We all know that incredible battle when a delicious meal gets put in front of you and you have roughly 5 seconds to decide whether to devour and regret not bringing yourself an adult bib, vs taking the most jealousy invoking images to make sure everybody knows what they are missing.
Last Saturday, Kaleido had the pleasure of learning from the amazing Sydney food and lifestyle Instagrammers Kat (@katnt) and Koen (@koentadyy), who together hosted the first Table Series workshop. Taking #foodporn to the next level, Kat and Koen have mastered the ultimate food flatlays, capturing the most delectable treats coupled with beautiful textures and accessories to match. With a combined instagram following of 73K and their trademark approach to food and lifestyle photography, they’ve taken their collective passion into new territory and sharing their knowledge in an intimate workshop setting.
For anyone who equally loves good food and beautiful photography, the workshop covered all the essentials to capture the perfect shot of your meal, but also how to inject personality and environment to give your meal some context. Sharing your fresh pressed juice and salted caramel pretzel donut alongside your sketch book and your favourite magazine, or a steaming ginger tea with freshly baked lemon cake alongside your nan’s recipe sheet and antique baking utensils you used to make the cake, all form part of the story.
But taking great shots of your meals is not as easy as it looks… If you’re anything like me, it usually entails a couple of blurry shots taken in a sweeping motion while the fork in my other hand reaches my mouth in one swift move. It is not a game for the hungry or impatient. But in simply learning the fundamentals of how to emphasise the hero of your meal, following basic photography lighting techniques, trialling different angles and experimenting with props can improve your photography and up your instagram game dramatically.
Kat and Koen have perfected their own brand of food and lifestyle photography that have a really strong sense of perspective as if meal is directly in front of you ready to eat and touch, but would also feel right at home within the pages of beautifully styled glossy magazines. Kat’s images really show a love of home cooking, sharing freshly baked muffins, vibrant salads and relaxed shared meals. While Koen takes you more on an adventure outside to some of Sydney’s best cafes and urban locations to explore. Collectively they compliment each other so well in style and technique, each sharing the same passion but bringing their own flavour to the table.
The great thing about intimate workshops is also being able to interact and learn from the other participants in the group. With so many elements to play with, and many different inspirations in how to utilise the surroundings, seeing how other people constructed their compositions was equally as interesting. What started off as more of an individual interpretation into how you would arrange and style the photos, ended up growing into bigger collaborations with more people adding and removing components to create more complex and diverse setups.
The biggest thing I took away from the day was exploring balance and texture in the compositions. Something which would usually just consist of a close up of that amazing cake I just ordered, transforms into a broader consideration of everything else around you in the moment. Where is the best lighting in this cafe, what kind of textures are the tables or the napkins, what are the colours in all the elements around me, what did I bring with me today; my sunnies from my long stroll in the sun, my notebook to jot down ideas, my headphones to listen to my favourite music. It’s not often we take the time to consider all of the elements that make up our day, and the simple joys, and playing around with the food flat lays opened up a new way of thinking of the objects around me and how they all intertwine.
The workshop of course wasn’t complete without actually being able to eat all of the delicious food around us (may or may not have taken sneaky bites out of a few donuts well before the end). All hail @theflourybaker for the most delicious pastry and baked delights imaginable, the crazy flavours of donuts from @woahnellybakes (I’m taking maple bacon guys), the insane nutella injected muffins from @nutorious, sticky cinnamon buns from @fikaswedishkitchen, amazing test tube teas from @ttotalertea and @pressedjuices, gorgeous accompanying stationary from @thepaperbunny and @mujiaus. It is worth every cent and more just to enjoy all of these treats, but even more so, a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning and pick up a new creative skill to apply to whatever creative field you are in, or just to capitalise on any delicious brunch situation.
Connect with @thetableseries_ to find out about upcoming workshops.