I’m back in Charlotte and still trying to process all of the information, advice, and inspiration gained from the workshop in Whistler, BC. I have so much to share, from photos and stories to feelings and impressions, that it may take me another post (or more likely two) to do so. Spending 4 days in the mountains with 14 creative and imaginative women from all over the world has left me feeling so refreshed, if not a bit overwhelmed (in a good way :)
Our first night in Whistler was spent getting to know each other a bit over food and drink (the best way to do so in my opinion), which made me feel more relaxed during the first full day of instruction. Besides myself and the other 11 attendees, we spent our time learning from the talented Aran of Cannelle et Vanille, her lovely assistant Nadia (her blog, La Porte Rouge, is stunning), and our host and fearless leader, Angela Ritchie with Ace Camps. Angela lives in Whistler, and found amazing locations for our photo shoots and activities throughout the trip.
Now for the good stuff… the pictures! Day 1 of the workshop was spent learning about Aran’s background, equipment, style, technique, and everything in between. She was so open and honest with her knowledge, and never hesitated to answer any and all questions, which proved to be so helpful throughout our time in Whistler. The most helpful exercise, in my opinion, was her ability to walk us through a dish from start to finish – how to choose ingredients, preserve their quality and freshness during a shoot, styling the food and any props, and, of course, getting the perfect shot. Aran lead by instruction, which is effective for so many reasons.
The food we were shooting during the first day provided so much inspiration. Fresh produce, simply prepared (or raw), is naturally beautiful and can be somewhat effortless to capture. Multi-colored apples, speckled quail eggs, plums so juicy they make your mouth water, and tomatoes bursting out of the oven. Add natural light and voila, nature’s work of art.
We also cooked some of Aran’s recipes, which were just as delicious as they look in photos. A summer gazpacho with zucchini and mint, raw beet ravioli with goat cheese, roasted plums with a mascarpone cream topping, and more. Nothing was overly complicated, just fresh, in season, and healthy. Food that is good for your soul.
I can’t wait to share some more stories and photos from the workshop. It was an incredible experience, and I am excited to put all of this new information to good use.