Wednesday, December 28, 2011


So it is not all that often that I post advertisements. In fact, I don't think I have ever done so. But this isn't really an advertisement. It is more of an opportunity. There is a giveaway going on for a Nikon/Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. Now, I currently use a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens and it is absolutely amazing! I adore it. I take it with me everywhere. The 1.4 is supposed to be a world apart. So, you know that I am going to be entering this contest. I thought you might want to as well :) So pop over to if you'd like to participate!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What are you worth?

I discovered a clever little site a few years ago. At the time, I used it for my writing while Grant used it to further his Photoshop skills. But over the past few months, I have also found it incredibly useful for photography. That site is Worth1000.

Worth1000 is a site filled with contests. The contests are arranged into different categories, such as Effects, Photography, Writing and more. Every few days a new contest is posted and everyone has the opportunity to enter. There are levels and rules, of course, but you can always find a contest aimed at your skill level and providing some interesting ideas. I have found it particularly useful when it comes to photography, since it gives me the incentive to try new things. Once the contests close for entry, everyone has the chance to rate the photos that were entered to decide on a winner. There are no prizes, but it is still a great feeling to know that people thought your photo was the tops, and you will find that the site randomly picks winning photographs to display as photos of the day, which (I imagine) is also a great feeling!

Worth1000 is also a great place to enter into discussions and ask questions. There are forums for each section which allow people to ask questions and get answers from those with more experience than yourself. Because there are different categories, you will find that the people entering the contests will range from beginners to experts, and you know that there is always the opportunity to learn. During the contests themselves you can also ask for constructive criticism of your photographs, which means that you can learn what it is that people don't like about your photographs and what it is that they do like. You also have the option of closing your photos to comments, which means that you will only get feedback if that is what you want.

Another thing that I love about Worth1000 is their mentoring programme. I was involved in this during the month of November where I got paired with an expert from the States and we had weekly Skype sessions to discuss photographs and to learn more about photography. It was an awesome experience, since I learned quite a lot about placement, using Photoshop and more.

Entering Worth1000 contests is a great way to challenge yourself and to move beyond what you know and into areas that you are still uncertain about. It is a great way to put yourself out there and receive positive feedback and constructive criticism for your photographs, writing, Photoshop work and more. I would highly recommend that any beginner, or photographer of any level for that matter, enter a competition or two and see how you do. You never know what may come of it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012 Photography Goals

Good morning Ladies and Gents :)

It is that time of year again where holidays are around the corner, work is winding down and you start reminiscing of the year that has past and dreaming of the year that is ahead. A lot of the photography blogs that I have been reading have been listing their photography goals for 2012, and it took me about 3 minutes to write up my own, purely because they have been on my mind a lot recently. So here they are:


1. Get my website up and running.
This is something that is already in the pipeline. Watch this space within the next week or two for more details, but I am expecting to have my website up (not quite complete, but at least up) before the end of the month. Maybe even before Christmas. *Holding thumbs*

2. Build my photography studio.
For those of you who are not aware (i.e. those of you who do not follow my other blog about what goes on in my life rather than my photography) I recently moved to a new house. This house is still in Grahamstown, not far from where we used to stay, but is a lot bigger. It also has a double garage, and Grant and I have decided that we are going to make full use of this extra space - Grant by buying a table tennis table, and me by building a small and mobile photography studio. Mobile because, of course, I need to park my car in there at night. But imminently doable. The move, of course, has been quite harrowing on our budgets and so Project Studio will need to wait until next month to get its feet off the ground.

3. Create at least one printed portfolio.
I have been thinking about doing this for awhile now. I know that I intend to have more than one portfolio since I enjoy so many different types of photography - portrait, nature, events, etc. - but by the end of 2012 I hope to have cut down and printed at least one portfolio to show to prospective clients.

4. Be paid for at least one job.
This is one of the biggest tests for 2012. So far, out of all of the photography shoots that I have done, I have only been paid for one, and even that was a special deal for a friend where I charged her a third of my intended price. Don't get me wrong though - the photo shoots that I did were intentionally free of charge because I needed to get experience, needed to get a working portfolio before I felt that I could start charging. However, now that I have got some experience, I feel that charging clients for shoots is the next logical step. The rates are still likely to be lower than other photographers, because I am still an amateur, and negotiable for the same reason. But I am hoping to gain a meagre income from my photography, and by 2013 I hope to make a decision as to whether this is a viable business opportunity or nothing more than a hobby.

5. Have at least two clients who are not direct friends or relatives.
This is another of the big tests. I am never going to be able to make a business or a career out of photography if I am only photographing friends and family. It will especially be the case if I am not charging friends and family for sessions. I need to see if others find my services good or worthwhile, and the only way that I am going to find that out is if I put myself out there and see if anyone is interested in the services that I can offer. Here's hoping that I get the opportunity to have sessions with people in and around Grahamstown.

6. Purchase at least one new piece of equipment.
This is something that I am going to have to save up for and there are going to definitely be decisions to make. There are so many bits and bobs that I want to add to my camera bag (not to mention a new camera bag itself)! Most of all, I want a wide angle lens, but as that is the most expensive lens available, it will take some searching to find a good second hand one for a reasonable price. If I can't manage the lens itself, I am considering getting a wide-angle attachment for my lenses, and then I will look into getting other things like an off-camera flash, a new camera bag, a Lensbaby Composer (so cool!), lens filters and more.

7. Rebrand/Revise/Redo my Facebook page.
Every time I look at my Facebook page compared to those of other photographers, I feel way behind. This is partly because I am way behind on followers and partly because they all have uber-cool designs and logos and are constantly updating their posts, sites, photography, etc. This is something that I intend to do more of next year and I am hoping that it will lead to more popularity and more followers.

8. Gain at least one follower on this blog.
Speaking of followers, I have no idea how many people are following this blog, but the stats aren't looking too good. Most of my posts get between 5 and 17 views in their lifetimes, with photo shoots with friends (who pass the link on to others) getting far higher viewing stats. So I am hoping that this number will rise with more photo shoots and with the website. Speaking of which, there is going to be a little redecorating and renaming of the website going on. Keep an eye out.

9. Write at least one new photography blog post every two weeks.
Part of the problem with people not visiting the site, I feel, is that I don't post often enough on interesting subjects. Well, I tend to post on subjects that are interesting to me, but I definitely don't post often enough. So, one of my goals for next year will be to post a lot more regularly. I feel that once every two weeks will be enough to keep people interested, but not drown them in information that they don't necessarily want to read.

10. Do a new photography challenge every week.
And finally, I have set a goal to do a photography challenge every week. Some weeks I am sure will coincide with the challenges from the photography sites that I follow - sites like Digital Photography School and Photofocus. But there is also a book that I am going to be using as a tool for deciding on challenges. I am going to occasionally run my own challenges, and I am hoping that some people will participate in these challenges. You don't need to have a fancy camera, you could just use your phone. But I will be posting different ideas each week for photographs, and I am hoping that people will participate together with me. Consider it a 52-week challenge rather than a 365 day challenge. 52 awesome photos in a year? Totally doable.

And so there they are. My own photography goals for 2012. What are your goals, photographic or otherwise?