Photography is by its very nature a huge part of Food Blogging. It's something that I have had mixed success with. I don't have a fancy camera and use my iPhone 4s for all the photos on my blog and social media accounts. By my own admission some are good, some are bad and some are downright awful. Particularly those from my early days as a blogger which looking back I cringe at. A tweet back at the start of January from fellow Aberdeenshire Food Bloggers Lost In Food offered the possibility of an intimate and informal food photography/styling evening with Marcus Bawdon of Country Wood Smoke at The Courtyard. Would I be interested? Hell yeah!
Hand Dived West Coast Scallops
Lamb Sweetbreads, Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta
Saffron Poached Quince
Goats Cheese, Candied Walnuts, Beetroot
Before we were even let loose on the starters we had to prove our worth with the most basic of foods, an egg. First with artificial light and the telltale shadow of my iphone, then with artificial light, finally moving on to diffusing and reflecting until we got the desired effect. Backdrops, props and styling came next along with the first of the dishes from the kitchen. We played around with angles, sight lines and storytelling to try and do justice to the selection of stunning dishes. Yes, we did also eat them and they absolutely tasted as good as they look.
Saddle of Rabbit
Wild Mushroom, Baby Vegetables, Confit Leg, Savoy Cabbage, Truffle
Herb Crusted Cod
Caramelised Aubergine Caviar, Potato, Sprout Leaves, King Scallop, Dashi
Orange & Almond Sponge
Grapefruit, Orange, Almond
Ale Chutney, Oatcakes, Grapes
I came away from the evening well chuffed with my efforts and totally inspired to tell the story of a dish through my photos. I also had a shopping list. Halogen light, clamps, hessian, cardboard, styrofoam, props, brown paper, non reflective crockery. I Instagrammed my shots for the evening. Which photo would get the most likes. Would you believe it? A bowl of Jelly Babies! The weren't even on the menu - I just took a quick snap of them at the end of the night. The room we were in is the meeting space at The Courtyard and they come as part of the package. Apologies to the delegates who were in the following day for an event, there may well have been a few missing!
Thanks to fellow attendees Lesley & Michelle of Lost In Food, Michelle of North Hop and Chris Tonner MD of The Courtyard. Ross Cochrane and the team in the kitchen made it easy for us with such fantastic food but the biggest thank you must of course go to Marcus Bawdon who most generously shared his skills and expertise with us. Do check out his blog and facebook page to see his own amazing photos and his fantastic cooking. Meat, BBQ and Dirty his his specialty. Thanks again Marcus for getting down and dirty with us, in a purely photographic sense.