Hotelier Indonesia


The Food Photography Workshop

WHAT YOU DID/EXPERIENCE:

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok hosted its top-performing Rewarding Events customers at an exclusive Food Photography Workshop. The event was arranged to reward the property’s business-to-business customers as part of Marriott International’s SPG loyalty program.

The team hosted the gathering at Altitude, the only private rooftop event location in the dynamic neighborhood, comprising an indoor function room, elegant breakout area and outdoor terrace with a dramatic panorama of downtown Bangkok.

Customers enjoyed a two-hour workshop presented by two professional photographers who shared their technical and creative skills and showed how to photograph food in the most tantalising fashion.

PROGRAMME & PLANNING:

The food photography workshop idea arose from the way social media has become so integral in everyday life. Especially in Asia, everyone has a passion for taking lots of pictures, including of the food they love to enjoy and share with their social media followers. But few people have real expertise in photography so, the team offered the opportunity for guests hone their culinary camera skills.

During the first part of the workshop, customers were guided through the basic technical aspects of photography. They learned how to use rules of composition to improve the look of a scene and tell a story in which the food is the lead character.

In the second part of the workshop, participants were divided into six teams to practice what they had learned so far. Each team was provided with two hot dishes from Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Grande Sukhumvit’s all-day dining restaurant, along with decorative props, including a selection of vegetables, tableware, and backdrops.

SPECIAL TOUCHES:

After the workshop, all guests were invited to a lunch buffet at Seasonal Tastes’ where Social Media Competition was staged. Participants were challenged to take creative food photos during lunch and professional photographers selected the best images based on technical and creative skills. The grand prize winner received a 2-night stay in a private Pool Villa at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, a romantic and secluded coastal resort a few hours’ drive from Bangkok.

TALKING POINT:

The Food Photography Workshop format worked well, with participants providing positive feedback, indicating that this event format would work well as a team activity during conferences and meetings. Subsequently, the team proposed the concept to several meeting clients and have booked several workshops over the past months, including one Marriott Food & Beverage Workshop for APAC. In completing the practical activities of the workshop together, participants develop a fresh understanding of each other's strengths, weaknesses, and interests which helps them work more effectively as a team.

CHALLENGES AND OVERCOMING THEM:

The biggest challenge in staging the Food Photography Workshop was in finding photographers with enough equipment so that all 35 participants could complete the exercises. Participants were asked to bring their own camera or mobile phone but sufficient lighting equipment and reflectors for the six groups still need to be provided. After some research and numerous calls, the determined hotel events team found two photographers who liked the idea of conducting the workshop together, namely, Thomas De Cian Photography and Fame Lights Photo Studio based in Bangkok.

CLIENT’S COMMENT:

“What a fantastic event! I’ve never had the chance to talk to a professional photographer before. I learned so many useful things. Food is all about its taste, texture, temperature and flavors, for sure, but also the way it looks. We truly do eat with our eyes first. The trick with food photography is to make the viewer of your shots experience all aspects of the dishes just with their eyes. That’s what makes good food photography a real skill you need to learn. Thanks to The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok team for this unique experience. I am taking home concepts that I’m going to really enjoy putting into practice going forward.” Hans van den Born, Executive Director, Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Case Study Template
NAME: Food Photography Workshop
TYPE: Workshop
CLIENT: Internal - Rewarding Events customer event
VENUE: The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok
PAX: 35
DATE: 17 March 2018

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Hotelier Indonesia

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