Wow, I have not written anything on here in a long time. Where did the last four years go? I hate to use the word “busy,” but it’s most likely because I have been far too busy… More
I love HootSuite. And if you use social media and don’t already love them too, you WILL.
I use HootSuite, along with many of the “geeks” I know, to manage my different social media accounts, but I mainly use it for Twitter and Facebook Pages. So, I thought I’d throw together a totally unordered, no-ulterior-motives-at-all list of what makes them awesome, and why I love them.
HootSuite is Vancouver born and bred, by the smart people at Invoke Media.
HootSuite University. HootSuite Training? Webinars? If you’re a social media noob, this is for you. But hey, even us seasoned professionals can use a little training now and again, too.
They are always trying to make HootSuite better. That’s pretty great, isn’t it? And who better to listen to, than the people who use it?
It’s a toss-up, but I think my two all-time faves are: Hawaiian Owly and Snowboarder Owly. Here’s hoping I see Owly at Hootup one day soon.
Guys like Dave Olson and Ryan Holmes. If you are going to a tech conference in the near future, chances are you are going to see at least one of these guys speak. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see Holmes speak, but I’ve been fortunate enough to see Olson speak at a few different events, and he is like no other speaker I’ve ever seen. Sometimes he even brings a bag (or suitcase) full of tricks!
I haven’t been to it, but I’ve seen a few pictures of it. I love the mural in the entry way.
I think I want to ride my bike there. Every. Day. And hang out with all of the other Owls. (Are you picking up what I’m dropping down?)
Well, that’s it. There are a million other reasons I could mention that make HootSuite awesome, like secure profiles, auto-initialing for accounts with multiple users, or the reply-all function for Twitter, but this list was way more fun. And why spoil the surprise, when you can learn about all those things at HootSuite University?
Thanks for reading,
(All Owly images are from http://blog.hootsuite.com/)
It’s been a very long time since I last had to do a presentation in front of people, either at school, or at work. I used to have to do them all the time, not that I enjoyed it one bit.
I go to a lot of conferences, or “unconferences” in Vancouver, but I have never built up the courage to stand up in front of people and just TALK. No way, no how.
So when my friend Brianna asked me (along with my good friend Jerra) to emcee her upcoming wedding, I thought, erm…. well… okay. Because this was different. People didn’t expect me to be an expert on something, and I didn’t have to wow them with my research, or my opinion on some obscure topic. Being a Master of Ceremonies (or Mistress, rather?) is pretty simple, since the itinerary is laid out in advance, and in full detail for you. So, we both agreed to do it, even though I may be considered as the “emotional one” and Jerra is the one with anxiety.
We’re funny, we thought.
Well the time came and went so quickly, I felt I barely had time to prepare. Everything ultimately went off without a hitch, and there was a point when I was saying my few opening words about the newly married couple, where I heard, and even felt, I swear, the entire room, say a collective “Aaawwww…” I immediately had this rush of confidence and thought, “They’re eating it up! I can’t believe it!” They even laughed a few times, too. Who would have thought?
So I guess that’s my point, that public speaking may not be so bad after all. It’s not as terrifying as I remembered it, anyhow. I think I feel as if I’m back in the saddle, so to speak, and possibly ready to take on another challenge. A small one.
This weekend I took part in an intensive weekend photography workshop at Vancouver Photo Workshops (VPW). Key word – Intensive. Our classes were Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm with an hour break for lunch, and not a moment was spared to pack our brains full of photography knowledge.
I signed up for the course with my friend Jerra. She received a DSLR camera as a wedding gift from her husband, and was wanting to really learn how to use it, rather than just defaulting to shoot in Auto all of the time. (Even though there is nothing wrong with that! They do make Auto for a reason.)
I have been attempting to shoot with a DSLR for a couple of years now, and recently upgraded from a Pentax K100D to a Nikon D90, but I still didn’t feel completely comfortable behind my camera. I wanted to know the ins-and-outs of my Nikon, be able to confidently shoot in manual mode, or to choose whichever exposure priority necessary, whenever my little heart (or eye) desires to.
I was concerned that the workshop might be a bit too basic for me, that I would be itching to move ahead into the more complex stuff, but I found myself loving every second of it. Our instructor, Aura McKay, was one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met. It’s obvious that she truly loves what she does for a living, and she is able to effortlessly captivate an entire room full of eager newbie photographers. At one point, on the second day of the workshop, when speaking to us about creative composition, I almost wanted to stand up and clap at the end of her rant. Her attitude about photography is absolutely infectious.
We covered the basics of exposure – aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and choosing the correct, or creating a custom, white balance. We did an exposure workshop in the studio, and worked on all of these things – getting our whites white, and our blacks black. We took so many shots of these set-ups that I am quite happy to never have to look at them again! But all in all, it was great practice.
Aura talked about depth of field, basic composition theory, different lenses and when and why we use them, and lighting! We did a depth of field exercise in the studio again, then right before lunch we took off for a photowalk, to try and use all of the things we had learned – white balance, depth of field, composition – yay! My photos from the walk are not all that exciting, so I’ll spare you.
After lunch, we basically spent three whole hours shooting models in the studio in different settings under different lighting. We even shot one of the models outside. At the end of it, I think my brain and my creativity were completely tapped, but I was pretty happy with some of my shots from the afternoon session.
The rest of my photos from the session can be seen on Flickr.
Needless to say, I will happily enroll in another VPW class, after a little more tinkering and practice behind the lens. As Aura quoted many times during our workshop: “If you want to be a photographer, take a picture. If you want to be a better photographer, take another picture.” And so on and so forth. Now, excuse me… but I have to go take some pictures.
Last night I attended the Contiki Holidays VIP Euro Bash at V Lounge in Yaletown. What. A. Party! And I’m not just saying that because one of my best girlfriends, Sheralyn, was a huge factor in making it the success that it was. (And she did happen to be the one that invited me!) Contiki doesn’t mess around when they throw a party.
Everything from a custom cocktail list, a VIP section sponsored by the Spanish Tourism Board, tasty hors d’oeuvres (duck confit – wow, yum!), music by DJ Zu of ZUZU Productions, to a cabaret show by NY Jazz Company dancers, contributed to one impressive and memorable party to celebrate Contiki and their longtime supporters. And to top it all off, we were treated to an amazing performance by Canadian singer/songwriter Keshia Chanté. More photos can be viewed on Flickr here.
Contiki Holidays is in the process of re-branding itself to appeal more to their target market, which is 18-35 year olds. This party showcased some of that re-branding with a Euro and Burlesque theme. The photos can’t quite capture just how risqué the cabaret dancers were, saucily stripping down to their teeny tiny birthday suits. I applaud these girls!
Part of this re-branding also includes Contiki launching their “Have You Done It?” campaign with a cheeky video spot that some of you may have seen online. Here’s the teaser that brings you to the website. And here’s the kicker:
Not your typical adventure travel company, eh?
The highlight of the evening, though, was definitely seeing Keshia Chanté perform. What a big sound coming from that tiny frame! I thought the windows of V Lounge might shatter from the force of her powerful voice. She sang about half a dozen songs, finishing off with her new single, “Set You Free,” which starts airing on the radio next week. This was only the second time she’s performed it live – the first time being at the Contiki Bash in Toronto last week. She even happened to name-drop Contiki in the song! That’s a PR dream come true. I smell a collaboration with Contiki & Keshia in the near future, no?
It’s always nice seeing some familiar faces at these kinds of events, and even making a few new friends, too!
Oh yes, I can’t forget the swag bag I was given as I walked out the door. The Lady Dutch purse hook – you know that baby is going to go to good use!
So Contiki… you can definitely feel free to invite me to more of your parties. Brad mentioned something about an anniversary party later on this year… yeah. Ok? Thanks.
It’s a little late, but what the heck. I’ve never done a full year recap on my blog – only a summer recap in photos – probably because it’s very time-consuming. But this year was pretty special, with a lot of news-worthy items to share, so… let’s get started.
I did a contract gig from January to March for AdHack. Some of you might remember.Vodpod videos no longer available.
There was this event that took place in Vancouver that was pretty huge. You might have heard about it.
Oh yeah, and my Mom carried the Olympic Torch in Powell River on February 4th, right before it made its way back to Vancouver for the Opening Ceremonies. KIND OF A BIG DEAL.
Always the best month. My birthday! I celebrated at Sanafir with some of my best girlfriends. Photo courtesy of Erin Buttler.
I took photos of Jerra’s baby belly for her, a month before she gave birth. I love this photo of her.
Twestival Vancouver, held at the CBC Studio. Photo by Jonathan Hanley.
April 26th, my best friend Jerra’s baby girl, Halle, was born.
The Vancouver Sun Run fell on Mother’s Day. As usual, I ran it with my Mom, my friend Danica, and her mom Leslie. We were even featured in the paper, and I wrote a post about it.
Chelsea came to visit BC, all the way from Minnesota!
Conviction Kitchen Season 2 started filming in Vancouver.
The last get-together with Liz and Di, before they took off for summer holidays, and before they both moved away from Vancouver. *tear*
Fun times with fun peeps.
Our annual family getaway to our cabin, Kokanee Cedar, on Powell Lake.
We were also in Powell River for Sea Fair weekend.
And on the 27th of July, my niece Ava Lorraine Hyunseon Behan was born. Love at first sight.
July was a good month.
Conviction Kitchen Season 2 wrap-up party for the last day of filming in Vancouver.
Then back to Powell River for Ava’s christening and for her to meet all of her Behan + Adams family.
On August 27th, my good friend Liz had a little boy named Micah. He was born a little bit early, and there were a few complications, which required him to be flown from the Powell River Hospital to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. But that boy had a big heart and will to live, baby, and he is now as strong as ever, keeping his parents mighty busy. <3
Amanda’s birthday, Stacey P’s birthday/housewarming party, my Dad’s birthday, my cousin Cooper’s birthday, etc. Lots of people are born in September.
I got my new-to-me Nikon D90! Hence, the increase in photos in my Flickr stream. Gobble, gobble.
There was gorgeous weather in October, if you remember.
Oh yeah, I got a new job!
Riot Fashion Show at Guilt & Co. to play around with the new camera.
First trip to Mt. Baker and first ride of the season with Buttler! So snowy and delicious. And it was like a mini vacation because I had to take my passport. Yippee! Photo courtesy of Erin Buttler.
Some kick-arse holiday parties.
Christmas with the fam in PR.
Jaxon’s very first time on skates. He loved it. And it was Ava’s first Christmas.
Happy New Year!
What was your “Best of 2010”? Or rather, what are you looking forward to in 2011?
A few weeks ago, I attended the Riot fashion show at Guilt & Co. My good friend (and hairdresser) Stacey, and her co-worker Amber were a couple of the models, so I brought along my camera to take a few shots for them.
I didn’t really care at first about getting the traditional “runway shots,” but in hind sight, I wish I would have sat at the end of the runway to catch the models when they stopped and actually posed. Those seats were taken quickly, though, and instead I was off to the side of the runway. It was much more difficult trying to get a good shot from there, but I did my best.
I also took a couple of close-up shots before and after the show for Stacey and Amber, because their hair and make-up, which was done by Aveda, looked amazing.
Anyways, I’ve never taken proper photos at a fashion show before, so this was an experiment. You live and you learn! View the full set here.
A few years ago, I won a Pentax K100D, my first DSLR (like Mother, like Daughter!), and that is when I started to fall in love with photography. I didn’t know a thing at first, except for maybe the rule of thirds, but I happened to take decent pictures now and again without even really trying. I taught myself, along with a little help from my brother Jordan, how to use my new camera.
I’ve had a few years with it now, and while I did love my Pentax and get to know it really well, I felt it was really just my “learning camera,” and I was ready to move on to something bigger and better. As we all know, there’s quite the debate over Canon vs. Nikon. I do happen to be a Canon fan; my point-and-shoot is a Canon and I love it. But most of the photographers I know, when asked for advice on what kind of camera to buy, usually suggest buying the same brand of camera as someone you know so that you can share gear with each other. Jordan has the Nikon D80, and has been whispering in my ear for some time that if I want to upgrade, I should go for the D90, probably because he wants to have access to one! It made sense, though. We would be able to share lenses or other gear quite easily, and he could show me the ins and outs of the camera.
Buying the D90 brand new right now was out of my price range, but I still really wanted it. Well, it just so happened that the other day, someone I know mentioned on twitter that he was thinking of making the switch from the Nikon D90 to the Canon 5D Mark II, for video purposes. That got my attention, so I asked if he was going to be selling the D90. Turns out he was, along with 3 lenses, a flash, an 8GB memory card, and a camera bag – all for a very good deal. I was sold.
So today, I have in my hands a new-to-me Nikon D90 camera that I can’t wait to experiment with and learn more about. I haven’t used it much yet, but I took it with me on a recent trip to Powell River for Thanksgiving dinner with the family, and I snapped a few photos. Thank you especially to my good friend and favourite hairdresser Stacey, for being such a good sport! This camera will probably be in your face quite a bit in the near future. That goes for the rest of you, too. If you thought I took a lot of photos before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
For the past 7 or 8 weeks, I have had the pleasure of doing the PR for season 2 of a television show being filmed here in Vancouver called Conviction Kitchen.
We knew it was going to be a big job, but man, am I so glad we went through with it. What a unique experience.
The show Conviction Kitchen is based on a Chef and his wife, Marc Thuet and Biana Zorich, who staff their restaurant with ex-convicts to give them a second chance at life. Not only is there a wonderful program behind this show to help these former offenders get started in a new career, but it’s great television. There is no need to create drama, because in this case, it creates itself.
Media coverage started out slow, with the exclusive first article going to Mia Stainsby of the Vancouver Sun. Then slowly but surely, more coverage started rolling in, and pretty soon the work was doing itself. See for yourself on Google. Marc Thuet + Biana Zorich, the pair who started this fantastic project, were thrilled with the coverage they received here in Vancouver.
We held a media tasting event, where we invited some select media + foodie bloggers to come taste the Conviction menu and cover the event. We also invited some of Vancouver’s top chefs who happen to be close friends with Chef Marc Thuet, and wanted to support his restaurant, and Marc and Biana’s initiative. The food was divine, and the event was well-received by all of those involved.
Friday, August 6, Dawn Chubai from Citytv’s Breakfast Television did the morning show on location at Delilah’s Conviction. 20 BT viewers came in for a one-time-only breakfast served by Marc Thuet. Those were 20 very lucky people (plus a few others, myself included). The breakfast served that morning was out of this world.
This past Saturday, August 7, was the wrap-up party and graduation for the 9 trainees that made it through the 8 weeks of training with Marc and Biana. It was a wonderful party to celebrate the last day of filming, that included a hefty guest list of some of Vancouver’s top local actors, top chefs, and a few friends and family. I have a set on Flickr that include the rest of the photos of some of these events.
Congratulations to Marc, Biana, and all of the trainees, for a wonderful and interesting season in Vancouver. I had an amazing time working on this project, as well as experiencing the behind-the-scenes “magic”. Now, here’s hoping Chef Thuet opens one of his famous bakeries in Vancouver. Who needs a waistline, anyway?
Well, this is kind of exciting. I’ve never had one of my photos featured anywhere, except for maybe my own blog posts!
I’ve been doing some PR for Greg “FBT” Mueller, and on a recent visit to Breakfast Television with him where he was being interviewed, I snapped a few pictures of one of his gold bracelets that he won in the 2009 World Series of Poker. I’ve been keeping track of all of the articles featured on him throughout the 2010 WSOP, but there was a recent poker-related article where I was featured! Or one of my photos was, anyway.
Here is the link for the full article. There is a caption at the bottom and a link to my photo on Flickr. Not only that, it is a great article about the WSOP and Harrah’s Entertainment encouraging poker players to give 1% of their prize money in the 2010 WSOP to charity. Anyway, maybe not all that exciting to you, but kind of cool for me!