To celebrate the launch of my blog I attended a 3-day food photography course with William Reavell at the Leiths Cookery School!!! It was so amazing that I thought I would share with you some key things I learnt.

To put things into context I should explain that I’m a real beginner. I got my camera last Christmas and I’ve only ventured into the auto mode since 4-6 months. Since then, I’ve screened the web for advice on food photography and I bought a couple of books, the best by far being Tasty Food photography e-book, by Pinch of Yum*. I have learnt a great deal from these initial steps alone. However you can’t beat practice and one to one advice so working with a pro in a prestigious cookery school was a dream come true…


DAY 1 – Getting to know one another/ Introduction to food photography/ Practice

3 things I learnt:

  • To improve my knowledge of the shutter speed/aperture/ISO mix
  • To move away from auto-focus and use manual focus (before I could not understand why my camera would not let me take some pictures, it was simply because it was not able to focus)
  • To look at things from a different angle (lighting angles –from side to three quarter- and composition – from front in focus to middle in focus)



DAY 2 – Food styling

We started the day with an interview of Jane Lawrie, food stylist, a lot of tips and tricks from the trade and off we went to assemble our dishes, choosing our plates, cutlery, cloths…

3 things I learnt:

  • Make it real (crumbs, not immaculate cutlery…)
  • Use positive shapes when doing your arrangement
  • Keep it fresh, don’t let your food turn soggy (arrange again, spray with water…)


DAY 3 – Prop styling

The last day was a lot more relaxed, all the more that our photographer was being photographed himself for an article about the course!

3 things I learnt:

  • How important props are and good tips about where to get them (e.g. car boot sales)
  • That I could buy something to hold the reflector/diffuser for me when I’m by myself (yes!!!) 
  • It’s ok to disagree with your built-in camera meter :-)


Food Photography 3


I hope you enjoyed taking a sneak peak at what I have done during this course. Of course I have learnt a lot more than what I shared in this post. Having a professional photographer available to answer all your questions and concerns is priceless and meeting other people who have similar interest to yours is amazing.

The only thing, which was missing from the course to my mind was how to edit your pictures on the computer afterwards but I already have very precious information from my book.

As a result, I cannot recommend highly enough to take such a course if food photography is of interest to you and if you can. Meanwhile I’ll do my best do deliver my best pictures to you :-)

I almost forgot to mention a major achievement for Croque-Maman! Thanks to everything I have learnt through this class I have had my first photo accepted on Foodgawker (reputed to be one of the pickiest website to get your food photo published) and other amazing food photo sharing websites, which drove a lot of traffic to my blog  :-) My first accepted picture was the one of la tarte au thon. Hopefully lots more to come!

* Affiliate link. For more information, please refer to the affiliate disclaimer page.