Friday, September 26, 2014

A Bitter Sweet Ending To The IFBC

Bitter was the saying good bye to new friends.   I don't believe I have ever experienced such an instant camaraderie as I did at this conference.

Sweet, the practical stuff I learned and can apply to my blog.

I attended Todd Coleman's Photography (and Video) workshop: Scrappy Light, Hidden Props and Magic.

Down to earth and approachable, Todd shared his photographs, his lighting tricks and ways to work with props.    Mr. Coleman told us the "imperfect is perfect" and I thought, "he is like the Jamie Oliver of photography".

On photo shoots he uses random items as backgrounds.  For instance placing plates of food on a piece of clothing he spots on the set, the design framing the food.  The point being you don't need a studio with expensive lights and props to take good photographs - just like you don't need a glamour kitchen to make delicious beautiful food.

Todd suggested techniques to get a good shot without heavy expensive equipment.  He uses flashlights, speedlights and aluminum foil to get the light right.  If he needs a soft box and doesn't have one, he creates it.
He shared examples of his work and told us the story of each photo as a way for us to learn his approach.  I dug this.

Tips I remember -
Big items in the corners
Use red
Color trumps all
Fill in the spaces
Go for bold - stand out
Look for frames and place food inside
Food is flat so you want light to rake over it

Mr. Coleman worked at Saveur Magazine for seven years and many of the photo's in his presentation I remember admiring in the magazine.  His work is powerful. 

More practical stuff - Erin Coopey's workshop on making home videos.  I appreciated her tip on purchasing refurbished video cameras, instead of new.   Her power point informed and inspired those of us considering expanding into short, 4 min max, videos for our readers.  She shared what she'd learned on lighting and sound through her trial and error.  Good stuff.

More sweet and practical stuff, the SEO workshop.   Tim Resnik could write a book on all he knows about taking up real estate on the internet.   More than informative for me, I know my limits and have decided to accept the help of others on this topic.  My time is better spent on other aspects of my business.   Tim, a great presenter!

Needing to define my blog and target my audience I attended -
How to Build and Manage Your Brand with  Angie Schneider and Barnaby Dorfman. Consider this readers "brand is making choices".

Questions for you to  answer:  Why do you blog?  What are you hoping to gain using Facebook? What are you telling people that you will do for them in your branding?  BRAND MINDFULNESS - Communicate genuinely and be consistent in your message and direction.

 A whole day workshop with these two would benefit anyone in business today. Thanks!

My next blog:
The IFBC Inspires and Provokes.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

IFBC Giveaways

No Seattle freeze at the 2014 International Food Bloggers Conference.  
For those unfamiliar the conference is a gathering of people who write food blogs.  Some writers get paid by advertisers and others write for friends and family.

Above is a photo of items I picked up at the opening reception. 

Notice the Aneto Broth - it came all the way from Spain.  All participants were given Aneto aprons with our blog names printed on them!  A sweet crew worked their table.  Thank you!

To me the most interesting product in the photo is the endive.  I learned that endive is grown in two steps which explains why it is so expensive.

A member of the chicory family, the sown seeds grow into a green leafy plant with a deep tap root. After 150 days of growing the tops are cut off and the roots are dug up and moved to a dark cool room.
A second growth sprouts up out of the root and it is endive! Pictures and more information can be found on this CA Endive site.  It is worth a look.

The new Theo Chocolate Peanut Butter cups are supposed to be delicious and the tea, I love the Bigelow green tea.

But the peach was the best gift - look at it, Washington, Washington farmers.  Oops, it's not in the picture!

Here it is -

Tomorrow is another day.  That's all for now from the IFBC 2014.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pretty Colors

I think this is a pretty dish and pretty cool that the vegetables were harvested from the garden.  Our garden used to be our front lawn - GRASS - which we permacultured into a rich soil to grow food! Delightful results.  Purple cauliflower steamed lightly and then added to the sauted shallots and chard.   Next I added chopped kalamata olives, cooked pasta, salt, pepper, a dash more olive oil and I ate it up.  I liked it and felt sassy cause I grew the vegetables.  I will really be sassy when I grow olives in Seattle.