On Sunday, 24 March 2012, I jumped out of my extremely comfy hotel bed, and proceeded to get ready for my first Food Blogger Indaba (conference), taking place at the Pick ‘n Pay offices in Kenilworth, Cape Town.
Registration for the conference started at 8am, and let me tell you – it was quite an experience being on the road at 7am and it’s still pitch dark outside – I’m a Jo’burg girl and the sun is usually shining at that time.
At registration, we were given a small wooden board with our names on (I think blog names or twitter handles would have been helpful too) and then as you moved down the queue, collecting notepads and pens, you came across a gigantic mound of Wusthof knives and aprons in pink and black (my favourite colours) – these were our first gifts of the day, thanks to the ultimate online kitchen tool store – Yuppiechef.
Ten minutes into the start of this food blogger conference and I was already overwhelmed, but this was only the beginning. Proceedings promptly got on away, and our MC for the day, Paul, from Nomu (a South African food brand that is famous for their hot chocolate, fonds and spices) kicked things off with a few words and some bad jokes.
The list of speakers for the day included:
- Paul Galatis from Yuppiechef
- Jeanne Horak-Druiff from Cooksister
- Alida Ryder from Simply Delicious
- Linda Harding from Squashed Tomato
- Carine Visagie from Fresh Living
- John Gardner from John Brown Media
They spoke about a whole heap of topics, ranging from ethics, monetising your food blog, using social media, writing for the web and making use of Pinterest.
After lunch we separated into different groups for various food and blogging workshops. The first workshop I attended was the Food Styling & Photography Workshop presented by Sam Linsell (Drizzle & Dip) and Tasha Seccombe.
Tasha is a wedding photographer, who also loves taking pictures (beautiful ones, I may add) of food. I learnt a lot from her presentation, and I may even venture away from using the auto setting on my camera, after her knowledge sharing session.
Sam is professional food stylist, and just one look at her blog will leave you in no doubt as to her amazing abilities – she effortlessly puts together a plate of food, and shared some tips and tricks which really help.
We started off with a group discussion of good and bad photos of food, and Jeanne and Ali explained which ones could be fixed with Photoshop, and which ones had no chance of ever looking better. Jeanne then demonstrated Photoshop and how, when used correctly, it can make mediocre looking photos, look like works of art.
Alida then demonstrated Lightroom, which is useful for applying the same post processing to many pictures at one time – time saving!!
At the end of the day, we attended an auction, where the proceeds went to charity, which was followed by a lucky draw, where people walked away with recipe books, food hampers, appliances and many other amazing prizes from the awesome sponsors.
Just before heading out in to the dark, rain soaked evening, we were given not one, but 3 gift bags, overflowing with amazing products from very generous companies including pestos, wines and toffees – (Nicola from Wot’s for lunch, even has a YouTube video where she unpacks all these goodies)