Venice Food Styling and Photography Workshop

Venice Food Photography & Styling Workshop

When I invited Jeanne Horak-Druiff last year to guest instruct at the London Food Photography and Styling Workshop not only did we complement each other extremely well, but with her expertise knowledge in restaurant photography, Jeanne was able to provide a special focus into an aspect of food photography often requested by my readers and workshop attendees. So, it will not come as a surprise that we have teamed up again for what we hope will be an exciting and educational workshop experience.

Image courtesy Nino FrancoWhen planning my workshop schedule for this year the opportunity to work together came up again and I was thrilled that we we were going to be joining forces again. In terms of workshops, Jeanne and I have been working together since 2011 as part of the Plate to Page team together with Ilva and Jamie, so we know how the other ticks. While Plate to Page takes a short hiatus this year, allowing us to pursue other assignments and realize further plans individually, we are also able to persevere various projects together.

Image courtesy Nino FrancoI am excited to present my first Food Photography and Styling workshop in 2014. Jeanne and I would like to invite you to to Venice, Italy for a sensational 2-day food photography and styling workshop. We would like to take you away to the delightful prosecco region of Valdobbiadene just outside of Venice. This picturesque town situated just below the Alpine areas of Veneto with its tranquil surroundings and rolling hills will provide ample space for creative reflection and lots of intensive work. The fantastic and courteous team at Hotel Diana will be hosting our team Venice during our trip. Strategically located in the center of Valdobbiadene, Hotel Diana not only allows us to plan our outings for the field trips easily but with its modern and fully equipped meeting rooms it provides the perfect environment for our in-house sessions.

We have put together, what we hope will be an active, creative and fun workshop, where you will learn all the fundamental elements you need to hone your skills in food photography. You will also be learning how to find your way through the jungle of food styling to create the perfect set-up. Furthermore we will be putting the focus not only on natural lighting but also working extensively with low-lighting conditions specifically required for restaurant photography.

Image courtesy Nino FrancoWe also plan to spoil you with delicious traditional Italian food with on-location shoots at a local osteria and a unique vineyard and winery tour including a tutored tasting at the stunning Nino Franco estate, where we will spend the day working intensively on our assignments. There will be many practical assignments, a lot of theory and plenty of creative sessions.

We hope to sensitize your imagination and tickle your skills so you are equipped with the know-how to create beautiful images for your blog posts, articles or your own personal masterpiece.

Are you ready for Spring in Venice? If you are keen to join Jeanne and me, here are the details of what the course covers, the costs and where you can register.

Check-in - Thursday 1st May 2014

Day one - Friday 2nd May 2014

  • Breakfast & Introductions

  • Photography Fundamentals by Jeanne
    Mastering the camera & learning the basics (shutter speed, aperture, ISO & co.) 

  • Meet & Greet Brunch
    A rustic brunch, the Italian way, featuring some Venetian specialities

  • Photography Techniques by Meeta
    Natural light techniques, getting a sharp focus, color & texture

  • Styling Fundamentals by Meeta
    Composition and placement, creating a mood/atmosphere, the right props, color, texture etc.

  • Styling demo with Meeta
    Free-style Photography/Styling Exercises
    Short exercises to warm you up

  • Restaurant photography by Jeanne

  • Pushing Photoshop by Jeanne
    Post-processing your low-light images

  • Osteria - on location photo shoot
    Practise taking shots in a restaurant atmosphere and in low light conditions.

  • Dinner at a typical local Osteria

Day two - Saturday 3rd May 2014

  • Enlightening yourself with Lightroom by Meeta
    Workflow, post-processing, watermarking, tagging

  • Field trip - Nino Franco Prosecco estate
    This includes a vineyard and winery tour, and a tutored prosecco tasting; as well as time to gather images for your main photography assignment

  • Lunch at the Nino Franco Prosecco estate

  • Intensive group work on main photography assignment

  • Evaluation, discussion & critique on assignment
    Constructive feedback, discussion and critique on exercises

  • Finale Aperitivi & Farewell

Further details for the announcement


  • 2 day food styling and photography sessions with Meeta and Jeanne

  • 2 nights accommodation (Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd May) including breakfast

  • Friday: Meet & Greet Brunch, Dinner at a local Osteria
    Saturday: Field trip transportation, winery/vineyard tour and tutored tasting
    Lunch, Aperitifs

  • Fruit and beverages during the workshop

Does NOT include:

  • Travel costs to venue

To register for this workshop please fill out the registration form here.

Please note: The workshop is limited to only 12 participants and works on a first-come-first-serve basis. Presentations and main workshop language will be in English (instructors speak English and German) and is aimed towards beginners, novice and advanced level participants.  
The instructors reserve the right to modify the programme should the need arise.

Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours of registrations containing further details and further instructions.


Nino Franco Photography Competition

Any visit to the Valdobbiadene region is filled with food, wine and travel story inspirations - and never more so than when visiting the Nino Franco estate with its ancient stone-walled vineyard; beautiful villa available for B&B; and excellent situation in the charming town of Valdobbiadene – all only one hour by train from Venice. Nino Franco has teamed up with Jeanne and me to offer one lucky workshop participant and their guest the chance to stay at the sumptuous Villa Barberina as well as a private wine tasting with the Francos.

Here is how the competition will work:

As a participant in the Food Photography & Styling Workshop you are invited to submit a single photographic composition of your choice taken during the workshop weekend, featuring a bottle of Nino Franco Primo Franco Prosecco. Whether you focus purely on the bottle, or choose to depict the bottle in the context of a meal, a place or a social occasion, is your choice. A single image will be selected from all entries by a jury consisting of the Franco family and independent judge, well-known wine blogger and photographer Andrew Barrow. The overall winner, as selected by the jury, and their partner will be invited to spend two nights at the luxury Villa Barberina in the heart of the Nino Franco Prosecco walled vineyard in the town centre of Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy. In addition to the stay in the villa, the winner will also receive a private wine tasting at the Nino Franco winery.

Below you will find the submission guidelines and terms & conditions - please ensure that you read these carefully!

  1. By entering this competition, you agree to be bound by all the rules listed below.
  2. The competition is only open to participants in the Food Photography & Styling Workshop taking place from 2-3 May 2014.
  3. Each participant may only submit ONE image for judging and only photos that depict Nino Franco Prosecco will be considered.
  4. Only digital entries will be accepted.
  5. Entries are to be submitted as Jpeg files (medium to high quality) with a width of at least 2000 pixels and with a resolution of 150 dpi.
  6. Image files are to be named as follows:  SURNAME_INITIAL (for example SMITH_P if the entrant's name is Peter Smith).
  7. Each entry is to be accompanied by a title and a brief artist's statement explaining why the photo was chosen and what it aims to illustrate/achieve. 
  8. All entries are to be submitted to:
  9. The deadline for all entries is 18 May 2014, no later than 23h59 GMT. 
  10. The prize will be awarded according to the unanimous decision of the jury and will be based exclusively on the individual characteristics and creativity of the entry. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. The winner will be notified via email by 30 May 2014.
  12. The prize includes 2 nights in a double room (accommodation for 2 people  correct) at the Villa Barberina, including breakfast, plus a private wine tasting at the Nino Franco Winery, within walking distance of the villa.  No flights, transfers or car hire are included. All other meals and sightseeing are at the winner's own expense. The offer is available for one year, and must be taken by 30 May 2015.  Any dates chosen by the winner are subject to room availability (bearing in mind that the villa is only open seasonally closed Dec 1-Mar 15).
  13. The prize must be accepted as offered and no cash alternative is available.
  14. By submitting an image to this competition, entrants’ give consent for their names and e-mail addresses to be be shared with the workshop organizers, Nino Franco, Comunque (the UK Nino Franco Media & PR agency) and Spittoon.  Such personal details will not be sold and will not be used to add entrants to any marketing database/subscribe to any newsletter.  Details will be used solely for communication in connection with this competition.
  15. By submitting an image for this competition, all participants grant an irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive worldwide license to Nino Franco Prosecco, the two workshop organisers and Spittoon to use the image on their respective websites or printed material, solely for the purpose of promoting or discussing this photo competition or the Food Photography and Styling Workshop.  Each participant will, however, retain all rights to their respective images.  Should an image depict a person, participants are required to warranty that they are in possession of a model release from the subject to use his/her image, in any form. Participants assume full responsibility for such model releases and will hold Nino Franco Prosecco, the workshop organisers, and Spittoon harmless in the event of legal action following from the absence of such model release. 
  16. The organizers of the Food Photography and Styling Workshop are running this competition in good faith on behalf of Nino Franco Prosecco but we are not responsible in any way for the delivery of the prize, or from any loss or damages relating to the prize. Once we have announced the winner, any issue relating to the prize is a matter entirely between the winner and Nino Franco Prosecco. We will not be responsible for any loss, damages or inconvenience related to the winner not receiving the prize, or to injuries or damages sustained in any way by either the winner or Nino Franco Prosecco in connection with the prize.

If you are keen to join us and take up on the opportunity to enter this sensational competition you can register for the Venice workshop here.



Nino FrancoAnyone who has visited the magical city of Venice has most certainly encountered the famous wine of Prosecco. The legendary estate of Nino Franco, located in the celebrated region of Valdobbiadene,  has been producing Prosecco wines for more than three generations.  With an ancient stonewalled vineyard, a beautiful villa B&B, the charming town of Valdobbiadene, Venice an easy 1hour ride/ train away,  and the steep hills surrounding them, a visit to the Nino Franco winery is a visit rich in food wine & travel story inspiration. An opportunity for a P2P participant & their guest to spend the night at the sumptuous with a private wine tasting w the Francos will be announced during the weekend.

Unquestionably one of the top producers of Prosecco today, the quality of the man is to be found in his wine.Primo Franco, grandson of the original founder, Nino, professionally and lovingly moved this estate into the twenty first century, setting the example to other producers. These proseccos are found on the list of some of the top restaurants and fine independent merchants through out the world. Contact the winery for info. The range of the 7 labels of Nino Franco prosecco is available in the UK via UK importer American wine critic Robert Parker scored Rustico 89/100, saying: “Rustico is clean and fruity, with a creamy texture and a lemon and melon aftertaste.” In 2012, Wine & Spirit magazine awarded Rustico 90/100, saying The gold colour and peach nectar scent predict this to be rich, but a potent, nutty savour keeps it balanced. It finishes clean, tight and grippy- a mouthwatering aperitif”

Twitter @ninofranco1919


HarperCollinsLogoHarperCollins Publishers is one of the world’s leading English-language publishers. Headquartered in New York, the company was founded by brothers James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 as J. and J. Harper.  Over the years it has been the publishing house of Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., H. G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis, amongst others.

FreshAndLightHarperCollins also publishes Donna Hay’s iconic cookbooks and we are delighted that they are generously providing each workshop participant with a copy of Donna Hay’s fresh and light cookbook.  Donna describes the book as being designed to complement her existing repertoire, while being full of new recipes that combine the freshest ingredients, pantry staples and her personal tricks for a lighter touch.  Donna has never been a fan of diets and this book is no exception – for her, it's always been about balance. fresh and light is mindful of fat and carbohydrates, but is focused on flavour and variety – without the guilt. Divided by meal, fresh and light is a solution-packed book of recipes loaded with power foods to give you the balance you need across your week. There are light breakfasts, tasty lunch box tips and fast dinner solutions to give you ideas for every time of the day.

360logoHarper 360 is a global publishing programme which aims to make books published by any division of HC worldwide available in print or digital formats for all English-language markets.

In addition, HarperCollins will be running a competition during and after the workshop, exclusively for participants, with the prize being a bundle of cookbooks from their various authors.  Stay tuned for details of this competition, which we will share with you during the workshop!

Twitter: @HarperCollins / @harper360
Facebook: HarperCollins



Tasting glasses, glasses and complements designed by Federico de Majo Zafferano, a Venetian company directed by Federico de Majo, has been creating collections of tasting glasses and tableware in glass since 2001. This is a company in which creativity and Italian design make up the basis for product design and realization of objects created not only to be functional and decorative but also to bring dreams and emotions to life.

Federico de Majo has always worked in the world of glass, starting off in the Murano glassworks of the family and dedicating himself to the sector of illumination to then move on to the creation of an all-Italian trademark for tasting glasses. In fact Zafferano originated from the Venetian designer’s idea of creating an Italian brand to accompany and bring out the best of those talents thanks to which our country has become famous all over the world: design, wine production and haute cuisine.

We are thrilled that Zafferano have kindly agreed to provide props for our workshop photo shoots from their extensive and beautiful range.



logo_chikasChika’s brings you the taste of West Africa, sourcing the finest ingredients from farmers in Africa and working with local, artisan producers to create a delicious range of snacks inspired by the traditional foods of this vibrant continent.  Founder Chika Russell spent her early childhood in West Africa and when she moved to London, she sorely missed the delectable snack food she’d grown up with.  Chika sought to fill this gap by bringing back suitcases filled with food whenever visiting family in Africa.  But she realized that her love of West African foods was not just about taste, but its effect on all senses: the rich smell of nuts toasted by hand; the bright colours of the cloth used to wrap them; rubbing the nuts between her palms; the memories of eating and sharing with family. This inspired Chika to create Chika’s and to spread her love for West Africa and its food.

Chika’s nuts are unique in that  have an amazing flavour; they are non-greasy, lower in fat, lower in calories and lower in salt. However, they are higher in fibre and protein than other salted peanuts currently on the UK market. The nuts are produced by artisans using traditional techniques, in small batches. Chika’s West African savoury bites are consistently high quality, beautifully packaged and, above all, offer a new taste experience.

The Chika’s product range includes hand-toasted peanuts (with and without skins, toasted over a wood fire);  plantain crisps with chilli and salt; and toasted unpopped corn kernels.

Twitter: @ChikasFoods
Facebook: Chika’s Foods


MasalaMonsoonMasala Monsoon is an artisan brand of blended spices incorporating dried flower petals, created by well known London-based  freelance food writer and cookery teacher Sumayya Usmani, who specializes in Pakistani cuisine and culture.  The Masala Monsoon

blends enhance food by adding a twist with their unique floral spice aromas. Inspired by the aromas of the earth after a Monsoon shower, bringing to life that comforting spicy earthiness in every blend.

Masala Monsoon’s first flavours expand the “garam masala” concept bringing you:

  • Rose petal garam masala – Celebratory and Romantic
  • Jasmine petal garam masala – Exotic and Calming
  • Marigold petal garam masala – Festive and Earthy

All three Masala Monsoon blends possess unique and versatile ethnic sophistication which transcend different cuisines. They can be used with a wide range of foods from desserts and cheeses to savoury marinades, stews and curries. The versatility of our blends allow them to be used effectively with South Asian, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, European and classic British dishes, from desserts and drinks.  Our mission is to expand to include other floral inspired spice and herb blends with a worldwide influence – always keeping the haunting aromas of spicy floral earthiness alive in each blend.

Follow Sumayya as @PukkaPaki on Twitter and Facebook

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Oh I cannot wait to be teaching with you again, my sister-from-another-mother! And I cannot think of a better venue for us to be reunited for this workshop :) Can't wait for May!

  2. Would love to take part, sadly with this so called "bridge" day I lost to my colleque - lets hope for a second workshop with you two this year!


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.