The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Misjudged - and Episode 61 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

It seems I misjudged my viewing audience and what they might be interested in.

Last night's "Spring Fling Special – Ask The Photographer" had the lowest number of viewers watching live that I've ever had.

It wasn't that I lost them as the podcast went on – it was pretty consistent from start to finish – just that hardly anyone turned up.

This week is Dumfries & Galloway's Spring Fling Open Studio event – something I've been a part of for the best part of a decade or more. Traditionally artists and makers open their studios to the public and visitors can go and meet them all in person.

With the onset of Covid, Spring Fling shifted online and this year virtual studios sit on the website, but there are plenty of virtual studio tours, online demonstrations, interviews and other assorted videos to enjoy, as well as 2 real-world pop-up exhibitions.

All participants were asked to come up with something and I thought tying in my podcast would be a good idea – and what better way than doing an "Ask The Photographer" session?

One of the reasons for visiting creatives in their studios is so you can ask them all the questions you're curious about – from their practice and styles to equipment and motivations – so it stood to reason I could use the podcast to allow viewers to ask me anything.

Spring Fling have been promoting all the members and activities so I really thought I would have more viewers than usual – there would be my regulars, and then some newbies who had come via the event promotions.

But no.

Not only were there no new viewers, but most of my regulars stayed away too.

And I have no idea why.

Perhaps everyone thought it was just going to be a self-indulgent me-fest

But while some of the questions asked were of the "what got me into photography" and "what's my favourite photo" variety, most were requests for advice - "how do you relax people in front of the camera" or "what is good starting point for learning about lighting"

It's full of some great info I would love to have known when I started out in photography, and there are questions I would certainly have asked other photographers if I had the chance.

However, the packed-full-of-useful-info message obviously wasn't one people picked up or assumed before deciding whether to tune in or not.

I don't think the content was bad, but I clearly didn't promote it in the right way.

I just have no real idea what I did wrong.

Next week will be back to the regular style of podcast, and at that point I'll find out whether this was a blip or whether whatever it was I didn't get right has permanently lost me most of my regulars...

Episode 61 below


0:00 - Welcome
0:34 - What is Spring Fling?
2:10 - Spring Fling Special podcast - Ask The Photographer
6:20 - What camera and lenses do I use?
10:50 - How to create textures?
13:25 - Favourite Landscape photo?
17:00 - Why did I get into photography?
21:20 - Why did I get into portraiture?
23:18 - What was a key milestone in the development of my photography?
30:35 - Why do I use Canon equipment?
32:25 - What about different genres?
40:30 - What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing portraiture?
47:14 - How do I relax people in front of the camera?
53:20 - Would I camp out if it meant I could photograph someone interesting?
55:45 - Who would I most like to photograph?
57:20 - How do I deal with difficult clients?
1:05:55 - What is a good starting point for people wanting to get into portraiture?
1:10:30 - What is good starting point for learning about lighting?
1:15:40 - How do I manage a team of people who have different agendas?
1:21:36 - What other podcasts are like, and coming up next week
1:24:38 - What genres do you find the hardest?
1:25:30 - Which do you prefer - taking photos, or teaching photography?
1:28:04 - Drawing to a close
1:29:30 - End

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neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Kim, in my eyes, you did nothing wrong. I'd been planning to visit, but then my mother told me that my young nephew was visiting, and I was in a flurry, trying to decide what to cook and so on.

I don't know why no-one turned up. I'm disappointed for you.

I'm wondering if most people feel tired of online...and want to be out there in real life. I don't know.

Nowadays, everyone only wants to be entertained, to escape. Even on the book lovers site that I'm on, readers say they read to escape.

Kim Ayres said...

Neena - I don't think there is an "everyone" - what there are, are different groups, different niches, different needs and desires.
For each person that is preferring to be "out there in real life", there are others who are still housebound and can only interact with the world online.
The real problem is not that no one is interested in what you write, or what I podcast about, just that those who would like it either don't know about it, or haven't realised it's what we're offering.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

This is actually a heartening thought, Kim: It's just that those who would like it either don't know about it, or haven't realised it's what we're offering.

Keep at it! I do try to let people interested in photography know what you're up to.

Kim Ayres said...

Neena - it's always worth remembering that if only 1 in a million people loved what we did, there would still be 7,000 people in the world who would love it if they saw/heard/read what we offered.
Therefore, the real trick is in how to find these people.
Unfortunately I haven't managed to work that bit out yet...

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