Photography and Social Media tips

I’ve been a blogger for many years, since 2005 in fact, and own a few blogs on various topics. Firm believer that you should keep your blog focused on one topic – although you may have many categories under that one topic. In this case, this blog relates to photography and the categories relate to various aspects of photography.  While I mainly share my own photos here, from time to time I like to share information and tips. By the way, this is my 1400th post on this blog 🙂

Many will know I have a Facebook page called DandenongRangesNaturePhotography and I thank those of you who are following me there. I know many of my followers are from outside of Australia and I love that you love seeing Australian flora and fauna and bird-life. They are my passion.

In May I registered a new business and website called Garden Imagery. I spend a lot of time in my own garden and in other people’s gardens and love to photograph gardenscapes and also individual plants, flowers, leaves, trees, fungi and other interesting things found in a garden. This new site is designed to be a stock library with images for publications and individuals to purchase.

Early May I set up a new Twitter account called GardenImagery. This is because I’ve been concentrating a lot on gardenscapes and love the variety seen in gardens everywhere. Everyone who owns or works in a garden puts their own stamp on it. My love for gardening came from my grandparents on both sides, but probably more from my maternal grandmother whom I used to stay with as a child and in my early teens. I often worked with her in her garden and she would tell me stories about all the plants she had growing. I also grow some of those plants today because it brings her closer to me.

Most recently I started an account at Instagram also called GardenImagery.  Using Instagram has been a bigger learning curve for me as I’ve never used it before and while I applied some of the same principles as Twitter, it is quite different.

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Below are tips that will help you for Instagram.

  1. Create a name that relates to your topic. Unless you specifically need people to follow your name.
  2. Make sure you fill out your profile and include your web or blog address. Your statement should outline what you do, who for and why, if possible.
  3. Use quality images to upload rather than quick snapshots. If you’re a photographer you’ll want to do this anyway.
  4. Watermark your images with your web address or something that lets people know who took the photo.
  5. Add an Instagram badge to your website, blog and anywhere else, linked to your account.
  6. You don’t have to write a lot but adding a description helps.
  7. Use #hashtags with keywords to describe your image, i.e. #australia, #gardening, #plants.  Instagram will show you words that have the highest amount of usage when you begin typing different words. These hashtags can be used by many in searches to find topics such as yours. Make use of them.
  8. Create your own unique hashtag if you can. Mine is #gardenimagery.
  9. Post to your other social media accounts too, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m told that IFTTT.com is perfect for this.
  10. While you can’t post your images direct from a desktop you can use a program like Later.com to preschedule from your desktop, including your para of text and hashtags (if you’re like me I hate trying to type lengthy things on the phone). I’ve found this to be an excellent resource for scheduling multiple posts over several days so you’re not spending all your valuable time posting on a regular basis. You get 30 free posts a month or there are subscriptions for more posts per month.
  11. Stats – Instagram will show you how many followers you have, how many have liked your photo and comments that have been left but if you want more than that then perhaps iconosquare is worth checking out. I haven’t used it yet but have read that others swear by it.
  12. Monitor your posts – which ones get the most likes and why? Can you post more images of a similar nature?

Well, I hope this tips will help you with your social media accounts and particularly Instagram. As I use it more I’ll probably have more tips to share!

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Meet Steve and the crew from our workshop

Delighted to see that Steve has shared some of our photos and about the workshop on his website.  We really did have a lovely 2 days – it went far too fast but I did learn a great deal once again. This is the second workshop I’ve done with Steve Parish and very different to the first one. And again, I learnt so many things.

He is very generous with his knowledge and sharing.  Everyone really did enjoy their time together.

This is a photo of the group (I’m 3rd from the right).

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If you would like to see the photos that Steve has shared from each of the group please visit this page.

Wishing you’d come along too? Why not subscribe to Steve’s newsletter on the home page of his site and receive a free Photo Tips eBook as well?

Nature Photography Workshop next month

We have a number of new readers amongst us so thought I’d promote this again.

uniquesessions2On Saturday/Sunday 20-21 September, Steve Parish is holding a nature photography workshop at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre. This property has acreage and there will be animals and reptiles brought in for the workshop. Day 1 will be a practical day of taking photos under Steve’s guidance and Day 2 will be about how to use those photos and what to do with them.

There are still some places available and I would love to see some of you there.

Full details and bookings can be made at http://www.steveparish-natureconnect.com.au/events/victoria-nature-photography-workshop/.

There is an option to pay in part payments but time is getting short to take advantage of that. If you need to ask me questions privately feel free to email me direct.

Steve doesn’t come to Victoria often for events like this so this is a great opportunity. I attended the last one (quite different to this one) 3 years ago and it was given to me as a birthday present by my family. With Christmas coming up it could also be an early Christmas present for some.

Best regards,

Kathie Thomas

Steve Parish Nature Photography Workshop

If you’re in Victoria (or willing to travel here) and interested in learning more about how to use your camera and about nature photography, then this workshop is for you.

Being held 20-21 September in Belgrave Heights, surrounded by beautiful natural bushland, Steve will be holding an intimate workshop limited to a small number of photographers. If proved to be popular then more workshops will be run next year.

Steve resides in QLD and runs regular workshops there and has been running some in NSW and occasionally in SA too. I attended one of his workshops in 2011 when he came to Malvern where it was held in a gallery. This time round though, we’ll get the opportunity for hands-on outdoor photography with a variety of animals and reptiles one day and the second day will concentrate on what we do with those photos.

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For a list of workshops around Australia that Steve is running click here.

And if you specifically want to register for the Victorian one (and I hope you do), please go here.

If you know of others who might be interested, please forward this post to them.  I hope to see you there!

Taking a photo a day

Hi, have you missed me? I have been around, mostly at Facebook, and life before Christmas was incredibly crazy. But I don’t stop taking photos almost every day of my life.  A great way of improving my skills, getting to know my camera well and seeing things in a way that I might not have, had I not been using my camera.

Does that describe what you’d like to achieve?  Have you heard of Project 365?  In 2010 and 2011 I did Project 365 via a photography forum and also Flickr, choosing to take a photo a day for a whole year, twice over.  This really did improve my skills and my knowledge of my camera. While I would not consider myself an expert by any means I do believe that I’m a lot more proficient than those who only use their cameras now and then.  Doing this two years in a row actually got me quite addicted to taking photos regularly and my camera travels with me everywhere now.

If you would like to improve your skills too, I’d like to encourage you to consider joining a group I started for this year.  It’s called the 2014 365 Photo Project. Currently we have 31 members but there’s room for a lot more growth in the group. The object of the group is for each member to post one photo a day to share with the group, so as to encourage them to practice regularly. Some can’t do it daily, and that’s ok, some have chosen to do a compilation of the week once a week instead. Whatever suits you, I invite you to share with us your photo a day, whether with a regular camera or your phone camera.  I guarantee at the end of this year your skills with your chosen tool will have improved a great deal 🙂  Why not join us today?  By the way, if you don’t want to post photos but would like to see what others are posting, feel free to join us still.  Leaving comments to encourage others would be a good thing to do.

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