The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Recovering from the Workshops - and Episode 28 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

When I began my podcast last night, it felt like it had been weeks since my last one – not just a mere 7 days.

In between I had done my live, online photography workshop over 4 consecutive evenings for Spring Fling Rescheduled (see last post).

In some ways it was just more of me sitting in front of the webcam, talking, putting up images on the screen, and saying "hi" to people who were leaving comments. But the workshops were not the same as the regular podcasts.

Rather than me talking about photo shoots I've done in the past, and then critiquing images people had sent to me, this was a hands-on experience where people were assigned tasks and then shared their photos.

Before the workshops began, one of the conversations I'd had with the organisers was, what if no one joined in? We were fairly sure some people would watch them, but there was no guarantee anyone would take up any of the assignments and submit their images.

However, in the end my fears were unfounded – there was plenty of engagement, with people taking part from around the world – from the USA to India, and even one "hi" from Australia!

It was intense, and required a lot of energy though.

Needless to say there was a lot of preparation beforehand, and after each session I had to edit, render and upload the video so it could be ready for the Spring Fling website the following day – allowing people who couldn't be there for the live version to still follow along.

On the Saturday I also did a photo shoot for a friend, and by the evening I was already exhausted before I began.

But I had to be high-energy for the workshops. You cannot expect people to give up their time for someone who is not giving their all. Effective teaching is as much a performance as it is imparting information.

Looking back when I was editing it, I can see there are places when I begin to flag, and then there's a brief pause as I realise what's happening, dig deep, and raise the levels again.

But the ME/CFS doesn't like me doing that very often and I paid for it most of the following day – until I had to do the same thing on Sunday.

The enthusiasm and response of the people who took part, though, did help to energise me. Otherwise I'm not entirely sure how I would have got through it.

Last night's podcast, by comparison, felt like a much gentler affair.

Partly this was because I was back on more familiar territory, having now done 28 weekly episodes, and partly because only 2 people submitted images for critique, so I was finished in less than an hour, which is pretty rare for me.

However, with all the intensity of the workshop sessions, last week's podcast felt like it had happened  months ago, and it was a little like returning to a place that at once is both familiar and distant in the memories.

I did enjoy the chance to revisit the photo shoot I did with singer, Robyn Stapleton, at Comlongon Castle a few years ago, though. I learned a huge amount from that experience, which fed into a lot of subsequent commissions.


0.00 - What's coming up
2:50 - Photo shoot at Comlongon Castle with singer, Robyn Stapleton
23:49 - Critique of images submitted to the Facebook Group, "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres"
57:30 - End

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