Meet Our Portland & Los Angeles Scholarship Winners!

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Image by Danielle

Planning two workshops at once may be double the work but it’s also double the fun – especially when it came to picking our scholarship winners for both cities at the same time.

The three of us trawled though all the amazing entries late last night, emailing back and forth with our favourite ones. Although we were pretty unanimous that our Los Angeles winner had to be Danielle. Her entry was so cute, creative and fun. We might have just been a little swayed by the paper headmistresses (& Gareth!) in the video too – so damn cute!

Some of my eagle eyed readers might actually recognise her – I not only featured her wedding waaaaay back in 2008 (!) but we met in Las Vegas last year and Lisa did a shoot with her and husband Jose. They really are the sweetest couple ever and nobody deserves this more than Danielle.

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Business Bites: Get Stuck In

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via Bakers Royale

I don’t even like chocolate, but this looks utterly delicious.

As well as dreaming of stodgy food all week, I’ve been browsing around on your behalf. Grab a cuppa (and maybe some cake?!) and get stuck in why don’t ya..?

♥ Fabulous article on dealing with imitations 
♥ Desperate measures? Bloggers faking VIP status by paying for their own swag
What you can learn from eight top wedding bloggers (nice to be included, thanks Heidi!)
♥ Everyone has the potential to do something great, even ‘those people
Finding balance when writing features for your blog.

“While it’s important to have a defined niche that your content revolves around, if you wind your blog too tightly around a singular subject, it can become very dry and insular. Always use your niche as a guide — think of it as a bull’s eye in the middle of a dart board. But then, throw some darts a little further outside of the center.” Shauna Haider

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In the Beginning…

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Being at the start of something is an exciting but frustrating time. You have all these ideas and you’re full of enthusiasm (exciting!) but you feel like you’re often held back by your lack of experience, connections or knowledge (frustrating!) A brand new business is like a blank sheet of paper. It can become anything and everything you want it to. It’s full of potential and endless possibilities… you just have to start writing.

If you’re just getting started with your business, instead of feeling like you’re always going to be ten steps behind, I’d implore you to take advantage of this important time.

You’re not jaded

I don’t want to sound cynical, but in any career there will come a time when you start to feel frustrated with something to do with it. However when you’re at the beginning this is way, way off. As a newbie you have no baggage and no wounds that need to heal. Use this time and your positive attitude to really propel yourself forward. Just be sure to remember this feeling when you’re an old cynic like the rest of us!

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Ten Things I Learnt at The Blogcademy

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The Blogcademy has been a life changing new direction for me and my career. Making the decision to teach others was not an easy one and was something that the three of us knew would take some time to perfect. Going into something thinking you have nothing to learn yourself is a fast-track route to failure. In fact I haven’t learnt quite as much about myself, or the way to run a business successfully, in such a short space of time… er ever.

1. Build a strong team

When you go into any new venture, it’s vital to have co-workers that you can trust. Even if you’re going it alone, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do everything yourself. Be sure to hire or collaborate with people who have the same overall vision as you. You need to openly discuss your objectives early on to make sure you’re all on the same page and have the same ultimate goals.

Communication is key. Be sure to talk through any issues or concerns right away – as soon as you feel them arising. Being open and honest about these things with not only help to maintain a healthy working relationship, but will allow your team to help you work through any personal concerns along the way.

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2. Not all advice will be good advice

Asking for feedback from past customers or collaborators is a necessary evil. Sometimes it’s all to easy to bury our heads in the sand and aimlessly convince ourselves that we’ve done a perfect job. But perfection takes time (in reality it will never be met!) and although you may already be aware of areas that need improving in your business, asking for feedback from people who you know will give it to you honestly us a great way to grow. But it can be tough to hear – especially if you feel you’ve worked really hard and put your all into something. It can seem like people are picking holes in everything you’ve done, but they may have noticed things you didn’t and may offer you some really valuable advice about how to improve things next time.

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Announcements, Changes, Reminders & Shout Outs

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Just a little note to let you all know, I’ll be switching over the majority of my coverage of The Blogcademy to The Green Room from now on. The reason being that I anticipate that these posts will be of most interest to the people reading the business and personal updates on my blog rather than the weddings. So make sure you’re checking in here regularly if this kind of stuff floats your boat.

Portland & Los Angeles venues

Plenty has been going on behind the turquoise curtain since London. We did a soft launch of our next cities last month so the eager ones amongst you could plan ahead and now we’re able to finally share all the nitty gritty details, starting with the most important thing – the venues!

I’m thrilled to let you all know that the Portland event will be taking place at the uber cool The Cleaners at Ace Hotel (and there’s a photo booth in the lobby!) with the LA leg going down at Beachwood Studios slap bang in the middle of Hollywood. Oh yes, I can’t wait to get me some of that Californian sunshine!

I’m also super duper head over heels excited that the always epic Made U Look Photography will be joining us in Portland to shoot the workshop and generally hang out with us all weekend. Y’all have to meet these ladies, they are seriously inspiring. If you are interested in film and experimental photography they really are the best of the best. We love them.

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Curriculum changes

In other news, after some feedback from past Blogcadets, we’ve decided to switch up some parts of the curriculum for upcoming workshops. First off, we called upon Richard Wakefield of FX Films to shoot Lisa Devlin‘s photography talk in London so that we can offer it with your ticket purchase – you’ll receive the password and can watch the video as many times as you’d like. Lisa is an award-winning photographer and has a lot packed into her talks and this will benefit you since some of the technical info can take a few viewings to get down.

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