Sunday, June 1, 2014

The First Plated Stories Workshop


Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand. 
- Chinese proverb

I can swoon over the wonders of our weekend in Tuscany; I can expatiate on the talents of our Plated Stories Workshop participants, expound on their humor and creativity; I can discuss how well we all thought it went… endlessly if you ask me. The give and take of information and inspiration, the back and forth of ideas and insight, bottle of red after bottle of red followed by dessert and the voices and the laughter rang out long and far into the night.

But I won't.

All I will say is that I am deeply satisfied. As a workshop organizer, an instructor, a teacher, I am satisfied and feel that a job was well done. I love watching people grow, gather up their confidence and move forward. I love thinking that I have influenced someone (inspired is so smug and self-righteous a word I do not like using it), influenced and motivated someone to write, to think, to improve, convinced someone – and in this case several people – that they have what it takes to be a writer. An excellent, influential writer and storyteller.

What Ilva and I have created together has snowballed (such an inelegant word but hasn't it just?): a blog, awards and recognition, editorial projects and a workshop. Thanks to Linda of Tuscan Muse, Linda the ideal mix of professionalism, humor and wit, warmth and generosity and an outstanding organizer of… unforgettable experiences (she organizes a string of workshops on photography, watercolor painting, Italian, etc), who brought Ilva and I together, down to the beautiful, welcoming Antica Tenuta Le Casacce and started the Plated Stories Workshop ball rolling.

I have already given my impressions of the workshop on Plated Stories. Now, it is better said in images.

photo courtesy of Robin Ove

But I can also let you in on a bit what goes on and what we teach in a Plated Stories Workshop… seeing as how our Autumn Workshop is already organized and open for registration, 3 – 5 October, also in Tuscany, Italy, but at the splendid 19th century villa Il Salicone. So what do you need to know about the Plated Stories Workshop?

* The relaxed and convivial atmosphere (in short, we have tons of fun!) in a picture-perfect Tuscan setting (or wherever we may go in 2015) is the ideal environment for Telling a Story Through Words and Images.

* It is a weekend in which you will be totally and completely immersed in the art and craft of writing and photography & styling.

* The workshop program, intensive and hands on, will give you the tools needed as both a photographer and a writer to understand, develop, hone and eventually master your skills, inspire a more critical eye, instill confidence and challenge you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, both technically and creatively.

photo courtesy of Linda Bass

* You will learn how text and images, stories and photos, can and should interact, intertwine, combine into one story or composition in order to have more impact as a whole.

photo courtesy Ilva Beretta

* As writers, we will explore writing vs storytelling and how to understand, hone and master the skills required for each.

* As writers, we will explore voice and style with the aim of discovering and strengthening our own.

* As writers, we will learn how to prop shop just like the photographers do! And then learn how to put those props to use most effectively.

* As writers, we will read and write, explore moods, emotions, colors and senses, expand awareness and modes of expression.

photos courtesy Ilva Beretta

* And, as writers, you will begin to see stories, words, descriptions where you hadn't thought to look before, and begin to see the world through stories as well as visuals.

I won't go into the photography half of the workshop; simply visit Ilva Beretta's portfolio and you will understand why you should learn from her. You will see a photographer with an incredible eye, a distinctive voice and a varied style, which is rarer than you may think – how many wonderful photographers have a beautiful style but never vary that style from one shot to the next? And more than that, Ilva is able to communicate her thoughts and her ideas, again a teaching skill not all photo workshop instructors have.

A tremendous thank you to the magnificent Linda Bass of Tuscan Muse, Paola Thomas of and mirrormirror, Briana of Briana Moore Photography, Robin Ove of What About the Food?, Deepa Gopinath of One Small Pot, and Cathy Warner of Bread Experience. And of course Ilva of Lucullian Delights and Plated Stories.


ilva said...

<3 and so well said!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks/sounds like you all had a wonderful time together. I'm so happy to hear that the workshop was a success.

This proverb is so true...



Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I thought about you all. What a treat to get all this knowledge and experience in such a fabulous place. One day.

Valerie Lugonja said...

I will be in Italy for Terra Madre mid October - but there is a Food Bloggers of Canada conference the week before that - so I can't get there twice this year! (obviously) A consideration for the future... whenever Terra Madre is on (once every two years) have your Italian Plate2Page just before it or just after it... this isn't just for me - but it is sensible as this is a HUGE draw for many food bloggers across the globe. Jamie, I WILL get to one of your workshops. My dad just passed in January and my husband's mom - so unexpectedly, one week later. It's been one heck of a year, and travels have had to be canceled since dad's illness. I never did get to ACE Camp as a result. Was doing the home nursing for 17 months with mom.... anyway, keep sending me your list. Interestingly, I DID sign up on the website, as you suggested long ago - and have never received notifications of new workshop dates.
Your paragraph that starts like this:
All I will say is that I am deeply satisfied. As a workshop organizer, an instructor, a teacher, ..... I could really relate to - as I have done so many similar things in my city, and I could really relate to your feelings and would LOVE to be the participant rather than the organizer and teacher for a change!

Jamie said...

@Val - Oh I am so so sorry to hear about your losses! So much to deal with and I know you were taking care of your dad for so long. I am sorry.

I do so hope to have you at one of your workshops... we are trying to have one in the US next year... we are trying!! It would just be plain wonderful to meet you and have time with you!

Btw.... Plated Stories :-)

Rosemary Nardone said...

This looks so wonderful I am caring for my ailing Mom now but in future would love to do this class Looks like a great bunch of people learning what I love Photography and Food !!

Jenni said...

I hope you know how thrilled I am for you and Ilva, how proud I am to call you a friend.

And now to call you silly, because you do inspire people. So there. <3

Liz Berg said...

I loved seeing highlights of the workshop on facebook...I knew it would be a smashing success!

Timofei Pnin said...

Congratulations, teaching people is always a good experience, and in such enviroment it must be even better.


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