I have, in the course of this blog of mine, been complimented many times on my photography.
I have only been taking photographs purposefully for a short little while and there are lots of things I don’t yet understand. (And by “purposefully” I mean with attention to what I’m doing, not that I was previously in the habit of falling down on a camera and hitting the shutter release by accident. Much.) . But I manage to always get a handful of shots that I can brag about, and if it takes me 80 or 90 snaps to get there, well, you all don’t know that so it doesn’t matter, does it?
Yesterday, however, was an exercise in all the bad ways I can take a photograph at a blogging conference. So today, class, we’ll be using our imaginations.
Say it with me now: im-mag-in-NAY-shuns. Did ya’ say it? I knew you could,
First, I would like you to imagine that this picture is in focus.
Now, just to the right of center in that photo is a pretty blond lady. At the table directly behind her is an empty chair. The chair is where I was sitting. The pretty blond lady is Nichole from In These Small Moments. While standing back to back we were texting each other saying, “Are you here yet?” “Yes, I’m here. Where are you.” “I’m in the middle of the room. Where are you?” Now I want you to imagine us spinning in circles looking for the person we were standing directly next to. Are you imagining that? Good. Now imagine yourself not laughing at us. I know it’s difficult, do it anyway.
You may briefly take a moment to rest your imaginations, because I do have one stellar photo.
That’s Nichole in the middle, and Emily from This Is the First Day of My Life on the left, and Eileen from Bringing Up Bronwyn. Fantastic women all of them. I mean, they let me hang out with them all evening with the gaudiest, loudest handbag in the history of luggage. So, clearly, awesome up to the eyeballs.
Now I’d like you to imagine a hysterically funny talk with Jessica Bern from Bern This. Jessica gave a tutorial in the do’s and don’ts of vlogging. I have some interest in vlogging, but until someone creates a “hide-the-multiple-chins” action for iMovie editing, it may continue to exist only in my imagination. And I don’t want it anywhere the hell near your imaginations.
Now, I need you to imagine Julie, from Angry Julie Monday. It was not Monday, she was not angry (although she was deliciously sarcastic), so in addition to the absence of usable photographs, you have imagery issues to contend with. It’s okay, you’ll be fine, I have faith. Her talk was designed to motivate us to make informed, purposeful (there’s that word again) decisions about privacy issues with our blogs. It’s out there, understand what you’re doing. Imagine the worst. Now make sure that doesn’t happen.
After that, Ciaran Blumenfield from Momfluential spoke about sponsors, advertising and monetizing. It still seems odd to me that people object to other people trying to earn a living off their blog. I don’t know anyone, and I mean anyone, who wouldn’t be happy if their blog led to revenue. Be it an ad network that pays for your hosting fees or a book deal. And now I want you all to imagine a world where Lori’s blog does better than The Huffington Post, The Pioneer Woman and Amazon all combined. You know what they say about the power of positive thinking. So get on that people, start envisioning.
Lunch. Delicious lunch and I met the fabulous Jenny from Strong Personality. She is lovely to the Nth degree and wants to host a Purse Party. She seemed awfully classy so I’m a little worried, but I bet she can trash it up with the best of us!
Here’s the view from the ballroom where lunch was served:
After lunch there were talks by Jennifer James who founded the Mom Bloggers Club, and Linsey Krolik, an attorney who discussed some of the legal aspects of blogging. Copyright, trademark, creative commons, incorporating and the like. I actually missed a chunk of this last section as I was doing an impromptu vocal therapy session in the corridor. So now, I want you to imagine me towering over Jessica Bern (who is hugely petite) because I did not have the sense to remove my crazy platform shoes in order to equalize the height differential somewhat so I could actually hear her. You know what makes voice therapy ever-so-much-better? Being able to hear the person with the voice issue. Imagine that.
Next came a a presentation by Ted Rubin at Open Sky. Open Sky is too big for me to discuss here, but it’s a way to use your blog as a shopping platform to sell products you like to your readers, and then get a portion of the profit of the sales. Me, I’m thinking chocolate. We were told over and over again to only consider products you’re passionate about and happy to stand behind. I’m most happy to stand behind chocolate. Or over chocolate, under chocolate, next to chocolate…the prepositions are endless.
Finally came Kristy Campbell at Kristy Campbell Creative. Kristy talked about writing – the craft and the art. She offered suggestions for voice in your writing, and how to make your voice match your intent. Kristy has five kids. How her own voice in not perpetually hoarse from screaming remains a mystery.
The last thing I need you to imagine is many pictures of the ever-so-pretty Tiffany from SITSGirls. I tried, oh how I tried, to take a picture of pretty Tiffany. But the lighting was being difficult, Tiffany chose to move at exactly the wrong time, and the one shot I got with decent lighting and a still subject had phantom blue lines in it. Why? Because.
After a bite to eat, we headed to the cocktail reception at Slide, a swank San Francisco nightclub. And to read the details of that portion of the evening, including the toppled tabled and broken glass (no lie!) you have to head over to Project: Purse and Boots. Cause that’s where our story continues.