An Experience with Bea from La Tartine Gourmande
Posted on July 13, 2012
Of course, it was a crazy road for me to get there, thanks to a massive storm in the Northeast Corridor that shut down all three New York City airports.
After 16 hours of travel delays, two extra planes, an airport change and lost luggage, we finally arrived in New York at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday. If the lost luggage wasn’t enough to kill my spirits, complete fatigue with a 10 and 7 year old in tow was working wonders on my resolve to attend the workshop.
With just a few hours of sleep, in day-old clothes and my camera bag in hand I was in a cab on my way to Brooklyn. I missed the group’s morning adventure at Union Square Farmer’s Market, strolling, sampling and looking for ingredients.
I joined the group at the Sunday Suppers loft, walking right in the middle of a conversation on composition and props.
Let me just say that Béa has the most beautiful photographs and stories that make food magical.
The imagery she creates literally immerses the viewer into her world, with memories of a little girl growing up in Northern France, among a family that treasured food and heritage.
Her enthusiasm in person is even more inspiring. Bea is witty, charming and truly exudes the joie de vivre.
There were about a dozen or so attending the workshop. We enjoyed a beautiful and tasty lunch hosted by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers.
Afterwards we broke into groups of 3 to prepare recipes for a strawberry tiramisu and a selection of tartines (open-faced sandwiches). After the prep of the recipes the styling began.
I found myself playing around with Bea’s fabrics and props like a girl in her cooler, hipper sister’s closet.
Adding things here or there to get that perfect shot was the goal, and Bea came around regularly to check in on each of us.
In one conversation, she gave me a quick but invaluable tutorial on lines and how they look in the space that you are composing and propping for.
Afterwards Béa grabbed a couple of our shots to use as examples. Everyone gathered around as we discussed post-processing with the imagery that we captured. We were encouraged to comment on the imagery and it was great to observe (and absorb) the critiques to better learn what to be mindful of.
The photography lessons were many during the workshop, I was also reminded the importance of sucking it up and making the best of less-than-ideal circumstances. It would have been easy to let myself skip this fantastic event, but the lost rewards would have been immense. I traveled halfway across the country for this event, and couldn’t be happier.
If you live in the NYC or even Tri-State area, do check out Sunday Suppers for other workshops they have scheduled. I know if I lived anywhere nearby I would try to attend a class at least once a month. And I’ll be back for sure – just next time not in clothes that I’ve been wearing for 24 hours!
Thanks again to Béatrice Peltre, Karen Mordechai for working together to make this happen. It was such a pleasure to meet you all, and an honor to share an afternoon with you!
Note: Bea’s book is available and I promise you will want a copy: La Tartine Gourmande Book