by Jenn on October 2, 2013

in Photography

Every once in a while… I like to take a little course to improve my food photography… and travel to a new place as well…

Amsterdam Canalway

Actually, it has been well over two years since I last took a course related to Food Photography – back in 2011 I joined Meeta, Ilva, Jamie, and Jeanne for the first Plate to Page (P2P) workshop in Weimar Germany. Since then I had also gotten to know Simone, a fellow participant at P2P, and so was thrilled to hear when she and Meeta, along with Sandy announced a Food Photography workshop in the countryside of Almere, Netherlands. As you likely know, I am totally in love with photographing food and place, and welcome any opportunity to improve my craft, especially if it is in the presence of friends new and old :)

Open Faced Sandwiches Figs

We ended up taking a couple days of ourselves for some sight-seeing first though, I love all the colors, the boats, the bikes, and the different brick homes each with a slightly different gable adorning them up top.

Scenic Amsterdam along the canals

Scenic Amsterdam along the canals

Intercontinental Amstel Hotel

Old Town

Cheese shop

And of course we got to taste some gorgeous seafood at the beautiful restaurant Nevy overlooking the water…who could ask for better scenery than this?

Restaurant Nevy Restaurant Nevy

One of my favorite aspects of a food photography workshop is all the available props and setups that are possible – at home it is often tough between scheduling and parenting and working to find the time to really devote to practicing a craft.  Over the weekend, Daddy and the baby enjoyed the fresh air at the Lodge exploring and running around, while I got to hang out with a lovely group of women photographing some beautiful food in beautiful light.

Eggs Tarts

Macarons Brunch

I was teamed up with the lovely Scarlett of Fork and Flower from Zürich for the workshop’s exercises – it was an absolute joy to get to know her and create photos together.  One of the main assignments was to tell a story through images of an ingredient from Noordmarkt market in Amsterdam – we were given the broad umbrella category of cheese – and while we saw myriad varieties from stands all throughout the market,


it was all the chèvre hand-made by Clara of Wolverlei Geitenhouderij en Kaasmakerij that really caught our eye. With all the textures and colors and flavors, we were instantly drawn in to the lure of all the different types of chèvre, and enjoyed meeting and chatting with Clara as she was so sweet and kind enough to let us snap a few photos and tell us about the cheeses she made.

Clara, cheesemaker at Noordmarkt


Back at the Lodge, we started our styled shoots – Scarlett and I found an open barn with a plethora of light streaming in from one side and decided it was the perfect spot for our goat cheese.  A couple (or maybe several) shots later, and we were still both totally enthralled with the beauty of cheese :)

Goat Cheese Goat Cheese

Goat Cheese

So… what did I learn? This course was for me less about learning concrete skills and more about just having the confidence to trust myself and my choices when it comes to my photography. To acknowledge that I do have a style and a voice, and that it does show through in my images – it is no small thing to say to yourself, “I can do it!” and actually believe it. Photography is my passion, and being able to freeze a thing of beauty in an instant of time, immortalized forever  – this is the stuff I live for.

What do I still need to work on? Paying enough attention to detail so I don’t have to clone out things like stray honey drizzles on the plate afterwards or mess with white balance forever, and bringing more context into my shots – figuring out how to capture sense of place along with making food look delicious is not a trivial goal, but something I very much wish to improve upon. And with that also comes needing to work on portraits and having the courage to introduce myself more to have more opportunities to photograph where food and culture meet.


Rosa October 2, 2013 at 7:54 am

You must have had a great time in Amsterdam. Thank you for the lovely pictures!



Jenn October 19, 2013 at 3:56 am

Thanks so much, Rosa!

Meeta October 2, 2013 at 8:12 am

Such lovely images Jenn! Yes you do have a style and I love the way you produce clean, crisp images. I know you are critical of your images … in a way it is good as it drives you to look for the new, the different and keeps you moving forward. Don’t stop! I love your energy and loved to see how you and Scarlet were so enthusiastic about the assignment on Saturday. I hope you had fun and it really was great to see you again.

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 3:57 am

Thanks Meeta, it was great to see you again too! It really has been too long!!

Simone October 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

Great shots Jenn! Love your Amsterdam images! It was great seeing you again!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 3:58 am

Aww thanks Simone, I had a blast! Thanks so much for putting this together!

Kulsum October 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

Lovely Images Jen and I see you had a lot of fun at the workshop!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 3:58 am

Thanks Kulsum, yes I did! :)

Anne's Kitchen October 2, 2013 at 9:49 am

Wow, I wish I could have joined you for the workshop! Lovely pictures, your food styling is beautiful!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 3:59 am

Aww thanks so much!

Holly October 3, 2013 at 1:36 am

what a wonderful opportunity- so glad you enjoyed it and made the most of it. I’d love to do something similar and will look around for workshops here in the States. Your photography is beautiful as always!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

Thanks! I need to update my list but I try to keep up with workshops I find available and put them on my resources (food blog conferences/workshops) page linked in my sidebar – hopefully you can find one for you :)

Krystal R {Mrs. Regueiro's Plate} October 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

Seriously….seriously gorgeous photos as always Jenn. I love that you took a photo class to improve your craft even more, and by all the photos of the cheese – you definitely had me drooling for more!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

Thanks so much Krystal!

Jamie October 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

What beautiful shots! I love your shots of Amsterdam and really want to spend some time there. I think we all get so much out of attending workshops, mostly the inspiration and the exchanges between the people there. Even as an instructor I always get so much out of each P2P, learn and get inspired by each participant. We all need that once in a while!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

Aww thanks Jamie! Yes we all do!

Yelena October 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I wish I can be there with you-) Wonderful post!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 10:42 am

Aww thanks!

Ash-foodfashionparty October 5, 2013 at 6:06 am

As much as I love the pictures of the city, the food is just amazing looking. Look at all those cheese. Love your photography, how I wish I can attend one of your workshops.

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

Thanks! Though these are not my workshops, I was merely a student – def. contact Simone or Meeta if you are interested, I’m sure they’d love to have you!

Eduardo@Andaremos October 8, 2013 at 1:32 am

Love those cheese images at the market with the other cheeses out of focus in the background. They look so happy and relaxed. My attempts with cheese images have not proven successful yet.

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

Cheese can a difficult subject, I think they require a lower angle of light than other foods in order to highlight their texture…

Fatemah Alhusayni October 9, 2013 at 6:33 am

All beautiful pictures. You are a great photographer Jenn and your style and voice does show up in your work. I especially like the last picture of the honey drizzling on the cheese. Gorgeous!

Jenn October 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Thank you so much! The honey pour was a lot of fun to do :)

Jeanne @ Cooksister October 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Oh I was so envious of you, Meeta and Simone getting together again! Sounds like the workshop was a great experience – and I love that cheese honey drizzle shot… I also need to pay more attention to detail – last night I had to (once again) clone my mobile phone and its RED cover (!) out of one of those Vaucluse photos. Seriously! Interesting to see how your takeaways from Amsterdam and Andalucia show definite trends 😉

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