Isn’t it amazing that we all look at the same thing and see something different? From the very moment I decided to take on photography as a profession I have found this to be a very interesting aspect of creativity. Even more interesting is how we all have our favorites. Certain people and their art speak to us. In my case, I have been in awe of Eva’s way of seeing the world for sometime now. The first time I saw her work was around the time while I was deciding if I could really do this as a profession. I had many questions: Was there a market for this, was I good enough, who would be my target audience, and most importantly, whom I would want to be like? Then one day I ran into Eva’s blog, Adventures in Cooking. The way she used natural light and composed her images spoke to me in a way that me feel very inspired. Next thing you know, I had a clear vision as to what I wanted my style to be like: Somewhat moody, full of shadows, and most importantly, well composed and thought out.
Months after following her blog, one day I saw that she was teaching an online workshop. I quickly signed up for it. The 5-week online food photography and styling workshop did not disappoint. It was my first workshop and one that I had a chance to learn how Eva does what she does. After the class ended we kept in touch and become online friends. Later that year, she partnered with another talent, Carrie (or the way I’d like to call her “Carrie not Carey”) of Reclaiming Provencial and started a food photography and styling workshop. In the months to come, I followed both of these talents and admired their work. So you can only imagine my excitement when I received an email from Eva telling me that they were planning to have a workshop in the British Virgin Islands and would love it if I could join them. Even though by that time we would be back in the US, it was definitely worth the trip.
When the day came and I was supposed to meet them I was very excited yet a little nervous. I did not know what to expect. But it all went out the window, when Eva, Carey, Lauren, and Jake picked me up from the ferry dock on Tortola. They were friendly and kind. Next was a 4-day workshop full of learning, exploring, and photographing in a beautiful backdrop on the beautiful island of Tortola.
The workshop was held in a beautiful house at the top of a steep hill in the west-end of the island overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Like I mentioned earlier, Eva and Carey were joined by Lauren and Jake (of Red & Brown), a modern day power couple, who call themselves professional cocktail drinkers. For me, meeting these two was one of the highlights of the workshop. Throughout the 4 days, we learned how to make a variety of cocktails ranging from the classics to location-appropriate tiki drinks. As you can imagine, learning while drinking Jake and Lauren’s cocktails was not a bad task at all.
Six other photographers with ranging side professions like a butcher, a sommelier, an editor, and a personal chef joined us. Needless to say, having a blend of different food related professions made our dinner conversations fun and interesting.
During the workshop, Eva and Carey cooked all our meals with the fresh produce they purchased from a local farm called Good Moon Farm. I loved the fact that the menu was carefully curated by our hosts and included local dishes like conch fritters, seafood callalo, sweet potato bunny chow, jerk chicken with Spanish rice and beans, goat roti, coconut tart, and my personal favorite, upside-down pineapple cake.
On our second day we took a daytrip to the farm to learn more about how they grow their food around the lunar calendar. One of the owners, Frederica, and the farm manager, Drake, showed us around while telling us how they maintain their organic produce and supply the island and its visitors with good quality food.
If you ever visit the British Virgin Islands and need fresh produce, I highly recommend ordering from them. If you want to know more about the farm and the ordering process, check out this article I wrote back in August of 2014.
Last but not least, if you want to up your photography skills and learn from two very creative individuals, I recommend attending one of Eva and Carey’s workshops. Even if you have very little experience in food photography, you would gain a lot of knowledge in such a short amount of time. The topics covered during the course were the basics of photography and exposure, camera settings, food styling, and editing in Lightroom. During the course, Eva and Carey were present to answer any questions we had, which I thought was very valuable.
I think it goes without saying that this was an experience that I enjoyed immensely. But beyond that, I have got a chance to meet some very talented people and made great friendships. It was so much fun to spend time with like-minded people and talk about food and photography while drinking some incredibly delicious cocktails.
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