NYC Food Photography & Styling Workshop with Béa Peltre | Sarasota-Bradenton FL Food Photographer

Last Friday, I was all jeeped up and heading towards the airport for my flight from Sarasota to NYC to attend a food photography and styling workshop led by the incredibly talented Béa Peltre whose blog “La Tartine Gourmande” is a visual feast for the eyes and a wonderful glimpse into her life and culinary pursuits.  This is one of those times in life when you “just do it.”  I have been subscribed to her blog for a while now, so when I got the feed one morning for her upcoming workshop in NYC, I immediately hit the “pay now” button on Paypal.  I think I gave it a second or two of comprehension, but it was one of those instances where random thoughts (how to get there, where to stay, how to justify the cost, tell the husband, etc.) just kind of dash across your brain in a short-circuited fashion.  I got in – and seriously, this sold out in the matter of hours (maybe minutes?).  The only thing I did know is that the dates of the workshop were perfect as my son would be away at his Duke summer program.  I didn’t quite lose my mom hat in this flurry of signing up.  😉

Getting into JFK was a hair-raising experience as we were approaching the runway just ahead of a severe thunderstorm.  The plane was lurching every which way, people were making the sign of the cross, but I had a retired commercial pilot and his wife (also from Longboat Key) in my row and he said it was just bad wind.  Um, okay……

So I finally got to my hotel – I stayed at the Park South Hotel Friday night since it was south of Midtown and closer to Union Square where those of us attending the workshop would be meeting.  Very nice boutique-style hotel, and they even offered WiFi for free.  Probably doesn’t really matter considering the price of the room, but it still felt like a perk.  Wandered around the Murray Hill neighborhood for a little while until the next line of thunderstorms came through.  Back to the room, my laptop, and room service.

Saturday dawned sunny and a little less humid.  I found a Starbucks down the street (not exactly a challenge) and returned to my room to pack up my things and catch a cab to the Union Square Greenmarket.  I was really excited to meet the other attendees and Béa, as well as Karen Mordechai from Sunday Suppers whose loft in Williamburg, Brooklyn we’d be working in.  Sunday Suppers is the name of her blog and the loft holds a lot of cooking classes, events, and special dinners.

I was about 20 minutes early, so I did a spin around part of the market, and then started looking for ladies with cameras near the 14th Street Whole Foods corner of the square.

That’s Béa on the left and Karen on the right.  From there, we wandered around the market as a group, picking up produce and taking pictures.  Fortunately, we weren’t going to have to come up with our own recipes – Béa had already selected two tartines and two desserts for us to make.  Okay, less stress, thank you.  Did I mention that Béa just had a cookbook released?  Please check out “La Tartine Gourmande – Recipes for an Inspired Life” – even if you don’t cook, the drool-worthy photos are worth it!  All of recipes are also gluten-free if that’s something that interests you.  You can find it here on Amazon.  And did I also mention just how nice she is? She has wonderful stories and beautiful memories to share.

We left the market and took the L train to Brooklyn.  Oh and did I mention that I had my heavy carry-on bag with me?  Luggage and millions of concrete steps do not go together, especially those of the “up” variety as was the case when we arrived at our Bedford Ave stop.  Bless Karen’s heart for ordering cars to transport us the rest of the way to the loft.

Ah, the loft.  Gorgeous all-white space, huge windows, state-of-the-art commercial appliances, and lots of props.  And – a team of ladies who were in the process of making us a delicious lunch.

Lunch was wonderful (potato frittata, roasted beets, asparagus) as you can see as were all the gorgeous ingredients on the counter……

After lunch, we got down to the business of styling and photography.  Being that there were just 12 attendees, we all got to spend some valuable one-on-one time with Béa.  After breaking into four groups of three, we prepared our recipes, selected props, and lastly a  place in the loft to shoot our finished dishes.  The following are my two dishes, one a tartine (of course!) and a dessert of strawberry tiramisu:

Now for fun, let’s post a “before tips from Béa” and the final shot once again, which can be labeled as “after tips from Béa.”  Her suggestion to me was to my my spoon lengthwise along the dish as opposed to it’s original position.  She felt she was seeing the spoon and not my dessert, and she was right.  Look better?

Our workshop concluded with some post-processing information that Béa shared with us.  Her processing is fairly minimal and stressed the importance of white balance and proper cropping.  She also critiqued a few of our images which was very helpful.

After that, we said our goodbyes and promises to get in touch online.  I went back to Manhattan to the NY Hilton for a last night of “I haven’t been on a trip by myself in 13 or 14 years” festivities which again included my laptop and room service.  I know, I lead an exciting life.

Flew home to Florida Sunday afternoon and straight into Tropical Storm Debby.  That was probably the longest descent I ever experienced on an aircraft……we came in from the Atlantic, then went way south, then went north, and then finally came across Anna Maria Island and into Sarasota.  It’s one of those awful feelings when you just want to get on the ground so badly but instead you keep going around and around.  Drove home white-knuckled from the airport listening to one tornado warning after another and hoping that Gulf of Mexico Drive was clear.  I didn’t even want to think about the notion of perhaps not having power which would mean not being able to get in the house.

All’s well that ends well.  It was a great trip in spite of the flights and I’m so very glad I had the opportunity to attend this fabulous workshop!  Thank you again Béa and Karen from Sunday Suppers.


celestejones - June 29, 2012 - 4:26 pm

This looks like a lot of fun. Beautiful images too.

Kat - June 29, 2012 - 4:28 pm

Loved this Stacey. What an awesome opportunity and you rocked it. Thanks for sharing!

Sammi - June 29, 2012 - 4:28 pm

I can see your passion throughout all these beautiful images. So clean and fresh. Looks like you had an amazing time!!!!

Stefie - June 29, 2012 - 4:45 pm

Stacey, I absolutely loved your posts and all of the accompanying photographs! You have a wonderful knack of capturing so many key moments with your eye behind the lens! It was such a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to keeping in touch!

Laurie - June 29, 2012 - 4:53 pm

Yeah!! I’m so jelous.. I don’t know how many times your going to hear me tell you that! I really hope you share with us personally what you learned that you didn’t already know. Insights my friend.. we’ll be all over that!!

Also glad you got to stay an extra night for the well deserved “you” time. I soo want to do that. But in England.. on the Moors.. with a servant and a tray of tea and scones! Ok ok, add a cozy fire and some brandy in my tea and then i’m good!! :) xoxo

Kim Hill - June 29, 2012 - 5:01 pm

Sounds like a great trip. Your writing made me feel like I was there with ya. 😀

Jennifer Warthan - June 29, 2012 - 6:45 pm

Love these shots! Your work is wonderful!

Leslie - June 30, 2012 - 11:29 am

Stacey, Your images from the workshop are beautiful!!!!

Bunkycooks - June 30, 2012 - 4:10 pm

I am with you on the flying, particularly in bad weather. Glad you arrived home safely. I met Béa in Portland and she was lovely. I am sure that her class was inspiring. Your images are quite beautiful, so I think you might be able to conduct the next class on your own. 😉

Kay Pickens - June 30, 2012 - 6:55 pm

Fabulous photos!! Thanks so much for sharing your workshop day with us. Glad you got home safely.

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:46 am

Thank you for your comment Gwen – you are too kind! 😉 Béa was wonderful and so helpful in every way. She just posted on her blog about her France workshop – talk about some amazing pictures in spite of the bad weather they had. Drool-worthy for sure. :)

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:46 am

Thank you Kay! Me too. 😉

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:48 am

Thank you Leslie! It was wonderful to meet you and I’m glad we will stay in touch. 😉

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:54 am

Thank you so much Stefie! It was so nice to meet you and I’m glad we will be staying in touch.

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:54 am

Thanks Sammi!!! :)

admin - July 1, 2012 - 7:56 am

Thanks Kat! :)

Phillette - July 1, 2012 - 5:37 pm

Stacey, your photos are just fabulous as always! What a fun and creative

Allison Jacobs - July 5, 2012 - 12:17 am

Oh Stacey!!! This looks like SO much fun! I love all the photos you shared & the info about your quick trip to NYC. Thanks for sharing all of this with us too!

Kim - Liv LIfe - July 5, 2012 - 10:55 pm

Wow! What an awesome trip! I loved following you online as you were going through it, and I’m now excited to put the pictures with the words. And beautiful pictures they are! Glad your travels ended safely! My husband laughed when I read the part about the pilot saying it was just strong winds… he said the pilot was probably right!!

Haily Cavalluzzi - July 13, 2012 - 9:22 am

Your food styling photos are so beautiful and inspiring. I must keep up with your food blogs.

admin - July 14, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Thanks Phillette!!

admin - July 14, 2012 - 3:07 pm

Thank you Haily! Trying hard to get food blog established and consistent – just never enough time!

Catherine Bedson - July 15, 2012 - 10:48 pm

Hi Stacey, I really enjoyed your recount of the day..what a fabulous opportunity and your photos are just beautiful.

Shannon - July 21, 2012 - 2:03 pm

I loved reading about your weekend adventure to NYC! Your descriptions and fab photos make me feel as if I was *almost* there with you. Love your dessert photos. Nicely done!

[…] and vibrant images she showcases on her blog.  And when I was crazy lucky to attend one of her food photography and styling workshops last summer in NYC, do ya think I would have asked her?!?  No, ugh.  So I continued my search, […]

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *