Food and Light and a Ray of Sunshine on This Summer Day

A few weeks ago – ahem, five – I attended the Food and Light Workshop in Boulder, Colorado being taught by Jen Yu of use real butter, Helene Dujardin of Tartellete and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple courtesy of Lifetime Moms. Then I didn’t tell you about it.

It wasn’t on purpose. You see, from the workshop I had another workshop in Seattle with a stop in between at Cascadian Farm, and then there was the 4th of July with its picnics and fireworks, a trip to Arizona, the aftermath of traveling. Yes, the aftermath of traveling. It is an ugly thing when you come home to piles of work, work that is still rolling in and piles of invoices not invoiced and a messy house.

Then, because it’s summer and this is what you do in the summer, we took off for four days to visit the woods. It was gorgeous and relaxing, and the kids did well. Then we came home. To the aftermath of a vacation with piles of work and an inbox stuffed full of emails and invoices not invoiced and a messy-ish house. At least no one was making a mess while we were gone this time. Phew.

But I’m not complaining. It’s summer, and this summer I’ve been spending more time with the kids and the family, even if we have been doing less. We haven’t been to the neighborhood beach once, nor a baseball game, a water park, the zoo. We (I) have, however, been here and present and less distracted by the mountain of typing and the hubbub that goes with it. Plus, the work I do now is part of the family’s everyday life, and it’s so much more rewarding and enjoyable for us all.

And then it was August, and I still hadn’t told anyone about the Food and Light Workshop and all that I learned there, and did I learn. While I have a pretty good handle on my camera, or I thought I did, the workshop cemented some things further in, and it gave me a better understanding of what it was I was struggling with.

All four instructors had so much knowledge to share from white balance to bouncing light to composing a shot, and I started to see more where I was having issues, why I was struggling and where I was struggling rather than just being discouraged in general. Plus, the hands on experience and the one-on-one time were absolute gifts.

I met wonderful food bloggers and people in the food industry, and I feel so incredibly privileged to have made new friends and feel more connected to the lovely community. Not only did I get to learn from Todd and Diane, Jen and Helen, but I met so many people, from Annie and Marla to Taylor (thanks for the ride to the airport) and Dana, to my personal chauffeur on Day 1, Jennifer, and many more. I definitely would never change my decision to go and be a part of it.

Some of the changes have been slow in coming and others were instantaneous. For example, on my trip to the farm, I had no trouble throwing together a final shot with the mishmash of farm equipment and limited supplies.

But Todd and Diane had to again drill into me that I need to stop being afraid of light, and somewhere along the line I think it stuck. Suddenly I’m feeling much more the photographer and much less the mom with a camera.

I plan on doing nothing but growing from here on out, and I am looking forward to what comes next and seeing – hopefully – some of you again soon. Maybe at BlogHer Food in October? I’ll be there. Will you?

Thank you to Lifetime Moms, who sponsored me for my trip to the Food and Light Workshop, and to Jen, Helene, Todd and Diane for being absolutely wonderful instructors and for putting together an amazing workshop, thank you. I can’t even put into words how incredible it was getting to be there and to learn from you all. You are inspirational.

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  1. Did you happen to go with your family to the north shore?? We were just there and the falls pictures look very familiar.:) Gooseberry Falls by chance?

  2. What an opportunity! I’d been wondering how it all went.

  3. Briana Riley says:

    Great post Shaina, thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice post!

  5. Not that I know a ton about photography, Shaina, but the pictures look fabulous!

  6. It is so fun to relive our amazing experience in Boulder through your post. Love what you say here & I could not agree more!
    “Suddenly I’m feeling much more the photographer and much less the mom with a camera.”
    It is so fun to watch our kids grow & watch ourselves grow as well. As long as we are open to it positive change is always within reach. Your post is gorgeous and so are your children. I hope your summer continues to be filled with great times & I look forward to seeing you again soon 🙂 xo

  7. I enjoyed being your chauffer on the first day! I’m glad to hear that life has calmed down a bit. All your shots look great! I especially love the spread with the beans ( it looks tartelette inspired:).

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