This past April I returned to Cognac to host a photography workshop with my friend and fellow photographer, Elise Dumas of The Pineapple Chef. I first met Elise at a workshop I hosted years ago in Spain, and was immediately drawn in by her delightful sense of humor and fiery creative energy, and we’ve remained fast friends ever since. It was actually our second time hosting this workshop together at the beautiful La Cannonerie in the little village of Jonzac—the first time was in 2019, and after all that’s happened between then and now, it felt especially poignant to be able to come back to this beautiful place and share it with other creative folks. Shelley (the owner of La Canonnerie) bought it years ago when it was in disrepair, and she and her husband renovated the entire estate (which is no small feat, considering they also had three kids under the age of 5 at the time!) and they managed to walk that fine line between retaining the history and old-world feel of this ancient space, while bringing in the comfort of modern amenities. It was the perfect spot for this wonderful group of women to come together. We styled dishes, took photos in lush country lanes, dove headfirst into photography + video lessons, and soaked up all the delicious food that Chef Max made + the wonderful local wines of the region.

But before I regale you with my escapades, I wanted to let you know that I’m hosting another Photography Workshop in Croatia this October with my friend Bea Lubas, and it will be our last workshop there. We only have a couple spaces left, and would love for you to join us. If you love food and creativity, then this is for you, my friend!

See the details + save your space for my Croatia Photography Workshop here!

Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores

But my Cognac workshop adventure actually began in Paris, where I met up with Elise at her apartment and we headed over to the *insanely* talented local French ceramicist Nolwenn Baillet’s studio. We ogled all the shelves in her little shop, stacked high with her gentle and elegant pieces, and picked up the ceramics she’d set aside for us to use during thew workshop, and then hit the road for the long drive from Paris to Jonzac, picking up the lovely Lili Crosset from the train station. Lili assisted us during the workshop and did everything from styling the tables for the meals to prepping breakfast to making the most beautiful cheeseboards I’d ever seen. She’s so bubbly and smart and creative and kind, and it was such a treat to be able to spend that week working alongside her. From there it was a flurry getting everything ready for the guests arrival, and when we sat down for the welcome dinner the next day, the table was filled with beautiful flower arrangements that Shelley (of The Petal Drop) had crafted for the workshop, and it was the perfect kick-off for the wonderful whirlwind that was the next 5 days.

Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores

We photographed (and ate) an insane amount of pastries, from macarons to madeleines to caneles, clicked our camera shutters aimed at all the beautiful produce of the season, and soaked up the profound joy that can only come from being around people who are *just* as excited about your weird niche interest as you are. We also took a break from photographing food to do a really fun group photo that Elise art-directed (which is why she is missing from the frame, sadly!) in some beautiful Fragonard dresses. And we went on a group outing to a couple local antique shops where folks picked up a variety of goodies, from vintage French flatware to linens to little paintings. And on the last day, we visited the neighboring Cognac Bertrand, which was a short walk through the vineyards from la Cannonerie. There we met with the lovely and elegant Therese Bertrand. She taught us all about the tradition of Cognac distillation in the region, and of course we all enjoyed a tasting of their family’s delicious small-batch Cognacs. The small local makers are becoming more and more rare in the Cognac region as larger companies expand their reach, so it was really special to see and share in this tradition that had been handed down within the Bertrand family for hundreds of years (and see their two sweet young sons who will hopefully carry on the tradition someday, as well!)

Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores

The workshop went by far too quickly (as they always do), and I’m beyond grateful for our incredible group of attendees who took the leap and joined us in the middle of France. Suze, Kate, Rachel, Laura, Andi, Janie, Rachel, Anna, Cathy, Cecilia, Elena, and Fede, thank you all so SO much for joining us on this wonderful adventure! I loved every moment of teaching and laughing and talking and eating and sharing with you <3 And a huge thanks again to Elise, Lili, Shelley, Nolwenn, Therese, and Chef Max. It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone and leave this quiet slice of creative paradise, (especially since the journey back to the city involved me white-knuckling my way through whirling the rental car around the Arc de Triomphe in the center of Paris 😬). But I’m so grateful for that week altogether—as you guys know, the past couple years have been a bit difficult, so being able to gather together again in-person meant a lot. And hopefully, I’ll be able to do it again with some of you in Croatia in the fall 🙂

Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores Cognac Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores


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    Conxita says:
    nora says:
      Eva Kosmas Flores says: