Those of you who follow me here on my blog and my social media accounts, probably know already how excited I was last year to get an invitation from one of the best food photographers in the world and also the sweetest and kindest person you could meet, Eva Kosmas Flores (blog Adventures in Cooking), to join her and the team and help out at the Food photography & styling workshop in Croatian region of Istria. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had since I stepped into the world of food photography and you can read all about that last year’s experience and see all the photos here in this blog post…
How happy and grateful I was to be invited again this year, it’s better I don’t even try to explain it with words! The team this year was the same except that instead of lovely Trisha (blog Eat your beets) other guest teacher was Bea (blog Bea’s cookbook) and oh my, within a day or two she became one of my favourite people in the world , without exaggeration. I’ll tell you more about that later in the post!
For the 4th year in a row for her Croatian workshop Eva chooses gorgeous villa Sancta Maria on the hill overlooking the lush green valley and beautiful little hilltop town Motovun. As soon as I saw it last year and than this year again, I can totally understand why. Besides being beautiful and having the best possible views you can imagine, there is something so special and cozy about this house, it just feels like home and I believe that is so important at these kind of workshops where you want people to feel comfortable and relaxed. The house is full of beautiful details, gorgeous light and I can never get tired of photographing it, specially when all the props and food we brought with us were arranged and magic happened!
It’s quite difficult to explain with words everything that is happening at these kind of workshops as besides the knowledge and sharing of information and ideas, there is this positive creative energy that can’t be explained, it must be felt. That’s why I like to make these posts a bit photos-heavy so you can get an idea and feel the atmosphere, the mood, the energy at least through the photos. I think that having a group of creative, talented people, each one different, with their own life story and their own path but still connected through the love of photography, food, travelling, creating, literally produces something magical and that is my favourite part of the workshops. A lot of the knowledge you can actually get online, in books and other resources but this kind of experience that fills you up with positive creative energy, steers you in the right direction and possibly unblocks those limitations that we all put on ourselves… that is priceless.
Eva is incredibly talented, gives so much at her workshops, she is so generous in sharing her knowledge, her work and life experiences and definitely one of the best teachers I have ever met. I feel so lucky to be able to call her my friend and learn from her too!
I need to say something about Bea. Very rare in life you meet a person who is literally like a ray of sunshine, so positive and beautiful inside and out. That you feel so comfortable and natural like you’ve know each other forever and not just days, that you can share and talk for hours, laugh until your stomach starts hurting from laughing too much (if there is such thing as laughing too much!!) and tears rolling down your face and also feeling emotional, sharing and talking about you fears, challenges and struggles without any hesitation. I feel so so grateful that I gained a new friend at this workshop and we already started planning new adventures, can’t wait for creating more beautiful memories together!
Obviously the food is VERY important part of Food photography workshop and besides these wonderful pies and cakes that Eva and Bea baked for all of us to shoot (and eat!), we were lucky to eat the most delicious food prepared by one of my favourite chefs and couples, Mona and Jaret (Tournant). Honestly they prepare the food with so much love and it does make a difference, everything is soooo good and beautifully presented too. They are also such a pleasure to watch and photograph when they work as their energy and love for what they do (and for each other!) is incredible, such an inspiration!
One of things I did at the workshop was styling and preparing tables together with my dear Danielle (http://daniellefirle.com), a very talented business lady and Eva’s partner at their successful Secret Supper project. We always had such fun doing that part of work together and had plenty of laughs too! This year we used gorgeous ceramics by talented Croatian artist Lidia Bosevski (https://www.facebook.com/Ceramic-and-nature-Lidia-Boševski-130803103733924/).
One of the most fun part of the workshop for all the participants is truffle hunting with the cutest dogs and of course tasting all the delicious food with truffles prepared by the lovely Karlic family (Karlic tartufi). This year we found two truffles and there was a lot of excitement going on, actually haha not ‘we’ but very talented and cute 11-old truffle hunter called Leila! 😀
Last year I thought that the whole experience couldn’t get any better but it did and it gave me so much in terms of friendship, knowledge, encouragement, positive energy that I REALLY needed. I am very grateful and happy to have this opportunity! At the end of our week together, when the workshop has finished, we visited charming little town Oprtalj in Istria and we had the best time, moments I will cherish forever…
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