Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Experience at Food Blog Forum in Orlando

Food Blog Forum Reception at Whole Foods in Bayhill.
 I attended the Food Blog Forum in Orlando on April 9th at the UCF Rosen College near the Orlando Convention Center. It was a full-day seminar for online food publishers, food bloggers ("newbies" and established) and food photographers. I went into it without expectations, and after all, I'm not a "foodie" or even a serious blogger! I did find the information helpful in terms of growing and improving my blog.  The presentations came from a variety of speakers with backgrounds in food reporting/publishing, web design, SEO, photography, and professional blogging. 

I was so happy to find this seminar in my own backyard and I was surprised to find several bloggers from out of town, out of state and out of this country! I met Julie Cove, author of The Alkaline Sisters, a blog about alkaline diets. She's from British Columbia and can you believe she is writing a guest post for Kris Carr's Blog! I also met Asha Pagdiwalla, professional food photographer and author of Fork Spoon Knife. She's originally from India and now living in New York City.

After listening to professional food photographer Helene Dujardin speak and demonstrate her style in food styling and photography, it made me realize that I do have an interest in food photography.  I mean I do take multiple shots when I shoot for this blog, even though it's with an old point and shoot.  I am always concerned with lighting and positioning of food.  Sometimes I spend up to 20 minutes messing with it and if I don't get a good photo, I don't post!  I just wait until I make the meal again and shoot again. 

So I will take Helene's advice and buy a "big girl camera". Time to take a visit to the camera store and start looking into a camera that will take my photographs up a notch or two :)
Helene Dujardin demonstrating tethered photography during a mini food photo shoot
The seminar was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed the time to network with and learn from a passionate group of people.  So where do I go from here? I'd love to hear from anyone who's been to BlogHer Food Conference in Atlanta next month.  I heard from Jaden Hair, the organizer of the Food Blog Forum that BlogHer has around 70 Vegan Food Blogers that attend the conference. 

If I can find another local blogger who wants to split the gas driving up from Orlando, I will seriously start making plans to go!


Helene said...

Actually, my advice was to get an upgrade once you have explored everything there is to explore with your point and shoot and you are ready for the next phase. I know you are there :)
Also, there are different levels of "big girl cameras" so take your time to shop around and always keep in mind what the ultimate usage will be. Blog? Print? Only food? Food and people (especially when getting lenses).
Good luck researching!

Gretchen said...

Hi Helene, thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment! I truly enjoyed the two+ hours you spent sharing your knowledge and practical tips with us. I was able to go home and use some of those tips right away with my kids and husband standing behind me asking "WHAT are you doing?!"

As far as the new camera, I am not looking at making a big investment on a fancy camera yet, just something that is a step up from my 8 year old Sony Cybershot. It takes great photos (for a point and shoot) in good lighting on macro setting. But I have been wanting to do better.

So, thank you again for inspiring me and I look forward to your new book!

Vanessa said...

Hi Gretchen! Wouldn't you know that I stumbled across this too late. I totally would have been up for going to ATL with you. As a fellow vegan in Orlando, I'm psyched to come across this and will be following along!

Gretchen said...

Hi Vanessa, thanks for your comment! Don't forget to check out my FBF 2012 post: http://www.whatahealthyfamilyeats.com/2012/03/2012-food-blog-forum-at-disney-in.html

Are you a member of VegCF? http://www.vegcf.org I volunteer with them and I'm a member on their FB page. I would love to have you do a food demo for VegFest Orlando in the fall! Let's keep in touch :) I'm @fruityveggie on Twitter