Eat, Venture, Shoot: Europe | Jennifer Hulley Travel Photographer, Hamilton / Toronto Ontario

Remember the book Eat, Pray, Love?  

 Well this is kind of like that....except we might call it: "Eat, Venture, Shoot." 

 
 
0B6A2906.jpg

I'm headed back to Europe for a 3 week holiday on the summer that marks my 10 year anniversary of my first solo backpacking trip (which, was also Europe). Three weeks,  four countries, countless plates of goodness and even more photo ops. I CANNOT WAIT. 

Ever since I first visited the continent I have been hooked. There is something about the European lifestyle that has weaved itself so deep into every fiber of my being. 10 years ago I spent 5 weeks there and instantly knew I had to go back. A year later I was living in London and quite literally had Europe on my doorstep for about 5 years. Fast forward to today, and I still find my heart melts when I talk of Europe. 

What is it I miss the most? Is it the endless array of galleries and art? Yes, and no. Is it the history that literally seeps out of the pores of every city you step foot into? Yes, and no. Is it the food, the drinks and the visual aesthetics of each place? Yes, yes, and YES. And so, this really has been the inspiration for my trip.  

One of the things I love most about food photography and styling is how it can transport you to another world through one image. A carefully styled image of lemons, leaves and some wood and suddenly you're sitting at a table surrounded by the lemon groves of Sorrento. Much of the inspiration for what I shoot or create comes first from the idea of a place. I find places and different environments have such a story waiting to be told. Each place has its own aesthetic through different colours, different textures, lines and shapes. For me, a "place" is the beginning of every idea, and every shoot I undertake. For some, inspiration comes from other things: music, people, art. For me it is location. I start with the "where" and the visual story begins to unfold in my head, and from there, I create my images. 

 I booked the flight into London a while ago and then debated a long time about my route that I would take. Would I go to new places? Would I head back to old favourites? How would I prioritize my destinations? I sat for a few months with NO plans. I thought a lot about why I was going there. Why was I being drawn back to Europe again? What exactly was it that I needed?  

I needed to shoot. And eat. 

0B6A9667.jpg
0B6A9666.jpg

And so I drew together a rough itinerary of the places I wanted to capture through my lens and the food I wanted in my belly. London -  Paris (with potential day trip to Belgium) - Italy (Tuscany and/or Sorrento) and then a fresh new place to round it off - Croatia.  

The details are still fuzzy/in the works but the things I need to see, eat and/or consume are as follows: 

#1 - London: Borough Market (my happy place), Tower bridge, (my other happy place), Shad Thames (again, happy place) 

# 2 - Paris - chocolate, cheese, wine, pastries, bread, art nouveau/architecture 

#3 Choose from:

Potential day trip to Belgium - waffles, chocolate, frites and beer (I'm tempted to do a day trip solely for the food)

Possible stop in Bordeaux - wine, obviously.

or

A totally new country - Barcelona, Spain for 4 days.

#4 Italy - take a cooking course in Tuscany! Wine, pasta, pizza, GELATO. (So much gelato) with a potential mini stop in Rome (have to grab a flight there, so why not take the day and wander?)

#5  Do I try and see Croatia - Sun, sand and some R&R, medieval architecture. For food, who knows what awaits? I feel like this could be a 3 week holiday on its own and maybe deserves more than the 5 days I could give to it. 

As I write this I realize I have 3 weeks to figure this out. Holy crap I need to make some decisions, and fast. Any suggestions?

Follow me along my travels in real time on social media using the hashtag #eatventureshoot

Have a suggestion for a must see, must do, or must consume? Drop your ideas in the comments box below!