It’s a big and beautiful world out there and I love to explore it. Stepping out of my comfort zone helps me to see in new ways. I love the different pace that i am forced to accept when i travel to far away places. Long distance coupled with mild discomfort, new regimens and new friends that share your passion deeply- is what i call a recipe for a great adventure!
That’s how it started when i signed on to a First We Eat Event held in Croatia this fall, under the direction of Eva and Carey - two young powerhouse food photographer+ bloggers. Theyproposed a great food photography trip; truffle foraging, good Istrian wine and photography lessons in a foreign country. Sounded like a great way to wake up the senses.
I was in!
Arriving at the villa on a Friday afternoon, we made our way around the property, stuck our toes in the pool, wondered about the Hindu sculptures scattered about, found the garden and our roooms. I found a little pillow with a big beautiful blue wrap with my name on it. This little gesture with gifts and a thankyou card made me feel so welcomed. What a treat! The blue indigo wrap around the sweet gifts was made by Maggie from Inks+thread.
There were so many varying shades of blue around us. The shutters on the villa, the bench in the dining room, the doors to the rooms. I love turquoise- and the color ended up everywhere in my photos. I loved the Italian stone block charm of this house perched on a hillside overlooking a misty Croatian valley. I loved the deep blue tones of the pool, and the cats on the chairs and the flowers, the garden- i could go on and on...
I started to pretend that i was Elizabeth Gilbert in "Eat,Pray,Love" stuck in the Croation version of her Italian experience; eating sumptuous food and falling in love with life all over again. I couldn't help but feel as though i was part of something very special. The place settings on every table at every meal were lovely, the candlelight was warm, the deliberate presentation of every dish- but then the encouragement to take every picture that we possibly could - just made me giddy with delight.
It was so nice to be with so many talented women. Women that had written their own cookbooks, wrote their own blogs, ran their own spice companies , and were even brave enough to quit their lucrative jobs because they were ready to create something new. Everyone gelled with everyone else. Sometimes the conversations even got downright rowdy around the dinner table- so many of us were talking and laughing and sharing. In addition to Eva and Carey, Linda, the famous Linda Lomelino , cake mistress and all around great person was there to offer insights and instruction. Maggie and Zhanna rounded out the team and helped to cook, to style and to clean up. In my Croatian movie I was falling in love with every day and everybody. A nice healthy "girl crush" I think Maggie would call it.
I'm going to save the Truffle experience for another post. It deserves it's own spot, maybe along with a pizza that i make with all of the delicious truffle items that i purchased along the way; truffle salt, chopped truffles, truffle pate, truffle oil. There's more.
But, everyday was a chance to create something beautiful. Something that you'd like to put your name on. We got some great tips on styling food and we had a chance to work on our styling techniques. Eva and Carey were always there to coach us along, when they weren't playing tag team and working on the next meal. It was quite a whirlwind of activity, everyday. The pulse of life was great.
But this workshop was really about the food... and the food photography. Stay tuned for a more detailed description of our food exploits! Yes, there is more... much more.