Fun Friday: Cook, Snap, Eat, Chat with Mothers Who Brunch

Third Friday of the month:  Recreation / Hobby

I cook when I'm in the mood. I have an appetite for a wide range of cuisines, and also have fun taking snapshots of food then posting on social media. For me, it's about sharing my recipes, what I eat, and my foodie finds. Learning new tips and tricks in photo styling and framing really interests me. That's exactly what happened a few weekends ago at the Viking range showroom during the Mothers Who Brunch event.

Bacon Egg Cups

Viking Range generously hosted this event, second in a series, created by Mothers Who Brunch head mamas, Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) and Sabrina Go (@sinfullysabrina). Their aim is to encourage moms to do more fun and beautiful things not only in the kitchen but in the home and with the family. It was held at the Viking Range Showroom in Westgate Center, Alabang where our hosts lovingly cooked the delectable dishes for brunch using Viking's impressive, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment -- a real investment for serious home-cooks and professionals.

I'm from San Juan, so I did travel the distance to join this intimate gathering with fellow mamas because aside from being friends with the organizers, the theme and activity for this brunch event is really up my alley. Alam niyo naman I enjoy eating and I'm addicted to IG. =) It was also a treat for me to meet some of the personalities I follow on Instagram.

As the title of this post suggests, this meticulously-planned event was all about cooking, eating, and learning to take better photos.

Since we all post a lot of food shots on Instagram using our mobile gadgets, I'll share with you some of home-based food styling and photography tips that I learned from our guest experts, Hazel Dizon @clari88e_8 and Ezra Antonio @ezgasm. Follow them on IG to see their beautiful feed and learn new ideas. The lovely tablescape and numerous styling props used at the event were provided by Boqueria Lifestyle Market.

1. The key to any good photo is good lighting, so try to find source of natural light in your home.
  • shadows tend to appear when light is warm, too bright, or light is above the camera
  • go against the light if you want shadows or sexy silhouettes, like for bottles and jars
  • you can always use your photo filters but try to limit adjustments unless you want to have earthy vintage feel, or going gray, black and white
Photo by Jay Santos

2. One of the most popular way of taking food shots is the top shot, or flat lay.
  • Note that shadows tend to appear when light is warm, too bright, or light is above the camera
  • Play with pattern, symmetry, or move the eye towards a focal point or special details

Mixed Greens with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

3. Play with colors and textures

4. Sometimes, including a hand or an action shot with the food makes a photo more interesting; little kids' hands make the best "hand models" 

5. Count - put in elements in an odd number especially if your items are less than 10

Lemon-Basil Daiquiri

6. Choose a background that's not overly decorated to put focus on the food/subject.

7. Work with different angles
  • top shot
  • centered
  • off-centered
  • eye level
  • close-ups

My IG post - angled, off-centered close up shot of the cake with flower topper

Time to eat!
Look at that glorious hunk of Prime Rib Steak with Roasted Garlic Crust that was cradled in this handsome Viking oven for almost 2  hours!

Photo by Jay Santos

Michelle's better half, Nino, was the master roaster here and this top grade tender wagyu with the toasted garlic is the bomb!

An unforgettable meal this was. Best brunch yet!
Photo by Jay Santos

You have to watch this short video which capture the best moments at #MothersWhoBrunch.

I am just making myself very hungry as I write and upload the food shots. You can print the recipe cards here and try these yummy dishes with your family. Aside from learning new recipes and styling tips, the moms got to bring home wonderful gifts from Fotogra BooksGladLemons and Greens, Shorts Gourmet, and The Flour Girl. Mish and Sabs also surprised us with this wooden board to serve as a backdrop for our future IG posts! =)

So, in closing, I have to say it was such a pleasure to be in the company of these fabulous #MothersWhoBrunch and some of the most creative individuals as we enjoyed a Viking feast!
by Jay Santos

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