Saturday 15 October 2016

Baking and food styling class by Currys

With the GBBO in full swing, the whole nation has been inspired to cook and bake. Supermarket sales have increased in baking products and bake ware sales have risen too. I too have been creating my own GBBO bakes that are inspired from the weekly episodes. My baking skills are not brilliant so when Currys who have partnered with Neff invited me to a Baking and Food styling workshop, I was delighted. I have recently upgraded my DSLR camera so to get to learn a little bit more about its functions, learn to bake and style sounded a perfect opportunity to improve my skills.

L'atelier de Chefs in St Pauls London is the perfect venue, their kitchens are kitted out with the newest Neff ovens and Hobbs which are state of the art. After mingling with fellow bloggers we watched a demo by Chef Fab who showed us how to bake a Hazelnut Torte. After the demo we split into groups to create our own bakes  so that we could decorate them and then use them to style and photograph with the help of Mademoiselle Poirot who is a food stylist and photographer.

The recipe was simple and easy to follow and our group worked in perfect Harmony to create our Hazelnut Torte, which was filled with stewed apples in apricot jam.

All our cakes turned out really good and there were no baking disasters. Whilst the cakes were cooling we had a mini photography session with Mademoiselle Poirot. We learnt how to get off the auto mode on a DSLR camera and use the aperture mode. We learnt about ISO, F stops and Shutter speeds.

ISO-This is a measure of the sensitivity of your camera’s digital sensor to light. On a bright day use a lower ISO, if its a dull day use a larger ISO 

Apeture- The aperture is an adjustable hole in the lens that lets light through into the camera. Aperture controls the depth of field in a photograph. It is measured in f stops, the higher the f stop the sharper the background, the lower the f stop you will have more blur in the background. This is great for food photography where you want to focus more on the actual hero of the recipe but want to blur the background.

Shutter Speed-  This is the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera. 

Other tips:
Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.
Always shoot in natural light
Use direction of light from the side.
Use a light diffuser 

For beginners who wish to move from auto mode start off with:
1. Setting the camera ISO (smaller no for bright day and larger no for dull day)
2. Change the camera setting to A (Apeture mode)
3.Choose your f stop  to control how much blur -depth of focus you want in your photo.
4.Click away changing the f stop so see the different results of depth of focus.

Mademoiselle Poirot also shared some really good styling tips:
  • Food photos are most interesting when they tell a story.
  • Use props, backgrounds, plates, flowers, accessories.
  • Create your own style and don't be afraid to experiment.
  • Use colours and textures to create moods

Balance-Use Balance in photos they can be:
  • Symmetrical balance
  • Asymmetrical balance
  • Scale and proportion different levels
  • Use Radius so that tall items at place at the back and small at front
  • Use shadows, white area, textures to make photos more interesting.

Movement - This helps to draw eye into picture, examples of this are: 
  • Cutting a cake ie someones hand in photo on knife.
  • Dusting with icing sugar
  • Line of props from front to back

Colour- Use a colour wheel 
  • Analogue three next to each other
  • Complimentary colours opposite each other
These two photos were the styling created by Mademoiselle, the cake was autumnal so she has used fresh flowers and the ingredients from the cake to create a Autumn feel. The choice of cream and brown fabrics complimented the Autumn theme.

Being inspired by such a beautiful styling and keeping all the tips and tricks in mind, we were let loose to style and photograph our own cakes. Below you can see the results of the baked and styled Hazelnut Torte that I made with my group. 

I am really pleased with this photograph as I tried to create movement by showing that the cake has been sliced and it is being served. I also like the fact that you can see the apples in the filling which makes the ingredients used in the recipe more apparent. 

In this photo I have shown the slice of cake on a plate, it looks very rustic and very natural. I have used a really shallow depth of focus so that you can see the texture and filling in the cake more.

In this picture I was trying to make the cake look autumnal by making  use of the flowers and foliage as Mademoiselle Poirot had demonstrated in her styling.

I really enjoyed the baking and styling work shop hosted by Currys / PC world and Neff, I have learnt a lot from it. All the photos used in this post are my own as are the opinions expressed which are of my experience of the day.


  1. What a super class to attend! I could use something like that. Great shots!

  2. I would love to go to a photographt class and learn how to take proper pictures. Need to get a decent camera 1st tho!

  3. It was a fun little workshop wasn't it?!

  4. Sounds like great fun! I'd love to attend a photo workshop. I don't have a tripod, and won't be buying one though. :)

  5. That looks like a fabulous class Nayna. I could definitely do with a few food styling tips especially when it comes to cakes. The cake looks so good too.

  6. I'd love to do this - you take great photos and I love the props you use too!

  7. What an amazing workshop, I love baking but don't get as much time as I would like to do it. Although try to at least once a week x

  8. That cake looks good. Sounds like you had fun too. I need a whole new room for my props. Unfortunately my house is small.

  9. This was such a good day! The cakes definitely looked AND tasted amazing!

  10. Sounds like a fab workshop to attend! Looks like lots of fun

  11. Now this does look like an amazing workshop, definitely something I could do with x

  12. I would love to attend a workshop like this, sounds great!

  13. There's such a big difference between shooting normal photos and taking images of food. The cakes look gorgeous x

  14. Sounds like a great event... beautiful dressing of the cakes too. Great to pick up tips x

  15. Looks like you had such an amazing time, what great event!

  16. Wow! What a fantastic class, I would love to go! Your food looks amazing :)

  17. Really good tips, I find food so hard to photograph - which is a bit rubbish seeing as I blog about food ALOT! Will take on these tips though!

  18. Love your tips, I'm a photographer and just enjoy taking photos so much!! The cakes look incred, I really want to get more into food photography!

  19. This sounds like such a good event and your photography looks fab!

  20. wow such a beautiful cake! Sounds like a great event with very helpful tips:)

  21. This sounds like it was such a great day! And so inspiring too!

  22. What a fantastic class. I love learning about camera settings, does that sound weird? But I generally have a interest in photography. I always find pictures of food so fun to look at and whenever I take them I try to add interesting elements. You can take a gorgeous photo with the plainest of foods with the right props. Love your photos and the cake looks amazing!

  23. It definitely sounds as though you had a great day and the photos are amazing.

  24. This looks great fun! I am about to do a cookery class myself. Yours has really inspired me


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