Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Food Styling Is So Much Fun

Well what a day we had.  I had the privellige of working with professional food photographer Gerry Colley and the gorgeous portrait photographer Nelly Compte.  I learned so much.   There was a great team work vibe and we glided through the day, managing to get 13 shots in the can. Not at all bad for our first day.  With cooks, kitchen helpers, coffee runners, stylists and photographers all buzzing around helping to make it happen.

These are some of the photos I styled.  You might recognise some of my props.

And here's the finished shot loaded onto the computer.  The shots were much tighter than I expected and the photo could be shot will all sorts of other stuff on the surface as it was just cut out. 

These are my Asian Chicken Balls with dipping sauce being shot by Nelly Compte  I was trying to achieve a fresh coastal feel with this shot.  What proved to be a real hit on the day was my rusty old boot locker.  It proved to be a really beautiful surface to work with and it's dings just added character.

Another thing I learned is that I will definitely be investing in the cook book.  We ate very well during the shoot and I so want the recipes to all these gorgeous dishes.

Here's what I mean about having junk all over the table and it being cut out of the shot.

Here's my lame shot of the dish.  This is a gorgeously fresh pasta, with roasted tomatoes, prosciutto, Danish feta and rocket, drizzled with lemon infused olive oil that I make.  So again , here's my shot

And here's Gerry's.  By the way that porridge with poached pears was divine and I can hardly wait to make it.

And here's the recipe for my weeknight wonder spaghetti.  It's delicious and so'll love it.

Spaghetti with Prosciutto, Roasted Tomato, Danish Feta and Lemon infused Olive Oil

2 Slices of Prosciutto per person
1-2 punnets of cherry tomatoes
1 large handful of rocket per person
150g Danish feta
Lemon infused olive oil for drizzling. 

Pre heat oven to 180C
Place prosciutto and tomatoes on a tray lined with baking paper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until roasted. When cooked crumble prosciutto and set aside.

Meanwhile cook enough spaghetti for each person.

Place rocket at the bottom of  individual serving bowls.  Drain spaghetti and place on top of the rocket to wilt it slightly.  Aportion the prosciutto, tomatoes and feta between serving bowls.  Mix gently to combine and drizzle generously with lemon infused olive oil.
Sprinke with extra feta if desired.
Serves 2-4 people depending on how much prosciutto and tomatoes you roast.

 I learned that the way you would style something for the shot is not the way you'd present it in real life.  Gerry lined these shot glasses of gazpacho up through the lens so he could shoot them in one line but the photo for the cook book, (which I don't have to show you) turned out as though they were set up in a square.

This is my shot, but the one going in the book is all blurry round the edges

For this picnic shot, the background is blury green grass.  We tried to get the ribbing of the blanket to show up as well.  This again is just my shot.  

And here's that trusty old foot locker again.

Again my shot...... you may recognise the chalk board place tag.

There are some amazing cooks in my community.  The book launches 15 October, personally I can't wait.

Oh and I have conformation of my Garden Gourmet cook off place and time.

It's at the Chopping Block at the Good Food and Wine Show Sydney, 22 June 12.30pm to 1.15pm.  I'd love to see you there.

Today I'm linking up here


  1. that is so exciting Carolyn! congratulations!!
    Kate x

  2. This looks like it was so much fun!
    Congratulations on reaching the cook off!

  3. Carolyn you clever gal! How much fun did you have. I remember my days in advertising when we could go all crazy and style the food especially the cakes, painting them with brown paint and spraying them with hairspray Ha! We don't have to do that these days. thank goodness. Each one of those recipes looks delicious you have added that magic ingredient , style! Can't wait to see it published.

  4. This looks like so much fun!! Food styling and photography is my idea of a good time, if only I was better at the cooking part ;) well done! xo K

  5. WoW! How exciting......
    To see your work in print will be very special.
    Thanks so much for showing us the process and the sneak peeks.
    Have a great day!!!
    Tania xx

  6. What a wonderful, delicious post. Thanks for sharing. It's nice
    to know what goes on in the background.

  7. Wow, that was really interesting! Cant wait to see the end result and I will definitely try and make it to the cook off to barrack for you! x

  8. what a great experience! i'm sure you picked up some great tips. maybe a new career for you?

  9. What fun! Looks like it's going to be a beautiful book - I hope it's going to be available to buy - I'd like all those recipes.

  10. Can't wait to see the cookbook Carolyn. What a fun day. Good luck on the 22nd. I'll be thinking of you.

    Anne xx

  11. Love following along on this cooking and styling adventure of yours. How exciting! Look forward to hearing more.

  12. Look how far you have come!! Working with professionals, cooking up a storm. Wow!!! I think you have found your ' thing'. Good luck at the cook off, wish I could be there. Will be thinking of you , Nic xx

  13. This is amazing, Carolyn!!! It really looks like fun, and you learned a lot (and got to eat well!!!) in the process...not a bad thing! I love how professional photographers have so many cool tricks up their sleeves for making the food look as good as it tastes. Congratulations, and have fun at the Food & Wine Show. Obviously, since it's half a world away, I won't be able to come! :-)

  14. It sounds like you had an awesome day, Carolyn!

    I recently accompanied my husband on a photo shoot to shoot wedding cakes - I was his camera assistant - I learned a lot that day, but still haven't put it into practice on my own blog.

    I'll be with you in spirit for the cook-off!

  15. Carolyn, This is so exciting and sounds like such a fun day for you. Thanks for joining the Open House party.

  16. That does look like fun, but also a lot of work! Very cool :)

  17. Love your props and I really like your natural styling and photography style! These shots make me sooooo Hungary, thanks! Rachael

  18. Yummy!

    Come and join me with my Color Connection meme through my PINK entry. Hope you join the fun!

  19. Super exciting to see the process in action, must have been a thrill!!
    The photos are spectacular!
    Cheers, Nerina

  20. How fun and very interesting!! I think I'd want that cookbook too! Thanks for sharing. Happy Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

  21. Too cool..I love it! Fun to hang out with pro-!! photographers... sweet!
    love the post too:))

    Happy PINK Saturday,

    Kay Ellen

  22. That look slike sooo much fun. How exciting. You are doing amazing things hun and I am so proud of you! Its amazing when you see something in real life and then you see the photo - they are like two different scenes. Styling is such a great area to get in to - I hope you go all the way with it as you have such a gift in this area. xx

  23. LOVE this...WOW.. So fun!!!.. such a wonderful post.. Thanks SO much for linking to Pin'Inspirational Thurday's, hope you are back again this week.. xo ~ Marilyn

  24. What a cool thing. I can't wait to glimpse your book.

    Hmmm... might give you some Scandinavian with an Asian touch recipes, huh?
    Just kidding but I am willing to share.

    I have an on-going project too but I am so busy with my regular job as an Account Mgr in one of largest Swedish bank. That's stopped my dream for time being.

    Happy mid-week & greetings from rainy Stockholm,


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