Happy Friday, my dear friends! Aren’t you happy it’s the weekend? I’ve been thinking about adding a few new regular features to the blog, and this is the first one: Friday Styling School. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? : ) Beginning today, each Friday I will highlight a different stylist – not all will be professionals, some will be bloggers and others who are passionate about the subject but just beginning. Sometimes I will share lovely images along with my take away lessons based on their work; other times I plan to have q&a sessions or tutorials. Visual inspiration, practical tips, sharing stories and resources…it will be fun, I think!
Let’s start today with Béatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande. Béa is a food writer, stylist and photographer, and author of the recently released cookbook, La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life. Raised in France and having spent time in New Zealand before settling in Boston, Béa brings a rich culinary background to the table. And her food looks positively scrumptious…but that’s not what we are here to discuss. At least, not head on.
See, it is one thing to cook a beautiful, delicious meal and present it with love to your adoring family. It’s an entirely different beast to get said food looking equally delightful on camera. Scrolling through Béa’s blog I was gobsmacked by the flood of natural light, the delicate backgrounds, the exquisite colors of the produce, and the appealing vignettes she has created that make me wish so very much that I could be at the table with her immediately.
Béa is teaching a workshop in May of this year in France (though the spots are already filled), where the lucky participants can learn with hands-on experience how to cook, style, and photograph food, all while soaking in the beauty of the French countryside. I admit I’m totally jealous, but instead of dwelling on it, why don’t we brainstorm a few tips and tricks to try at home, based on Béa’s images.
Friday Styling School Takeaways: ideas for food bloggers
+ Use natural light if at all possible. Even if that means preparing dinner & snapping a few pics earlier in the day or reserving weekends for food photography.
+ Test different locations in your home – and even move furniture if you must – to get a table in the lightest spot.
+ Try fun, patterned fabrics and papers as backgrounds. They need not be actual table linens! Vintage fabric scraps, pillowcases, even wallpaper samples or patterned gift wrap could work.
+ Always keep an eye out for styling props, particularly cool vintage finds. There’s no need to spend on a whole set, so look for interesting single pieces, which can often be found at a bargain.
+ Show signs of real life. A spoon tucked into a bowl of soup, a pretty towel wrapped around a colander full of fresh veggies, a bite missing from that piece of cake, crumbs on the tablecloth.
Béa’s work is especially inspiring to me because she lets all of her wonderful ingredients shine, nudging me to make healthier choices on my own table as well. I mean really, is there anything more beautiful than plump berries, tomatoes fresh from the summer vine, tiny apples, Easter egg radishes? I think not.
To find out more about Béa and her work, visit her blog La Tartine Gourmande, purchase her book, and check the events schedule for book tour info. I am dying to get my hands on a copy of the book, and wish I could have made it to her cooking demo & book signing on Newbury Street the other evening.
Oh, and if you would like to contribute to the Friday Styling School series, please get in touch!
In other news, my Dad is having heart surgery today, so if any of you can take a moment to give him a good thought I would be so grateful. I have every confidence that he will be totally fine, but…it’s scary, you know? xoxo Laura
(all images: Béatrice Peltre La Tartine Gourmande)