Helsinki workshop recap

It’s been almost a year since we met Mari during the workshop that Meeta, Sandy and I organised in Amsterdam last year. If we were interested in doing a workshop in Helsinki maybe? On the spot we set the date for Helsinki 2014, on a sunny terrace in Amsterdam.

The planning went on for months. Locations, sponsors, participants, the program… Meeta, Mari and myself were in almost daily contact to get everything worked out and fixed. It’s always more time than you think it will be! But I love working with both girls as their endless energy is great to work with… Thank goodness we had Mari in Helsinki as she took care of all the local stuff with the location, the hotel, the sponsor and during the workshop she provided us with food for eating and shooting! And ofcourse part of the meals and the props where provided by our awesome sponsors  Cocovi, Sunspelt, Winestate, Fiskars, Uudenmaan Herkku Oy , Illy Coffee and Rauch

Meeta and I arrived on Friday together at the airport and ofcourse our first stop was the beautiful  Scandic Paasi hotel.  Just a little outside of the center of Helsinki, but within walking distance of all the main attractions in the city. If you don’t feel like walking, the tram is within a few hundred meters of the hotel, so can’t be anymore convenient. There are tickets for public transport you can get which will let you travel around town all day long.

Having a drink at bar Vin-Vin.

First to celebrate our arrival!

The workshop itself would start on Saturday but we needed to look at the locations, arrange the flashes for the artificial light session and ofcourse celebrate our getting together with a good glass of prosecco at bar  Vin-Vin.

All our participants also slept at the Scandic Paasi so we met almost everyone that morning during the (enormous) buffet breakfast at the hotel. Mari would meet us to pick us up because we had no idea how to get to our location.. 😉

Helsinki views.

Because the Finnish language… Let’s just stay it takes some time to get used to it. We did not get any further than saying hehe (or heihei..not sure even!) which is a greeting of some sorts… Thankfully everyone in Helsinki speaks English so it is no problem getting around.

And so than the workshop started. We had a fabulous group with people from Dubai, America, Finland, Sweden, Germany and Norway; all with very diverse backgrounds. Our location in the winecellar, albeit very dark, was perfect for the sessions on artificial light photography. The energy and enthusiasm in the group was great too. I always think it is a good sign when everyone is so busy chatting to eachother that we – as instructors – had to sometimes wait for the excitement to die down a bit before being able to say anything.. Love that!


Working hard in Helsinki. Trying out artificial lighting.

What you can do with simple Ikea lights

I think the session on the Ikea lights was an eye opener for a lot of people and since it was the first time we did a session like this is was good to know that it was so well received. And the results of the participants shooting with the Ikea lights and with the studio flashes was really amazing. We had two sets with the Ikea lights and two sets with the studioflashes and as you can see from some of the examples below they did some pretty amazing stuff. I can’t possibly show them all in this already photo heavy post!

Made by team Bente, Marissa and Sari

Made by team Bente, Marissa and Sari

Kaisa and Alanna restaurant shot

Kaisa and Alanna restaurant shot

Marja-Riita and Denisa artificial light shot (Ikea lamps)

Marja-Riita and Denisa artificial light shot (Ikea lamps)

Minna and Nancy picnic shot

Minna and Nancy picnic shot

Dinner on the first night was in the fantastic Toca restaurant, where we were seated at a long table and believe me when I say that a group of 12 foodbloggers and 12 camera’s can make quite a bit of noise, but the owners were warned… The food was incredible and the mood was even better. Lots of laughter and fun. I will share a more extensive post on Toca later on. Here are a few images to show we did have a great time!

Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki - Dinner at Toca restaurant, Helsinki -

The second day started with sunshine but as soon as I came out of the shower, it turned out that it started pouring down with rain! Not good news as part of the assignment was to spend time in the park shooting for their magazines and Mari had been cooking and planning all the dishes for days! Thankfully after we came out of the cellar after the Lightroom session it had cleared a bit and on our walk to the park the sun seemed to have come out. But as soon as we arrived the rain decided to come back. Mari and her husband Samuli (sorry if I am writing this wrong!) had prepped everything for the picknick and it looked gorgeous and colorful.

The rain was not a light drizzle so we had to quickly cover everything with umbrella’s and take cover ourselves in the bushes. But nothing could really kill the spirit and everyone kept shooting despite the rain and after about twenty or so minutes the sky cleared and the sun came out! And well, we had ofcourse the prosecco from  Winestate to kill some time in between… Everything is better with prosecco!

Fun in the park, Helsinki. Helsinki, Finland 20140608-MH2A3015 20140608-MH2A3112 20140608-MH2A3109 20140608-MH2A3104 20140608-MH2A3084 20140608-MH2A3062 20140608-MH2A3058 20140608-MH2A3056 20140608-MH2A3130 20140608-MH2A3147 20140608-MH2A3124

About halfway through the afternoon we packed up everything and it was back to the basement for some heavy editing by the participants who needed to finish their assignments. The results as you have seen above were beautiful so well done ladies!

And the moment to say goodbye is always quicker than you think it might be. We had a little group stay behind for dinner that same night at Brasserie Kämp. I haven’t loved so hard in a long time. I literally cried from laughing so hard…. I don’t think the couple that sat close to use was very impressed with us but o well, we couldn’t help ourselves…. It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend with great people!

And ofcourse non of this would have been possible without our sponsors who went out of their way to supply the heavy (!) goodiebag and also have produce during the shoots and beautiful knives and cutting boards from Fiskars, bread from Sunspelt and Uudenmaan Herkku Oy delicious procecco Winestate , coffee and juices from Rauch and Illy Coffee and breakfast mixes from Cocovi


En de groepsfoto met onze nieuwe keukenschorten van Fiskars!

Are you interested in your next workshop? The location for July is in Berlin where we are having the workshop at the beautiful location of Landgut Borsig. A spot you can easily spend two days with a group of like minded foodies exploring the world of foodphotography and styling, with as a special addition a session on mobile phone photography!

BerlinBadge2014-sidebar-2 For more details check out the post on Berlin here

We are looking forward to it!