I did think that having been to Blog Camp before that there was only so much you could learn, but I always leave with lots of new knowledge and it’s always a pleasure to meet up with other bloggers. At this year’s blog camp I learnt that waffles with maple syrup is just as nice as having cake, among some other stuff.
As I’m always desperate to brush up on my photography skills (or non-existent skills) I was happy to spend the morning in the presence of Phil Tragen while he taught us some great tips on taking headshots and photographing products. The top three tips for headshots that I took away were;
- good light
- visually simple
- clean background
Here is Phil giving us an example of how to take a good photo
For products the top three tips I took away are;
- Use a tripod
- pick your environment well
- think about how your product wants to be seen
One more tip which got everyone excited was that you can buy a blue gel sheet (ctb – colour tone blue) from craft stores, which if you put over a lamp it will give you a more natural daylight look. Great for indoor photos when there is not much natural light.
Then it was lunch time, and while everyone was taking gorgeous pics of their lunches and posting them on Instagram, I was getting stuck in…that’ll teach me to forget breakfast!
After lunch I decided to go to Sian’s talk on vlogging. This is something I’m always in two minds about. I want to but I don’t. I’m not comfortable on camera and as much as I love seeing my kids on film, and they love being on camera, I’m not totally convinced I should be sharing everything online. I’m still not sure if this is something I will pursue, but at least now I know how to set up my YouTube channel to make it more appealing and user friendly. Pop over to Sian’s blog if you missed her talk, all her tips are there.
Then it was time for cake and coffee…what? no, cake? Instead we had waffles and maple syrup which was incredibly yummy. Oh yes, cake is so last year!
For my next session I decided to join Fiona and her writing workshop. I found this really interesting. Over the years I have been blogging I’ve been through many changes in my writing as I have felt that I’ve been writing for different audiences. For example, when I had a personal blog it was full of emotion and writing straight from the heart. My business blog was, well, more business like. My baby blogs have been more like diary entries. This blog has also been around in circles, when I write a review I think it has to be written more like a business blog and approach it different to when I write something more personal. Since the beginning of this year my aim has been to claim back my own voice on my blog and I want to write every post just how I want to. My blog is, after all, an extension of me.
The writing workshop gave me loads of good tips which I will definitely be following from now on. One of the main things I realise that I do that is wrong is posting straight away. I tend to tap it out, spell check and then hit publish. I have, on many occasion, gone back and edited a post, but now I am going to leave it for while before hitting that publish button, not be in such a rush to get it out there.
Here are a few tips from the workshop that Fiona described as the Fairy Dust of writing;
- Rule of three’s, things always look better in 3s
- Anaphora, repetition of certain phrases
- Contrasting pairs
(just to disrupt my fairy dust a little I’ve made a list of four not three, what a rebel!)
So I will end here with a big thank you to Sally and the Tots 100 team for making the Blog Camp so wonderful (And free) and for bringing it to my hometown of Birmingham.
Just one more thing, I spotted this on the way out…do you think it’s bigger on the inside?
Oooh I have a question on the fairy dust writing – are they the things you should do, or shouldn't do?! Like repetition?! and what sort of things in 3s, apart from lists?! I'm like you, always publish too soon :/
Fairy dust are things you should do as they add some magic to your writing. Everything is better in 3s, it looks and sounds more pleasing (apparently! I find it a bit awkward because I like things in even numbers!..there is always someone that disagrees) I am holding back on publishing straight away and most times I find I'm making at least one change before I do, so it's worth considering.