What a few months these have been! It seems I have hardly sat still long enough to really feel … still. I’ve been loving the movement of the past several weeks especially as I have just completed two workshops. First up in April was wonderful Vienna, a city that in all its poise and ease has something vibrant and full of life to it. The impulse the city gives is imperial and baroque yet there is a touch of simplicity and an uncomplicated aura that one is impressed by surroundings and feels relaxed by the atmosphere.
Vienna is a perfect location for a workshop and when my friend and Venice Workshop 2014 alumni , Monika Kogler and I got our heads together to plan the workshop things fell into place so easily. Monika, who lives in Vienna, was delightful to work with and with her calm and focused way all the details were quickly cleared.
My co-instructor Jeanne Horak-Druiff and I were soon flying into Vienna and not long after that we were gathering together with a lively bunch of participants for incredible 2-days!
Even though I have been doing these workshops for quite some time now, I am always nervous, especially when it is the first one of the year. I feel a little rusty but as soon as we are giggling and introducing ourselves at the “Meet & Greet” my jitters disappear. One of the things I give a lot of thought to is how the dynamics of the people in the workshop will be. All it takes is one person who creates negative waves and the whole synergy of the group drops. My Vienna group however were anything but negatively poled
Powerful, vivacious and spirited were my immediate impression of this group. Instantly we bonded and for day one we housed ourselves in the fantastic "die Pause" - studio and kitchen where we concentrated on the theory of food photography, hands-on exercises and assignments. It was the perfect kind of session with the group interacting with each other, asking a lot of questions and sharing their experience and knowledge. Monika spoilt us with lots of beautiful homemade food especially a grand 3 course Viennese dinner all served with extravagant bottles of Rustico prosecco from our faithful supporters Nino Franco. Ms. Dobesberger the manager of „die Pause“ was a very efficient, friendly and forthcoming lady and her professional kitchen and studio was an ideal place to kick-start the workshop.
What participants said: The workshop opened my eyes to how far I can take my passion and introduced me to some incredible people who shared similar interests and otherwise seemingly embarrassing snapping habits. The quality of the teaching and planning was incredible, I didn't realise how much one could progress in such a short period of time and I owe it to you, Jeanne, Monica. It takes one thing to enjoy a hobby but another to make something out it and following the course I am now inspired to take things further. ~ Nour Khalifeh, London, UK
The following day we all gathered together to head to Vienna’s famous Naschmarkt and the vintage market for our on-location photo assignment and to let our group practice what they learnt the previous day. I absolutely loved their dedication and eagerness, each one earnestly wanting to fulfill the photo assignment they had been given. The Naschmarkt offered colorful and vibrant shots of the bustling market, vendors hollering their produce to passersby and offering us a taste of their wares. A short shower cooled down the air but the sun was back out warming us and as the group photographed and styled their way through the Naschmarkt, Jeanne, Monika and I took a deserved break!
Neni at the Naschmarkt – our incredible lunch host for the afternoon spoilt us with some of the most exotic and alluring flavors. Oriental food with an explosion, Neni’s concept is as simple as it is ingenious – fresh, flavorful, innovative and friendly service – it is surprising how often many restaurants get this wrong. As guests of the Molcho family, originally from Tel Aviv, we lavished from dish to dish and were lucky to be taste testers to some of their new dishes in a separate room reserved primarily for our group. This of course meant we were free to shoot and style to our hearts desires. “Life is beautiful” with this motto Neni provides an interesting array of food from breakfast, lunch, in-between, dinner and for the midnight snack for a wide range of appetites. On the menu vegetarians and vegans will find plenty to choose from as will the carnivores amongst us!
For the final session our participants were eager to sort through their images and put together their assignment for the 2-days. There was a wonderful lull in the room as the participants worked diligently to complete their work and finally when they produced their assignments to the team as instructors we were thrilled to see the progress many had made in such a short time.
The final pops of corks from opened bottle of Rustico prosecco announced the end of our workshop. The months it took to plan this in minute detail washed down with a frenzy of bubbles!
My lovely co-instructor Jeanne with the absolutely fantastic Martina and Claudia - 2 awesome participants
Impressions of Vienna: We spent our last day in town taking in the sights and sounds of this impressive and regal city!
No workshop is quite complete without glasses of Rustico prosecco by our generous supporters Nino Franco, who have supported several of my workshops in the past. ALways a massive pleasure to start and end the workshops with lots of good bubbles!
And my darling sister-from-another-mother, my kindred spirit, Jeanne who I know I can depend on and trust with all my heart. Workshops are always a lot of fun with you!
We were very active through the the social media platform via #ViennaFoto2015. More great shots and images can be seen on my Instgram feed using the same hashtag.
Thank you to my angel Monika, who cool and poised way made working with you so easy. Thank you for all your input, care, feedback and dedication in organizing this workshop with me. xo
Thank you to these amazing participants who came to the workshop from near and far! It was so grand having you in Vienna and meeting you all: Nour | Claudia | Sylvia | Martina | Nuriel | Gabriella | Daniela | Helen | Rosa
Looking forward to staying in touch and keeping up with your progress.
Our workshop is generously supported by:
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