Foodie Finds

A Photography Picnic With Pink Lady Apples

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 06

I was recovering from a weird virus and still feeling poorly after a badly placed (in my mouth) pineapple fritter from the chip shop, but I was determined not to let anything stand in my way.

Arriving at the BBC building I felt unusually nervous. I’ve done a few radio interviews before, but none of them from the studio. In the past I’ve done breakfast show chats, over the phone from the warmth of my bed with a cat or two trampling my notes and turning them into nests. This was different, this was real, and there were no cats.

I sat in the waiting room, listening to the live radio show and fidgeting with my bag. A song started to play, my ears pricked up because I recognised it, the song from Flashdance, ‘Love it!’ I thought, and then to my surprise I heard the voice of presenter Sue Dougan say ‘In a minute, it’s blogger Karen Harvey!’

Then, there I was, sitting in the studio wondering whether to put the headphones on and starring straight at a massive yellow microphone.

I don’t know what I’d been worried about, within no time at all I was perfectly at ease, talking about dirty old banana skins and about painting grey food brown.

We talked about the importance of good imagery, and the added importance of creating your own style (and not just copying everyone else), and how if people want to be food bloggers they shouldn’t photograph dirty grey food with broken plates, unless they write Dimly Lit Meals for One, one of my favourite food blogs (and the only one I gave a shout out to!)

We talked about food, and styling, and photography, about bin fires, powertools, pinterest-able laundry rooms, and how photogenic peas are. I’d say we pretty much covered something for everyone really.

I finished by saying that I would happily enter into conversations about photography in exchange for biscuits, and then they played Friday I’m In Love and it was time for me to go.

Sue was so lovely to talk to. She said I was ‘most fascinating’ and invited me back. I think it was genuine too!

My friends listened in, my mum messaged me to say she was proud of how I came across, Zoe tweeted to say I should get a regular slot, and Jaime text to say he was going to paint his cod and chips. I pictured a beautiful rainbow of potato.

You can ‘listen again’, if you want to? The show is here. I’m on from about 33 – 58 minutes (don’t worry, it’s not all me talking!) and will be available until 27th September 2015.

I trotted off, gleefully, to my next appointment – a meeting where I got to talk about food, styling and photography. Can you sense a theme here? It was definitely a cohesive day.

After a very good meeting (which, I hope, I will be able to share more about soon) I whizzed over to Aoife’s house where she was gathering her potions with precision. I think she just might be the most organised person I know!

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 01

We headed over to Jesus Green, the sun was shining and we found a spot that shared the sun with the shade of the trees. Whilst Aoife did her cocktail magic I piled everything up into an attractive display to get the photography thing going.

People came by and asked what we were doing, some inquisitive, some excited. We met a delightful foxy-faced dog called Troy, and gave apples to ladies on bicycles.

At one point a chap in a jesters hat came over and tried to enter into conversation, but the bloggers were having none of it. It was only after he’d gone I found out that he read peoples auras. What?! I would have so had a man in a jesters hat read my aura! I really missed out there. (Remember that guy who said if I had a gold aura I could join his cult or something?)

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 08

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 11

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 03

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 04

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 12

I talked at people. I told them what I thought. I shared some of my photography tips and hoped they realised that I’m not mad, I’m just enthusiastic! I’m so used to talking to a huge lecture hall full of students, or having one-to-one time with photographers, that it felt quite strange to be engaging in this group of twenty-ish people. Thank goodness for Aoife and her cocktails!

Elisa from My Foodie Days brought along the most beautiful patisserie tart and I looked at it a lot. Strangely, I didn’t take a picture, but I did eat a slice and it absolutely tasted as good as it looked. I did take a photo of one of Phoebe’s cornflake cakes though! I’ve never had a cornflake cake like it before – a jam tart base with sticky syrupy cornflake topping. It was very sweet and I liked it, but I also went sugar blind from eating it!

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 14

Everyone sat together, sharing food and props (Sian and Alex from Bone White China brought along all sorts of goodies and the prettiest gold spoons!) and the weather stayed pleasant.

It was a good evening, but eventually it was time to go home.

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 02

Our biggest and bestest thanks go to:

Pink Lady® Apples for supporting the workshop, for the goody bags and crispy crunchy apples. Check out the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year awards, there’s a special category for bloggers too!

Aladdin for the amazing mason jar tumblers. Plastic, stylish, insulated receptacles for drinks with lids to stop your drink getting out and the flies getting in – awesome!

My kind friends at Chase for sending over their top quality gin, and samples of their marmalade vodka which might possibly be the nectar of the Gods. Seriously. I’ve seen their vodka fountain.

GLORIOUS! Foods for sending over vouchers for everyone and helping me create a ‘shooting soup’ challenge, with a prize of £500 too!

My fenny neighbours, Corkers Crisps, who make cracking crisps and made sure there was a flavour for everyone.

And Brownie Brownie. I can’t begin to tell you how good these brownies are – because I’ve got one stuff-rammed in my mouth and I can’t speak. Mmmm. Really good!

Thanks to everyone for coming along (thank you for the lovely messages and emails), and most of all THANK YOU to Aoife of Sweetpeas and Sours (and to her kind husband too) for helping pull it all together.

2015 08 28 blogtography workshop picnic cambridge 05

If you’d like to talk about photography with me then please do get in touch and let me know what kind of biscuits you’ve got. I’m happy to help… you eat them, and, in all seriousness, if you are a photographer you might be interested in, and benefit from, the Pop-Up Portfolio Reviews we are doing with Shutter Hub. 

Bring biscuits. Good ones.