Chairoscuro Retreat

Chiaroscuro Food Photography Retreat



A 2 and a half day chiaroscuro food photography, styling and cooking retreat held in Berry, NSW. Apologies for anyone interested, this event has now sold out.

Retreat Teachers

Zaira Zarotti

Valentina Solfrini

Host: Anisa Sabet


The retreat is set at Bundarra Farm, a beautiful homestead nestled into the delightful village of Berry. The homestead is a beautiful large house with a communal kitchen and dining area where most of our classes will be held. The grounds are beautiful and we will have lots of opportunities (weather permitting) for outdoor dining. Berry is located approx. 2 hours from Sydney and Canberra.

Who Can Attend

This workshop is for beginner – intermediate photographers. If you’ve never picked up a camera, we will be going through camera settings and photography basics. This retreat is perfect for those interested in food photography and who want to meet like-minded creatives. There are only 12 places available.


April 28 – 30 2017


Accommodation included is for April 28 and 29 2017, is on site, and is single beds or bunks in shared rooms. Accommodation is nice, immaculately clean but basic.


Join us for an intimate chiaroscuro food photography, styling and cooking retreat set in the picturesque and rustic Australian bush. We will cook, we will feast, we will laugh and learn. Workshop sessions will be taught by photography creatives, Zaira Zarotti of A Freaky Table and Valentina Hortus of Hortus Cuisine. Both have mastered the beautiful art of story telling and moody photography.

Retreat highlights include

Photography basics | We will go through basic camera settings, how to approach lighting, colours, compositions, angles and lenses.

Styling process | Together, we will learn how to create beautifully styled food stories. Zaira and Valentina will demonstrate how to create a scene by going through the thought process, set up, examining natural light, crafting an environment, choosing props, managing time, and choosing angles.

Chiaroscuro | We will learn how to create this dark and moody type of photography with ingredients and using florals to make beautiful still scenes.

Forage walk | We will (weather permitting) lead a participatory guided foraging walk around the grounds to show you how to find various plants and florals that would be suitable for use in photography styling.

Lightroom demonstration & preset building | We will sit down to a collective lightroom editing session, where we’ll talk about post-processing and how to develop your own preset to get the look you want consistently.

Business and Marketing | We will talk about the business side of blogging which is as important as the creative side. We will discuss blogging, sponsorship, marketing, social media and how to develop a consistent brand.

Special barnyard dinner | You will be treated to a special barnyard dinner under the stars. We will share a meal, sample local wine and share stories.

Autumn cocktail class | In a special masterclass, you will learn about autumn cocktails, which alcohols work best and which fruits and flavours to pair with them.

Feasting | The best part of the retreat – the feasting! Together we will cook and eat local produce, sample regional delicacies and get to know one another.


Friday 28 April

Welcome lunch and housekeeping

Session 1 – Photography basics (theory)

Autumn cocktail class

Long table dinner

Saturday 29 April


Session 2 – Styling basics (theory)

Session 3 – Collective chiaroscuro styling (practical)

Picnic lunch and foraging walk

Session 4, 5 & 6 – Small group styling (practical)

Afternoon tea

Session 7 – Editing and preset building

Barnyard dinner 

Sunday 30 April


Session 8 – Business, marketing and social media and Q&A

Farewell morning tea

**Note this programme is subject to change**


There are only 15 tickets for this workshop available. Be sure to get in quick to avoid missing out on this once in a lifetime retreat.


Two nights shared accommodation on site

Beautiful cottage farmhouse location for the retreat period

All lessons and discussions

Welcome snacks and drinks

Two Dinners

One picnic lunch

Two breakfasts

Two morning teas

One afternoon tea

Carefully curated set of gifts

Snacks during the retreat

Not included

Transport to and from Berry



The workshop commences 12pm Friday 28 April and finishes 12pm Sunday 30 April. Please contact for more details.


The all-inclusive cost for the retreat is AUD$1,500. This includes 2-nights shared-room accommodation in Berry for April 28 and 29 2017 | PLEASE NOTE: due to the logistics involved in planning these events no refunds are available unless you find a person to replace you on the retreat. 

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