Seattle Part I: What I learned
BloodHerFood 2012 was the second blogging conference I’ve attending, the first being BlogHerFood 2011.
(opening keynote with Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple)
I absolutely love these blogging conferences for so many reasons. The first is that I adore the common craving all the attendees have for food and sharing. The connection I feel with these bloggers, even though I don’t know them, is similar to the connection I feel at the beginning of every running race. There’s not much like standing in a crowd of thousands ready do an activity that some may find ridiculous or silly. Hanging out with my peeps for three days is just … perfect. I highly recommend any of you, whether you are bloggers or not, attending conferences of your chosen hobby..
This conference was in Seattle, Washington. As many of you know I was a speaker with Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles at BlogHerfood 2012. Our session was in the last time slot of the conference so we were able to enjoy many excellent sessions before we shared our knowledge with the masses
I’m going to do a few posts to recap BlogHerFood 2012:
What I learned – I’m going to share my top two sessions I attended as well as information about the session I presented.
What I did (and ate)
Although the sessions provided were specifically for bloggers, I found fruitful discussions and mantras that were easily accessible to life.
The first session I attended, Beyond Pretty, was given by and was a part of the visuals track. The speakers, Anita Chu and Stephanie Shih, first put food photography in a historical context, which was super interesting and helpful.
Next they defined 4 main types of food photography and identified the emotions each type conveys to the viewer. I was able to bond with my mother via Facebook during this time because the speakers pulled out some fancy fine art terms use to describe paintings when talking about food photography.
Next the speakers photographed 1 cake, 8 different ways. They described the mechanics of the set up to achieve each type of shot which is so helpful. Dealing with trial and error is exhausting.
The type of photography you choose to implement depends on the story you are telling and the emotions you wish to evoke from your viewer. In reflecting on the photography of my blog, I am sort of pleased to see that I do dabble in a variety of the photography types.
1) Chiaroscuro – This type of photography is moody and emotional. The word chiaroscuro literally means “light/dark” when translated from Italian and this photography is characterized by high contrast between where the light is falling and where it is not. It is meant to be evocative and thoughtful. The viewer is forced to create a personal story to understand the photograph in a context.
2) Lifestyle Inspired – this type of photography has gained popularity with the rise of social media. It brings the viewer into the home of the blogger, as if they were sitting down to dinner together. The aim is to provide a context to go with the food and create a mood.
3) Bright and Propped – this type of photography uses natural and diffuse lighting with very delicate styling. There are foreground and background elements with full framing. The intentionality is for the viewer to crave bringing that beauty into their home.
4) Bold and clean – this is a visceral type of photography. The emphasis is on a singular subject. That subject is generally closely cropped. The type of subject best for this photography is a strong one – one that needs no explanation.
After explaining the different types of photography, the speakers showed us the tactics they used to achieve the shot. One of the most interesting things is when you see a beautiful shot and then you see a zoomed out picture of that setup – a beautiful plate of food always exists amidst a tower of ladders, a menagerie of light bounce boards, parchment paper taped to windows and bind clips holding the ensemble together. If you breathe, it might collapse.
My next BlogHerFood 2012 post will cover what I did during my weekend in Seattle. Be sure to check out the liveblog entry for this session for more information!