“Start your blog post with a killer opening line”, words from Jamie and Jeanne are echoing in my ears, as I type this post.

Meeta, Ilva, Jamie and Jeanne are very talented and lovely ladies who conduct worksop called Plate to Page, which is an intensive hands-on food photography and writing workshop for food bloggers, writers and photographers like me.

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Jeanne, Meeta, Ilva and Jamie
Photo Courtesy : Nitin Kapoor

Last weekend was all about amazing people, immense talent, new friends and food. As the taxi took me to the Meare Court, in Somerset, a classic stone manor house, I couldn’t help admiring the beautiful country side with beautiful lush green farms.

I was first to arrive, and was greeted by Jamie and Ilva. In the next few hours the place was filled with exciting voices, greetings and introductions. This was the first time I saw so many people from different nationalities together. They came from Sweden, Swiss, Spain, Germany, Italy, different parts of UK and even from Egypt. Everyone had their own profession, but what brought us together was our passion towards food and photography.

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Those were the amazing three days I spent with a bunch of crazy foodies just like me. The workshop schedule was tight and hectic with no time to waste. There were food styling and photography sessions, food writing sessions. We were all gathered together to share, find our strengths and weaknesses and discover ourselves in the process.

The most hectic thing I found was writing. No, not just writing, but writing using the metaphors and similes … ok that was tough, but I could manage, the nightmare was still to come and it was reading what I wrote before everyone. When I heard everyone read I was dumbfounded, the writings were simply superb, I wished I could just crawl under the table so that no one noticed me. But I did read, and everyone was so nice and supportive, and to my surprise they liked what I wrote. Jamie and Jeanne, our writing instructors, were very patient, giving advices on how we can improve.

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Next was photography, all about ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Every one were engrossed with their heads deeply buried in their manuals and experimenting with the camera.
“It’s all about light, and the mood you want to express” said Ilva and Meeta, our photography instructors. They wanted us to come out of our comfort zone and try things differently. They showed us how to use the Aperture mode and Manual mode and asked us to practice and practice till we got it right.

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The final assignment brought the writing and photography together. We had a tour to the local Smokery, Brown and Forrest, and lunch in the classic English pub, The Canal, based on which we had our writing assignments. There was writing a blog post, and writing to a magazine. The important thing they taught us was experiencing and capturing the five senses : sight, touch , smell, sound and taste, through our pictures and writing.

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In between there was food, lots of food. Everyone chatted away over lunch and dinner, we were no more a bunch of strangers and it was hard to believe that we just met a day before. Be it lunch, dinner or snacks, every thing was first photographed and then eaten.

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P2P-7 The final day supper cooked for us by beautiful Hayley of The Delectable Dairy

I learnt so much in these three days, understood the relationship between writing and photography, setting the mood in your presentations and the photography and the post processing of the pictures.

Thank You so much Meeta, Ilva, Jamie and Jeanne, you have boosted the my photography and writing skills and gave me the enthusiasm and inspiration to think out of the box and get creative.

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At the end, on the third day, all the 11 participants friends and our lovely mentors bid farewell to each other with a heavy heart, promising to keep in touch through social network and blogs. I never knew that 15 people I have never met before would become so close to me. We continue to be supportive and encouraging on twitter and facebook.

These are my fabulous mentors and amazing new friends
Meeta What’s For Lunch Honey
Ilva Lucullian Delights
Jamie Life’s a Feast
Jeanne Cook Sister
Jo | Wendy | Alexandra | Djanira | Juliane | Nitin | Barbara | Ruth | Francoise | Rim

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Standing From Left : Barbara, Francoise, Alexandra, Jeanne, Jamie, Ilva, Spandana, Wendy, Julianne, Jo, Rim
Sitting From Left : Ruth, Nitin, Meeta, Djanira

Photo Courtesy : Rim
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Photo Courtesy : Meeta K Wolff

We were supported by our wonderful sponsorers, who were very generous. A big Thank You to every one.
Donald Russel | Sally Williams | Halen Môn | Orchard Pig | F+W Media (Muffin Tin Cookbook) | Riso Gallo | Edge of Belgravia | Sunchowder’s Emporia | Taste of Home | Gourmelli | Bisol Prosecco | Kelly Moore

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20 thoughts on “Plate2Page Workshop : Somerset – A Weekend to Remember”

  1. Spandana, beautiful post on our P2P workshop, lovely to see it through your eyes and voice, each of us has her/his (hallo Nitin) own story to tell. I would never have guessed that you were terrified of the writing or rather sharing it with all of us. You write in such a funny way, it is highly enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank You Spandana for coming to the workshop and being part of that fantastic synergy! I love this post, it really shows how you all worked and had fun, just like we did!

  3. A lovely write up Spandana and some awesome shots. So glad you found the inspiration you needed at the Plate to Page workshop and am glad we were able to being you out of your comfort zone! Great getting to know you!

  4. What a wonderful post, Spandana! You captured the mood and the spirit of this unforgettable days so perfect, in word and picture. Brings me back to Somerset immediately. Thank you so much for sharing!
    xoxo, Juliane
    PS: May I use the picture of me shooting the asparagus? I love it! Full photo credit to you + link to your blog, of course.

  5. Wowo you went for the P2P workshop, i would love to do that especially for the writtings, it think photography i can mangae but the writting that is tough for me too as i am a real bad writter.

  6. Dear Spandana, I remember so well that very first afternoon’s writing assignment and your look of pure terror as you said you had not managed to write anything in the allotted time :)) If you think of that person, and compare her to the person who wrote the magazine article on Sunday, it should make you absolutely burst with pride! You came such a long way in such a short time, and (I hope!) made some great friends along the way. I love these shots – you really have a great eye! I look forward to keeping up with you on your blog and seeing you go fro, strength to strength! PS – please can you mail me a high-res version of that gorgeous first photo of the four instructors? Hugs!

  7. Nice post Spandana! It must have been quite an experience. Looking forward to some awesome posts & pictures from your end.

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