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Food Photography Workshop In Charleston – A Recap.

Charleston - Our Dock

Thank you all for your words of comfort and virtual hugs. I came to you from a very vulnerable place and your words held me strong throughout some pretty dark hours. Some comfort came from learning that since he was an organ donor, my cousin’s heart is beating for someone else. This bit of news calms some of my anger.

Charleston - Our Dock

Looking at old family albums helped a lot. Also did diving head first into editing and reflecting over the workshop that Clare Barboza and I instructed together a couple of weekends ago. Each and everyone of these pictures made me smile and brought me back to a good place. The place Clare and I would call "the life we want to lead and the work we do to get there". Teaching workshops is one of the things we do to find ourselves in that good place. It’s about sharing information, connecting with people and helping them find the way to what makes them happy with photography.

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

I wasn’t nervous co-teaching with Clare as much as I was hosting our first duo workshop in my town. Clare and I jive. There is only support and care. Genuine interest and zero drama. We work through things at different or similar paces, depending, but always with the understanding of the greater picture. In this case, the workshop, the attendees, the info dispersed and the well being of everyone. Debriefing over Prosecco each night was also a genius idea…eheheh

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Over the course of the few days we had planned, the attendees participated in 5 different themed photo shoots, visited the Charleston farmers market and had dinner at Lana for on-location shoots. It was intense, and yet we made sure to have plenty of downtime to enjoy the beach house, the waves and the gorgeous weather all the while editing and sharing tips over wine and cheese each evening .

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012


We tried to create vignettes and photo opps at every turn of the house, providing the attendees with lots of props and surfaces from both our studios and finds that Clare had scored along the road trip from Seattle to Charleston. We might have packed more than our husbands would have liked to carry up and down the stairs but at least we had plenty to play with for 3 days!

Sangria Bar

Ice Cream Bar


Props & Surfaces

I love Charleston. I love everything about it. The people. The places. The artisans, artists and farmers. I also love everything that is bizarre and antiquated about this town. I love how forward and backward it can be at times. Thus, my worry that the attendees would only see certain facets of Charleston and miss the good details. I needn’t worry. We had an amazing group of smart, talented and beautiful women join us on this workshop. I fell in love with each and everyone of them for their generosity and wit. I left the workshop exhausted but completely inspired.

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Charleston Food Photography Workshop May 2012

Kuddos to our super awesome assistant and kitchen manager Laura who kept us well fed and organized. Could not have done it without her! It was pretty much non stop action in the kitchen. I can’t believe she’s moving at the end of the month!!

Charleston - Our Dock

I am really glad that Clare, her husband Joe and their pup Nina stayed a couple of days after the workshop. Our husbands developed a similar friendship to ours while we were at the beach house workshopping. We knew they would. They are awesome guys…!


I was curious to see how our pups would bond and no surprise there either. They loved each other. Bailey and Nina had a great puppy romance. Full of love bites, nips, runs and even sharing a bed a couple of times. Tippy, the older dog was pretty much unphased but give a dozen years, I am sure he would have fought Bailey for a spot next to Nina…

Charleston - Our Dock

We took those extra days with them to chill by the dock, process the whole weekend, plan even more fun for next year (stay tuned!) and walk around downtown. The old streets, old stones. Our favorite spots.

Charleston - Downtown

Gave us the chance to discover new and fun places to go back to like Black Tap Coffee Shop. A new favorite of mine.

Charleston - Black Tap Coffee Shop

Charleston - Black Tap Coffee Shop

Charleston - Black Tap Coffee Shop

A much needed rest and recovery. A time to focus on the details as well as the broad strokes. 

 Charleston - Downtown

I leave you with some images from Charleston taken after the workshop was over.  This is the town as I see now. Fall is different. And magical too which is why I am thrilled that Clare and I will be teaching two more workshops here in November. Can’t wait!

Charleston - Downtown

Charleston - Downtown

Charleston - Downtown

Charleston - Downtown

Charleston - Downtown

Charleston - Downtown

Here are some of the posts written by the attendees about the workshop. Thank you ladies, it was an honor!

Claire McCormack Photography: Farmers Market Snapshots

Lorie at Savory Nest.

Angela at Angie’s Southern Kitchen.

Shannon at No8Photography.

Paige at Simple Expressions.

Kay at The Church Cook: Day 1Day 2Day 3

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Caroline @ chocolate & carrots May 16, 2012 um 5:08 pm

What an incredible time! If I was able to travel (very pregnant), I would have LOVED to have attended and learned all I could from you. You are such a talented photographer Helene.

Averie @ Averie Cooks May 16, 2012 um 5:28 pm

I wish I could have made this workshop happen. Time, money, life, family, small child, other side of the country were all in my way of this amazing opportunity. Just wasn't in the cards even though I would have LOVED to be there!

I can only imagine how the participants felt and how much they learned and will always cherish this gift you gave them! WOW!

Thanks for these pics ๐Ÿ™‚

Lynna May 16, 2012 um 5:34 pm

It's good to hear you're still well. These photos are really something! Gorgeous photos, so beautiful, they make me stop. ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a beautiful day since you've proven with your camera how beautiful life really is.

Laura May 16, 2012 um 5:52 pm

Very cool! That really sounds like a dream getaway, for me at least. Just from your pictures and the story of the workshop, I picked up a few ideas.

Vita @ Juicer Depot May 16, 2012 um 7:23 pm

Great photography! I wish I could do a workshop on photography. Never enough time. One day I will so hopefully I can take beautiful pictures like yours.

Lorie May 16, 2012 um 7:44 pm

Wow… your post takes me back. What a fun time we had learning. Pam and I also found Black Tap on our way out of Charleston… so good, and a bit of a Portland vibe:)
Thanks again… beautiful photo essay of our workshop and Charleston.

Denise May 16, 2012 um 8:25 pm


My condolences to you. I'm sorry for your pain. I've only driven through Charleston, but it has been on my list for years now. I can't wait to someday get up there and spend some time. Your photographs (as usual) are stunning, and only serve to stoke that fire for me more. Hope you continue to remember the good.

All my best….

Benthe May 16, 2012 um 8:34 pm

This post made my perfect day even better. This day is to be in love with. Thank you.

Rocky Mountain Woman May 16, 2012 um 8:42 pm

Someday I am going to attend one of your workshops…

Unknown May 17, 2012 um 12:17 pm

Lovely. I have only been to Charleston once, several years ago. Your photos make me long to return.

Madhu May 17, 2012 um 1:15 pm

One day just one day…..โ™ฅ to you…

Anonymous May 17, 2012 um 1:49 pm

First, I am sorry for your loss and am glad you're doing a bit better. Your pictures are so beautiful, it looks like you had an amazing time!

SkinnyMommy May 17, 2012 um 2:33 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Your pictures are absolutely incredible and it sounds like this event turned out fabulously.

Dmarie May 17, 2012 um 3:04 pm

such posts always leave me aching for more…wish I could have been there!

Yami May 17, 2012 um 4:08 pm

I love the photos there is hope message in all of them.
Thank you so much for sharing. Sincerely, Yami.

goboroot May 17, 2012 um 5:14 pm

What a charming place! Hope to visit one day:) You captured it very beautifully…

Melissa | Dash of east May 18, 2012 um 12:08 am

Oh how amazing this workshop event must have been! How I wish I would be able to make it to one of your workshops in November, but if all goes well I will be taking care of a newborn then ๐Ÿ™‚

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you and Clare have another workshop sometime next year!

Many hugs to you and your family.

Lyley May 18, 2012 um 6:24 am

This was food for my soul.Thanx

marla May 19, 2012 um 12:28 pm

Everything about this looks like an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing the inside scoop with us!

tania@mykitchenstories May 21, 2012 um 11:26 am

I wish so much i could come. meanwhile i am halfway through pixel to plate and improving all the time…..thanks

ibisek May 21, 2012 um 6:40 pm

Charleston is such a beautiful town. I spent there 1,5weeks in April this year ad I must say that was the best business trip so far ๐Ÿ™‚
Greetings from Poland.

Honoria – juegos gratis May 22, 2012 um 2:12 am

Art. You picture it's

Ann | Workshop May 22, 2012 um 3:56 pm

Wonderful photos! I do like this workshop. I

Ann | Workshop May 22, 2012 um 3:57 pm

Wonderful photos! I do like this worshop because it shows the beauty of everyday life and the things which surround us every day.

Ann Peters

Diana May 22, 2012 um 8:35 pm

Oh my good these fotos are so amazing. I really love them.
It looks like an incredible and wonderful time.

Leila May 23, 2012 um 2:17 pm

Your pics look great! I'd love to attend a workshop like this, but haven't quite figured out how to get info about them (other than from recaps after the fact) ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad you went to Black Tap! That was opened recently by a good "friend of a friend" of mine. My boyfriend and I checked it out when we were there a few weeks ago. He seems to be doing well!

Also, while I'm not quite up to speed about what you've been going through, my heart goes out to you. I hate to see people in pain over a loved one. You're in my thoughts.

WokandSpoon May 23, 2012 um 9:29 pm

Love the colours in the photos!

Helene May 24, 2012 um 12:31 am

Leila: most photographers doing workshops posts them on their site (look at the navigation bar under my blog title) or has a FB page or Twitter page that you can follow.

Unknown May 24, 2012 um 6:10 am

amazing pictures and beautiful place! and that chocolate cake up there is awesome!

angela@spinachtiger May 24, 2012 um 12:12 pm

When will you be doing another one there? I would so love to come. Everything is captured so beautifully in this post. The words and the pictures.

Helene May 24, 2012 um 1:19 pm

Angela: Click on the link in the navigation bar about workshops. They are all listed there. There are 2 more in November. Although already sold out, we can add you to the waiting list.


Photography Girl May 28, 2012 um 8:35 am

This is really nice. I hope I can attend one of your workshops soon.

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