My Day with Sweet Paul…

Sweet Paul Magazine, Spring 2012

Paul Lowe, aka “Sweet Paul”, in my opinion, hung the creative moon.  I have been an admirer of Paul’s blog and beautiful magazine for several years now, and I cannot think of anyone else who has inspired me more in the blogging/craft/food world than Sweet Paul.

Paul is professional food/prop stylist and blogger, turned magazine publisher in New York, whose styled photographs are legendary in the blogging and online/print magazine world. His work will simply stop you in your tracks. Let me just show you some of his work via past Sweet Paul Magazine covers:

 

Sweet Paul Magazine {Spring, 2010}

 

 

Sweet Paul Magazine {Spring, 2010}

 

Sweet Paul Magazine {Kid's Issue}

 

Sweet Paul Magazine {Holiday, 2011}

 

Sweet Paul Magazine Fall 2011

 

If this is the first time you are hearing Paul’s name, you may not realize it but chances are you’ve probably already seen his work and creativity via Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple Magazine, Country Living, Rachael Ray and so many more…  Not too mention that Paul has published more than 22 cookbooks in 12 languages and he’s insanely crafty too:

 

Sweet Paul China Print Lampshade

 

Sweet Paul Decal Table

 

Needless to say, there is pretty much nothing that Paul can’t do and nothing that Paul can’t make look good!

I was so excited when I heard that Paul was offering a workshop for a small group {10 attendees}, to come to NYC and watch and learn from Paul and his talented photographer Colin Cooke, in action.  The workshop was the perfect learning opportunity- to come and learn as Paul, Colin and the Sweet Paul team prepared and shot the photographs for the upcoming summer issue of Sweet Paul Mag.  I knew that any information and tips that I could learn from Paul and Colin would help me greatly in improving my styling and photography on my blog.

I crossed my fingers as I sent an email to Paul to see if I could participate and was over the moon when he wrote me back and said that I could come.  The workshop was this last Saturday at the shooting kitchen that Paul uses in Tribeca:

 

I wasn’t surprised in the least that when I met Paul that his personality would be exactly how imagined him to be.  Paul has done such a great job in interjecting his personality into the writing of his blog and after following him so long, I felt like I already knew him and how his given nickname “Sweet Paul”, perfectly suits him!

The plan for our day was to shoot seven summer salads as Paul and Colin guided us through each step of the process.  Paul and Colin took turns talking us through what they do as they prep the food and position each component strategically, choose props for the set, set up shot, take the photographs and then the shots were uploaded to the computer to make any tweaks as they reviewed the photographs:

Paul Prepping the Food

 

Paul Prepping the Set

 

Colin Cooke Setting up the Shot

 

Uploading the Shots

 

Each step of the way throughout the day, Paul and Colin gave us awesome tips and hints for each component that ultimately improves the end product, the photograph.  There was such a steady stream of great information, I couldn’t keep up fast enough with my notes and photographs:

{I’m in the red scarf}

 

 

After Paul and Colin were happy with the final shot of each salad, we were able to photograph the food ourselves using the new techniques that Paul and Colin shared with us.

What an experience and what a special day for me in so many ways.  Meeting someone that I have admired for so long and who has inspired me so much creatively, was such a special treat for me.  Learning some awesome techniques and ways to improve and conquer my biggest challenge and source of frustration with my blog {photos and styling} will make blogging so much more enjoyable for me as well.

So, when I got back home after the workshop, I couldn’t wait to use what I learned and style and photograph my next project.  Here is the result of putting to use everything I learned:

 

 

 

Of course, my photographs are not even close to be on the same level as a “Sweet Paul” shot, but I can tell you, it’s a huge improvement for me. Up until this point, I haven’t really enjoyed the photography aspect of blogging because there is so much to learn, too many little buttons and settings. It’s been a huge source of frustration, because this is one creative medium that you really need to learn the equipment, read manuals, read books and learn the technical aspect. To be completely honest with you, it boils down to my extremely limited attention span. But… I have forced myself to begin learning what I can.

As I spent the last couple of months reading the manuals and learning the technical stuff, I have seen the payoff of the time invested in my greatly improved photographs. I still have a lot of work ahead of me! Thank you again to Paul Lowe and Colin Cooke for sharing so much information and time with me.

Today is a very special day that many of us have been impatiently waiting to arrive.  The spring issue of Sweet Paul has come out this morning and you can download it here. It is absolutely spectacular!  Also, please go check out photographer Colin Cooke’s website here, it is pretty amazing as well.

Have a wonderful weekend friends and I’ll be back at the beginning of next week with a fun home decor project!

Cheers!

Cyndy

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6 Responses to My Day with Sweet Paul…

  1. rebecca says:

    I love Sweet Paul!! I was so honored to have my felt campfire featured in his holiday edition. What a beautiful treat his publication is! This month I took the leap and ran my first ad. I know it will be a smart move for me since he has so many loyal followers….including myself!!

  2. theaxx says:

    this sounds delicious in so many ways! Paul does seem genuine & lovely, so it’s nice to hear he is – not that I doubted it- hehe. VERY jealous of your adventure!!

    thea.
    xx

    (spoonful)

  3. What an awesome opportunity!! And I think your photo and styling of your mini cupcakes is AWESOME!!

  4. Sharon says:

    I just found your blog via Pinterest (where else can we find such amazing people?!?) and look forward to coming back to read more. Congrats on your day with Sweet Paul! He’s new to me too, so thanks for introducing us! Oh, the Pinterest board that brought me to you was one of the many free printables. Like you, I’ve become horribly addicted to these little lovelies! Thanks for sharing!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you Sharon for such kind words! I’m thrilled that I can introduce you to the amazing Sweet Paul. You made my morning Sharon and I’m glad that you found your way here! Thank you!

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