When I got into food photography in 2019, I didn’t know any other food photographers in the country. I remember coming across this online food photography course at the time hosted by a food photographer Sarah Crawford in the US. The course itself was great, it taught me everything from history of photography to styling and editing and provided plenty of resources for client pitching, pricing etc. Only downfall of it – most of it was not relevant to Australian market. But at the time there were also no relevant resources or education about food photography available in Australia.
Throughout the years I saw various food photography retreats advertised in Europe and the US. I wish I was able to attend any of those but it was not easy to just jump on the plane and jet off to a retreat in Europe. Costs associated are significantly higher and the time off from work longer. So I thought “what if I just organised a retreat myself?” Something that would work as a get together with others in the industry. An event where we could learn from each other and also make valuable connections.
And I did, with the help of my friend Shilpi from Between 2 Kitchens.
In February 2023 me and Shilpi hosted our first food photography retreat near Byron Bay in NSW dedicated to those involved in food photography: whether as a blogger, stylist or a photographer. It was a small and intimate affair in scenic country side location. We had 11 attendees and a list of great presenters, everyone an expert in their field.
When I first started planning this retreat, I had no idea if anyone would even turn up. I remember when I came across the Wybalena farm as a venue, I knew I had to book it but inside I was scared. After all, I had to put down a deposit for the venue, which wasn’t a small amount of money. And I didn’t even know if we would sell any tickets.
But I knew in order to succeed, I had to take risks. So I went ahead and paid the deposit anyway and started jotting down ideas for the program. It was fairly easy because I had a list of questions I knew I wanted answers for. So themes for the program came easily to me. I also had ideas for presenters. All we needed to do was to reach out to people and see if there was any interest.
I did not want this retreat to be some boring conference, I wanted it to be relaxing and casual but packed with value and information we were all craving for. No stages, no microphones, no PowerPoint presentations. Just a group of likeminded people exchanging experiences and learning from each other.
A month later we had an awesome program together with presenters locked in and tickets ready to go on sale.
And then in February we were there. And, the retreat was a hit. A mixture of networking, meeting new people and absorbing all the valuable information from presenters mixed with wine and fabulous food. From advice on how to run your photography business to professional styling session, hands on practical challenge and a farm tour. It was one of the best weekends I had had for ages. And everyone liked it so much that they wanted us to organise another retreat.
Want to join us? Email “retreat” to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be first to know more about the next retreat.
Food Photography Retreat 2024 will be taking place on 15th till 18th February 2024 at Wybalena Organic Farm in NSW.
Check out the further details here
Ticket sales are now open.