If we’re being honest…
Last Saturday was probably one of the coolest Saturdays we’ve had in a LONG. TIME.
It was our very first Blogging For Keeps Workshop! We had 18 lovely ladies join us for a full day of hands-on, roll-up-your sleeves, jump-right-in photography learning!
It was a surreal moment when we looked out to an entire room full of smart, amazing and talented women who cared about what WE had to say! I mean–a little over a year ago, Blogging For Keeps was just an idea we had over coffee at Blair’s kitchen table. A year later, to be leading a workshop that people drove hours (and drove as far as Iowa!) and even got on PLANES to attend? (Okay, ONE got on a plane–love you, Natalie!)
Kind of a big “OMG is this real life?” moment.
We had never lead a workshop before–we didn’t even know if anyone was going to show up–our goal was 15 (mainly because we didn’t think we’d hit it, but also because we weren’t sure about how many people we could fit in Jess’ living room. Luckily, we were able to squeeze 18!) but our expectations were blown away. It was such a fun, interactive group. Perhaps the most fun part was getting to see everyone making friends with one another!
We got to the end and sheepishly were like, “you guys? did you learn anything? did you like it?” and everyone enthusiastically asked when our next workshop was, and began shouting out topic requests!!
Anyway, we know there were a lot of you that had interest in attending, but couldn’t make it–so we’re excited to share a few behind the scenes sneak peaks of the workshop today!
Mimosas + Mingling:
Everyone arrived between 10am-10:30 and we had a round (or two!) of mimosas!
We made everyone wear really dorky name tags because we’re both terrible with names, but everyone was really good sports about it! Haha!
Class is in session:
The morning portion of the workshop was in traditional classroom-style format, with Ms. Blair and Ms. Jess leading the discussion about photography equipment and manual photography. We broke down the three pillars of shooting in manual mode: ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture, and how they all work together to give us beautiful blog photos!
We also discussed photo composition, angles, and played a game with Jess and Blair’s really really old blog photos called “How to improve this photo!” which also got quite a few laughs.
We had lunch catered from Olive Mediterranean Grill and oh my goodness was it good! You can think of Olive as kind of a healthy Mediterranean meets fast casual–it’s one of Jess and Neal’s favorite places to get takeout from!
Jess’ kitchen counter was transformed into a spread of fresh hummus, olives, cucumber salad, warm pita, falafel, shawarma with basmati rice, and then some.
Huge bonus: It’s also really pretty, so obviously we turned leftovers into a photography station 😉
During lunch, we also ended up having an impromptu discussion about monetizing your blog, how to get started with affiliate networks, and the ins and outs of using Liketoknow.it!
After lunch was when the fun REALLY began. We partnered with our friend Christine of Christine Janda Design and Events, who supplied the beautiful flowers for our tables and brought us a whole box of adorable props! (By the way, if you’re looking for any kind of event, party, or wedding planner–Christine is AMAZING! We can’t recommend her enough!)
Everyone got to practice arranging their own flatlay’s from our “prop table” that we adorned with Christine’s cute props. In the back of the room, we practiced shooting portraits on the sofa, and near the kitchen, practiced shooting food photography with Olive’s beautiful spread!
The cutest props supplied by our friend Christine of Christine Janda Events
A cute flatlay taken by Natalie of The Everyday Belle!
Emily of On The Dot Blog holding some of Christine’s beautiful blooms!
Playing around with props and flatlays!
Street Style Photography:
A street style shot of Kaylee and her adorable Vera Bradley bag!
Mid-demonstration photo snapped by Amelia of Rage My Closet!
After we wrapped up our indoor photography segment, we all took a field trip outside for a lesson in street style photography. After a brief shooting demonstration, everyone went off in groups to shoot their own street style looks!
(The large group of cute girls with large cameras also thoroughly confused all of Jess’ neighbors and the cars driving down her street!)
Editing (+ more mimosas!):
After our street style session, we headed back inside to edit the photos we had just taken! (And also thaw out and help ourselves to an afternoon mimosa–don’t mind if we do!)
We walked through the basic edits that we make on all of our photos, and then afterwords, walked around to help everyone achieve the look and feel they wanted for their brand–be it soft and colorful, bright and airy, or more natural and photojournalistic. We were so excited to see so many “a-ha!” lightbulbs go off during this section!
Before we knew it, it was 5pm, and time to wrap up! It was a day to remember, and one we hope to do again soon!
We’re definitely hoping to offer more workshops in the future, so if you’re interested in attending our next one, make sure you’re on our email list, so you’re the first to know about our next one!2