the breakfast club

November 4, 2013  in food styling, interior styling

Sania Pell - The Breakfast Club

This little shoot was put together by myself and my friend Chrissie Holden. We first met at our children’s school summer fair two and half years ago. I had just finished lunch with my family and was chatting to my husband on a picnic table as the children had run off to play with their friends. A tall, bubbly mum wearing fab sunglasses asked if she could join us on the table with her family. We started chatting about the school and realised that her son and my daughter would both be starting reception together. She pointed to a banner hanging above the tea stall, appliquéd with fabric strawberries and tea cups and saucers on a natural linen and commented how much she loved it and had photographed it. I smiled and said “I made it!” and so our friendship began.

The Breakfast Club by Sania Pell and Chrissie Holden

Chrissie assists me on commercial photo shoots when I need an extra pair of hands and having done this for a while , a natural progession was for us to create a little shoot together just for fun and to post on my blog. I took the pictures, made some of the plate props out of Das modeling clay and we styled it together. We visited a local prop house for extra vessels, plates and boards to add to our own personal selection and spent a few hours one day styling and photographing at Chrissie’s lovely home in between school runs.

Chrissie is a foodie, so it seemed natural to work with this talent of hers and create a food-related story. She also wrote the words below (which did make me blush a little!) especially for this post to give a little insight into the thoughts behind the images. And if you want to say hi then you can find Chrissie over on Instagram.

The Breakfast Club by Sania Pell and Chrissie Holden

Muesli ingredients - Photos by Sania Pell

The Breakfast Club by Sania Pell and Chrissie Holden

“Contemporary cookbooks have become photographic tomes in their own right. A paragon of styling, lighting, art direction and photography, some of them really are works of art. The wonders of nature and the alchemy of ingredients lovingly prepared then presented with care and attention to detail make for a very beautiful and engaging narrative.

Food styling and photography has since come on in leaps and bounds in the past two decades. There is the seminal work of Donna Hay, whose clean and crisp styling has been hugely influential. The moody and emotive work of Katie Quinn Davies on her ‘What Katie Ate’ blog and cookbook; and the phenomenal catalogue of work by Ditte Isager, whose earthy tones and calming greys make for incredible still lives, as seen in the NOMA cook book and Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘It’s all good’.”

Eat simple - photography by Sania Pell

Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorns, photo by Sania Pell

Pink Peppercorns, photo by Sania Pell

“Lately I’ve been enjoying a very pure food aesthetic. It’s borne out of wanting to eat cleanly and a desire to live a less cluttered life. It also conforms to Sania and my mutual love of all things Scandi-nese. So, when Sania suggested we work on a food shoot together I was delighted. It is incredible to observe her eye in action and the way her brain works never ceases to amaze me. As regular readers of her blog, you will be no strangers to her creativity, flair and general styling wowness, but to see it in action is something special.

We decided to work with breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, after all. We kept things simple, offering the ingredients to you in their purest forms. We kept the colour palette neutral, layering tactile linens and ceramics. This is what we came up with.”


The Breakfast Club by Sania Pell and Chrissie Holden

Photos by Sania Pell

The Breakfast Club by Sania Pell and Chrissie Holden

Now… what’s for breakfast tomorrow?


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  1. cari-jane says:

    Oh so beautifully simple. And what a fantastic friendship. It is such a lovely thing to meet someone who shares the same aesthetic, a perfect foundation to build on. As for breakfast tomorrow….scrambled eggs perhaps!

  2. it look unusual, i like it so much and i love your exclusive ideas

  3. Jo S says:

    I love the story of how you met and teh simplicity of these photos, it must have been fun. Thank you for sharing Sania and Chrissie.
    Jo x

  4. Laura says:

    I like the simplicity of each image, as breakfast is the most important meal of the day it is always good to keep it creative and interesting. By making breakfast exciting people are more likely to find breakfast time more appealing.

  5. Inge says:

    Such lovely shots of that food! So simple and pure yet so beautiful and elegant. Simple is always the best. And what lovely words of Chrissie! It is nice to have a great friend who loves food this way and your eye on styling! Love everything of this shoot!
    Some slices of bread with fresh orange juice and hopefully an egg will be my breakfast tomorrow. Hmm! 🙂
    Inge x

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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