San Francisco Food Photography Workshop 2018

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I had the great pleasure of being an attendee for the food photography workshop with Bella of ful.filled and Timmy of Mississippi Vegan. I have been a fan of Bella’s photography for years and have always wanted to attend one of her workshops. Although I hadn’t heard of Timmy before, he has a warmness about him that makes you feel like you’re fast friends! I chalk it up to his good ol’ Southern charm!


The venue + staff

I was delighted right away by the content and care they took to plan this event. It was not your normal conference in a hotel ballroom with standard hotel food. This wasn’t that at all. It was held in a lovely home with tons of natural light and beautifully prepared meals by the dream team. Matt, Elena, and Karlee made delicious things to eat and take pictures of. I left not only well equipped to take more awesome food photos, but well fed.

What I learned

Luckily, I came into the workshop with good camera knowledge so that helped tremendously. You don’t have to know how to use a camera, but I will say that it is a definite advantage if you do. I was able to focus on the parts that I didn’t know, like how to style and being a visual story teller.

They reviewed how to shoot a DSLR camera in manual mode, had a Lightroom editing module, multiple styling demos, opportunities to shoot after styling, the change to style your own photo, and discussed what it’s like to run a food photography blog and business. We had one on one sessions to individually ask questions that were specific to our needs and wants.

What I took away

After attending this workshop, I found something that put together a lot of my different passions: food, photography, storytelling, people, cultures, and design. Suddenly things started to make more sense. Ideas started to flow together and became clearer. It felt like I was no longer forcing pieces of puzzle together that didn’t fit.

I felt inspired in a way that I haven’t been for a bit.

I met others who were like minded. Writing and connecting with people through great stories and photography, and sharing our love and knowledge of food.


I hope it’s not just a dream for all of us attendees. That we can bring our visions to life.

Thank you Bella and Timmy for sharing your dreams that have become realities with us, and showing us that it is possible. I deeply appreciate your time, expertise, and care.

Update (1/19):

Since I originally wrote this blog, Timmy has published a book ! Karlee won the Saveur’s 2018 Reader’s Choice for best food photography.  Bella is planning to host more workshops in San Francisco in Spring 2019! 

I’ve definitely explored more with food photography. I’ve had people ask how long I’ve been shooting food for. Most are surprised that it’s a newer subject for me. I attribute a lot of what I’ve been able to accomplish to workshops like these that have taught me so much!

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  1. Elena says:

    What a beautifully written and photographed post, Emily! I hope you get to ride that inspiration wave you got from the workshop for as long as possible! <3

    • Emily Abdinor says:

      Thank you so much Elena – for taking the time to write back, and for your sweet well wishes! I love your blog as well!

  2. Jamie Earles says:

    Emily, you are an inspiration and multi-talented! This is such a sweet tribute to an amazing workshop. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    • Emily Abdinor says:

      Jamie, your comment just made my week! You are such a wonderful person!
      I am so glad we were able to meet!
      See you soon! <3

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