North Metro Photo Blog

January 25, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

North Metro Photo BlogMeet Rob. He maintains the North Metro Photo Blog, a daily photo journal that highlights the Twin Cities and beyond.  He is a photography and blog novice who usually enjoys snapping photos while hiking, biking, fishing, or urban trekking.  Through his images, he shares with the world a unique view of life in the Twin Cities.

Many people blog for different reasons. What is your ultimate goal as a blogger? Basically, why do you blog?

I enjoy art, specifically paintings and photography. Both rely on composition and lighting. Photography is my art form. To improve and hone our photographic skills, we must shoot photos on a regular basis. But what do we do with the hundreds of images we capture? We either print them out to be closeted in a shoe box amongst the dust bunnies, or we upload them to online photo sharing sites such as Flickr. The latter is the most rewarding.

We participate in virtual communities sharing our work and praising each other. But for me, that was not enough. I wanted to be more creative and reach a larger audience. That is when I started my first photo-blog back in May of 2007. Through my old blog and my current blog,, I have been able to meet acquaintances worldwide and share our photos and comments with each other. Together we have learned about each other’s history and culture. It is a fun way to virtually travel the world with a cup of coffee behind the monitor.

Photo-blogging has brought the world into our homes. In short, a photo not shared is not worth taking.

Blogging takes time, dedication, a constant stream of new ideas. What is the biggest blogging challenge you face?

The biggest challenge is time. It takes a lot of time to go out and take photos of interesting subjects, post process them and post the finished results on a daily basis. Life always happens and interferes with the fun. Time is short. I try to keep a minimum of one week of scheduled posts to keep the daily work to a minimum. Time is spent culling images both in the camera and the PC to reduce redundancy and marginal images. Time is spent post processing my images from RAW to JPEG, uploading, posting, etc. There is usually never enough time.

It is the beginning of a new year. Where do you see the “North Metro Photo Blog” going in 2010? Any big changes coming up?

2010 was the end of Dusty Lens at and the beginning of I decided take this to the next level by owning my own domain with a more professional appearance. My hope is to attain some freelance photography work and create a small photography side business. Nothing too big, yet; just enough to pay for more photographic gear.

Watch for more food photography and more off camera flash techniques.

Bloggers often draw inspiration from each other. What other blogs do you enjoy reading and why? What Twin Cities bloggers are your favorites?

There are so many blogs I enjoy I can’t list them all. You can find most of them listed on the sidebar at Many of these blogs, me included, belong to City Daily Photo, a fun way to see the world.

Mononeil has fantastic black and white photos. Paris Set Me Free has interesting video tutorials. Rome Daily Photo, simply because it’s my favorite city and I enjoy her urban style. Spatter for her outstanding nature and macro images. Evry Daily Photo, simple and fun. Maya has excellent work. I just discovered a foodie photoblogger – Smitten Kitchen.

My Twin City favorites who post regularly are Mitchster, Eyephoto and Snapshutter – I regularly shoot with these guys. Sam Can Shoot has the same eclectic style I have. Trout Caviar a local foodie and artisan bread baker.

What do you love about the Twin Cities / Minnesota?

We have a lot of events year round to keep us entertained. There is a lot of great art in the Cities and never really have to commute far to find it. We can photo-shoot wildlife in one of the many area parks and be downtown the same afternoon for some urban and art photo-shooting. The change of seasons always adds to the drama each quarter. Although I am uninspired by this dreary gray winter so far.

Everyone has their own secret for success. Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it in the blogosphere?

Persistence. Keep up with it on a regular basis, not necessarily every day, but at least weekly to retain your followers. It is a fine line between doing too much to the point of burning out from it and not enough to keep people from losing interest. Sign up and use Google Analytics. Analytics has a myriad of charts and tables that pertain to your viewer’s behavior. After some time, you can get a sense of your posted material for what is working and what isn’t. Most of all, keep it fun, this should not be work.


March 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Minneapolis resident Kate-Madonna Hindes publishes the GirlmeetsGeek blog. She is an industry leader, national author and speaker on emotional integrity and authenticity in online media. Columns she writes are regularly published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Women of HR, Brazen Careerist and JobDig. Her some of her speaking and writing credits include bookings at the Keith Ferrazzi’s Relationship Academy, 2010 WordcampMSP, Social Media Breakfast in Imation Headquarters, 2009 Cervical Cancer Conference. A few of her recent on-air appearances were with WCCO and International Radio Station, GirlTalkRadio, and WomeninBusinessRadio.

Your blog has been around for about three years. How has it evolved since you first started blogging?

I’ve actually been blogging close to 15 years. My first years, was through a platform at AOL. Then it moved over to LiveJournal and I had a following with a few other friends. Livejournal gave me the ability to really explore writing the personal and internal emotions that helped me to transform to who I am today. After deliberation, about 3 and a half years ago, I decided to move parts of the journal over, and start It started out as a journal to why I wasn’t married and ended as an internal look into myself, business and passion. I think GirlmeetsGeek is the culmination of who I was, what I was passionate about and how I was living it out loud.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to creating new content? How do you overcome it?

I don’t write, unless I feel something in my fingertips telling me to. I find, that when I let my passion take control, my writing is far better than if I allow myself to blankly type words. I never blog about my daily life, only about moments that matter most. I don’t want to ‘water down’ my writing with mediocrity and I’m too busy to worry about blogging daily. I have other posts I can pull from if my focus is on business, or I have too many deadlines that week. What keeps my writing, ‘fresh’ and ‘unique,’ is the emotion behind it. I always taken on submissions, (I believe GirlmeetsGeek should be a place of words, not just MY words,) so other writers are always welcome. I have always found that good writers are open to the influences around them. I’m a news junkie and I write a lot of my pieces on Social Justice and giving voice to the oppressed. GirlmeetsGeek has become an emotional platform for the forgotten, the passionate and the unvocalized.

People blog for different reasons. What is the most rewarding aspect of maintaining the Girl Meets Geek blog?

I write, because it’s in my blood. I don’t believe in the word, “Blog.” I’m a writer. I’m not a ‘blogger.” I think by using the terms, ‘blog,’ or ‘blogger,’ we limit ourselves. I’m convinced if you cut me open, letters and punctuation would flow from my veins. You could say I blog, because I feel best when my thoughts form into words, hit my keyboard screen and I can read them back and think, “YES.” GirlmeetsGeek is for me, only- it always has been. You’ll notice, there’s no ads on my site and I’m not involved in any communities. I wanted to establish something different for GirlmeetsGeek. I wanted the words, the emotion and the quality to speak for itself, but only because I wanted to put authentic words out there. At the end of the day, the site is for my daughter and I. I want her to see a woman who overcame tremendous odds to grow as a human being and create the world she wanted.

What is one thing you hope your readers learn/understand from reading it?

I hope whomever visits, realizes that we all have greatness in them. I started writing stories when I was in the First Grade. I knew from a young age, that words were my currency to the world. We all have gifts, and they only resonate with others if we put passion and purpose behind those gifts. David Brauer from MinnPost once told me, “Dream Responsibly.” I’ve taken that to heart. GirlmeetsGeek is my Responsible Dream. Our lives are only measured by what we DO with them, not what we WANT out of them. I hope GirlmeetsGeek inspires others to take action and create the future they want.

Bloggers often draw inspiration from each other. What other blogs do you enjoy reading? Who are your favorite local Twin Cities bloggers?

My google reader currently has thousands of new posts in it. I desperately need to catch up on my reading. Since I’m a news junkie, sites I read daily include:; Minnesota Independent, Minnesota Public Radio and my daily dose of Women of HR. I also like to check out the bloggers highlighted on the Twin Cities Spark!

What do you love the most about living in the Twin Cities and why?

I love the community that Minneapolis and St. Paul offers. It’s not the restaurants, (though wonderful,) the shopping, or the sights- it’s the people. Minnesota truly has the kindest and closest-knit people I’ve ever met. I’m a ‘lifer’ here. I don’t think I’ll ever leave.

What aspect of Spring in Minnesota are you most looking forward too?

I’m looking forward to seeing the sunshine through my daughter’s hair. There’s been a moment every year, where Ava and I are on the grass outside and I look at her, and she’s smiling and her hair is nothing but GOLD. There’s something about the glisten, the warmth and the together-time of summer; skirts and high heels. I’m a winter-lover, through and through, but there are adventures in the summer that I can’t conquer when it’s -20 outside. I love hitting up local farmer’s markets, Como Zoo and traveling up to Lake Superior. My summes have been defined by the memories of years before. Hopefully this summer is no different!


2 Responses to “GirlmeetsGeek”

  1. The Nerdy Nurse (1 comments.) says:

    Talent and passion just ooze out of this girls pores, don’t they?

    Meeting Katie and seeing the passionate she has for words, and the world around her, is inspiring, at the very least. So glad that the universe aligned, twitter exists, and celebrities at Vegas parties entertained us.

    Great article!

i am mommy – i am baker

January 6, 2011 by Sara · 6 Comments 

The blogger behind the i am mommy and i am baker blogs really has her hands full. Married with three children and a fourth on the way, Amanda still manages to find time to blog and bake – in vast quantities. Through her i am mommy blog, she shares stories from her life with husband Chad and children Colton, Parker and Audrey. At her i am baker blog, she indulges serious sugar lovers by sharing mouth-watering photos and calorie-laden recipes. She also sells cookies and cakes through the site, though her schedule is filling up fast. The two blogs together are a peek into one young family’s domestic life.

You maintain two blogs, i am baker and i am mommy. What specifically drew you to blogging?

I started my first blog with a newborn and a new outlook… I was a SAHM for the first time in my life and didn’t really know how to reach out. Blogging seemed like a great way to connect with other people that were in the same boat as me.

What was one of the first things you learned to cook?

Lasagna. Then Beef Stroganoff. And not too much since then! (I am a terrible cook!)

If you had $100 extra dollars right now, what kitchen- or cooking-related items that you don’t own would you purchase?

Well, I don’t have one of those nice stationary KitchenAid Mixers… I use a hand mixer for everything. It is pretty ridiculous, but I am used to it now. J

If you could eat a certain food everyday without repercussions, what food would you choose and why?

I love massive amounts of sugar. And carbs. Basically I could eat donuts and cake at every meal.

Bloggers often draw inspiration from each other. What other blogs do you enjoy reading? Who are your favorite local Twin Cities bloggers?

I love,,,, and so many more! Locally I adore Shaina from Stephanie from (who has just started a MN Food Bloggers group that is fabulous, find out more on twitter at #MNfoodbloggers) Crystal at Truly… I could go on and on, the twin cities have SO many fantastic bloggers!

What do you love the most about living in the Twin Cities / Minnesota and why?

I love the weather. Really! All four seasons. I also love being near family (mine is in Fargo, in laws are WI) so we are able to visit them both!

2011 is upon us. Have you made any big plans for your blog in the New Year?

If anything, I hope to slow down! I am pregnant with our fourth child (who is due is March) and am hoping to just relax and be mommy for awhile. Granted, being a mommy to me involves lots and lots of baking, so I still get to share all of that fun on my blogs!


6 Responses to “i am mommy – i am baker”

  1. bridget {bake at 350} (1 comments.) says:

    Amanda is one of my FAVORITE bloggers! With every post, I am amazed and inspired. Not only is she a talented baker, she is funny and her blog is a joy to read. Hoping I get to meet her in real life one day….and maybe have one of her cookies! ;)

  2. Shaina (Food for My Family) (1 comments.) says:

    I adore Amanda! She’s definitely good people and incredibly talented, and I’m so excited she’s joining me in the 4 kids club. I can’t wait to squeeze that new little one of hers!

  3. Sue (1 comments.) says:

    Amanda is so full of positive energy, creativity and baking fun that I love visiting her blog! Cheers to 2011 Amanda, and baby #4!

  4. Crystal (1 comments.) says:

    Great feature on Amanda. She is a wonderful person and greatly creative!

  5. Kristen (1 comments.) says:

    Amanda – You really need a KitchenAid! I don’t know how you do all the baking you do without one!

    Maybe instead of baby gifts you can ask for a KitchenAid mixer :)