Take me back to Italy! 

 January 11, 2023

By  Tatiana

When looking back at 2022, the most creative and learning experience I’ve had is the annual food photography ‘Meetup of the Members’ club’ organized by its founder and owner, Lucia Marecak.

I had the pleasure to meet fantastic food photographers and talented new creatives, Valerie, Sarah, Kasia, and Monika. We worked with bottles of wine, cakes, cheeses, dishes, and fruit for three days to learn new food photography skills. We ate delicious dishes prepared by a chef and were surrounded by a beautiful enchanted garden. To come to an end at an incredible winery trip!

I learned a lot during those three days; it was a fantastic time to create scenes together with others and prepare cakes, buy flower bouquets, pack up Lucia’s props, and actively learn during the process! When I look back, I am grateful for my time in the Members’ club, and it’s one of my best moves to join the club back in 2021!

I grew and improved significantly over 2022 as I started to look differently at food photography and wanted to take the necessary steps to grow my business! Lucia makes learning simple, fun, and easy with her masterclasses and courses. I highly recommend everyone who wants to join the club to do it; you will discover lots and join a community that will help and guide you when needed. And if you feel ready for it, you can join the Meetup, where magic is real!

I created a selection of my favorite pictures and behind-the-scenes shots made during the Meetup! Thank you, Lucia, for this beautiful opportunity and to the ladies and all the fantastic time creating and working together! And to the amazing location, Le Commande Bianche near Moncalieri!

product photography food blogger murcia tatiana tor

I came a day early to help Lucia bake the cakes, buy the groceries and ingredients, and help gather and pack her props. I feel fortunate to have had this beautiful opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of organizing a workshop! And witnessing Lucia create this beautiful food photography masterclass!

Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures. We set up many different sets over the garden and worked in teams. It was nice to create multiple scenes with the chosen props and to change and photograph another scene that was styled by the other team! It felt like we exchanged creativity and styles and walked in each other’s shoes for a photoshoot!

On the first day, we arrived with the car filled with props and groceries just in time for the apperitivo set by the private chef, and we cheered to meet each other in real life. Because it’s one thing to feel connected by our monthly live calls, but it’s another to shake hands and hug each other! Then we had such a delicious meal prepared by the chef, Rosie! After that, we dined and wined together, talking and planning the following days, and we went to the hotel to sleep because the next day, we would meet very early to catch the first ray of the sun!

Together we all styled different ideas and scenes on the first day and before lunch:

  • A romantic breakfast picnic
  • A bundt cake on a chair
  • A romantic outside breakfast 

And after that, we all gathered together to have breakfast at the hotel and evaluate our first shooting day. After that, we decided to create other scenes and have a food photography free styling afternoon after lunch.

I decided in between to take some product pictures with the wine and cheese we bought, as Lucia and I were planning on reaching put to brands to sponsor the next Meetup in 2023! It’s a shame I haven’t edited the pictures yet! But that is the life of a food photographer, things come and goes, but time flies.

Valerie, Sarah, and I decided to create a beautiful romantic wine scene in the middle of the entrance road of the garden. We dragged a round table, two chairs, and some props, and we wanted to keep it minimalistic and cozy. The beautiful Valerie modeled for us some wine scenes while Sarah and I kept taking pictures. Sadly I haven’t edited this scene yet, and I will soon do and add them to the blog. But as I took lots of behind-the-scenes images, I can show you those!

On the second day, we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel and then headed up to the garden, where Lucia would give us a fantastic live masterclass: how to style a cake scene with vintage props. Lucia built the cake while Valerie and I styled a wine scene I had wanted to do since I saw the kitchenette in the mansion.

Lucia gave us a beautiful and helpful live masterclass, she styled the cake and table to perfection in front of a window while recording this whole event. She explained to us in detail why she styled the table and cake like this and explained lots of rules in food photography.

After the live masterclass, we got a few hours of freestyling around the garden and mansion, so Valerie and I decided to walk around the garden. Together we decided to practice some splashes shots with the delicious Aperol Spritz, and tried out first with water. After that we took some macro pictures, some pool pictures and Valerie took off to take location pictures.

While everybody else was taking pictures in the garden, I started running around with tables and chairs, cheese and wine in a cooling bag to take product pictures all around the garden. So that Lucia and I could create a presentation book for future sponsors! It was a really funny sight: a running around sweaty Tatiana, holding tables, bottles of wine and cheeses haha But that is the life of a food photographer assistant, no? At 5 pm we packed up, cleaned everything and we drove a vineyard where a tour, a delicious tasting and dinner awaited us!

We dined and wined one last time together and drove back to the mansion, where we said our goodbyes! It were three amazing days, it’s unbelievable what we achieved and how many pictures we took! And I had a blast, that is for sure! It’s an unforgettable food photography adventure, and I am very grateful!

After this fantastic workshop, I stayed at Lucia for another week where we worked together on building and planning the Members’ Club! Thank you so much ladies and Lucia for this fantastic time together, and I am looking forward for the next adventures!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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  1. It’s a beautiful post and literally took me back to Italy to our amazing Meet Up we had.

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