California Food Photography Workshop

JUNE 21st – 24th | SEBASTOPOL, CA

California Food Photography Workshop

Join Gerry of Foodness Gracious, Sarah of Snixy Kitchen, & Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet, (that’s me!) for a three-day food photography workshop & retreat where you’ll experience intensive hands-on styling, photographing, and editing sessions in a beautiful craftsman home in wine country.

California Food Photography Workshop


California Food Photography Workshop

GERRY: A former pastry chef and baker, Gerry worked for Whole Foods Market as a bakery manager for 10 years before becoming a stay-at-home dad and a full time food blogger. Gerry is a self-taught food and drink photographer with features in many fine magazines including a cover shot for Gluten Free Living. Gerry uses a Canon 6D and switches between his two favorite lenses, a 100mm macro and a 24-70mm.

California Food Photography Workshop

ALANNA: I’m also a former pastry chef-turned food photographer, stylist, videographer, and cookbook author. My cookbook, Alternative Baker, just won an IACP award for Best Health & Special Diet Cookbook! I currently work with Sarah as a food stylist for the New York Times, and my work has been featured in web and in print, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Go Gluten-Free, GFF Magazine, and The New York Times. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and switch between my 50mm 1.2/L, 100mm macro, and my newest lens a 35mm 1.4/L. 

California Food Photography Workshop

SARAH: Sarah is a self-taught gluten-free baker/home cook, who started a blog while earning her PhD in Education and now, 4 years later, she works as a food photographer, stylist, videographer, and freelance web designer and developer. In addition to working as a food stylist for The New York Times, she styles and photographs products and recipes for national web and print campaigns for various companies. She shoots with a Canon 5D Mark IV and switches between her 50mm 1.4 and 100mm macro.

California Food Photography Workshop


While spending three days on a food styling and photography retreat with us, you’ll get to eat seasonal freshly prepared gluten-free meals, sample local wines, and go on an antiques prop-shopping excursion. These are just the perks, below is a full description of what you’ll learn from the workshop:

CAMERA WORKFLOW: From understanding and getting comfortable with the manual settings of your DSLR (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) to selecting the best lens for different shooting scenarios, we’ll demonstrate our workflow start to finish. We’ll walk you through our process from capturing to processing to exporting, and you’ll practice capturing the shot you want, while taking fewer photos.

FINDING YOUR VOICE AND DEVELOPING YOUR STYLE: Everyone has something unique to add to the conversation – we’ll help you pinpoint what that is and what tools you can use to communicate that. You’ll analyze the light, depth of field, styling, and editing of various styles, including each of our own, and then you’ll get hands-on guidance and practice in developing your own voice and style.

STYLING AND COMPOSITION: From conceptualizing a dish that will photograph well to styling and propping your shot, you’ll get experience creating a visual story that makes your food look beautiful and appetizing through colors, light, and more. With shooting demos and real styling assignments, including access to a collection of surfaces and props, you’ll practice the entire styling process from selecting ingredients with food styling in mind, to shopping for props that will photograph well, to communicating a particular mood, to shooting for clients and including branding in photos. 

PHOTOGRAPHY IN ACTION AND LIGHTING: You’ll learn how to bring life to your photos when you shoot alone by stepping in front of the lens. We’ll show you how to take food photography action shots – how to capture movement and a piece of everyday life. Important in this process is light. Manipulating natural light is essential to telling your story – whether light and bright or dark and moody, we’ll demonstrate how we manipulate light and talk through the strengths of each direction of light (both in terms of cardinal direction – NESW – and in relation to the food – side, back, front lit). You’ll get practice directing light and shadows and choosing the best light for different dishes.

LIGHTROOM & PHOTO EDITING: When you take a RAW image, photo processing is just as important as styling, lighting, and clicking the shutter. Our Lightroom tutorial will have two parts: the first part covers the Lightroom “under the hood” – how to use the features in Lightroom, build develop & print presets, and export & upload retina-optimized images to a website. The second part covers how to maximize the functions of Lightroom to tell your story. There are infinite ways to edit a single RAW file and make it look beautiful – we’ll each go through our process of using Lightroom, what features we regularly use and why, and how to make your images pop for Pinterest or editorial use.

PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS: Beyond the fun, artistic elements, it’s important that you value your photography work. We’ll cover contracts, pricing, and negotiating, both in terms of sponsored work on your blog and Instagram, and as a freelance photographer or stylist, providing sample contracts to take home.


Please bring a DSLR camera, lens(es), and a computer loaded with Adobe Lightroom (download 14-day trial here). 

Note: While we’ll be covering the basics of shooting in manual and we absolutely welcome all levels, the workshop will be geared more toward advanced-beginning/intermediate photographers. To get the most out of the workshop, we’re assuming attendees will be comfortable with their DSLR and lenses, have spent some time on their own editing in Lightroom, and have the goal of improving in the use of natural light, food styling, editing, and working with clients. 


  • 2+ days of live demonstration and hands-on styling and photography lessons, including a printed handbook and all food for shooting
  • 3 nights lodging
  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners plus drinks and snacks
  • Prop shopping excursion
  • Welcome gifts

Please note that airfare and transportation to and from the airport are not included in the ticket. The nearest airports are Oakland (OAK <1.5hrs), San Francisco (SFO ~1.5hrs), and Sacramento (SMF ~2 hours).


California Food Styling & Photography Workshop | June 21st – 24th | Sebastapol, CA

We have room for ten overnight attendees and two locals. We have already sold several pre-sale tickets so availability is limited – be sure to reserve your spot soon! 

(4 total) Single Bunk Bed in Shared Room: – SOLD OUT

(5 total) Full Bed in Shared Room: – SOLD OUT

(1 total) King Bed in Shared Room: – SOLD OUT

(2 total) Locals-Only Non-Lodging: – SOLD OUT

To register, e-mail which option(s) above you would like to reserve. If more than one option will work for you, list them in order of preference and we’ll reserve your spot in that order based on availability! You will receive confirmation from one of us promptly that your spot is being held for deposit. To reserve your spot, we require a 50% non-refundable deposit up front and the remaining balance is due by May 21st, 2017.

We hope you can join us!

For future workshops: E-mail to be added to our workshop mailing list to hear about future workshops.

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8 thoughts on “California Food Photography Workshop”

  1. Will you offer a class for chefs currently working in the business (e.g. Mon-Weds)? We own a restaurant (he chef, me pastry chef) and we’d love to attend but not on a weekend. We need help with our photography! The food is great we just need some help with photos. Thanks!!

  2. Alanna…
    We may have a theme goring…I also would love to be in this workshop…and I also am just getting back from 15 months living in Florence, Italy.
    Please put me on your list for the next workshop.
    Thank you…