SHOT. London

Health Bloggers Community: Photography for Bloggers Workshop – Review

Event: – Health Bloggers Community: Photography for Bloggers Workshop

Venue: – SHOT, Bride Lane, London

Date: – 15th September 2017

The Ad

The event was billed as a,

…mix of theory and practical tasks, you will learn to take drool-worthy pictures and still-life shots with personality to truly master the art of taking photos for your blog and Instagram feed.’

So impressed with this statement, I signed up, and looked forward to a 3 hour long food photography class.

“Our partner SHOT.London will be providing you with their real, organic whole food treats to style, prop and experiment with… and of course, eat! We’ll have lots of food, props, and backgrounds for you to play with, so you’ll leave a pro photographer.”

Wow, we get to play with the food too? and then eat it? Plus there are props, backgrounds and I’m going to leave a pro photographer!!!

***Alert!*** – there is no way anyone, no matter how gifted you are, can start a class at 3pm and leave at 6pm a professional. And this class proved it, as I will explain later. The remainder of the ad continued …

“EVER WONDERED HOW YOU GET THAT INSTAGRAM PHOTO? HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT PHOTO POST OF YOUR TRIP TO BRIGHTON?

OR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT FOR YOUR ABOUT PAGE? YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH THE PERFECT ANGLE, THE BEST LIGHTING AND JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FILTER?

Wonder no more, as we have all the answers to your photography related questions. A few of the things you’ll learn in this workshop:

  • the basics of creating outstanding photos
  • how to find the right props
  • how to make the most of the lighting, and tools to help you
  • filters, editing and basic tricks to find your style

This is one workshop NOT to miss. So grab your ticket, dig out your camera and we’ll see you there!

About our Teacher:

Anna is a photographer with a passion for the health and fitness industry, this can include food, products or any sports that increase the heart rate generally making people healthier and happier.”

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Disclaimer: the session was due to start at 3pm but due to various public transport issues (it was the day of the Parsons Green station bomb), I was unable to get to the class until 3.30pm.

The Reality

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

I arrived at the venue, SHOT. London, which is a small cafe style restaurant near Fleet Street, in East Central London. There were around 25 people at the class, in a space that ideally could comfortably seat no more than about 15 at best. The teacher, Anna, presented behind the counter, with the aid of a small laptop, which was difficult of those at the back of the class to see.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

At around 3.50pm the attendees were invited to cross over the road to St. Bride’s Church, to take pictures of the food in the outdoor natural light.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

The food was pre-packed in logoed plastic containers. It wasn’t made clear whilst I was there, if we could open the packaging or eat the contents later. The packages were not labelled, so I wasn’t certain if any of the food there was vegan or vegetarian.

SHOT. London food
SHOT. London

There wasn’t enough interaction or guidance between the teacher and some of the attendees. I didn’t feel particularly welcome and observed that Anna approached some of the attendees more readily than others.  Whether this was due to shyness on her part, I don’t know, however I didn’t feel as if we were all given the same amount of individual help.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

This part of the class took about 45 mins to an hour. Followed by short review of a couple of the students work. Then came a flurry of tips on a broad rage of subjects, from selfies, portrait photography to Instagram and editing programs.

The class was meant to be a 3 hour long session, and had it not been for the intervention of the host, the teacher would have ended the class 30 minutes early.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

There were no props provided as stated in the advert (see above text in blue), other than about 6 pre-packed plastic food boxes to share with 25 or so people in a confined space. There were no “backgrounds to play with” either, unless they counted the church.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

Value for Money?

For just under £25, the price seemed like a bargain for a 3 hour session on food photography by an “experienced photographer”. In reality, it offered nothing more little from that advertised. Trying to see examples on a tiny laptop from a distance was impractiable, and 1 practical session where only a few were granted guidance from the teacher, frankly, unacceptable. I certainly did not feel like a professional photographer at the end.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

As for being a workshop “not to miss”, I wish my train wasn’t delayed, but cancelled, as my afternoon would have been more productive. It’s with a heavy heart when I say, if this is an example of the type of classes run by H.B.C., I would strongly suggest you save your time, energy and money and avoid. This is the first of a new series of events hosted by H.B.C., so here’s hoping that this is a blip, rather than a pattern.

SHOT. London
SHOT. London

Overall

The session over promised in a number of areas and under delivered in so many ways. The venue was nice, but there were too many people in a confined area. Instead of a laptop, A4 sized pictures should have been handed round, so attendees could have a good look, and wouldn’t have to strain to see such a small screen from a distance.

It would have been a great move if handouts were provided, with ideas of how to progress afterwards. The interaction between the teacher and the attendees seemed uneven, which for me, added to the general negativity of the session.

Rating

For the rating, I thought long and hard about giving the class a zero out of 5. But in fairness,  I did learn a couple of new things, such a a new photo location and not to use the zoom feature on camera phones – just move closer to the subject. But these ‘tips’ simply didn’t warrant the ticket price or matched what turned out to be the over hyped and misleading advert.

I thought I would leave the class inspired. I left the class annoyed, disappointed, and a little hangry,

Rating 1 out of 5

1-star

 

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Countdown to Blogtacular!

Hello,

Can you believe it? This is day 1 of month 6 of 2017! A lot has happened so far this year, and not all of it good. But I hope that the remainder of the year will prove to be more peaceful, productive and perhaps  dare I say more lucrative. For me a reboot kicks off on June 10, with the long awaited spectacular that is Blogtacular.

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

This will be my first Blogtacular, and it is for me, a risky financial investment. I say investment, in that I hope that I will be able to recoup my outlay, gaining quality information and guidance to improve my social media network. I hope to solidify my  skillset in order to become more productive in terms of my media content production. I also hope to meet loads of bloggers, vloggers, crafters, artists and creators to be inspired and hopefully inspire others. (Oooh that sounds good, I should put that on my press pack! – hmm maybe not.)

It’s a lot to ask of a 1 day conference. There’s also much to do to prepare for the event, and so I’m taking time out now to ensure that I am able to get the very most out of the experience.

In the run up to Blogtacular I will blog daily my hints and tips up to the day, as well as report on the day itself. I will say if I managed to achieve everything I hoped for.  I will also review the event, and ascertain if it was value for money.

So no pressure then.

Today, I have discussed my hopes and aims for the conference, tomorrow I shall detail my fears and concerns, and how I will try to tackle them.  Please subscribe to find out how I prepare for Blogtacular and please share your thoughts about the event in the comments box below.

Thanks for reading.

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn - Champagne Twist

You Can Sit With Us Ldn

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn - Frankie, Betty magazines - Champagne Twist
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn

It’s Sunday, it’s freezing, it’s raining, I don’t feel 100%, the transport system is partly closed due to engineering works … again. Why don’t I just spend the day in bed, nice and warm, with my ready supply of cups of hot tea?

Camden Collective, 110 Hampstead Road, London #YouCanSitWithUs - Champagne Twist
Camden Collective, 110 Hampstead Road, London

Because, I would have missed out on a golden opportunity, that being the #YouCanSitWithUsLdn. The inaugural event hosted by Kristabel Plummer of I Want You To Know at the Camden Collective, was a marvellous event where a host of social networkers, bloggers, YouTubers and Instagramers, both newbies and established, came together to talk, share ideas and network about all things primarily relating to blogging.

I managed to have a few words with Kristabel, she said that it was the first time she had ever arranged such an event.  I would never have guessed. A simple concept that was extremely well executed, I left not only impressed by her natural gift as an event organiser, but also empowered. Empowered by the fellow social media dons at the event, their openness and willingness to share their knowledge. Kristabel managed to create a welcoming space for social networkers to come out of their collective shells and share their experiences with virtual strangers. All this on a limited budget (although again, you would never guess), a short time frame and help from her friends. It’s amazing how a good idea can develop into something great, positive and empowering.

At times, for me, it was a little surreal. I was suddenly chatting away to bloggers I’ve been following for years. I felt I knew so much about them, but they knew little about me. Yet they were still interested in what I had to say. Before, they had been people whom I would watch on YouTube, or I would read their adventures in some far flung place on their blogs. The curious thing I quickly realised was that every person in the room, no matter their personal journeys, had at least 3 things in common. 1) They worked hard on their respective social networks, 2) Their are all multi-talented and/or multi-gifted, and 3) They all, without exception, at some point had exactly the same fears and angst as everyone else.  It didn’t matter if they had 1 follower or 1 million followers, making social networking perhaps the great societal leveller.

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn group photo set-up
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn Champagne Twist champagnetwist.wordpress.com
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn group photo set-up - Champagne Twist
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn Champagne Twist champagnetwist.wordpress.com

I know that I will have to pull my little socks up in terms of my own social network, and I was very nervous when I arrived, attending the event on my own and meeting new people that makes me a little uncomfortable. Some of these women are fierce – their knowledge is vast, and their energy levels are immense. However, I left believing that it is not only possible to achieve the goals I have set for my blog, but I can surpass them. The social network community is very friendly and I was soon made to feel at ease. Blogging offers wonderful opportunities for people who enjoy solitude, but the benefits are 10-fold when you take just a few steps outside your comfort zone.

I could have easily spent the day at home working on my blog, with my ready supply of tea. Instead I spent the day with the caring bloggers support group, surrounded by positive energy, and meeting fabulous people. I think that’s a good swap!

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn - Betty, Frankie, Umbrella magazines - Champagne Twist
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn – Betty, Frankie, Umbrella magazines

Hopefully, this will be the first of many events, and I for one will place the next event at the top of my agenda. This will certainly go in my end of month favourites video, and is an early strong contender for the best of 2017.

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn - Champagne Twist
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn – plant in blue pot

Did you attend the #YouCanStillWithUs event? What did you think? Please comment below and subscribe for more.

Thanks for reading.