Glad to Get Schooled

by Adrienne Matt on January 15, 2011

in Tips & Tricks

Some of you know I snuck away from the slush and snow of Manhattan for balmy Cancun. Here’s some more details as to why: I was getting schooled at Food Blogger Camp in the sprawling and stunning resort of Grand Velas Riviera Maya. The brainchild of Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen and David Lebovitz, a recovering pastry chef who writes beautifully about food and his life in Paris.

I went primarily to network and meet other food bloggers; I don’t have other food bloggers in my life and I wanted a chance to connect and share. Additionally, I was really excited to meet Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes whom I’ve had a serious girl crush on. I love, love, love her site, the photography and the headnotes for her recipes.

I came away from camp pensive yet relaxed — due primarily to the gracious, ever-attentive staff at the hotel. I learned a lot, taking in loads of new information. And I’m slowly beginning to incorporate changes into my own blog.

Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White On Rice Couple led a too-brief but very technically solid overview of photography and lighting. I’m eager to see their slideshow on Slideshare or Vimeo soon!

My biggest gifts came from Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites and food stylist Adam Pearson. They are my new foodie heroes. Matt was super, super gracious in letting me borrow his camera during our hands-on photo assignments. Just watching Adam work as a food stylist gave me so many ideas about how to make the most of the low natural light in my own tiny NYC kitchen.

Because of this experience I
a) bought a Canon G11 within 72 hours of getting home
b) became more aware of plating food for photography.

The photos accompanying this post are ones Matt thought were my best shots.

Besos, Matt and Adam for making me a more careful and considered food photographer!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy@acommunaltable January 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hi Adrienne!!

It was wonderful to meet you at Camp and I wish we lived closer. Your photos turned out beautifully – I love the one with the chef’s hands! I’ve had my eye of the same camera too… I have a canon Xsi and I love it but it’s a bit bulky for traveling – the G11 looks like a perfect camera for both food and travel.
Can’t wait to see what changes you have in store for your blog!


Adrienne Matt January 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Great to meet you, too, Nancy. (and phooey on having to wear a life vest when kayaking!)
Thank you for the compliment. Having Matt comment on my shots right away was a great test of composition and styling.
Take a look on Craigslist or other sites for a used G11. They are harder to find now that Canon came out with the G12.
As for the blog changes, I’m already testing out the Thesis theme. More backend changes to come :)


Sarah January 16, 2011 at 2:39 am

Congrats on the new camera! I’m still getting used to my new one too so keep me posted on tips. I need to schooled on the damn camera….


Adrienne Matt January 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Thanks! It keeps me entertained. The trick is not to keep people waiting to taste their food while I shoot! I’m playing around with setting in the low light of my kitchen. Stay tuned …


Amber January 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I learned a ton from the food styling demo, too. I had never thought of sliding my spoon through refried beans to take a better photo (oh, the many, sad photos that have been unpublishable). And I, too, am on the hunt for a new camera now. Nice to have met you! Stay in touch.


Adrienne Matt January 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I know, right? The simplest things can make all the difference. I just bought Dolores Custer’s book Food Styling. Learning TONS.


Renee January 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Congratulations on the G11! Nice going! Your photos look beautiful! It was so nice to meet you-and another fellow NYer! We’ll have to stay in touch for certain and get together during the Spring thaw.

Take good care and stay safe and warm!


Adrienne Matt January 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Thank you, Renee. Yes, it was a snap decision but one I’m thrilled with.
When some of this snow is cleared, let’s go on a foodie date!


Aimee January 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Congrats on the new camera! Have so much fun with it – looking forward to seeing the upcoming photos!


Adrienne Matt January 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Thanks, Aimee.
I’m going to try your Mexican pot pie real soon!


Fran January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Yaay on the new camera! I’ve used a G10 on my site for the last 3 years (until I bought my new DSLR for the trip) and it’s been an awesome tool. Have fun with it! Nice to meet you and maybe we’ll meet again.


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