I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Annual Blog Better Boston Conference this past Saturday at the Google’s offices in Cambridge, MA. The spacious and modern IKEA-like office allowed for a large panel discussion and two small breakout workshops, which catered to the needs of various types of bloggers and ran simultaneously.
I attended the following panels: Photo Editing, Food Photography, Building a Community, Working with Brands, and Social Media Platforms.
One of the original primary reasons I was excited to attend was to garner some useful tips and tricks from food photographer, Kristen Teig, who is a regular contributor to The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian and Maine Magazine. She showed us a lot of lighting techniques in various conditions. It was great to see how she would set up a few pretzel crisps in a small, white, round baking dish on a warm wood board to get such a simple yet stunning shot.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Consider the light source you are using. How much light? What color? What direction?
- Save time by making the food look beautiful from the beginning. The less editing you have to do, the better.
- More detail or texture is revealed if your light is behind or to the side of the food.
- Think about your composition. Where does your eye start? Where does it end? Where does it get stuck?
- When do you shoot your pictures from overhead versus from the side? When the food is flat, such as scallops.
Kristen Teig also recommended checking out these resources:
- Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young
- Food photography and food styling at learnfoodphotography.com.
- Lens Pro to Go for renting photography equipment before buying.
- CreativeLive for online courses on photography.
- Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop tutorial videas from Brian Tetrault Productions.
The blog world is incredibly diverse. We are so focused on food blogs over here that sometimes I forget that there are so many other kinds of blogs to check out. This particular conference was filled with fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, mommy bloggers, travel bloggers and Boston bloggers who turned out to be some of the most fun and energetic people I’ve met in a while. I walked away with quite a few new blogs to add to my bloglovin and Google Reader.
The other great part about blogging events is learning about different tools and platforms that I haven’t heard of or tried.
Here are a few takeaways from the other panels I attended that I found interesting and useful:
- Sometimes tweeting about a brand is more powerful than writing about it.
- It does not matter how big you are. if you do what you do well it will show. Be true to what you do.
- Working with a brand should be an equal partnership, not be a one-sided deal.
- Working with brands is not about pimping a product, but about working with the feeling and experiences the brand captures.
- Your blog is a reflection of yourself, not the current trends.
Kudos to Amy of Stylish Year and Alana of Good Girl Gone Blog for executing a really amazing event geared towards blogging. I have attended a lot of conferences and corporate events and Blog Better Boston ran very smoothly without a hitch. Thrilled I won a ticket from a Boston Bloggers event and attended Blog Better Boston.