Alas, I could say that for the photos of this post were to pay homage to the photography greats Brassaï or Robert Doisneau, but that would be a lie. The truth is I was invited to a tea-themed cooking class and as an afterthought I brought my camera with me to get a few pictures. Much of photography is planning and I did not do that on this venture, so I ended up with dull, off-colored photographs. Oh well, it happens to the best of us and there are several courses of action when it occurs.
1. Spend countless hours attempting to color correct each image. Lame, who as time for that.
2. Use the off-colored photos and endure people telling you about how Instagram has really ‘professional’ editing features now. Also, knowing they are judging you for your bad photography, which is rarely fun.
3. Convert all the images to black and white and convince people it is because you are so artistic and deep. It helps if you say things like ‘The black and white removes all the distraction of color so you really SEE the image”, while rubbing your chin in an intelligent manner.
I went with a version of option 3 and converted to black/white… but admitted it was because I had taken crappy pictures. I guess sometimes honesty is the best policy. Please do notice the subtle influence of Brassaï‘s bar images reflected in the chaos of the tea party. You can’t see me, as this is text, but know that I am rubbing my chin intelligently as I type this.
I met CC last year at a blogging function. It was my first event with the group Rocket City Bloggers and every time I told someone I was a food photographer they would ask if I had met CC yet. Toward the end of the evening I finally did meet CC and he was worth all the hype. CC is a very talent chef that teaches cooking classes and has a food blog, in addition to his day job. Since then I have had dinner with CC and his lovely family several times, in addition to taking two of his cooking classes. Check out his blog and Facebook page. There is very premium and interesting information on both.
The class that I poorly photographed was his Downton Abbey High Tea Class.In addition to not planning my photo shoot, I should also mention that I showed up late and the class was well on its way by the time I finally arrived. I am a disaster. CC was mid way through making scones when I arrived. As he cooked and demonstrated the proper technique for each dish we sipped delicious teas, some of which he’d shipped in from Boston. After the scones were safely tucked in the oven he made pastry crisps and lemon curd. So delicious! My favorite desserts are alway citrus-based, so I was a huge fan of this portion of the tea.Whenever I take a cooking class I always feel like I am being shown the secret to a magic trick. Despite working in the food industry a lot of it is still a mysterious to me and I love when it is revealed. Photographing food and creating it are two vastly different things. We had more tea as the scones, pastry crisps and lemon curd cooked. Like a circus plate spinner CC added more dishes to the mix, salmon triple layered sandwiches and a cake. Whew! I was exhausted and I wasn’t even cooking anything, just sipping my tea and making the occasional comment. At this point the smells of the pastries and lemon curd were filling the kitchen. It was unbearable, like when your mother is making cookies but there are still 5 more minutes in the oven, plus cool down time. Finally we were able to have the pastries and more tea. The lemon curd, as I said was my favorite, but it was all very good. Next came the sandwiches, which I didn’t get a photo of, just take my word they were amazing.The last course was the cake, which was of course perfect. Even the Queen approved! And I imagine she is a stickler for good tea and scones.