candids by Jo » a lifestyle blog that centers on food, travel and leading a creative life.

London food & lifestyle photography workshop in session

A man peered through Lyle’s large windows as I pointed my large lens at a lone tomato.  It must have been a funny sight to see 13 people in an otherwise empty restaurant with cameras strapped around their necks and one particularly photogenic tomato on a table.  What is this madness?

A few weeks ago I joined forces with Sarka Babicka & Olia Hercules to pool our knowledge together and teach a food & lifestyle photography workshop in London to a small group of food bloggers, writers and photography enthusiasts. We hosted the workshop at Lyle’s, where the I can vouch the quality of light has never been any less than magical, even on a gloomy day!

Snacks and drinks to fuel us for the day; photo by Sarka Babickapintopinterest

Snacks and drinks to fuel us for the day; photo by Sarka Babicka

During our planning phase we had envisioned an intimate gathering for a creative and inspiring day together. We wanted to create an open environment so everybody could have access to us and freely ask questions and we could in turn help troubleshoot.  I was so pleased when this all fell into place as soon as we started! We spent some time demonstrating key points before the attendees broke out into groups for their practice sessions.  Immediately they were applying what we had covered such as colour theory, choosing props, food styling and composition.

Here are some shots from the day and if you make it to the bottom you’ll find my first stab at creating a short video.

Source: Sarka Babickapintopinterest

Me in action; photo by Sarka Babicka

Props from West Elm, photo by Sarka Babickapintopinterest

Props from West Elm, photo by Sarka Babicka




Source: Sarka Babickapintopinterest

Celebrating the end of the workshop with Campo Viejo cava; photo by Sarka Babicka

You can have a look at some of the results of the day from the attendees with this hashtag on Instagram: #sjphotoworkshop.  I really couldn’t be prouder.  Also, here’s what they have to say on their experience at the workshop:

Natural Kitchen Adventures
Skillet & Shutterbug
The Little Plantation

Last but not least, I’d like to extend a big thank you to our sponsors their generosity:

West Elm for all the gorgeous props we used, Natoora provided stunning produce, Innocent quenched our thirst with their new line of coconut water, Campo Viejo helped us celebrate the end of the workshop with wine & cava, Joe’s Tea & Good Beans cold brew kept us perky in the morning and fresh throughout the day, Cereal Lovers provided granola for our breakfast scene shoot & 100percent natural foods brownies for us to take away in our goody bags.



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  • Such a fantastic day Jo, so a heartfelt thanks to you, Sarka and Olia. I’m so impressed with your first go at a video. A new career (Oh no not again I hear you cry! beckons??)
    Can’t wait for the next one…
    Ceri xReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks so much for joining us! Haha, I’ll pass on the new career but I guess never say never!ReplyCancel

  • it looks amazing Jo! So happy it went well and yes, the light at Lyle’s is simply the best! I will come to the next one if I’m still around.
    You go girl! xReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      It’s hard to take a bad picture there 😉 And yes, would love to have you when you’re not jetsetting around the world!ReplyCancel

  • It looks amazing!Ohhh and the light-WOW!!!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      The light in that restaurant is always inspiring 🙂ReplyCancel

  • This looks like a great class – are you planning on hosting another one anytime soon?
    What lens / camera do you use and or recommend ?


    • candidsbyjo

      Hi Laura – we’re likely to plan one for the autumn. I’ve added you to our list once we have dates scheduled. As for camera & lens I use a Canon 5D Mark 3 for food photography with mostly prime lenses 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macros.ReplyCancel

  • Hi! This looks so fun and it was such a great idea. I just started a food blog myself and I cook, “style” and take all my pictures…but I know they can be better. Please let me know when will be the next workshop, I’d LOVE to attend.ReplyCancel

  • Marta

    I’d love to attend your Food and lifestyle photography workshop this year. Is there a chance you’ll organise similar ones soon?ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Hi Marta – I don’t have any plans to but will add your details to our existing list of people who’d like to attend future workshops. Will keep you posted!ReplyCancel

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