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Workshop Description

"Plated Stories"

Telling a Story Through Words and Images

Food Writing and Food Photography Workshop

Jamie Schler and Ilva Beretta, Instructors

May 22 - June 1, 2014

Plated Stories is a food photography and writing workshop aimed at food bloggers, writers and photographers. You are invited to immerse yourself in the art of writing and photography, whether for your blog or for professional pursuits; strengthen your writing, styling and photography skills while fuelling your creative energy. While pursuing the mastery of both writing and photography skills individually, the workshop is aimed to show how the two work together to create a better story, have a greater impact. The program will encourage writers to think more visually and photographers to see objects in a different way by describing them verbally.

You will be working with Ilva Beretta and Jamie Schler, each a successful professional freelancer in her field, an influential food blogger and an enthusiastic and experienced workshop instructor. Comprehensive exercises, carefully designed assignments, lively roundtable discussions as well as activities such as a cooking demonstration with Enrico Casini at Le Casacce in the heart of Tuscany, market or vineyard visits, photowalks and meals, all in a stimulating and creative atmosphere offer an invaluable and vibrant learning opportunity. Time is dedicated to critique, discussion and analysis, helping you to understand, reflect upon and improve your work. Group sessions and activities will allow you to profit from a wide pool of experience, information and inspiration while the small group will allow for essential one-on-one time with each instructor for personal feedback and guidance.

The exclusive workshop program and intensive, hands-on learning experience is designed to inspire a more critical eye, instill confidence, challenge you and encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be creative in ways you never imagined you were capable of. The relaxed and convivial atmosphere in a picture-perfect Tuscan setting is the ideal environment for Telling a Story Through Words and Images.

The Plated Stories photography sessions comprise:

  • understanding light and how to manipulate it in various indoor + outdoor settings.
  • moods and how to create them
  • the importance of props and how to style photos
  • why composition in the photo is necessary
  • hands-on exercises and coordinated photo and writing assignments.

A DSLR camera is required and as this is not a workshop for beginners, an understanding of the basic elements of photography such as aperture, exposure and shutter speed, white balance and ISO is necessary along with laptop and post processing software (Photoshop, Paint, Lightroom or iPhoto etc.). A tripod is a plus.

The Plated Stories writing sessions comprise:

  • learn to decipher food writing: the good, the bad and the evocative
  • understand voice and style on your way to finding what fits best
  • make sense of language and vocabulary, master your writing skills for more impact
  • learn how to set a mood, create an emotion
  • the art of creative storytelling from opening sentence to conclusion
  • learn to write the five senses and give it personality
  • how to find inspiration in front of a blank page


Video discussing the creative process behind the award-winning blog, Plated Stories. Jamie Schler and Ilva Beretta answer questions about their collaboration, how they inspire each other and their creative methods. A big thanks to Jenni Field of Pastry Chef Online for hosting the interview.


Workshop Registration Deadline: April 18, 2014

Included in Your Tour

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Ground transportation, including pickup and drop off at the Rome airport

Not Included in Your Tour

  • Airfare
  • Ground transportation to sites other than those chosen for the workshop
  • Lunches
  • Wine, Alcoholic Beverages, Bottled Water, Sodas
  • Gratuities


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    “First of all we want to say a very big THANK YOU for all the work you put in for everyone. We enjoyed the workshop very much, and in all these things it is the people who make the difference. Added to that, the food was very good and the setting was one of the best. It was all made possible by you Linda."
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