New workshops benefit NFM residents

Photographer Andrea Behrends (kneeling) gives Martha Lupai some tips while other participants watch and learn.

Photographer Andrea Behrends (kneeling) gives Martha Lupai some tips while other participants watch and learn.

Nashville Farmers’ Market artisan vendors recently benefitted from two new 90-minute workshops this month: “From My Camera: How to Best Photograph Your Food for the Web” and “Building a Community on Social Media: Telling Your Brand Story.” Both workshops, which are a free benefit to NFM’s artisan residents and mark the start of a series, were well attended and earned positive feedback.

Pretty pictures
For the photo workshop, professional photographer Andrea Behrends helped participants construct easy-to-make reflector boards and discussed the importance of lighting before sending them around the Market House to start composing and taking pictures of merchandise and food. In just a short time, residents were consulting with each other and collaborating on photo shoots in small groups — even to the point of retrieving various photo props from each other’s stores.

“We were lucky to have a top professional dedicate her time to instructing our residents one-and-one,” says Johnisha Levi, who as small business coordinator at NFM organized both workshops. “In a short time I witnessed residents taking better photos and gaining more confidence in capturing images with the simplest of tools available to everyone: a cell phone, foam board, and tape.”

Spreading the word
The social media workshop led by LaKeithea Anderson from Nashville Community Education addressed an array of questions. Anderson gave participants guidelines for defining their businesses and audiences, determining the best content for various social media channels and discussed how often and when to post.

“Social media is a struggle for many small businesses that are already stretched thin by the various demands of running and staffing their operations,” says Levi. “LaKeithea gave some great tips that will enable our small businesses here at the Market to communicate and market to their audiences more effectively and efficiently.” Levi also noted the added benefit to residents who attended both seminars not only learning how to take better photos, but then just a week later learning how to use those photos more effectively.

What’s next?
The next workshop will cover food safety and sanitation for the Grow Local Kitchen on Thursday, September 12, at 9 a.m. Additional forthcoming workshops include photographing products (not just food), crowdfunding, record keeping and using Quickbooks. Contact Johnisha Levi with questions.

David Gonnerman