SNAP Creative Blogging Conference

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{Warning:  You might need to budget 10 hours for this post. Not only am I informing you, but it’s my journal and I want to remember all these details and pictures, so they stay! I linked up a lot of my friends so you can hop over and check out their sites as well. Lots of pictures of me+other people.}

If you follow me or any creative bloggers on Instagram, you might have had your feed clogged up last weekend with the hashtag #snapconf because there was a blogging conference in Utah that a bunch of us attended. As a mom, I don’t get sleepovers much, and this was a 3 night-stay-up-late gabfest, learning central, networking, business tips, planning kind of 3 days. Here is my recap in all it’s glory filled with links to last you through the week–check out my friends, I’m sure you will love their blogs as much as I do!

what happens at a blogging conference

I attended SNAP last year as a speaker, and talked about how to find the light in photography. It was the first year of the conference, and it was fun to be a part of it in that way. This year, I got to relax a little bit more because I wasn’t speaking. I left last year having made so many great friends. People that I kept in touch with in the past year via text, instant messaging, private facebook groups, shared pinterest boards, even some google hangouts to collaborate.

Blogging can be isolating, it’s generally just me and my computer bonding late at night, and it’s not something that comes up often with my friends in real life.  So connecting with other bloggers that experience the same thing as me is so refreshing. They get me in a way no one else can. Having been a creative blogger for nearly 3 years, it’s fun to introduce myself to someone that is already familiar with my blog, or better yet, have someone come up to me and introduce themselves to me because they recognize me from having read my blog. Though it can be awkward to receive such attention, it is truly so sweet and flattering to hear that they love to read what I share. I then turn the conversation to them to learn about what they share on their little spot of the web.

Meeting up with Good Friends Again

eighteen25 sisters

I met a bunch of girls a year ago, then we attended EVO in July together, then we’ve kept in touch via text, calls, email, online groups. So it was JUST.SO.FUN. to squeeze them all again! Above are two of my dearest friends, Jame and Jen from Eighteen25. Jodie sadly wasn’t able to come because she just had a baby.

JDW's

A bunch of us went to go get shakes down the road–it’s a tradition now! Even though I may have complained about it, I went…

blogging friends

Desiree, me, Nat, Jamie, Crystal, Jen, Amy, McKenzie

business cards

There are 400+ people that attended SNAP, and I’m often having just 2 minute conversations with new faces. Business cards are a MUST to pass out, in order to connect again online after the conference. I tried to fit as much “about me and my blog” on my card as possible. I worked with an amazing designer at 733 blog to create my card.

Kristen Duke Business Card

I shared it on Instagram a few weeks before, and I was delighted to hear that several people contacted 733 blog to create their cards as well–yay! I wanted a chalkboard/subway art look on one side, with a collage of projects on the other side.  Below is a sampling of some of the cards I got. Some people attach candy, a pin, a pen or something unique to stand out. I love the leather cuff bracelet I got from One Little Belt attached to my card (wearing it now).

business cards

Roommates

Last year at SNAP, I met Kelli from Lolly Jane and we became fast friends. She and I have chatted and exchanged texts throughout the year, and then I met her twin Kristi in July at the EVO conference. I think they are pretty fabulous. I even had a 7 hour layover in Phoenix and visited them in January at Kelli’s home. It’s nice to meet the families of my blogging friends. I roomed with those cute girls, as well as two other Arizona chica’s, Lindsey from Better After and Katie from Sweet Rose Studios. We did not have a shortage of conversation or fun. Here we are again:

my roomies

{Kelli, Katie, Lindsey, me, Kristi}

New Friends

There are so many blogs that I am familiar with, some I’ve met the faces behind them previously, and others I looked forward to. It can be a weird thing to approach someone you’ve never meat or be approached, but there is a great camaraderie and mostly graciousness that comes from introducing yourself to a “blog idol.” I feel like I’d met a bunch the year before, but there were definitely some faces I was excited to chat with!

Kirsten Krason

Met this cute girl, Kirsten Krason, she has a design blog called 6th Street Design School that is fabulous. I’d originally heard about it a few years ago from my high school bestie. We’d emailed a few times, and saw each other from afar and she got to me before I could get to her, we were both mutually excited to meet each other!  It was so great to meet her cuteness! Her blog will not disappoint, go check it out! (Her blog post about the conference has a lot of her notes from the classes she went t0).

Though I’d met a few of the sisters, it was fun to chat a bit more with the gals from Six Sisters Stuff. Here I am with two of the sisters. They are planning a trip to come to Austin in June and we are going to PLAY!

two of six sisters

The Shanty 2 Chic sisters live in Dallas, and we are collaborating on a very fun project this summer, and I just can’t wait! Here we are below at the pajama party (in our PJ’s).

shanty 2 chic sisters

Classes

What on earth does one do at a Blog Conference besides chatting extensively with other bloggers? There is a great line up of classes, that unfortunately we have to choose between several great options. The classes that I attended were:

  • Blogging tips for online success (mostly because my two good friends Amy from The Idea Room and Desiree from The 36th Avenue were teaching it)
  • Pinterest Power (taught by my other two friends Heather from Whipperberry and Jamielyn from I heart Nap Time)
  • Advanced Monetization with the super business savvy Beckie from Infarrantly Creative Meaning, she taught us not only how to make money on our blogs, but to optimize and make even more money
  • Collaborating with Brands with my dearie Mandi from Vintage Revivals, Melissa at The Inspired Room, and another gal who have worked quite a bit with brands (think Lowe’s, Sherwin Williams,
  • How to Paint Anything with my new friend Lindsay at Makely School for Girls (she’s an Austinite, too) and the new-to-me paint pro Diane from In my Own Style
  • Working with tools with my favorite handy girl, Ana White and Ryobi Tools. I got to take pictures of her last year for her book, and it was so fun to re-connect with her cuteness. See more about her book here.
  • Working with Virtual Assistants. I have about 4 people that help me do different things for the blog, and this class helped me think about different ways to use the gals I already have on board. Alissa from Rags to Stitches and Skye taught, you can read about their class here.
  • Object Photography. While I’ve got down how to use my camera, setting up a style scene is new to me, and I can use some help. Taught by the sweet Caroline at Armelle and Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia. I drool over and aspire to beautifully styled food photography.

Brands

Bloggers work with brands on varying campaigns to help bring exposure to those brands. There were a bunch of sponsors there talking to us about their products, and we network with them for what would be a good fit. One morning my Lolly Jane friends and I skipped the morning keynote speaker and chatted it up with the World Market ladies. They later instragrammed/tweeted this picture of us to their followers

world market

Here is some of the free stuff I came home with from sponsors

swag

Now enjoy a slew of pictures of all the craziness in no particular order.

vintage revivals mandi

Mandi and I having fun with our buddy picture (yes, she has spikes on her shoulders)

winners

Some people won prizes…while others didn’t…

Taking pictures of cupcakes Nikki from Chef in Training, Alyssa from The Recipe Critic   running shoes

Crystal went running with me early one morning after only a few hours of sleep. Low and behold, we have the same running shoes!pajama party

Our staged pillow fight at the pajama party: Rebecca from The Crafted Sparrow is our honorary roommate here. lowes group shot

delightful deets

Above, Jen from Delightful Deets and I had emailed before and it was so fun to meet up with her! Here little one was so adorable.

Lowe’s sponsored some events, and it was actually pretty tricky to climb in and out of this wheelbarrow.

just cal me the bag lady

I dubbed myself the bag lady with all of my winnings and extra baggage  jamie from C.R.A.F.T.

My local buddy, Jamie.got milk

Milk and cookies served at the PJ partydesiree packing

Desiree (The 36th Avenue) helped me stuff all my goodness into my suitcase. She is a hilarious lady with the cutest Spaniard accent.   artsy

Lindsay from Artsy Fartsy Mama made my logo and a few printables for me. She is so talented, I was very excited to meet her! She is good friends with Jessica from Cox’s Corner, who attended a past workshop of mine–it was fun to see them together!

ana white

Cute Ana sans power tools

all things thrify brooke

Brooke from All Things Thrifty and meairport

I traveled with these Austin buddies on our direct flight to Salt Lake City. I didn’t even know we bought the same ticket and it just so happened I sat next to Jamie (from C.R.A.F.T.) and Lindsay (from Makely School for Girls) sat behind us!

airport goodbye

I took this pic with my girls at the airport, just as we parted ways. I knew I loved Kristi, but Lindsey is a new friend that I just had lots of fun with. Sad to say goodbye…for now…

thrifty vintage

Mandi from Vintage Revivals, myself, and Brooke from All Things Thrifty. We did a few mini photo shoots for head shots. I took both of their current blog pics last summer, so we got to work on updated shots. We had some fun dancing pictures of the 3 of us, too, but I thought I’d opt out of sharing those…maybe another time.

queen bee market purchases

I bought just a few things at the Queen Bee Handmade Market. Hoop-La jewelry (a long standing love) a Printed Palette t-shirt, and Alexis Mattox Design chalkboard chipboard pennant banner. Lowe's challenge

My Sister’s Suitcase Holly, Girl Loves Glam McKenzie, and A Mommy’s life with a touch of Yellow’s Whitney  friends at SNAP

Crystal, me, Holly, McKenzie, Nat

These cute girls above were so fun to hang out with. I get together with them online (plus a few more) every other week online to chat about blogging. We do google  hangouts and see each others faces and laugh–it’s fun!

There were lots of prizes given throughout the conference, and I won THREE times! It was so strange! One was just a small can of paint from Glidden that was taken away at the airport. Then, in the tools class with Ana, I won this Kreg Jig tool and was SO excited b/c I thought ab out getting this for my hubby after watching Ana use it!

kreg jig

THEN, I won an ipad mini from Homes.com, I couldn’t believe it!! The site is in conjunction with forrent.com to help you find a home to buy or rent!ipad mini

 

Dance Partydance lights

My local friend Lindi from Love the Day (party central) on the left…I have another pic with her somewhere….

dance party

shut down the dance floor

The 4 of us above were among the last few who #shutdownthedancefloor at the end of the night. Even though Lindsey and I stood begrudgingly that the last song was, “Hey Mickey You’re so Fine” we had so much fun gettin’ down to JB, TS, Usher, Chris Brown, and even Popping a few tags. I love a good dance party. There was a photo booth at the dance party and I got in with two groups, here is one strip I got:

photo boothphoto booth

sweet tooth fairy cupcakes

I joined this group who headed out to get some Sweet Tooth Fairy Cupcakes. I have to stop by there each time I go to Utah–yum!

From Left to right: Coleen, Jamielyn at I Heart Nap Time, Nikki at Chef in Training, Alyssa from The Recipe Critic, Sarah from High Heels and GrillsKelsy Bang, Brooke from All Things Thrifty, and metaking pictures

friends at snap

This group of girls make me laugh so hard. Landee from Landee See, Landee Do is so hilarious, but a super sweetheart. She asked about my GLOW post for more details…so I told her all about it. Her sis in law, Shelly is also quite hysterical and together they make quite a pair. Also love the Orange Blossom Shop Girls for their framing talent, did you know they now sell Party Supplies??? LOVE that!

The 3 nights there, we didn’t go to sleep before 3 a.m., we just had so much to say. We room hopped around to a few other spots in the hotel, but mostly stuck together.

I’ll end with this fun pic, man we just had so much fun, and I think this image depicts that. I feel so blessed that so many wonderful ladies I now call friends.

friends

So what do you think about blog conferences NOW that you’ve read all of this?

p.s. Don’t forget to join in on the fun challenge and invite a family over for dinner in the next week. Click on the box for more info–I hope I’m not alone!!!

125

p.s.s. I was interviewed by MommyPage on Photography and Family Photo Tips for Parents, check out my interview here.

p.s.s.s.  I was interviewed and included in an article by the Deseret News on SNAP, where I was only slightly misquoted. The part where it says, “My friends at home don’t always understand why I have to blog” was not why I have to blog, but what is behind the blog. It’s refreshing to go to a place where everyone “gets” what it is I do with this blog and why I do it.because they do it too.

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Comments

  1. Looks like you had a blast And how fun to win prizes! You work so hard on your blog, you deserve it! 🙂

  2. Your winning was out of control! Sounds like you had a great time!! So sad I wasn’t there!!

  3. that was so fun to read!! when i start to miss everyone i’ll have to come back and reread it over and over again!! love ya girl!!

  4. That was fun to read and follow on instagram. Looks like so much fun!! One day I’ll make it to SNAP.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I’m glad to hear it’s a fun read even if you didn’t go, make it to a conference, you will love it!

  5. Camille (Six Sisters Stuff) says:

    Kristen, you are seriously so kind and outgoing and this post was so fun to read!! CANNOT wait for June!!
    xo,
    Camille

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thank you, Camille, so excited to play with you in ATX!!! I wish I had a better pic of us than that silly phone pic, but we’ll do some fun and crazy shots in June for sure;)

  6. This was so fun to read! The prize picture of you, Crystal, and Nat made me laugh out loud. I’m glad I got to finally meet the famous Kristen Duke!! 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Hi Alli!!! I love that pic, too!!! I agree, it’s so fun to meet my blogging friends, glad we got to meet up!

  7. I definitely know what I think about blog conferences now. I think I need to go to one! Maybe when I am a bit older but of jeez it looks like so much fun 🙂

  8. Great recap! That picture of Mandi holding you is my favorite thing ever. I had so much fun and am so glad to now call you my FRIEND! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. How cute are you?! Sounds like such a blast. I think it’s AMAZING what you ladies do with your blogs. I dream of doing something like this someday… but for now I’ll sit back and enjoy reading all of yours. 🙂 PS- I WANT that “Live Life Anchored” shirt!!! SOOO cute!!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      It is a bit commitment to blog, I love it, so it keeps me going, but I have a lot of late nights so I can be more present with my fam during the day. I love to hear from you when you stop by!

  10. that was a great recap! love all the fun moments you captured. hopefully it’s not too long before we get to squeeze each other again. 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I think I got a good laugh out of you for a pic in the one I posted! Crossing my fingers for a fall get together, friend!!

  11. This conference looks SO fun!!! I wish I was a awesome blogger like you and could go too!! I love looking at all the photos and all the fun ya had! It’s neat to see all the awesome ladies behind the blogs. Sweet prizes and goodies!!!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Go to a photography conference…saw on IG that there was one recently! But yes, it is really fun to connect with those who do the same thing

  12. LOVE your recap! You put lots of thought into it, shared TONS of fun pics, and lots of deets! You need t add my pic of you and the crazy girls in masks 🙂

  13. This looks like so much fun! I hope I get to go to one of these one day 🙂

  14. I wish I could go back tomorrow! So much fun! Seriously, I didn’t win anything! You are a lucky duck!

  15. I LOVE your recap! And I’m so happy to have seen you again this year. Can’t wait for 2014!

  16. You are seriously the CUTEST! I absolutely LOVED your business card and I’m sad we didn’t get to talk more because it looks like you’re a little crazy ….like me 😉 My card made it in your business card shot! 😉

    haha! – I’m definitely stalking you now. In every way possible. Can’t wait to get to know you better!
    Kaylynn
    AmongTheYoung

  17. Oh, man! I wish I could have gone this year! It looks like it was tons of fun!! Maybe next year!

  18. Love all the pics! Always good to see you! Great recap! xo

  19. Glad you had fun and made some new friends.

  20. So so fun! Loved this post, you captured everything! NO PUN INTENDED ah hah hah!! Couldn’t have roomed with a better friend, you are so genuine…glad to know you and call you a real friend, even though we met via blogging. You’re the best, KDuke!
    XOXO, Kelli

  21. Barbours, and will never wear anything else. a0Nothing ages like the waxed cototn of a Barbour, and reproofing keeps it on track for it’s nine lives. a0Don’t have one yet? a0What are you waiting

  22. – Jess this is sooooooo iniredcble! Seeing the video and pictures reminds me why doing weddings is so much fun. You captured every emotion and detail that you often miss in the midst of working or even being the bride. I totally agree working with Ashley was much more like working with a friend than a client. What a great pair and great family. Brian+Ashley+Jessica= Pure Awesomeness!!!!(Ashley’s word). *tear*

  23. The *new* Mrs. Derby! – Thank you Jess for being a part of our special day These pooths are everything I (we) dreamed of and more! You will always hold a special place in my heart chica! Thanks for going above & beyond the call of duty to WOW everyone. So now that the wedding is over, what can we shoot next?! Xo

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