Tuscany, a tapestry adorned in splendor, history and tradition. The painted landscapes that seem to go on forever, dotted with groves of olive trees and grape vines are woven together like a patchwork quilt.
This was the setting of the two workshops I attended this past May.
The workshop was facilitated by two of my fellow Bread Baking Babes, Jamie Schler, the writer, and Ilva Beretta, the photographer. I’ve been baking virtually with them for several years, and it was really neat to be able to meet them face-to-face. They are extraordinarily talented ladies, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from both of them in such an awesome environment.
I don’t consider myself a writer or a photographer. My profession is project management, and my passion is bread baking. I’ve been writing about and photographing breads for a while, but it was always hit or miss whether they would turn out or not. I might get the lighting right, but the shot or props just looked wrong or the angle looked great, but the image was fuzzy or too dark.
When I learned about this workshop, I jumped at the chance to go on a dream trip and enhance my skills at the same time.
We arrived at Antica Tenuta Le Casacce on Thursday afternoon and the workshop began on Friday.
The sessions consisted of writing and photography as well as outings to learn about and capture the essence of Tuscany. We took our cameras and notebooks along with us to record the moments. The writing exercises were very useful and made you think about what you were seeing rather than just snapping photos of everything.
Attending the workshop in Tuscany was an out-of-the-box experience for me. I’m just now beginning to process everything that I learned and encountered. It was fabulous! Just fabulous!
Tuscany provided a surreal backdrop for every photo and every activity. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, you would turn the corner or walk down an alley
and the view would take your breath away.
The workshop lasted from Friday – Tuesday and included several outings and a cooking class with the renowned Chef Enrico Casini. Sadly, Enrico is no longer with us, but his memory remains. I hope to be able to recreate one of his dishes soon from my disheveled notes. It was so fascinating to watch and learn from him.
After the workshop was over, we had several days to chill and soak in the sights. We spent time writing, take photos, having fun and getting to know the other participants.
Our host and coordinator of the workshop, Linda of Tuscan Muse (in the blue shirt in photo below), took care of us and kept us busy.
The color is what really struck me about Tuscany. There were such vibrant colors everywhere and the landscape was full of life.
Amidst the gorgeous landscape, you found people, lovely people.
This trip made me realize that I need more color in my life.
And more simple, beautiful moments.
Although it’s been a few months since I’ve been back, I’m still processing all of the wonderful experiences I had with the new friends I made.
I had an enriching time that will stay with me. I’m feeling more confident in my writing and taking photos. I learned how to use lighting and props to set the mood.
I also learned that I write (or I did write) in bullet points. That’s because I’m a project manager and we put bullet points on our PowerPoint presentations. I had been so rushed and didn’t take the time to completely develop my thoughts. That is changing. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy things. I found out that I enjoy writing and photography. Who knew!
This is my latest bread photo. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I still need lots of practice, but I know how to use the tools now.
In our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to give ourselves permission to take the time we need for ourselves much less time to focus on building new or enhancing existing skills.
If you get the opportunity to attend a Plated Stories Workshop, you will definitely be the better for it. The workshop was pretty intense, but the skills and the camaraderie can’t be beat.
Besides being able to hone your writing and photography skills, you’ll also enjoy:
- Beautiful scenery
- Great learning experience
- New friends and ideas
- Awesome setting and
I’m so glad I took the time to do this. You will be too!