Last week, Yelp organised a food photography and styling masterclass at Ocho on Spiers Wharf. This turned out to be a lot of fun. First off, I walked up to Spiers Wharf from Glasgow University, which turns out to be quite a long walk but once you’re past the motorway and quite close to Spiers Wharf it gets pretty. I think there are probably a lot of nice walks around this area of the city and if you decide to go wandering then Ocho would be the perfect place to stop for refreshments.
The cafe is small but perfectly formed and ever so pretty. Tables are available inside and out and on a rare sunny day I think sitting outside would be a real treat. We were welcomed on arrival with drinks (my berry belini was lovely) found our name tags and awaited instructions.
The plan was to take photos of several of Ocho’s dishes at different stations. Some tips on taking good food photos were available and Ally was on hand for more advice. We’d get creative with settings, angles and light before moving onto the next dish. At the end the Ocho team would choose a favourite picture uploaded to Yelp and the photographer would win a prize – later more photos would be uploaded to Facebook and another prize would be up for grabs.
The only downside? The food were were photographing wasn’t for eating. It looked soooo good! Fortunately we were brought some delicious appetisers before we started (I think my favourite were their haggis bon bons) and we were promised dinner afterwards.
A second downside exclusive to me was that this was just days after my phone had finally stopped working entirely. I use my phone to take photos, something I hadn’t been worried about because we’d been assured that this would be fine for the purposes of the masterclass. I brought along a very old Polaroid iE126 which I bought for £30 last summer thinking I might use it in Seoul (I didn’t – it was rubbish). This greatly amused Yelp’s photographer, Ally, but I muddled through.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to take a few creative shots and play around with some ideas. Hopefully I’ll be able to implement my new skills to take more great food photos in the future (that’s an excuse to go out for a meal if ever I heard one).
We the photos were taken and the winners announced we were served dinner. I opted for the mushroom linguine which was delicious. Based on the food we tried here I’ll definitely have to try to get back to Ocho as soon as I can. In the meantime, though, today is the last day of voting for the competition running on Facebook. The prize is a food styling afternoon with Ocho’s head chef, a cookery class for the dish they photographed and a masterclass in food styling. Here’s the photo I entered:
I’m actually doing ok, I might even win! It’s one of those ones where the picture with the most Facebook likes is the winner though, so that could change at any moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Naturally, you’ll hear all about it if I am lucky enough to be in first place when voting closes at 4pm today (UK time). If you’re feeling kind, you can improve my chances by liking the photo here.
Wish me luck!