Helene Dujardin of Tartelette plus Photo Workshop Giveaway

by heidi on June 14, 2011

Post image for Helene Dujardin of Tartelette plus Photo Workshop Giveaway

You see it immediately in the photographs of the recipes she creates. Photographs that are effortlessly styled, that convey a simplicity that sweetly echoes her deliciously fresh and never forced rustic flair.  It just organically shines through: Heart and soul.

FoodieCrush Magazine Tartelette Squash Blossoms

As a former pastry chef, Helene Dujardin brings that heart and soul to the table. A self taught photographer and stylist—recently named Saveur.com’s 2011 Best Special Interest blog thanks to a gluten-free focus—Helene imparts her French roots, memories and traditions into her warm and welcoming writings, photos and recipes on the award winning blog Tartelette.

FoodieCrush Magazine Tartelette Peaches

Helene’s recipes trend toward the sweet rather than savory with tempting takes on sweets such as Roasted Apricots and Lavender Panna Cotta and Plum Raspberry Cardamom Crumbles. In my mind (and I’m sure for many of her readers) Helene’s recipes and musings create the illusion that if we shared the same neighborhood I might catch her at the weekend farmer’s market where she’d be searching out fresh, seasonal produce, visiting with vendors and friends and then bicycling back home on her old-school cruiser, her bike basket overflowing with fresh produce and a bottle of wine.

She’d be off to create a quick Blackberry Apple Galettes and Burnt Sugar Ice Cream, a dessert that perfumes her home, tempting neighbors to drop in to enjoy an afternoon sweet and a chilled glass of fresh lemonade in the backyard, under the pecan tree.

FoodieCrush Magazine Tartelette

FoodieCrush Magazine Tartelette Macaroon Tart

Ahhhh, tranquility with a touch of romance.

But behind the tranquil Tartelette there is a woman who doesn’t quit moving, who has her hands in multiple projects and is generous to offer advice and friendship to fellow food bloggers and followers. After photographing several cookbooks including Deliciously Organic, Tart Love and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Helene is now sharing her expertise as a food photographer, stylist and teacher in her recently released book Plate to Pixel, Digital Food Photography and Styling.

We wanted to get to know Helene beyond the blog, to see if our romanticized perceptions of her life were notions or reality.

Thank you Helene, for being our foodiecrush!

FoodieCrush Magazine Tartelette Helen Dujardin

1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Nostalgic. Heartfelt. Storytelling.

2. If you could be one food blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
My friend Anita from Married With Dinner. Because she’s smart, generous, honest. Now, Anita is part of a trio I call “the three muskeeters” because they hold me tight and are the embodiment of authenticity. So ideally, I’d love to be 1/3 Anita, 1/3 Jen and 1/3 Jeanne

3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
Décor 8 by Holly Becker
A Photo Editor by Rob Haggart
Ordinary Courage by Brené Brown
Lots of style, lots of photography and lots of soul. Not necessarily obsessed with but definitely checking every day!

4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
My chef knife. Shorter blade from my days back at the restaurant to fit my small hands. Close second would be my whisk.

5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
My dad’s Osso Bucco. That’s his signature dish.

6. What did you have for dinner last night?
It all came from the farmers market here in Charleston: pork chop I get from my friend Jason’s company Meathouse, oven “fried” green tomatoes and field peas salad (heirloom tomatoes, avocado, field peas, vinaigrette). Truly, I have embraced my Southern home!

7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you:
I have the biggest memory bank you’ll ever find. I remember everything. Hands down seriously. It’s a bit of a curse a times because I can’t avoid a situation by simply saying “I don’t remember.” Ok, so it’s not a real talent. How about this? I can’t sit still and just watch TV so I have my cross-stitch next to the couch and cross-stitch away whenever we watch a movie or the news.

8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
For the people I love.

9. In your book, Plate to Pixel, you educate the reader about food photography and styling. What is the one technique in food photography or styling you find yourself surprised that you use again and again?
Honestly? All. Everything. Not necessarily together and not always all the time. Seriously though, whether it is camera modes, settings, capturing light and using it, composition or styling, photography is a series of decisions about what resources or techniques you are going to use to help you create a story with a picture. I guess you could say that my one technique would be to focus your sensibility on the story or the person(s) behind the recipe/dish.

10. The one secret ingredient to your success is:
Pour your heart out in everything you do and keep negatives away.

A great note to end on, thanks Helene! And now…

In addition to writing a book, photographing a few cookbooks and writing her blog, Helene teaches hands-on photography and food styling workshops across the country. (also here and here)

Which leads us to our super exciting announcement!

Helene and her students at the Ace Photo Camp in Santa Fe

Helene will be in Park City, Utah where she’ll be leading a workshop on food photography for attendees of the Evo Conference 2011 on Friday, July 8.

But on Wednesday July 6, in celebration of the release of a her book Plate to Pixel, Helene will be leading a food photography and styling workshop here in Salt Lake City, Utah. FoodieCrush is thrilled to sponsor this event and is giving you the opportunity to learn from her in an intimate venue, limited to just 12 students, your cameras and Utah’s gorgeous natural light. And one lucky reader just may get to do it at no cost–FOR FREE!”

You’ll  spend the afternoon with Helene and just 12 other students, receiving personal instruction on how to improve your own photography and ultimately, your blog.

To get the class description and reserve a spot, just e-mail photoworkshopslc@gmail.com. Workshop spots will go fast so don’t dilly dally in making your decision.

But, if you don’t happen to make the cut…

We’re giving away ONE FREE SPOT for a lucky FoodieCrush and Taretlette fan. To enter the contest to win the free workshop spot, you must do these two things:

1. Like FoodieCrush magazine and Tartelette on Facebook

2. Leave a comment on this post and tell us why your photography needs Helene’s help.

If you purchase a ticket and win the prize, we’ll refund your money for the original ticket and open the spot to the next in line. Its a win-win all around! Good luck.

all photos courtesy of Helene Dujardin

Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, please subscribe to foodiecrush and follow me on twitter.

37 comments |

Posted in: crushing,food blogger interview,photography

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria June 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

I am so excited about Helene’s workshop! It is going to be fabulous!

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Becky at VintageMixer June 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

I am especially wanting to up my game in the food photography and styling arena but have no outlet to do so. I feel food photography is my creative outlet. Combining colors with texture and light, then making a person feel like they are actually sitting at the table with the food in front of them. Food photography can be inviting and inspiring if done well and Helene is especially talented. I would love to learn from her!

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Dessi June 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

Wow, Helene’s photos are amazing. I can definitely see the nostalgic feel. Love the rustic textured backgrounds. I do need a lot of help with my photos. I love cooking, but have you seen my pics? Pretty? Not so much :( Most likely, because I don’t have a cool professional camera and don’t know that many tricks about styling. By the way, does one need a professional camera to attend this workshop? And how long is the workshop going to be that day?

Thanks foodiecrush for introducing Helene to us,
Dessi

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Annalise June 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

I’m super excited about the SLC workshop and hope I’m able to snag one of the coveted spots! My food photography could use a lot of help. I’m still weening myself off the comfortable automatic setting on my dslr and my food styling is very much lacking any pizzazz. Would love to learn from the master!

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Sandy June 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

I can’t wait for Helene’s class! So glad she will actually be here… “out west!”

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Lindsey Johnson//Cafe Johnsonia June 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

I need this workshop because I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can on my own without a little help. I have been a fan of Helene from the very first time I found her blog and would relish the chance to meet her in person and learn from her.

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Cookin' Canuck June 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

I am very excited for Helene’s workshop! Her book has been very helpful in working through some of the issues I experience when taking food photos, but it would be so helpful to ask Helene questions in the moment, as I’m struggling with styling and finding the right light.

I “like” both FoodieCrush Magazine and Tartelette on Facebook (as Dara Whitelaw Michalski).

Thanks so much for this opportunity!

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Michelle June 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

I adore Helen. She is so sweet, one of the nicest bloggers I have met, she takes the time to respond and make her followers feel important. Her work is amazing. I would love to meet her in person and soak up as much of her passion as possible.

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Snippets of Thyme June 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

I feel like I am so close. In between homeschooling my 2 kids, I spend any spare time staring through the lens trying to work out the lighting, composition, and storytelling of the dish I prepared. I love to travel so much that during the school year, as we are plodding through our lessons, preparing something in the kitchen gives me that “escape” to another world, culture, food experience that I am constantly craving. I don’t even feel like I have chosen this endeavor to cook and photograph my food. It has taken furious and delightful hold of me. But, its time to get out in the world and take this passion to another level.

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Niki June 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I would absolutely adore the opportunity to take a class by Helene! Her blog is stunning and the photography is very inspirational. I just ordered her book last night and can’t wait for it to come in the mail! What a blessing it would be to be able to take a class by her!

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sasha June 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

i need her to kick my butt in to gear.
and i would love to be around her to soak up all the inspiration, motivation, and passion.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I am commenting to say I love Helene, I love this interview, love finding out about the other blogs she likes to read and what makes her happy…great question and answer sesh!

I am going to be on a photography trip in Mexico with another amazing photographer at that time or I would have been going to Evo11. Wow…what an awesome thing for those lucky 12.

I already follow you both on all twitter, FB, etc long before this post :)

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Radhika June 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I absolutely adore all aspects of Helene’s photography.
And SO good to learn a few tidbits about this talented lady through your interview!

I suppose photography can be learnt by anyone, but i’d like to learn how to add oomph and breathe life into my photographs so they can speak by themselves as hers do. To get to learn from her would be so awesome!

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Allie Finch June 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Effortless. Simplistic. Rustic. Never Forced. You said all of the reasons why I love Helene’s photography. I am working to not only increase my own technique & skill with the camera but also discover, embrace & explore my own style. Anyone can take a good photo with enough know-how, but it’s something special when the artist’s vision is reflected in it. Something about Helene just resonates with me, & I will be so honored when I can finally attend one of her workshops.

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Deborah June 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I have been following Helene’s blog since I first started blogging over 4 years ago. She is the sweetest blogger -and even did a cookie exchange with me a couple of years ago when I was dying to try a macaron!! I would love to attend this workshop because I know that photography is one of the most important parts of a food blog. I know I’ve improved since the beginning, but I have so far to go and I know this workshop will help me. I would love to learn more about how to use light to make stunning photographs.

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Misty in Utah June 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Well… I’ve taken the time to learn the fundamentals of baking so now I am hoping to do the same with photos. I have followed and found inspiration in Helene’s blog from the moment I happened upon it. Her posts let the food just be beautiful and her words are so thoughtful… thank you for whatever you did to get her to Salt Lake!

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kristel June 15, 2011 at 1:34 am

i am a wedding photographer, but have always* dreamed of having a food blog that shows all the things i cook. but every time i attempt it, my food photos look like… what’s a more appropriate word than “poop?”

* “always,” as in, since i knew personal blogs existed.

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meg jones June 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

i can’t go to the workshop, but i’m so glade helene is getting the recognition she deserves – her gorgeous blog is one of my favorites, and her photography book is really helping me learn and improve my own photos. gorgeous!

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Dragana June 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

To be able to capture the visitor to my blog I believe first that the photos must be excellent (just like Helene’s). I’ve been following Tartelette since I started blogging and have watched her photos evolve to beautiful works of art. I want to learn from her and improve as much as possible. Thanks for the chance to attend!

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Winter June 15, 2011 at 10:07 am

Oh this is going to be SO awesome! I just don’t seem to have the eye for setting things up so it looks lovely like Helene’s photography. Also, I need help with lighting!

PS “Liked” both Foodiecrush and Helene on FB!

Thanks for a great little giveaway!

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Cecilia June 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

My photography needs Helene’s help because I find myself always doing the same type of shots. I would love to learn how to broaden my view from behind the lens. Plus Helene’s photography is gorgeous and full of light, learning from her would be such a treat. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. (Liked Foodie Crush & Helene on FB)

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arthi June 16, 2011 at 1:56 am

I am a baker and absolutely love taking food photos but feel I lack styling and camera techniques..Helen’s book is helping me although a masterclass from the master will definitely help me!!
I “like” both FoodieCrush Magazine and Tartelette on Facebook (as Arthi iyer)

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Heather {WhipperBerry} June 16, 2011 at 11:40 am

I am a food photographer solely because of Helene!! I have worked super hard to learn from her photos, and from her book… but to be able to learn from her in person would be PRICELESS!!

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Ria June 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I really like the way Helene styles her food and tells a story thorough them in the most simplest yet elegant manner plus everything has a connection to her roots. I would love to learn how to create and tell a story through ingredients and finally the food itself.

I like both Foodie Crush Magazine and Tartelette on Facebook.

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Becky O. June 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I adore and am constantly inspired by Helene’s photography. I love the idea of this small, intimate workshop. I would love to get hands-on training. My photography needs help, I feel like I’ve been in the same-ol-hum-drum with my angles, lighting and styling for years now. I’d love to ramp up my efforts and challenge myself with something new. Plus, I love how this goes hand-in-hand with her new book!

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Sarah Matista June 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm

When the restaurant I do marketing for stopped hiring food photographers a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance to fill in. Since then I’ve fallen in love with food photography and have spent many hours trying to learn everything I can from blogs, websites, and books (mostly Helene’s!). I feel like I’ve come as far as I can on my own, and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have the opportunity to learn hands-on from the woman herself. Her effortless and organic style is something I always aspire to re-create!

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wen June 19, 2011 at 1:37 am

I am in looooooove with food photography now, styling…I wanna know more…pick me, pick me…pleeeeeease ;) xooxoxoxoxoxo

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Ilke June 21, 2011 at 5:31 am

What a great interview! Have been following Helene for some time now and I love the composition she creates, both with her photos and her writing. I have been reading and practicing the food photography but I think I need someone to show me my mistakes since there is no one to correct me based on what I take on the camera but just all the background information I get from the books and the internet. It can help only so much. Hands on workshop would definitely help me to break the circle of the same mistakes over and over and give me a fresh perspective.
Liked both sites on FB and looking forward to following you on there. Thanks for the opportunity.

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Budoh June 21, 2011 at 8:06 am

I have loved food photography for the longest time… I just recently invested in a used DSLR, so it would be a wonderful opportunity to combine 2 things I enjoy… food & photography!

I “liked” both sites on facebook… thank you for the wonderful offer!

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Magpies Recipes June 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Am so jealous of those who got to attend Helen’s workshop! She is seriously such an incredibly talented, yet warm, kind and all round awesome person! Please do arrange a workshop in the San Francisco Bay area! I am dreaming of one maybe at the Ferry Building Marketplace with all that gorgeous food around!

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heidi June 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Thank you everyone for entering our contest! Can’t wait to meet those of you attending. Get your focus on!

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Georgie June 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Just to set the record straight… I will like you both on Facebook, regardless of this special giveaway! I think your both super awesome! I would love to do everything better… pastries, photography and blogging. Thanks for sharing this link with me and great meeting you! Fingers, toes, eyes are all crossed!

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Haley April 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I think “A Food Editor” has a virus on it or something (it’s linked to above). I clicked on the link and a bunch (like 15) pop-ups appeared on my screen. Just FYI.

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