Social Media – A photographer’s best friend?

So far this Blog has been about events I’ve attended and shoots I’ve gone on but I also want it to be about my experiences and success (or not) as a photographer and where better to start than social media platforms?!

Please vote on my Flickr Poll – At the end of this post.

So, why? Well, there’s so many different ways to get your message or art out there, it can be confusing sometimes trying to work out what websites and platforms you should use. Here’s my two cents on the platforms I’m using but first I’ll tell you why I decided to write this Blog now!

A couple of days ago I decided I needed a Facebook fan page to increase my audience. I already use Redbubble, Twitter, Blipfoto and of course WordPress, so why do I need Facebook as well? I’ve used Facebook in my personal life for years now and find it a great way to share my life with friends and to keep up to date with what my favourite brands, companies, celebrities, bands and artists are up to. I thought it wouldn’t hurt for me to create a Facebook fan page for my work, it wouldn’t be too much extra work because I could update it the same way I update Twitter but I would obviously need to provide different things on my fan page to keep people interested.

Over the last few days I’ve only attracted a few likes and that’s from people who are already my friends so it’s obvious I do need to work harder to advertise my fan page, maybe a Facebook ad is required? I don’t know and to be honest, unless I can start attracting more fans (possibly with album updates about ongoing projects) I don’t see the point in using Facebook to gain interest. I’ll let you know how it goes but in the mean time here’s what I feel about my other social media platforms. Oh and make sure you jump over to Facebook and like my page :-)

I couple of years ago I joined Redbubble:

When I first joined I have a feeling there were less people using it and so I had more ‘success’ there. When I say success I mean more people seemed to be interested in my work, I still didn’t have any sales but at least people were commenting on my work and giving me their opinions. Well, cut a long story short, I neglected Redbubble until quite recently and have definitely noticed that it has become more difficult to gain interest in your work; I’ve been placing images in groups and am starting to get involved in competitions but to keep up with everyone else (who mostly seem to be full time photographers and artists) I need to spend a few hours every day on the site and even more hours on my photography which can be difficult when you’re not doing it full time.

Anyway, my main thought about Redbubble is that, with the research I’ve done on other sites such as DeviantArt etc, Redbubble seems to offer more. I do think however that they really need to develop an App for HTCs, IPhones etc just for us keep up to date with what’s going on, I seem to spend more time on Twitter, Blipfoto and Facebook just because of their Apps.

That moves me pretty perfectly on to Twitter:

I’ve been Tweeting for a while now but only really got stuck into it around a year ago when I bought my HTC Desire. Twitter is perfect for sharing interesting things and giving short, to the point messages about what I’m up to, where I am and if I have new work on Redbubble, Blipfoto and WordPress. Really I’ve found it to be the best way to promote my work, it’s a way to drive traffic to my other platforms but it’s also great for keeping up with what going on in the photography world and other artists.

Next in line is WordPress, which I joined in June 2010 with not a clue how I was going to use it:

Since then I’ve not used it much but am trying harder to post more often now. Again it’s a great way to drive more traffic to other locations, such as my Redbubble (which is where I want everyone to go because that’s is where, eventually, I will start making money) but I also want to use it to showcase my photographs and experiences from events I’ve been to and projects I’m conducting, I’m also trying to turn it into a place where other photographers can get ideas about how to create audiences for their images (that’s what this post is about).

So far I’ve had bits of interest on WordPress but not too many comments; I would like people to let me know what they think about my work but with so many other places for them to do that perhaps WordPress just isn’t the right platform?

Ultimately I want to learn from others and hear what people think about my work and although Redbubble has been okay for that (less recently), Twitter has been good for letting people know about me and I think WordPress will become a good place to share fuller stories and events, I recently realised I wanted / needed something else, so in the New Year I got my Blip on!

01st January 2011 was my first Blipfoto Journal entry and I’ve been shooting a new photo for it every day since:

Blipfoto has been great, the most supportive online community I’ve found in a while, a great concept and a really elegant system to show case your work. It’s pushed me to find a new subject every day and it’s beginning to help me find my unique selling point or work out exactly what my photographic style is. It has become the perfect place to find out what people think about my photography and has really rejuvenated my passion for photography and my resolve to become a more accomplished photographer.

All in all, each of these platforms have their place:

Redbubble: Show casing, selling, learning, communicating

WordPress: Sharing experiences, events, places and stories

Blipfoto: Inspiration, sharing, learning, communicating

Twitter: Advertising all of the above and sharing interesting things

Lastly, Facebook: All of the above (I think) apart from selling, we’ll see how the next few months go.

I hope you’ve found all of this interesting enough, and please go take a look at all of my places. Oh and to answer that question at the beginning ‘Social Media – A photographer’s best friend?’: Yes most definitely, if used correctly and kept up to date all of the platforms I am using can be a great way to build your audience but I’ve got one last thing to ask you; with all I do on all of these platforms should I do more? Is Flickr somewhere I should be or are all of these enough? Please vote on this post’s Poll!

Thanks for visiting,

JJFA

© All images featured copyright JJFA 2011

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A lesson: New Year in Lewes

Hey everyone and Happy New Year! It’s taken me a while, but here it comes, New Year in Lewes.

Right here cometh the lesson, what you will need:

1-     Your old local pub (The Volunteer, Lewes)

2-     A great band (Hendrix tribute band, Dolly Dagger)

3-     Fancy Dress / Costumes (Robin Hood, Gypsy Pirate, Pixie and Popeye among others)

4-     Your Canon EOS 400D and brand new Diana F+ cameras

5-     Alcohol

6-     Lastly, and most importantly, some of the most interesting characters Lewes has to offer, including your beautiful girlfriend!

Well, to be honest I think I’m just going to let the pictures tell the story from here on in! Enjoy!

The Volunteer Team: The Gypsy Pirate, The Pixie, Popeye the Sailorman and the Bunny Barmaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrissie (The Landlady) and Popeye stealing ‘Spinach’

Dolly Dagger get The Volunteer in the New Year mood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gypsy Pirate and Popeye and The Pixie and I don’t know what!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Barmaids steal Robin Hood’s (My) bow and arrows!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incredible Dancing Man (IDM, if you know Lewes you know him!) and my Diana F+ with the Gypsy Pirate

Wonder where she got that black eye?

Air Guitar!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They all bow to IDM and Quinn the Pirate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pixie takes over the drums and The Gypsy Pirate meets Dolly Dagger’s guitarist

The Bunny Barmaid (Landlady), The Pixie and the Tap Dancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gypsy Pirate gets excited by her champaign and IDM walking off with his costume medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pixie likes to jump!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three barmaids enjoying themselves! :-)

The Gypsy Pirate and the Pixie and my first Blipfoto entry :-)

Bunny Barmaid has had enough, she was off to bed! Not sure what Gypsy Pirate was up to here!

Gypsy Pirate (Naomi) doing something strange again!

And here endith the lesson!! Happy New Year everyone!

The shots I took with my Diana F+ will be around soon, I’ll let you know when they’re ready.

In 2011 I’m planning on attempting to Blog once a fortnight, but don’t hold me to it!

Want to know more about me? Well, here are your options!

Follow me on Twitter: JJFA87

Subscribe to my Photo Journal at Blipfoto.com: JJFA

To buy any of the featured shots (I’ll put the best on soon) visit my Bubblesite: jjfa.redbubble.com

Thanks for visiting,

JJFA

© All images featured copyright JJFA 2010. All rights reserved.

 


Ooh Snow! P.S. Merry Christmas

Predictable? Yes! Necessary? Hell Yeah!!

So if you haven’t noticed, its been snowing rather a lot in the UK! I do love snow, the way it suddenly makes everything equal, all with the same pure white coat, although it does cause quite a few problems once it gets going! However, enough of that, I don’t want to babble on about how this year’s helping of the white stuff has caused travel ‘chaos’ or how ‘badly’ councils have done at looking after the roads, because I really don’t think pointing the finger and blaming everyone else helps, also Highways Agencies in Sussex and Kent have both done a lot better than last year!

Anyway, the snow, like I said I do love snow, it brings out this community spirited side of people that we don’t see often enough, people using local shops, helping to grit the pavements, visiting vulnerable neighbours etc etc… but trying to get out in it on a little photo shoot can be a bit stressful when everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves and your freezing your fingers off trying to find that unique shot no one else has thought of, which becomes even harder once you realise (to quote a very grumpy woman who pushed by me in Canterbury) ‘everyone SUDDENLY thinks they’re a photographer when it snows’. Never the less I did get out there in Canterbury, Kent during the first bout of snow at the beginning of December and have recently been shooting in Lewes, East Sussex.

Hope you enjoy my shots and please let me know what you think.

Canterbury 01st to 03rd December 2010:

 

Lewes 18th December 2010:

I hope you enjoyed my images, please comment and let me know what you think of my shots. To keep up to date with what I’m doing follow me on Twitter: JJFA87.

If you’d like to buy any of the featured shots I’ll be throwing them up on jjfa.redbubble.com as soon as I can, if the one you want isn’t there let me know and I’ll add it.

P.S. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I’ll see you in 2011.

Seasons Greetings,

JJFA

© All images featured copyright JJFA 2010. All rights reserved.

 


Lewes Bonfire 2010 – An ‘Experience’

Halleluiah Wi-Fi at last! So, here’s my first real Blog, wasn’t sure what I wanted it to be about but decided against slating Sky for their series of unforgivable mistakes in attempting to get me online, congratulating Talk Talk for their more than adequate service or talking about our move from Lewes, East Sussex to Canterbury, Kent. Instead I thought I’d talk about the incredible experience of Lewes Bonfire; I’ve been at the celebration for the last 4 years but only really got stuck into the crowd for the first time this year, which just happens to be the year I moved away from Lewes.

My girlfriend and I only lived in Lewes for a year, August 2009 to 2010, and had to travel down from our new home in Canterbury to be around on November 5th but it was something we had to do; having worked in Lewes for the last 3 years and going to college there several years ago that small amount of time living in the town quickly stabilised it as our adopted home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right, so onto the Bonfire – Started out at The Volunteer pub, busier than usual of course, just apint or two I told myself then I’ll go for a walk, which I did! Ended up around the train station, not much going on until suddenly, out of nowhere, Southover Bonfire Society appeared pushing me to the side of the soon to be jam-packed street; I swiftly realised the order of the evening, one of overcrowded streets, loud bangs, colourful costumes and possible dangerous encounters! Not long after, the streets were full and I was on my way to The Volunteer’s roof to capture the societies at their best, that’s where I managed to capture the first two shots here of Cliffe Bonfire Society’s amazing torch lit procession.

Next it was time for me to get immersed in the crowd, which is where I knew I would find some great perspectives, by this time I had obviously had more than that one or two pints I had promised myself which I think probably allowed me to throw away some of my inhibitions and jump head first into the front of the crowd, having my Canon SLR definitely helped with this, there were so many people who automatically apologised for being in my way and assumed I was more important than them because of my professional looking equipment. As the procession headed into Cliffe High Street I became the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights as the front of the Bonfire Societies and a senior Police Officer came toward me at speed; the procession was not as accommodating as my fellow spectators and a lot of them seemed to look at the crowds with disgust, I got the distinct feeling that they didn’t like their tightly packed supporters and the senior Police Officer leading the procession ensuring the spectators were at a safe distance, I decided not to include those negative shots but instead thought you’d enjoy these images of the back of the procession heading off, the red torches really provided a great lighting situation in the image

to the left entitled Red Skull. The shot to the right was a proper right place right time moment, I got so many images of the crowd as a whole but trying to get right in the thick of the action was a bit more dangerous, nevertheless this image of a Lewes Borough Bonfire Society Barrel Boy came out extremely well and was even featured as one of Viva Lewes’ pictures of the week: www.vivalewes.co.uk. During this crazy few minutes of clicking away I took so many shots, I don’t even remember shooting the one below but am so glad I did, I love the feel of it, the Custodian in the foreground looking out onto the slowly dispersing crowd and other Officers in the background trying to keep order gives the image a 19th century feel just like the ‘Red Skull’ image with the cobbled streets and old style street lights.



After this somehow I ended up in School Hill, following a slow swim through the sea of spectators, just in time to capture a shot I’m sure many people got. Cliffe Bonfire Society’s amazing tab crashed through the streets Godzilla style! I think the colours on this image really give it something the other shots just don’t have, it feels dark and evil to a certain extent and I love David Cameron’s focused red eyes here!

Right so what next, back to the pub? If I can make it! School Hill is less than 1 minute away from The Volunteer but from what I remember it must have taken me almost 20 minutes to push through the waves of people all seemingly going the other way, when I did get there however I managed to get out of the way and capture this colourful image of just how crowded the streets were.

And finally everything seemed calm, people began to move toward the bonfire sites dotted around Lewes and their respective pubs and I began shooting the aftermath which weren’t great images so left them out here.

At this point I thought I’d better get off to a bonfire site for some generic firework and crowd shots, so I started towards the Waterloo site, but before I got there I somehow ended up in a random warehouse underground nightclub thing! Now this was a first for me and something I really wasn’t expecting but I still enjoyed it and to my surprise everyone was very friendly, there were no drugs to my knowledge and the people there were all just enjoying the night. I wish I had got there earlier on in the night to use their great view of the Waterloo Bonfire site over the river for some immense original shots. Anyway, I still shot this random fairy light and chair combo there and a few other images.

For me Lewes Bonfire was an intense and fast paced experience this year and I will most definitely be going back again and again and again, possibly drinking less and working more on getting some great shots. Still although I may have not really concentrated for the entire evening I really think I came out of it with some nice original images and even managed to capture one last photo when I got back, it seems the processions were running late and when I got back to The Volunteer those intense red torches were still moving through the street in one last salute to November 5th 2010!

I hope you enjoyed my Blog of Lewes Bonfire 2010, please comment and let me know what you think of my images. To keep up to date with what I’m doing follow me on Twitter: JJFA87.

If you’d like to buy any of the featured shots you will find them at jjfa.redbubble.com, if the one you want isn’t there let me know and I’ll add it. If you are from one of the Societies featured and you’d like some original electronic copies just send me an email and we’ll see what we can do.

Have Fun,

JJFA

© All images featured copyright JJFA 2010. All rights reserved.


My first Blog! Enjoy!

Hello bloggers of the world! Well this is my first blog! Not really sure what to write but sure I’ll work it out.

Well firstly I should introduce myself, I’m a photographer, kind of an artist, bit of a gadget addict and slightly random, I don’t like to plan things much (unless at my real job or spending A LOT of money), I’m just me, patriotic, proud to be British and slightly strange me!

Not really sure what I want this blog to be yet but hopefully you’ll love it!

To keep up to date with what I’m doing follow me on Twitter

To view some of my photos, and buy them of you like ;), take a look at my Bubblesite


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