And We’re Off!


As you read this I may already be on my way up to Boston for the 2012 Healthy Living Summit! Last year I was fortunate enough to attend HLS in Philadelphia, and I had an amazing time. Check out my recap posts of last year’s summit here and here!

Check out the hair I was rocking last year! Bahaha.

Anne, Theodora, Ashley, and I are recreating our bangin’ room from last year tonight, and I cannot wait to see these girls again (okay, granted, I saw Anne like two weeks ago, but not withstanding… ;))

Without question, getting to go hang out IN PERSON with people that I spend time with every day online is definitely the best part of any blog conference. It often feels like people have this perception of bloggers as being these socially-inept nerds (well, perhaps this is not totally UNtrue in my case), but the truth is that I’ve formed some absolutely incredible friendships with people that I might never, ever have gotten to meet otherwise!


So yes, the social aspect is hands-down my #1 favorite part about these gatherings. Coming in as a close second this year, however, is the fact that I’ll be one of the presenters! Yep, I’m giving a presentation on how to spruce up your blog photography and finally stop using the “Auto” mode on that expensive camera you have.

I’m really excited about speaking about this, because I whole-heartedly believe that having crisp, clean photos on your blog doesn’t need to be this huge production. I feel like there’s a misconception out there: either you can have great photos that you put in hours of time setting up and editing OR you can have mediocre photos that are quick and easy. Not true! While I may not have THE most stunning pictures on the entire interwebs here, I often receive compliments on my blog’s photography (when I’m not being lazy and just using my iPhone, that is), and I literally put ZERO time into props, composition, and the like.

In my presentation I’ll be going over all the basic photog concepts (aperture, ISO, stability) as well as some of my personal tips to make the most of whatever camera you’re working with. In that light, I do include pointers for making the most of your point & shoot cameras and camera-phones as well (although admittedly, the majority of my presentation is geared toward DSLR users). I’m set to start at 10:45 AM on Saturday so if you’ll be at HLS, make sure you stop in! Even if you won’t be there, you can still follow along with attendee’s thoughts in real time by tracking the #HLSblogphotog hashtag on Twitter.

I’m also heading up a photowalk this afternoon at 4 PM with Holly from The Healthy Everythingtarian. Anyone who’s interested in getting some photos in of the beautiful area surrounding our Cambridge Hotel should definitely come out! Holly is a really fantastic photographer, and I’ll be there to give hands-on camera advice as well. It should just be a really nice way to start before the evening cocktail party.

So there you have it! This summit is about to go DOWN. I seriously hope I haven’t forgotten anything. Packing for this thing is a nightmare — laptops and cameras and workout gear, oh my!

Oh, and for reference’ sake, if you’re at the Summit right now and checking out this blog for the first time, I am no longer pulling off the sassy blonde pixie cut. This is what I actually look like presently:

Though perhaps slightly less glamorous-looking on an everyday basis. Ah well.

And awaaaaaaaaaay we go!


  1. Have fun, dollface! And that’s right- just say NO to flash!! It was always one of the first things I taught my students. 🙂
    I’m so jealous that you get to hang out with Holly. I love her- she just seems like so much fun!
    See you SOON when you get back!! xoxo

  2. awww im jelly.. have fun!

  3. I kind of love your hair from last year!

    • Marcee .... ILLINOISsays:

      Yeah …. adorbs!

      Gretchen … last photo … w/off-white jacket …. wow=wee …. looking totally good in that pic. 😉 I think you are overly photogentic!!

      P.S. Y’all have fun + make memories!

  4. I’m totally jealous. Have SO MUCH FUN!!!

  5. I will definitely be following the hashtag on twitter; can’t wait to hear what you have to teach everyone 🙂

  6. Thanks for your great presentation! Your bubbly and adorable personality made it tons of fun.

    But I’m also off manual mode now, so that’s good too. =)

  7. Megansays:

    Hi Gretchen – linked to your blog from Anne’s at Fannetastic Food. I just started following you! Loving your blog and I find your story very inspiring. Keep it up – I have a goal to drop 30-35 lbs myself, so your posts are a great reminder that it is a journey… not an overnight process.

  8. Gretchen!!! It was so so great to finally meet you this past weekend and to find out we live a lot closer than I realized. I hope to stay in touch and see you again soon! Take care hun!

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