I decided to travel lighter on Saturday. On Friday I brought my laptop after reading that a lot of people brought theirs to take notes. Unfortunately I did not think it was a good idea. I have a 17" laptop and also had bags of swag that I had to carry all day. Maybe if I had a tablet or smaller laptop it wouldn't have been so bad. I took notes the old fashioned way and did not miss not having the laptop too much on Saturday but I also didn't take as many notes.
I had just received the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 the week before the conference and had a few borrowed lenses from Olympus (12mm F2 & 45mm F1.8) for the occasion and was glad the camera arrived in time. Even though the camera was released a few months ago, getting one was difficult even though I pre-ordered it in February. The demand for this camera was apparently much higher than expected and there are many people still waiting for theirs. One of the best things about this camera system is everything is so much smaller than a DSLR and the picture quality is just as good so I was able to carry it and 4 lenses in a tiny little backpack so it was perfect for the conference. I'll be posting an in depth review on my blog a little later if anyone is interested. I did get quite a few people ask me about it.
I again had my regular morning shake for breakfast and was looking forward to more bacon and eggs at the conference unfortunately there was none of that on day 2 it was all pastries and bagels. I broke my diet a bit here and ate half a bagel with my herbal tea as I watched the breakfast keynote. Jory Des Jardins interviewed Alicia McGlamory from MasterBuilt, Cassidy Stockton from Bob's Red Mill, Elise Bauer from SimplyRecipes and Jaden Hair from SteamyKitchen on the topic of the intersection of brands, bloggers, ethics and opportunity. It was noted that in the last 2 years the blog traffic from phones has increased by 50% and continues to increase. Other than using Google Analytics for web traffic stats, another site was mentioned called Quantcast. I use Google Analytics but haven't heard of Quantcast. It will give you traffic stats publicly so other people can view your stats. You can share the link to your stats to people you might be pitching something to so they can see what your reach is rather than you telling them. I haven't checked this site out yet but I plan to.
I had good luck with attending a food photography session yesterday so I took my chances at attending another one. Taylor Mathis spoke on the topic of Taking Your Food Photography Outdoors and On Location. It was the first session that only had one speaker and was listed as being for all levels. I beg to differ, beginner and possibly intermediate would have been more appropriate. I know there were a lot of beginners in this session, many questions were being asked and lots of people learned some things. Unfortunately I can't say that I learned anything from the session. He talked about hard light and soft light and how to change the light using reflectors and diffusers, all stuff I've been working with for years.
PIKE PLACE EXCURSION
Following the class he was leading a photo excursion through Pike Place. I had originally planned on joining that group but decided I would join the Shutterfly excursion instead. There is a BlogHerFood iphone app that includes a scavenger hunt where you send in specific photos and there was a section for the Shutterfly stroll requesting photos of things at Pike Place Market like the gum wall, Starbucks, Beacher's Cheese, etc. So I met them at their table and a small group of a dozen or so of us started walking towards Pike Place and while walking there we bumped into another group that was doing a Pike Place tour. I recognized a couple people in that group from Day 1 so I decided to switch groups on the way.
We met up with a tour guide and he took us on a whirl wind tour of the best restaurants in Pike Place. He kept apologizing for going so fast because we only had a half hour and his tours are normally much longer and include some tastings. The only thing we got to taste was some salt at Market Spice. What was worse is it was 12:30 and we were all hungry. After the tour a group of us (Kathy_Writer, booklovercook, jennifersmentionables, beege, brenn24) decided to go to Piroshky Piroshky and got piroshkys to go. The line was so long it wrapped around and down the side of the building. I got the beef and onion. It wasn't bad but it was a little greasier than I would have liked and also wasn't on the list of foods I can eat on my diet. We headed back to the hotel for session 2.
Kathy took this photo of us eating our Piroshkys at Pike Place
This was my first session in The Garden room. I was looking forward to seeing this room. I had seen pictures of the large windows in a slide presentation earlier in the day and had asked someone where that was. This room was larger than the Metropole room where almost all of the other sessions I went to were at. It was also a lot brighter due to all the light coming through the big widows.
After session 2 we had our afternoon break and mingled with the sponsors some more. There were a few snacks waiting for us but many of them were sweet (macarons and cupcakes) so I didn't eat most of them. I did have a small plate of nachos that were pretty tasty though.
The closing keynote was Lisa Stone interviewing Kim Sunée, author of Trail of Crumbs, her personal memoir that takes you through her life which starts at age 3 when she was abandoned in a Korean market. I didn't take many notes during this interview, maybe because I was so enthralled with her story. I did write down one quote "Food is a search for home. Food is a gift". Her story is an interesting one and one I wanted to read more about. She was doing a book signing after the interview. Unfortunately I waited a little too long to get in line because she ran out of books a few people ahead of me. But I may still buy the book, I added it to my Amazon wish list.
After the closing keynote we had a little more mingle time before we packed onto buses to head over to SODO Park for the closing reception with co-hostesses Ree Drummond, Jaden Hair and Elise Bauer. The reception was sponsored by Masterbuilt, allrecipes and Pork Be inspired. I sat next to food photographer and author of Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, Nicole Young, who I've been following on Twitter and Google+ for a while and have also met in person a few times before.We were the first bus to get there. The space is used a lot for wedding receptions. The ceiling look like they came from an old barn and lots of light shined through the windows to light the place up.
Jennifer's husband took a group photo of us. You can see my tiny head in the back.
You can see more of my photos from the conference on my Flickr stream. Author: Paula Thomas