This was an intensive four hour course and Vicki set us a challenge to produce three photographs within two weeks, which she would critique. I have to say that it is not easy taking good photographs and as Vicky would say, “you don’t take a photograph, you make it”. This is difficult if you are Mrs Impatient. However I think it will be really useful to learn how to use a camera properly rather than the snaps I take with the iPhone.
Here are Vicki’s comments on my pics:
Cookies: this is nice but I would say that it’s the weakest image out of the 3. Your settings are fine and the lighting is good, but I feel that the composition could have been improved slightly. I know we talked about adding context to your images but I do feel the photo would be stronger without the broken biscuits on the table, they don’t look quite as inviting as the ones in the casket! But I am just being really fussy here as it’s still a great image!
Pesto: I really love this image and I think it’s the strongest out of the 3. Your settings are good, lighting is great and I like the composition. I have no tips to give here as the image works really well as it is!
Orange cake: this image works really well compositionally, I love the angle you’ve used. The only thing I would say is it would have worked better to focus on the cake right at the front of the shot and then let the others blur away in the background. It looks like you have focussed on the cake to the left of the frame – was this accidental or deliberate? This is a good image anyway, but if the focus had been on the front cake this would have been amazing!
My latest Cook Up A Party workshop in the lovely Medicine Garden in Cobham was a huge success, great fun with a lovely crowd. We stirred, sniffed, discussed, chopped and chatted away whilst making an exciting array of canapes and party food. In a nutshell, this is my guide to canapes:
When choosing your canapés, always try to have a mix of meat, fish and vegetarian.
You should also include a good variety of tastes and textures, and colours. Remember that canapés are meant to be served with drinks so will need to be a small bite with a big flavour and also easy to eat without spilling bits down your front.
Bear in mind that many people have wheat allergies so make sure that not all your canapés are bread or wheat based.
Aim for a mix of varied ingredients and try not to repeat the same ingredient more than once in a menu.
Use fresh seasonal ingredients – for instance if it is spring, then you can include some fresh asparagus tips on the menu.
Try to include a couple of hot canapés for parties during the colder months, and for summer make sure that the canapés are fresh and light
Think about what you are going to serve to drink and try and match the food – i.e. Rustic mulled cider would be better paired with some more robust food, whilst serving cocktails means that the food needs to be pretty stylish. If serving Champagne or Prosecco the accompanying canapes should be elegant and uncomplicated
For pre-lunch or dinner drinks, allow three different canapés per person
For a two to three hour drinks party allow 10 bits per guest, and choose between five to 10 different canapés
For a canapés only party, served in place of a meal, allow 15 pieces per head and choose 8-15 different canapés
For canapés to be served instead of a first course before a lunch or dinner, allow five canapés per guest, and choose five different types
For a stand-up wedding reception, allow 12 savoury canapés and then 3-4 different sweet canapés