After 2 years of having 2 weekends of blog conferences back to back, I know it’s too hard. In future if the timings are like that again, I’ll be making a decision for one only, and based on BML17 this year, it won’t be that one unfortunately. I want to focus this on one of the good things about BML this time, and that was the insta-walk – a London South Bank walk.
Much as I love to wander with my camera (especially in cities or towns, they’re so much more interesting than lots of fields that we have at home), I’ve never done an official insta-walk so I was pretty excited. This one was being led by Maria from One Tiny Leap (love her epic photos so much) and Cathy from Mummy Travels (poor N is way behind her daughter’s travelling, with Jersey being the furthest he’s travelled).
The Friday afternoon this year for BML, bloggers were able to book onto different experiences, but I wanted to go on the insta-walk. It turned out to be a good choice. It wasn’t too busy which meant we could chat properly to people as well as taking our time and enjoying the sights, including some quirky back lanes that you’d not usually see.
After some frantic panics from me (that I’d be late thanks to having to rely on Google Maps on my phone which I hate – I much prefer a paper A-Z book), and everyone when we realised the art installation that was to be the meeting place had been removed. We then got on our way, starting at the Tate Modern facing St Pauls, then walking left past the Founders Arms (great chips served there as I recall from years back).
With the river, people, art and architecture to photograph we were spoiled for choice. There’s always something for everyone, and while many of us take lots of photos of our children, an insta-walk means practising photographing other subjects.
We detoured off the main South Bank walkway a couple of times to spot light installations and the muses behind the OXO tower, street art, and Gabrief’s Wharf which is full of pastel coloured little shops and quirky wall text.
Finishing off by the fairground just in time to catch the first part of the sunset was lovely. I’m a big fan of playing with shutter speed on my camera, and although we missed the pinky sky that appeared while we were in the pub, we did get some lovely silhouette shots. Most of us ended up in the pub afterwards for the welcome drinks, which was a nice end to the afternoon.
I really enjoyed the walk, got some nice shots, and was able to meet new people, chat to bloggers I already knew, and get to know those whose blogs I’ve read but never had a chance to meet before. It was also a great start to the weekend in giving me the chance to already know people who I would see the next day. If you’re someone who gets anxious or is shy of approaching and talking to new people at conferences, then I’d recommend looking out for any pre-conference meet ups.
Did you go to BML17? How did you find it? Where do you recommend for an photography walk?