Monday, 20 October 2014

Blog Camp with Tots100 2014

Saturday was my first ever blogger event. I have been to events in the past as a blogger, but this was the first, just for bloggers, and lots of big names in the blogging world! To say I was nervous was an understatement. Although I've been blogging 6 months now, im still a small fish in the sea, with lots to learn. I was going to attend with a blogger friend, but she had to pull out in the final week, so I was either going solo, or pulling out too. I decided to go solo.
 
Saturday arrived, and I was out the door at 7am, thankfully Grandma and Grandad M slept over after having dinner with us Friday, so were ready to hand at the crack of dawn to take over as Daddy was already at work... HUGE THANKYOU to them. :-) I decided to get the train as the camp was right near the Birmingham train station. All went to plan, but I arrived early. I was lucky enough that they were already there, and I helped myself to a welcoming coffee and a Danish... yum! (Diet is off!)
 
As more bloggers arrived I got speaking to Nayna from Citrus Spice and simply food. She made me feel welcome at such a big event, and really made an effort to get talking to me, those that know me, I am very shy when I am in new situations and especially when I know NO-ONE nor confident on the subject. So again, Thank you Nayna for our little talk.
 
The talks soon got underway, and we got told that we were extremely lucky that Showroom and Cow and Gate growing up milk sponsored the event so we didn't have to pay. So again, another THANKYOU.
 
After the introductions, we got told the itinerary. There were a few classes I wanted to go, but some were running at the same time, so I decided to attend the photography workshops as that is my main hobby, rather then trying to push into the you tube world... that will be saved when im more confident in this side of blogging. :-)
 
The first workshop was with Tom and Becky, and all about food photography. So to start we had to create a piece of food to photograph... normally the girlies o this part for me, so I got creative with some fruit, and then sprinkles. Only 3 of us turned up for this workshop, which was really nice, as we got lots of tips for our own specific cameras... I finally got off auto focus... yeay, and got to explore different backgrounds, lights, and textures as well as angles... all the same piece of work, but all look different...
 
 
Out of those 3, I prefer the ingredients in the background, and love the natural light coming in. But then I got told about the seamless look using a piece of A3 card, wow, im blown away... I actually took those photos... ME.... I am proud, im not sure which one I prefer as unique, the angles are so different as well as the lighting. It looks pro... wow! I will be off to Staples for my card next time the girlies bake. And an LED light, of course.
 
 
It was then time for another coffee break... Mmmm... more fresh coffee. This is when I got speaking to Cow and Gate PR team, they have given me some samples to try with S, which I am keen to start due to the Vitamin D benefits, perfect for this time of year.
 
After the coffee break, we had another talk with some professional bloggers that get paid to do what I enjoy, and are successful enough they now do it full time. Honest mum, Vicky, has listed her top 10 tips here, and they are very useful to know. I really need to work on number 1. Behind my computer, in my home comforts I am extremely confident, but out in the real world, on my own, I really lack it. EEk.
 
Then it was lunch time.... again, WOW! Food was divine. I demolished it too quick to snap it, but consisted of large meatballs, lentil bake, fresh salads, hummus and breads, and Eton mess for dessert... and this was all free for us. Thank you Tots100. I sat with some other bloggers that again made me feel at ease, so another thank you to Louise from little hearts, big love, and Helen from Kiddy Charts.
 
After lunch was another photography course. This one was based around portraits and selfies. Teaching us all about light, angles, movement, props, and fun. We were paired up for various stations, and moved to different pairs for different stations so we were with different bloggers. Here are my 3 favourite pictures from the various stations.
 
 
capturing movement, props and capturing fun.
 
On the selfie part of the work stations, I took a few shots....
 
 
none of them were "right" the first was too high, so too much forehead, but I liked the smiling side of it. 2nd was too much going on in the back ground, and I don't like the angle. 3rd was too bright and again too much in the back ground, and 4 I tried natural light, but didn't quite get it. I have tried again at home, and come up with a better one, in my opinion, to update my About me photo, now that I have gained a few Ibs and that I am now a full time glasses wearer due to my contact lens disaster earlier this year.
 
 
...the lighting isn't great as its spot light 'orange' light rather then daylight light, but I like it. I hope you do too.
 
After that course there was more coffee, and biscuits.... I am being spoilt.
 
Then it was a talk about brands, this talk is where I learnt about having a contact me page, and this has since been made, so please pop along and find me on the other channels and say hello. Along with Mummy M's Memories facebook page.  This is all new to me, and I am learning as I go along. Any other tips and hints would be great from more experienced bloggers.
 
After the brand talk, it was then time for a dash to the train station, and time to let it all sink it. Would I go along again to a blogger event, well.... that all depends. I learnt and gained ALOT, but I did feel uncomfortable at times as I had gone solo, I was sat on my own at times whilst larger groups giggled and laughed around me, but why shouldn't they? They all have met many times at various events. I did not feel comfortable approaching larger groups mid conversation, on subjects I knew nothing about. So if I become more successful, more confident, and don't go solo, yes I probably would go to another blogger event again.
 
Thank you Tots100 for organising a lovely event.
 
Snapshot taken during Toms photography workshop



23 comments:

  1. Looks like a really fun day was had, I agree with your chosen selfie pic, you look so sweet lovely.

    Hugs,
    Michelle x
    http://www.ladywoolf.com

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    1. Thank you, hubby thinks it represents me, as me, if that makes sense? It was a lovely day out.

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  2. Looks like you had a great day, love the selfies. :)

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  3. It was lovely to meet you, and you are so sweet saying all those kind things about me. I know exactly how its like when you are solo I was in similar boat couple of years back.But you know its not that bad all the guys are a nice bunch, you just need to break the ice. I will be checking out your blog and already joined your FB page. Also do join the FB groups I suggested they are really helpful.

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    1. Thank you, yes I will be checking out those groups to help. Thank you :-)

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  4. Hi! Lovely post. I went for the first time to Tots100 in April and felt pretty much the same. I chatted to a few bloggers but I'm not really in any group so it's a little more difficult I think. But I'm going to Mumsnet Blog Fest solo too so I might get used to it haha. I'm sure you'll be fine next time. P.s that 'orange' photo is a total winner.

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    1. Its not a nice feeling is it when you are new? :-( good luck with mumsnet blog fest, I've just booked on for blog on mosi, as I've been promised we will have great fun :-) Thank you, yes I think the orange one is a keeper

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  5. Was so lovely to meet you and chat on Saturday - I know just what you mean about feeling a bit on your own, had that a few times myself, am hoping it will get easier with future events. Love your food and portrait photos and that selfie looks great. Thank you for the mention too - hopefully will see you again at another event x

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    1. Yes, hopefully our paths will cross again. :-) I have booked another event for May, so will hopefully have a more comfortable time :-) Again, was lovely to meet you. x

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  6. Was lovely to meet you. I wish I had know you were on your own, you should never feel intimated by a bunch of bloggers. Just sit yourself down by everyone and join in. But I can say that as I'm one that has been going for years. I think your selfies are great. There's one of you on my facebook page but the lighting isn't great. I did try to use my new camera which I haven't got a clue about.

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    1. Thank you, im still trying to get to grips with mine too. Cameras are far too complicated. Will hopefully cross paths at another event soon. :-) x

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  7. Great post and photos - your cake ones have made me hungry for it! I'm sorry you felt on your own at times, I was too but I'm a bit weird in that I like it, especially when I'm trying to absorb everything I'm learning! But I would rather have kept you company had I realised so don't let it put you off going again because there are plenty of people in the same boat and I bet you won't get a moment to yourself the next time! x

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    1. The cake was lovely. :-) I don't mind sitting on my own in the workshops as I find it easier to concentrate, but the times inbetween is difficult. I am growing more confident though, so hopefully next time I wont feel so isolated :-) x

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  8. Fab photos & I'm sure I saw you at the train station but didn't click!! x

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    1. Thank you. Probably, I was loitering as the train was delayed, and in the morning I was super early, I was walking around aimlessly... :-/ x

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  9. Oh bless you, I was so nervous so latched on to the people I already knew. I met a couple of new faces but didn't get a chance to talk to as many new people as I would have liked to. Deffo try another event though lovely it gets easier! :) xx

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    1. Thank you, I have been to a brand blogger event and felt so welcome, so think confidence is a huge key as I was ozzing it then, strange how some days you have zilch... I have since booked blogonmosi for next year. :-) x

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  10. I left for the same reason. No-one was horrible but with my anxiety hanging around on my own wasn't good for me at all. I snuck out after the first session :(. I've attended events before and it is difficult, I've got to know a few people through it, it was just unfortunate that there was no-one for me to pair up with there. Shame I didn't talk to u about it first, we could've given each other moral support! X

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    1. Oh no, im sorry you felt like you had to get away, but completely understand how you felt. Next time we will have to hunt each other down :-) x

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  11. What a great event! Sounds like there was a lot to take in. Those cupcake photos look brill too! (so does your selfie) :-)

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    1. Thank you, the cupcake was divine... may have to try fruit toppings more often to make it less guilty to eat :-) There was so much information to take in, im not sure I absorbed it all, but some exciting changes are coming soon. :-) x

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  12. Sounds like a really fun and informative day! I've never been to a blogging conference or event. So day I would like to partake in something like this.

    That cupcake looks yummy and I love your selfie!

    Thanks for sharing and linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

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