tillamook Dairy and Valley Fig Growers we were able to keep the workshop well stocked and crazy tasty! As part of being a workshop sponsor we were able to use the products for a lunch shoot. This is where each attendee was able to take the product and style it exactly the way they wanted it to look. Amazing background boards were available to use from Erickson Woodworks and Woodville and it was great to walk around and see how different everyone’s style was.

We had a special ice cream shoot with so many Tillamook ice cream flavors, a tasty pasta lunch shoot with Lucini Italia pasta sauce and olive oil and we made incredible salads with juicy figs from Valley Fig Growers. Life is good.

We continued with this format but in a smaller scale and made platters using hummus from Sabra and a huge choice of cheese from Bellwether Farms, a local Sonoma County cheese maker.

Sabra Hummus Platter with fresh veggies on an Erickson Woodworks board

The night we arrived was spent getting everything ready for the group to arrive in the morning and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little jealous of the goodie bags! So many high quality items filled each bag!

Some of the awesome goodie bag treats

The attendees were kept really busy with one-on-one sessions, demo’s, and a deep dark dive in Lightroom. We even incorporated a field trip to an awesome antique consignment store where I really had to stop myself from buying way too much stuff!

Although every day was amazing, the last night of the workshop might have been my favorite mainly because we didn’t have to cook! We hired Chef Green from Off The Cuff Eats to come and cook for us, and he really delivered with a unique take on his idea between art and food. This also gave the four of us a chance to sit down and chat with the group in a much more relaxed way.

After the workshop ended (so sad that it had to) I began my eight hour drive back to Southern California. I know it seems like a long way but it gave me a lot of time to think about the days before, and I had such a good time. From the location, getting to make 12 new amazing friends and working with two of the best photographers I know.

I really hope we can do it all again so if you’re interested and would like to be kept informed of any upcoming events, just send a quick email to CAFoodPhotography@gmail.com and you’ll be among the first to know!

Take a peek at #CAFoodPhotos to see lots more pictures and please visit Sarah and Alanna’s recap blog posts.

My Valley Fig salad with Bellwether Cheese and Taylor Farms Greens.

A huge display of artisan Bellwether Cheese and Arise Bakery Gluten Free Bread made by one of our own attendees! You can even have it shipped!

The first course from Chef Green, everything he made my taste buds go bonkers!

We tasted lot’s of locally produced Dutton Estate Wine but this Rosé of Pinot noir was my favorite. It went so well with Chef Green’s hibiscus dessert.

I kept things simple for my Lucini Italia lunch shoot with some blistered tomatoes, Parmesan and fresh basil.

I’m so proud of all of this whole group, they worked hard and were great fun to hang out with!

A million thanks to our generous sponsors and brands. 


Workshop Donations