As someone personally inspired by beautiful food, I'd developed my own ideas of food styling and how it worked. I remembered my days at Sunset when I spent my lunch breaks in the studio and watched the photographers and stylists prep and tweak, tweezer and heat gun whatever it was they were working on.
Having read Cannelle et Vanille for the past few years, I assumed she was as meticulous and precise as the stylists I'd seen work in the past (I mean, look at her work). Then I took her workshop in Seattle.
The thing is, I don't know how to explain it. After reading past participants' posts about their experiences with her, I'd anticipated a kind of elegant, untouchable Aran (why do we create preconceived notions of people before meeting them?). And this was true, in a way-- her style and approach are very elegant and she has a distinct intuitive aesthetic that is untouchable in that it's completely her own. Her process is the perfect balance between planned yet effortless, styled yet authentic. But more than that, the thing I'll always remember and take away from that day is that above everything, she was real.
Everything from her insistence on only using natural light to the admission that she breaks her own "rules." From the way she scrapes roasted carrots to show off their color to the way she lets salt drop and olive oil run the way they naturally like to.
"Everything beautiful and styled but real and authentic first."
Thank you, Aran.