The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Going Live on Tuesday at 7.30pm...

(this is a screenshot - scroll down for the actual video)

Well that's it – I've committed now!



Following my last post – What Are You Interested In? – I received various ideas and feedback on my Facebook page and Instagram (not here though, as my blog seems to be viewed entirely by lurkers and very rare (but hugely appreciated) commenters).

One particular suggestion really grabbed my thought process – the idea of doing "critiques" (constructive criticisms) of photos people submit to me.

It came from someone who helps run a camera club, as club members and many amateur photographers are desperate for proper feedback on their images.

I know I was when I started out - in fact I still am!

While everyone happily sticks all their photos up on the different social media platforms, the responses are nearly always positive, regardless of how bad the photo might actually be.

The reality is no one wants to be seen as impolite, or to upset anyone, so if they really don't like it, or can even see a way to improve it, they generally don't say anything.

This does give a lot of people a highly inflated sense of their own ability with a camera.

The basic problem is that while praise is lovely, we don't learn from it.

So if you really want to advance your knowledge and skills, you have to be open to finding out where you went wrong, and how you can improve.

Those who move forward with their photography the quickest are those who assume every photo they take could have been better, and are delighted if someone can help them past their own blind-spots.

Fortunately I learned how to critique (tactfully) a few years back. And with all the knowledge and experience I've gained in over a decade of professional photography, I figured this might be something that would be of use and interest to anyone with a desire to improve their photography – from beginners to pros.

So, how about a weekly Facebook Live slot where people can submit their images, and I will give critiques, and in the process reveal a lot more tips, tricks and techniques? As soon as I start discussing light, leading lines, the power of diagonals etc, then anyone watching will gain really useful information regardless of whether it is their photo or not.

This seemed like such a great idea, up until I posted the video last night letting people know they could tune in on Tuesday at 7.30pm UK time.

Then I was absolutely overwhelmed with fear, anxiety and sheer panic.

What on earth had I done?
What if no one submits anything?
How arrogant am I to think I could dare to critique anyone else's photos?
What if no one watches?
What if people do watch, but have high expectations?
What if the whole thing just becomes an exercise in humiliation?

Suddenly I had that feeling described in my post, Phantom Energy Syndrome, where I'd just thrown myself off the top of a cliff in the hope that I would figure out a way to survive before I hit the bottom.

My only hope is that somehow I will be able to make it work well enough; that anyone watching is sympathetic to my nervousness; and that if I do make a total arse of myself, hardly anyone sees it.

So for my lovely, lovely blog reader, here's the video I put up last night, and I invite you to join me on Facebook Live this Tuesday at 7.30pm UK time, and give me some support. I'll need to know there's a friendly face watching

Ever wanted to improve your photography?

Understanding lighting, composition and storytelling is key to lifting your photography to the next level.

I will be doing a weekly Facebook Live session on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm where I will answer the questions and critique the photos members have posted during the previous 7 days.

I've created a Facebook group called "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres"
for people to post the images they would like to get feedback on in a constructive way, and for anyone who would like to learn the tips, tricks and techniques of professional photographers.

This is all new to me, so will no doubt develop over time, perhaps to include short tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos, and even interviews with other photographers.

But if this sounds like something you would be interested in the please join the group, and invite anyone else you know with an interest in photography, lighting, composition and storytelling.


Susan Howell said...

Kim, I think it’s a great idea. Why not share your knowledge and experience? I am not a photographer but do enjoy a good photo. You may be surprised how many respond.

Kim Ayres said...

Susan - thank you. I think I will be surprised - I'll be surprised if no one turns up, and I'll be surprised if anyone turns up - it all depends in which part of my excitement/panic cycle I'm in :)

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