I swear I have been dreaming of putting together a gathering that would bring people together to share a convivial food + learning experience in my adopted country for as long as I have been on this farm. My first instinct was to organize a series of farm-to-table harvest weekends. By and by, we’ve done this in small ways, knocking up country suppers with visiting friends which warble on till the wee hours of the morning, leaving little time before milking. So fantastic. Times to relish. Imagery to cherish. Pity, yet hopefully only “for now,” we don’t have the space to host more than a couple of folks. But, since serendipity is no stranger in our lives, after meeting and working with brilliant new friends in the West of Ireland, a plan was hatched to create a harbinger of food, photography and adventure….escape is the pastoral word that pops to mind; to a haven which feels a half a world away.
So now, I am absolutely thrilled to share the very first Lens & Larder creative retreat which will take place this autumn in the breathtaking Connemara region of Ireland. This workshop will focus on food photography and styling, and I am honored to announce that the magnificent talents of photographer, Beth Kirby and seasoned food stylist, Susan Spungen will be at the helm of our maiden voyage.
Have you ever wished for someone to take you through selecting the best camera angle and lens, or how to make the best use of natural available light to create your own food story?
Have you ever wondered how to style that big bowl of creamy chowder to make it just as appetizing as the beautiful slice of bread with butter on the table next to it?
Have you struggled with how to layer and compose a shot to compliment the food? Where does it all start? The food? The props? The camera angle? The light or location?
Allow Beth and Susan to guide you in creating your very own repertoire of basic camera and styling techniques while exploring the stunning setting of Ballynahinch Castle in the Connemara region of Ireland. During your stay, you will find yourself foraging for wild edibles in the lush ancient woodlands on the estate of the 16th century Irish castle, rolling pastry like a styling pro and baking up a rustic galettes in a classic AGA stove, venturing to a bay on the Wild Atlantic Way to pull lobster and crab pots while jigging for mackerel (or just watching the action while breathing in the fresh sea air, if you please) and afterward gathering in a centuries-old island schoolhouse for lunch and more learning. Each evening you will retire to the stately and luxurious Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, voted best hotel in Ireland by Condé Nast Traveler in 2013, but more importantly, a sacred place that has provided artistic inspiration to kindred creatives for hundreds of years.
Participants will receive focused, personalized guidance in photography & styling for natural light settings—we will touch on camera basics, post-processing, food and prop styling and more.
October 21st to October 24th 2014
2 days/3 nights = 2 full days filled with instruction interspersed with hands-on practice. There will be a small amount of time off to explore the area individually as well.
Included: 3 nights accommodation, 1 welcome reception with oysters and Stout, 3 full Irish breakfasts; 2 lunches; 3 dinners including wine, beer and cocktails; all food with a focus on locally sourced, artisan ingredients (vegetarian options will be catered for). One foraging expedition with photo and styling technique, one kitchen demo with photography & styling workshop, one boat trip from Roundstone to Innishlaken Island with schoolhouse location shoot and styling workshop. Tradition Irish music on one evening.
Excluded: Travel to Ireland and transportation to Ballynahinch Castle; Travel insurance; Extras
USD $1,960 – EUR €1,470 per person sharing dual occupancy. If you prefer a private room, please add a surcharge of USD $160 – EUR €120.
A 90% non-refundable deposit will be required to secure your spot.
Final 10% Payment will be due on October 10th, 2014.
12 students maximum.
(We recommend that you to take travel insurance. Owning a SLR camera is preferable)
Beth Kirby is a Tennessee based photographer, writer, recipe developer, and stylist, and she is the creator of the blog Local Milk, a space devoted to seasonal recipes inspired by the south as well as travel, home, fashion, and entertaining. Local Milk was the winner of the 2014 Saveur magazine readers’ & editors’ choice award for best photography on a food blog, and her work aims to capture the beauty of the mundane & provide inspiration for slow living. When not behind the stove, lens, or keyboard she can be found combing farmers markets & flea markets alike in search of inspiration.
Susan Spungen is a Cookbook Author, Entertaining Expert, Culinary Consultant and Food Stylist for both print and film, having brought the food to life in major feature films such as Julia & Julia, It’s Complicated, Eat, Pray, Love, and Labor Day. She is a frequent contributor to national magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, More Magazine, and Dr. Oz The Good Life, where she is a Contributing Editor. Susan is the co-author of Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres Handbook, and is the author of RECIPES: A Collection for the Modern Cook. Her latest book is What’s a Hostess to Do?, a guidebook for entertaining in the modern world.
To make a booking for this workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration will close on August 27th, 2014.
We hope to learn with you at Lens & Larder……Pip Pip!
Images provided by Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Beth Kirby & Susan Spungen.
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