“Is it over already?”
I always seem to say this when one of the food photography and styling workshops conclude. On one side I feel thrilled and even relieved at having completed a 2 day session successfully but there is a slight melancholy at wrapping up something that has been planned for so long and with great care. The Amsterdam workshop was special for me on many levels.
I have been looking forward to getting back amongst a group of creative and energy filled like-minded people. It’s a big source of inspiration when I can sit together discussing all aspects of food photography and styling with people who are eager to learn new things, soak up the information and go out and apply it in different ways. The results in such a short span of time always blows me away.
This workshop also finally brought Simone and me together for the first time on a professional level. We’ve been discussing for a long time about working on a project together and this seemed the perfect opportunity. We brought in lovely Sandy with whom I have not only had the pleasure of working with for my Weimer workshop earlier this year but together with Simone she was a participant at my Ettersburg workshop last year. So it was a lovely way of reuniting friends together.
That is another thing I absolutely love about these workshops - the synergy effect is simply unbeatable. Not only does the workshop offer a platform to exchange ideas and tackle goals, but I have often found that the workshops provide a great way to meet people who have a similar drive and ambition. Once we get talking and ideas flow … well they usually turn into bigger projects.
The Amsterdam workshop sold out shortly after we announced it back in April. The location we found fit all all our needs from almost every perspective. Het Groene Geheim was perfect for the workshop. Tucked about 30 minutes away from Amsterdam, it offered a sanctuary for the group providing many fabulous niches for photo opportunity. The presentation room was brilliantly equipped with ample space for us to work on our exercises indoors and with the expansive lush green pastures outdoors we had everything needed for a perfect weekend. Yes - even the skies were the perfect blue and the gazebo situated on a deck on the pond invited us to spend leisure time chatting and getting to know each other.
Twelve lovely ladies began arriving at the lodges from all over the world. There was Heidi from Dubai, Karin and Veronika from Austria, Michelle, Jenn and Scarlett from Switzerland, Edith from Holland, Roxanne and Allison from France, Eleni from Greece, Mari from Finland and Emily from the UK. It was a powerful group filled with energy and enthusiasm and they fused with each other quickly. Simone and I were delighted with the ease we were able to transfer our know-how and exchange ideas with the group. Exercises were buzzing with creative spirit as the twelve passionate ladies tackled their given tasks.
Sandy shared her fantastic secrets and tips about table decorating and crafting with the group pushing them to think out of the box. Sandy also looked after the entire group, catering with a spectacular Apéro on the gazebo and cooking us a magnificent roast beef dinner also catering to all the participants with particular dietary issues. Our wine sponsor Edu Kremer of Kremer Wijnkorpers joined us and paired some spectacular wines with the meal. The first day eased into a tranquil and relaxing evening filled with chatter and many laughs.
We woke to a gorgeous sunrise over the lodges on day two, getting ready to make an early start into Amsterdam for our big assignment. Each participant had to cover a specific topic and the bus ride into the city was filled with lively chatter, ideas being tossed back and forth.
I love visiting food markets and Amsterdam’s Noordmarkt is an amazing place where artisan producers and vendors proudly display their fresh and tantalizing produce and products. I never seem to get tired of photographing the colorful vegetables, rustic breads, succulent fruit, and wonderfully textured cheeses on display. The workshop participants quickly disappeared into the market and began working on their challenging task ahead. Simone and I took a little stroll through the market taking in all the sights and sounds.
We all met up at our lunch destination, Nevy a lovely seafood restaurant overlooking the water. On such a gorgeous warm Autumn day this was the perfect repose. A few beers and palatable platters of seafood finger food later we were on our way back to the lodges for the completion of the photography assignment.
The twelve ladies were unstoppable, their passion and energy giving them wings and with our feedback they began creating some fantastic pieces over the next few hours. Some were under time pressure, others had ideas and executed them into a story and images perfectly - it was truly fantastic to see how the heads were fuming to get the perfect shots
The weekend came to sensational end with Sandy spoiling us with an abundance of food. After a well deserved toast the workshop came to an end. Waving goodbye to the participants is always so bittersweet.
I am in the middle of planning my workshop schedule for 2014. There will be quite a few highlights and some sensational locations. Cannot wait to share with you when I return from Dubai. In the meantime you can follow the Amsterdam story on Storify, which also has a list of all the recaps to date or you check out the Pinterest board (still being filled) which we'll be updating as we go along.
You will also find Simone's awesome recap of the workshop here. Love her colorful images so do not miss it!
Thank you to all our sponsors for their generosity and faith in us.
Udo supplied us with delicious South African white wine and some festive sparkly prosecco. Mind you he has some awesome wines you might want to check out on his site. We have tried quite a few and I love every one of them! Check it out on Wine Matters
Fonq supplied each participant with an amazing box filled with colorful cutlery – prop heaven! You can have a look at it here
Not really happy with the current state of disposables here in the Netherlands Martine decided to single handedly try and change that, so she started her company called Feestelijk verantwoord. She sells all sorts of beautiful disposables, which are awesome to use as props.
Poptasi make THE best macarons in the Netherlands. Seriously. And once you have tasted them… you’re hooked. For life. You’ve been warned.
Tony’s Chocoloney is rather well known here in the Netherlands and they are aiming to produce 100% slavefree chocolate. But what they are most famous for is – of course – their delicious chocolate. Every year they have a few limited editions which are really gone before you know it and worth waiting for in the stores! They supplied each of the participants with an amazing 2 chocolate bars!
Geeta’s supplied us with a few mango chutneys and some other delicacies from their stores. Beautiful products full of flavor and pairs well with everything; meat, cheese, sandwiches.
Edu Kremer supplied uswith some amazing wines for our dinner or the first time through his niece Edu and his son Nick started their company about two years ago and they are the exclusive dealer of the Pisoni wines here in the Netherlands but also have a range of other really good wines. We sent Edu the menu and he paired it with a few outstanding wines. During the meal he told a little bit about the wines from Pisoni who are all biodynamically produced. They are situated in Haarlem and can organize wijntastings for groups from 10 people or bigger groups.
We all received a spicemix from Original Spices which they were kind enough to supply us. The Original Spices are produced by Euroma, one of the biggest spice distributeurs here in Holland.
Last but by no means least - a special hug to both my counterparts Simone and Sandy. This was not only fun but doing this workshop with you was an enrichment for me. Looking forward to more bathtub jokes and rookworst meals with you ladies. Cheers!
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