Blogging Inspiration Photography

Blogtacular

14/05/2014

Blogtacular – a blogging conference with creativity at its heart and soul; it was always going to be very very special wasn’t it? and it blew past all of my expectations in the most wonderful way.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

On paper it sounds like a tall order, how do you put together a conference that works for bloggers from all sorts of different genres? But Kat and Kat clearly have superpowers, because the line up they put together was packed with people who all have one thing in common, regardless of what they blog about, and that is that they truly love what they do; and so do we.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

The keynote speakers were all professional bloggers, and stunningly good public speakers, and while I write here as a hobby, I never once felt that I was being told that I had to do xyz to count as a real blogger, or that what I do and how I do it is in any way diminished because I’m not monetised to the hilt, or trying to use it as platform to launch my career as a supermodel/astronaut. Instead, they simply inspired.

From Joy Cho, whose drive and determination leaves you feeling a little breathless (and wondering what you were up to aged 12, when she was already starting her first enterprise); Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar who spoke about some of the leaps of faith he took to get to where he most wanted to be; and Anne Ditmeyer of Pret a Voyager, whose talk was brilliantly entertaining and has me wanting to run off to Skillshare to learn how to do everything!; to the Editors’ panel sharing their tips and tricks about how they put an article together and what they look for, and the wonderful Natalie Lue whose comment “You will have more ideas than time. This is OK” I should probably have made into a billboard to carry around with me for all the times I get frustrated that I have all these plans, and never seem to be able to catch a minute to get started on them.

And as for the workshops, well there wasn’t a single one I didn’t want to go to, and, unusually for a blogging conference, I didn’t hear anyone saying that they wished they’d been to one of the other sessions instead. Everyone seemed to be buzzing about the sessions they’d been to, which only made me wish I’d been able to go to that session too (more on which later – be careful what you wish for!).

I had an absolute blast on Xanthe Berkeley’s photo walk; 30 of us, armed with cameras and balloons, pottering around the really posh bit of London taking photos of anything and everything that caught our eye and bemusing and worrying the shop assistants and a car full of Her Majesty’s finest in equal measure. I’ve already flooded Instagram with some of my phone pictures, but these all came from the big camera, and I love them.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I want to arm Kitty with our old point and shoot and take the girls out for a photo walk now!

 

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And if that wasn’t enough photos for one day I spent the next session listening to the lovely Ellie Tennant talk a little about interiors styling, and the reason why all the houses in magazines look rather similar only in different colours (hint: they are the same) before we were let loose in what was basically a fabulous prop shop to try out a few ideas of our own in miniature.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I could have played all afternoon it was that much fun, and over far too quickly. Looking back through my camera is fascinating though; I can really start to see how the composition progressed as we shot, adjusted, shot again, tweaked a bit more, and kept going until it was a bit of a speedy waddle down the corridor to the next session.

Blogtacular 2014 Official Photos by Will Ireland. Thanks Mollie Makes (312)

(photo courtesy of Blogtacular with thanks to Mollie Makes)

A session on branding, by the duo behind Mini Moderns, doesn’t sound like an obvious fit for someone who mostly writes a hobby blog about her children, but they fact that I came away from that session with a gazillion ideas and different things to think about is testament to that overarching sense that all that mattered was that we are passionate about our blogs, and want to make them the very best we can. I suspect you could have gone into that session as the marketing manager in charge of running a company blog and come away just as inspired.

And, and, if we can just leave the actual content behind for a minute – we were at the Royal Institution; where they have the Christmas lectures; stalwarts of my childhood and a tv series I eagerly look forward to each year.  Only the greatest will power and the fact that I can’t remember where it is prevented me from bringing my chemistry molecule set to let my inner science geek have full reign!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

(a corner of the Georgian room – ah so beautiful!)

Above all else there was a wonderful sense of community; community across genres, and ultimate aims and style. I met wonderful people I’d chattered to on Twitter, made a whole heap of new friends, and got to hang out (and block the stairs) with these lovely ladies!

Blogtacular 2014 Official Photos by Will Ireland. Thanks Mollie Makes (32)

(photo courtesy of Blogtacular with thanks to Mollie Makes)

I just don’t want it to be over.

Blogtacular 2014 Official Photos by Will Ireland. Thanks Mollie Makes (397)

(photo courtesy of Blogtacular with thanks to Mollie Makes)

And happily, plans are afoot on that score. Not only are the wonderful words “next year” being bandied about, but this year’s conference was filmed, with the intention of launching it as a virtual conference – so if you missed it, you can go, and I can have my very own Harry Potter moment, split myself every which way, and go to all the other sessions – I’ll see you there!

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  • My Two Mums 14/05/2014 at 9:50 am

    Looks like you came away very inspired. I love the photowalk images. I am so jealous! I really think this is one I’d attend next year.

    • Carie 15/05/2014 at 7:06 am

      Oh you should – you’d love it, especially the photo walk! and there’s always the Virtual Conference this year if you can’t wait!!

  • xanthe 14/05/2014 at 10:06 am

    So lovely to meet you and spend time together. Love your photo walk shots, especially the shadow bump shot! What a moment!
    It was a great weekend! xxx

    • Carie 15/05/2014 at 7:06 am

      I had so much fun taking those pictures so thank you, and it was lovely to meet you too!

  • rusty {rambles} 14/05/2014 at 12:29 pm

    I just love this roundup of the weekend. You’ve captured everything so well! (And hurray for all us science geeks enjoying the awesome venue!)

    • Carie 15/05/2014 at 7:08 am

      Thank you 🙂 – and yay for a little science meekness, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 14/05/2014 at 2:45 pm

    You took some fabulous photos Carie. I loved every minute of it, and I cannot WAIT to do it again next year. Was so lovely to spend time with you. x

    • Carie 15/05/2014 at 7:10 am

      Oh me too!! I’m not quite sure how it’ll all work out with a nine month old but I’m sure I can figure it out somehow!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 14/05/2014 at 2:45 pm

    You took some fabulous photos Carie. I loved every minute of it, and I cannot WAIT to do it again next year. Was so lovely to spend time with you. x

  • older mum in a muddle 15/05/2014 at 4:30 pm

    I very nearly bought a ticket for this… I’ve read so many good reports about it, it looked like it was really small and intimate and was quite different to other blogging conferences. I think this is one conference that’s going to grow (the organisers sound lovely). I’ll probably buy a ticket for next year’s. X

    • Carie 17/05/2014 at 11:59 am

      Oh you should have done it was AMAZING – best conference I’ve been to in years – and if you can’t wait til next year – and want to help make it happen, there is such a thing as a virtual conference coming up in June!!

  • Claire @ Clarina´s Contemplations 15/05/2014 at 9:06 pm

    This looks fabulous Carie… I hadn´t heard about it, until I saw my twitter feed fill up about it… hoping that the “next year” talk becomes reality!

    • Carie 17/05/2014 at 12:04 pm

      Virtual Conference ticket? It’s pretty fabulous that no one need miss out if they don’t want to – I’ve been wanting people to video conferences for years!

  • Angela @Little Apple Tree 17/05/2014 at 9:19 pm

    Wasn’t it an amazing weekend! I would have loved to have gone on the photowalk–it looked like so much fun in all the pictures–but my poorly leg was already swelling from all the travelling, so I sat it out. Next time!!

    I loved the styling session, too. I’ve been scouring the house for even more things that I can use as props and I’m looking forward to poking around some car boot sales for some milk bottles!

    Very much looking forward to next year xx

    • Carie 18/05/2014 at 10:19 pm

      Oh the photo walk was amazing – although I’ll admit I was glad to sit down when we got back so I think you made the right decision! I could have played all day in the styling session, it’s definitely making me think more about natural props for the story that I’m telling!

  • Kat 21/07/2014 at 10:55 am

    Totally agree about the venue – the first time I went to scope it I made them take pictures of me on the stage in case we didn’t book it. So glad you had a good time, thank you for helping to make it so wonderful!

    • Carie 22/07/2014 at 6:05 pm

      Well thank you for having the courage in your convictions – it was utterly wonderful and I can’t wait until next year – but at least I have the virtual conference to keep me company!