blogher food 2012

market sign

When Brady approached me about collaborating on a proposal to speak at the BlogHer Food conference in Seattle, I didn’t think twice – because I didn’t think there was a chance in hell that two small-time bloggers like us would ever be chosen to speak. When I got the much-exclamation-pointed text message from her that we’d been accepted, it became a whole new ballgame, one requiring booking flights, splitting hotel rooms, and using precious vacation time, not to mention hours spent preparing for our session. I was interested to attend the conference, but not quite as excited as I felt I should be.

clams

What I felt instead was anxious. Even now, I can’t pinpoint why. Of course public speaking is nerve-wracking, but I’ve done it loads before and was confident in myself. Traveling alone is extra hassle but not entirely unpleasant. I think, if I had to choose one thing that was stressing me out, it would be three days of constant socializing. From rooms full of strangers to sharing a hotel room with someone I’d met in person only once before, it sounded exhausting.

crab

And it was. It was also the most fun I’ve had in ages. It was nonstop talk about food and photography and websites, nonstop exchanging of business cards, nonstop twitter updates, nonstop sightings of people you’d previously only seen on a computer screen. It was learning and teaching and eating, and yes, constant socializing.

storytelling session

I solidified some friendships and began others. “Internet friends” became “IRL friends”. I met representatives from some of my favorite companies. I discovered new blogs and found people I’d like to work with in the future. I kissed a fish.

fishthanks, Brady, for letting me use this picture!

I picked up some food styling tricks and was reminded that I need to get a backup set up for my blog (asap!). I realized that shooting a video will take a lot more equipment than I have now. I was encouraged to think more about what I write compared to what I like to read. I discovered that Brady and I make a great team well beyond planning and delivering a session on the post processing of food photos. And most importantly, I left feeling like a socializing superstar, confident and happy and eager to apply all of the lessons of the weekend. But exhausted nonetheless.

before closing party
brady on the left, me on the right being bossy – it’s what I do best

One year ago: Chicken Gyros
Two years ago: Raisin Swirl Bread
Three years ago: Strawberry Cake (comparison of two recipes)
Four years ago: Poached Eggs over Arugula with Polenta Fingers

Comments

  1. Sounds like a great weekend! I loved following along with all the tweets. Congrats on pulling off a successful presentation!

  2. I love this post. Sounds like a really fantastic weekend!

  3. Great post, Bridget. You look like you’re throwing gang signs in the last picture. Counting down to Austin!

  4. Hillary! says:

    Agreed! Super post. Also — do you happen to have any good kale recipes you’d recommend? I did battle with kale last night… and lost.

  5. Meeting both of you in the speaker’s lounge while I was having a little meltdown over my teenager “crisis” was perhaps not showing my best side to you upon first meeting, but for me a happy circumstance nevertheless. It was great to get to know you and your presentations in your panel were excellent – clear immediately how much prep and effort you put into it.

    I am so glad you think it was all worthwhile. Conferences can be overwhelming but when they are well run, the panelists work hard, and the people all come with a positive attitude, the end result can be so worth the effort!

    I love that photo of my panel you included above – would you be willing to share it with me?

    Hope to see you again soon and stay in touch with you online.

  6. Looks like you ladies had a blast! I bet your session was great. :)

  7. treewhisperer says:

    I’m bummed I missed out on an opportunity to see you in my neck of the woods. I’m glad you had a great time though.

  8. looks like you had a great weekend! thanks for sharing!

  9. I wish I could’ve attended and seen your session. BUT, I’m so glad we got to meet! :)

  10. sounds like it was a great weekend–makes me want to attend next year!

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