Thursday, 14 November 2013

Photo workshops

As alluded to in my last post, I will be leading photo workshops in the new year.

I've done them before in the UK and Germany, where I gave classes to the families of US service personnel. For a while I even did some for Canon when they bought out the the beautiful T90. I would go to hotels etc and teach new owners about the camera and what it could do.

This time however will be a bit different as they will be given in German!

Luckily I was able to prepare myself for this by giving a private portrait photography workshop last weekend. Two ladies who had attended beginners photography courses wanted to expand their knowledge and learn more about portraiture with emphasis on how to create mood, how to work fast and simply and how to make use of depth of field.

The day went amazingly well. I first showed them a Powerpoint about the techniques we would be learning then I took them to the local railway station where we practised fill-in-flash and depth of field.

Then it was back home to try some portraiture using natural light, flash and diffusers.

Six hours later we finished off and I can honestly say that we had a great time. It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm for photography. They had earlier learned the basics of photography but thanks to the extra tuition, had been able to see what they could actually achieve!

Two satisfied pupils! Beatrice and Sonja

To prepare my Powerpoint, I enlisted the aid of my favourite twin models (who just happen to live nearby and love using my camera themselves), Jeniya and Lera whom you may remember from this earlier post. The picture below shows me taking a shot of Lera with my 24mm lens. I did the same portraits at different focal lengths to show how the face can get distorted.

24mm for a portrait is not recommended

Since then, I've had several queries to give other workshops and I'll be starting that in earnest in the new year. First I have to work out dates and subjects to be covered. If you want to expand your photographic knowledge with a like minded group or on a one to one basis, then please contact me.

Of course the girls simply HAD to take photos of each other. They always produce some great work.

 Keeping track of the shoot.

 Jeniya shoots Lera

 Instant proofing!

 My final pictures. Too good an opportunity to miss.

If you are interested in attending a workshop or having a one on one session with me then please drop me an email.

Thanks for reading


Monday, 11 November 2013


Technology is moving at breakneck speed. Print media is no longer king. If you don't get on-board social media you are doomed to be left behind. That is not an understatement. 

I was somewhat saddened and amused at the ignorance of a man I spoke to at a large Swiss company a year or so back. I asked him ( in his new role as head of the advertising department ), what plans he had to implement social media.

His reply? "I have no plans whatsoever to use socia media channels. They don't bring anything to the table".

Out of curiosity I Googled this gentleman (don't we all?) and found that he actually has a Twitter account, into which he has posted precisely (at the time of this post) FOUR tweets since joining in 2009. One of the Tweets concerned one of the firm's new products.

It's quite inconceivable to me to see how he is going spread the word for his company if he refuses to join the revolution. I see that none of his sixteen followers re-tweeted the product launch news from him. He seems to think that the company's website and paper based print media is the way forward.

At a recent trade fair where he was hosting a stand, I noticed that nearly every other company had a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter account. I was able to follow their activities and get details on the newest product releases etc but from his company there was nothing.

I do notice to his credit however, that he had had videos commissioned to show off the company's products but without the social media aspect to spark interest, there have been very few views.

In October 2011, I began to get interested in social media and online marketing. Statistics fascinate me and with these facts in mind, I started an anonymous blog to test out my theories. I decided from the start to make it anonymous so that the visitor count wouldn't be influenced by any of my acquaintances visiting it. I launched it without any fanfare whatsoever and studied the statistics. Using only keywords, hashtags and a few other search engine optimisation techniques I see that it has now had 61,000 hits!

 Statistics as of November 2013

So what exactly does this have to do with photography I hear you ask?
On my own personal website, I again played with the S.E.O. management and elevated it to number two on the Google Switzerland search results when people type in "fotografie aller art" (all types of photography) into the search field. All this without paying for Adwords or anything.

Well as the title of this post suggests, diversification is the key to surviving nowadays. Apart from photography, I am now offering website optimisation and building to several clients. I'll be helping them get a foothold in the world of social media. Also in the pipeline will be photography workshops in the new year. I'll be writing more about that in my next post.

So to reiterate. Content is king and the best way to get that content out there is to jump onboard the social media bandwagon. You'd better hurry though because it isn't slowing down!

Thanks for reading.