Learning Food Photography at The School of Artisan Food

This weekend, I was invited to attend an Introduction to Food Photography Course at the The School of Artisan Food on the Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire. I love taking pictures of food so I jumped at the chance.

Food is something that I not only love to make, but also love to take pictures of, it doesn't move around and can look stunning if styled right. So, I went along, having not really used my camera on anything but automatic before, I didn't really understand the settings. No matter how much I tried before, nothing ever changed, so understanding more was something I was looking forward to.

First of all, the wonderful Joan Ransley sat and told us about her work and explained to us which settings to use on the camera, both on and off the tripod. It was really insightful and taught in a way which made sense. After some coffee we went down to the foyer to find the best light, with it's huge glass windows, this was the perfect place.

Learning about light and how important it was made sense to me, I have always found that natural light is great for pictures. Joan went through in great detail how she was using her camera to capture the image and how to place the wonderful produce we'd been given from the school. She had many wonderful props with her and I couldn't wait to use them later on.


After lunch, which was all homemade at the school, we were set free. In groups of two we chose our produce, again from the school, to go and take pictures with. My partner Elaine and I chose this wonderful plum tart, the lines and detail in the cake were perfect. We went outside to the abbatoir, the stone floor was perfect for pictures, as was the light. How important the light is is something I only became more aware of recently, the light that came through that door was simply perfect.

We chose a few simple pieces for our picture and the rusticness of the floor made us want to go with a completely rustic autumnal feel for our picture, leaves from outside just added to that effect and I think the overall picture is stunning.


There were so many wonderful cakes to photograph and although there wasn't time to do everything I did manage to snap a few of the others. The pecan pie was delightful with so many lines and shapes, with the addition of a borage flower for colour and some thyme for a bit of green I loved how this turned out.



Back inside, some of the amazing cheeses were already set up on a table so i'm afraid I can't take the credit for the styling on this one, but it looked wonderful and I couldn't help just wanting to snap these delicious cheeses that i'd had at lunch.



One of the other participants, Sherry, who runs a bread making and jam course in Lincoln had bought some of her apple and sage jelly in, again I hadn't set this up but I had to take a picture of the wonderful styling and beautiful colours! It was most definitely a picture not to be missed and the produce made all the difference to these pictures.


Without a shadow of a doubt, these are some of the best photos I have ever taken with my camera and I would say most of it was down to the beautiful quality food, props, setting and obviously the teacher. I loved food photography anyway, I love taking pictures and this has inspired me to take better pictures and to keep at my picture taking to make myself better.

I can't express enough how much courage this has given me to take my camera off the automatic setting and to actually learn to take pictures using props outside of my usual range. Thank you Joan for a wonderful day and sharing your knowledge.

You can find this course along with many others from, chocolate making to cheese making so do take a look and maybe you'll find something you love.

NB: I was offered a place on this course in return for my honest opinion on the day. All words and pictures are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, I've done a few one day cooking courses at the School of Artisan Food and they have always been good... Might have to look in to a photography course now!

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