Better late than never! I was telling this myself, when I was contemplating whether I should write a blog post about Food Blogger Connect 2010 which was held in London two weeks ago. Is it too late already? Will anybody be interested in reading about a two-week old event? The main wave of emotions after that amazing weekend has already melted away and most of us have returned to our normal life. But here I am, with my heart still full of memories and my hard drive full of photos of my old and new friends. I want to share those with you.
Jeanne, Kerrin and Jamie
My blog had been only 3 months old when I attended Food Blogger Connect 2009 last year. I felt like Alice in Wonderland as the blogosphere was absolutely new and unexplored area for me, and I met so many wonderful like-minded people there. This year was going to be different. My blog is 10 months old (still pretty young) and I feel like a member of the fabulous food blogosphere. I was excited to see my old friends I got to know last year again and finally meet authors of some new blogs I discovered during the year.
Dissect your camera by Hilda
One thing was completely new this year. I decided to donate my couch to three out-of-town bloggers. I know that London is not the cheapest city in Europe, and as a food blogger and passionate food photographer collecting props all the time, I can imagine thousands things that I would love to spend my money on rather than an expensive hotel. It felt a bit weird though. I met Pam of The Cooking Ninja last year, although we didn't have a chance to chat properly, but I have never met Tiina of Sparkling Ink and Juls of Juls' Kitchen before. "How will we all get along with each other?", was the first question that came to my mind.
Boy, we had a blast getting to know each other, having brainstorming sessions, exploring London together and shopping for props (I love Anthropologie)! Sight! I wish this weekend was not over yet! Luckily Pam stayed for a few more days with us and was so generous to cook for P. and me some of her delicious recipes. I particularly loved her Curry coconut prawns and Assam fish.
Even food bloggers eat chips! :)
So what else has this conference brought to me? A lot. A bit of everything. New friendships and blogs, good laugh, good food, lack of sleep, excitement and disappointment and my head full of new ideas and projects. Stay tuned to see some of upcoming changes to this blog!
Jamie, Julia, Kerrin, Cecila and Katharine
Brilliant cameraman Chris
Mowie and Mayssam
I don't know if it's just me but I often get disappointed when I'm really looking forward to something too much. A few last minute changes in the conference programme reduced a bubble of excitement growing inside me every day closer to the event. I was particularly very sad that Béatrice of La Tartine Gourmande was unable to speak at the event. Her photography and food styling have been an inspiration to me since I started my blog, and I was super excited at the though of learning from her.
This year's program also promised photography hands-on session. I couldn't wait for my first photography workshop as I'm all self-taught photographer. Sadly, there was no photography workshop. Having photography as a major interest, these changes made the conference less interesting for me.
Juls with her beloved cake
Italian sun in London - Jasmine and Manuel
Nando entertaining ladies
Chilling Hilda and Beth
But look at all those smiling faces. That's what made this conference so special and unforgettable. There were many speakers sharing their knowledge and information. Jaden from Steamy Kitchen kicked off the conference on Friday with a live video session talking about "Monetizing your blog". Her enthusiasm is highly contagious.
The Saturday program started with the talk about copyright and effective recipe writing by Jeanne of Cook Sister! followed by Hilda of Saffron and Blueberry with the talk "Dissect my camera, please!". Jamie of Life's a feast, Kerrin of My kugelhopf and Jeanne talked about writing style and how to find your voice. Saturday talks were finished by Mowie of Mowielicious and Meeta of What's for lunch, Honey? who shared their secrets for shooting food porn.
Mowie and The Spice Girls
Aren't they cute? Mowie & Beth
Absolutely best for me were the Sunday talks. Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef had a car accident and couldn't attend the conference, but Kerrin and Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie mastered their talk "How to get published & and get feature work". I couldn't take my eyes off amazingly energetic Kerrin sharing passionately her experience with approaching editors and giving advice on getting published in a magazine. Kerrin had all the qualities a good speaker should possess, she was friendly, open, funny, entertaining and passionate. Julia was as well as Kerrin very open, friendly and generous in sharing advice on publishing a cookbook.
Niall Harbison of Simply Zesty talking about marketing and social media was the cherry on top of the cake. Create personality behind your blog, treat your blog seriously and find your niche, were some of his advice.
We had a blast
As I said earlier here, this conference gave me a bit of everything, good and bad. But most importantly it gave me new friends and new motivation to follow my passion and my dream!
I want to thank to Beth of Dirty Kitchen Secrets for organizing the second year of the Food Blogger Connect conference! If you want to see who was there this year, check the list at the end of this post for all the attendees and their blogs. (Thank you Juls for putting this list together!)