Aran G for Luisa Brimble photo by michelle p. for i
Next to my desk, I have a post-it note (it’s actually a cute Kate Spade sticky note if you are wondering) with a short list of photographers whose work I admire, along with a couple of words to articulate just what it is about their work or process that strikes a chord. Luisa Brimble’s name is there with the words: community / joyful. Luisa’s signature table spreads, shot from above with hands interacting with the food or each other make me feel like she’s inviting me to the party, and her portraits with a solitary figure cradling giant bundles of flowers feel (to me anyway) like a beautiful celebration of the individual. After having met her, I can tell you that the words community and joyful, not only describe her work, but the person too!

When I jumped to sign up for this workshop, I had no idea if Luisa was a good teacher (my gut said she was, but I had no evidence to back that up), all I knew was that I was dying to see her in action and to have the chance to pepper her with a few questions about both photography and her magazine Alphabet Family Journal. Well, those things did happen, but the rest of the experience blew any expectations I had out of the water.


If you’ve ever attended a workshop or class, you know how the personality of the instructor immediately sets the tone for the whole room. Together, Luisa and Aran created an immediate atmosphere of warmth and openness (seriously – a hug before I even set my bag down kind of warmth – it was awesome). Throughout the weekend, there was complete transparency about techniques, challenges, career paths – you name it, they shared it, without any ego, and with plenty of encouragement for each and every one of us.

Luisa often shoots editorial assignments (for mags such as Kinfolk and Frankie, sigh), and we had the chance to photograph Aran baking a galette* as if it were an editorial assignment. Aran was such a good sport, calmly shaping her galette while 15 of us jockeyed for position to get our shots. The only sounds were 15 shutters snapping and overlapping and an occasional rustle as dslrs were swung to the side so iphones could be brought out for Instagram shots. *Yes, I took these photos of Aran, both Tristan and my husband asked -ha! I don’t often choose real live humans as my subject, but now I’m intrigued…. see, growth possibilities already!


The best part, and probably the most exhausting for the sweet and enthusiastic Luisa, was the chance for each of us to have a private meeting with her. She looked at our work, listened to our aspirations, and then gave us ideas on how to make those dreams a reality. I felt like I won the lottery!

The icing on the cake was getting to hang out in a room full of like-minded, happy to be there individuals for two days. Creatives from all corners flew in to spend time learning from Luisa and Aran. New friendships were made, and I even had the chance to meet a few people I had previously only crossed paths with online, one a former student of our very own Food + Foto class! (hello Paola! hi Sandra!).

Here it is over a week later, I am still over-the-moon inspired, my dreams seem just a little more attainable, and tonight I’m off to meet some new Luisa workshop friends for dinner. I’d say this investment was more than worthwhile, wouldn’t you?

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.



  1. Great review, Michelle! What a beautifully written recap of your experience. I was originally hesitant about signing up for the workshop since I didn’t know much about Luisa and her teaching style. I fell in love with her photographs and decided to just go for it. I’m so glad I did! Luisa was a fantastic teacher, so open and supportive to us as a group as well as an individual.

  2. thank you so much for coming to Luisa’s workshop, Michelle. I agree. She is the real deal and such warmth and enthusiasm. hope to see you soon. x

  3. I met Aran at The Book Larder when she launched Small Plates and Sweet Treats. She is kind and genuine! We are so fortunate that Aran has brought her style and talent to the Pacific Northwest!
    You have captured her beautifully! Bravo!

    1. Thank you so much Lynne. Yes, we are fortunate! I love seeing our beautiful city through Aran’s eyes. On a side note – The Book Larder – could there be a better name for a cookbook store? So clever! :)

  4. Dearest Michelle! Your words are just insanely beautiful. As I mentioned in Instagram I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good review in my life. A good friend from my Facebook commented >>> ‘People could live a life time and not ever receive words like that.’ So very true. I’m every bit grateful and truly privileged to have been given this opportunity! I have Aran to thank for and to all the workshop attendees for making me feel so very welcomed. Thank you again so very much for your beautiful words Michelle!

    1. Luisa, you make me want to hop a plane to Sydney! It was sincerely my pleasure to write this, I wanted to tell everyone that if you put on a workshop again they should line up to sign up! (Ha – my turn to rhyme.) ;)

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