Montréal, Québec Food Photography Workshop Recap

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal almost feels like a neighboring city – it’s hardly further than Vermont from Boston, and it’s always been on the list of possible roadtrips from here, but for some reason, Alex and I never made it that far – yet. It sat on a long list of weekend trips to take, so when I was chatting with my dear, talented friend Sophie of The Green Life awhile ago about a possible food photography workshop, and the fact that she is from Montréal, we thought, an urban food photography workshop would be so intriguing to host. Thinking back, most of my previous workshops took place in a beautiful secluded area, with abundant nature and tranquility (like this Gradara, Italy one and New Hampshire one), and I loved doing those, but the thought of hosting a workshop in the heart of an upcoming neighborhood in a beautifully renovated building was tempting. So we did it. We sold out in less than two weeks – thank you all for your support! It was an amazing weekend – I returned home inspired by everyone there, and warm with the thought of all the friendships and connections we made. We spent the days learning, styling, and photographing, and then the evenings after dinner sitting around with mugs of tea or coffee, just chatting. Those are my favorite moments – the quiet, uncharted moments where spontaneous conversations flow, and we learn more about each other. A huge thanks to our amazing group of attendees, who honestly make these workshops such great experiences!!!

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comWe stayed in this beautiful historical building that was recently renovated – the decor was amazing and modern, with glorious white walls and large windows for us to use. We definitely utilized those white walls, but one of my favorite styling sessions was transforming that space from white-wall-bright to dark and moody, with soft light in spite of the direct light coming in :). With two clips, black fabric, and a board, a whole new vignette was created.

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

All of our incredible food was cooked by Julie, a super talented chef who made gluten free and vegan food taste AMAZING. I went home dreaming of her sweet potato stuffed chickpea chili, pumpkin marscapone and gingersnap trifles, avocado and ricotta toast with mustard and caraway roasted vegetables, and so much more. Oh, those cardmom poached pears and chocolate buckwheat granola and mulled wine… A huge thanks to this amazing lady, who made it possible for Sophie and I to lead and teach photography sessions.

{day 1}

We welcomed everyone to our urban oasis, and it was a perfect fall day – crisp, chill, but not bitingly cold or windy. Crunchy leaves littered the ground, and bare branches began to peak out against the sky. The first day is meant for gathering – for convivial conversations and serendipitous connections. We sit down for a meal, beautifully detailed by brown parcel press, who created these gorgeous letterpress menus for us, cooked by Julie.

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

{day 2}

This was a packed day, with lessons, demonstrations, and picnics. The next morning, we woke up bright early for breakfast and an immediately lesson on the basic camera settings – everything one needed to know to figure out ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Sometimes, studying them individually can help make sense of it all – and then applying them practically, we photographed many still lifes. For lunch, we had avocado and ricotta toast with roast vegetables outside! We were hoping we could have one meal al fresco, and the weather obliged us – Julie set up a beautiful picnic scene outside with cozy blankets and pillows. Of course, it took awhile for us to actually sit down and eat, because everyone took about a million photos (me included :)). More styling and photography sessions followed, and then a seasonal meal of comfortable sweet potato and chickpea chili.

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

We took yesterday’s dessert – cardamom poached pears with chocolate buckwheat granola – and replated so that we could practice plating and photographing desert.

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

And then, of course, we whipped out the black fabric and created an impromptu setup to get that dark, dramatic, yet soft and moody atmosphere that I so love.

bread in cotton reusable bag | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

We took a break then, because we’d been photographing all day. Julie made a delicious warm mulled wine – which of course meant that we all had to take photos of the beautifully magenta wine – and then retired indoors for dinner.

Mulled Wine Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.comMontréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

{day 3}

On the last day, we started breakfast with the quintessential Montréal bagels with cream cheese and salad. Then, our attendees gathered their own chosen props and backdrops and, in groups, styled their own vignette. This is a food photography workshop – and while I love doing styling demonstrations and it’s helpful to talk through my process, I love seeing that click when they begin to style scenes themselves – to start applying what they’ve learned in real time. I always love seeing what they come up with, and it’s amazing to see them trust their instincts, to realize that they know more about their own style than they had though. Everyone cane up with distinctive vignettes and edited the photos in their own style.

montreal-workshop-bettysliu-48

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

You can see Madeline’s recap here, and Kara’s recap here!!!  You can also explore everyones’ photos on the Instagram hashtag, #MtlFallWorkshop:)

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

Montréal Food Photography and Styling Workshop | bettysliu.com

As always, a huge thanks to our many amazing sponsors who made this food photography workshop possible.

THANK YOU TO:
staub mini cocottes
boston general store tea strainers
brown parcel press “Wild” 2016 letterpress calendar, menus, and postcards
Smith Tea Maker: tea for every attendee and for drinking
Made by Objective: gray napkin for attendees, and aprons + linens
Oatboxgranola and other goods
Looks Like White: ceramics
Created and Foundbeeswax candles for attendees, & raw edge board for styling
BKind: vegan hand cream sample + biodegradable toothbrush
Dans le sac: reusable cotton bread bags
Prune Les Fleurs: florals
De Mello Palheta: coffee beans for usage during the workshop
Erickson Woodworks: beautiful boards to use for styling
La Mariée Bohème | rustic tables, vintage flatware and glasses

and of course, to the best partner I could ask for, Sophie, and the most amazing chef, Julie

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  • Looked like so much fun! We gotta get planning!ReplyCancel

  • Ruthy

    OMG that brought back so many wonderful memories and gave me warm fuzzies!! And now I’m so hungry! 😉 It can’t be said enough – THANK YOU THANK YOU Betty, Sophie & Julie for your passion, energy and such an incredible weekend, and to all the fabulous women who attended for being so amazing and inspiring… it was so great meeting everyone – big love to you all!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • This is so beautiful Betty <3 the scenes and the words – what a truly special time you all had! Looks like absolute magic.ReplyCancel

  • How beautiful, Betty! It looks like everyone had such a magical time, and from what I’ve heard from Sophie, it was a great success. So wish I could have made it xoxReplyCancel

  • This looks beautiful Betty, looks like you all had an amazing time! I am so jealous!ReplyCancel

  • I love seeing the workshop through your eyes, Betty!! All these photos are STUNNING. I especially love the group photo : ) This was such a fun experience and I hope to one day maybe attend another one! hehe. Seriously though I loved looking through all these photos!ReplyCancel

  • You kill me with these posts. I really hope I can make it to one someday soon!!ReplyCancel

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