Strawberry Eton Mess + Food Styling with Aran Goyoaga: Part 1

StrawberryPavlova2 If you did not already know, my first true love is cake design.  I've always loved how one can manipulate sugar and cake to express themselves creatively, making beautiful works of edible art.  In order to capture this expression, I turned to blogging.  While my local clients and loved ones are able to taste the treats I make, I wanted to find a way to translate this experience to audiences beyond my kitchen.  It has certainly been a process to understand how to do this successfully, but it made me discover a second, new love: food photography.  By no means am I pro yet, but I do feel that at least a few of the countless hours I spent scouring over images from my favorite food bloggers and studying food styling has helped improve my skills.

One of my favorite food stylist and biggest inspirations in Aran Goyoaga of the blog Cannelle et Vanille.  She is a pastry chef, turned blogger, turned author and world- renowned food photographer.  Goyoaga and her family recently moved to Seattle, WA around the same time that I moved to Vancouver.  I was thrilled to find this out, should there be any opportunity to meet her or learn from her.  As my luck would have it, Goyoaga taught a food styling and photography workshop in Seattle last weekend, and I was able to attend!

Snap-shots of Aran Goyoaga styling at out photography workshop: Aran-Plums-Trio Aran-Carrots-TrioI knew one day of photography was not going to be nearly enough, but I tried to soak in as much information and inspiration as possible.  Goyoaga spoke of camera basics, her experiences as a food stylist, and her philosophies on photography.  Most importantly, we discussed natural lighting and how it reflects mood and tone for an image.  Later in the class, Goyoaga performed some "live styling," where she went through her process of styling dishes, finding the right lighting, setting exposure, and taking photos.  The rest of the class was devoted to styling our own dishes, practicing the skills we learned, and troubleshooting with Goyoaga herself.  We were welcome to her collections of linens, tabletops, and other items from her prop closet to help style our photos.  Below you will find photos that depict my process to styling the Strawberry Eton Mess dish I choose to create:

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Be on the look out for more pics and a recipe of this dish in Part 2 next week!