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My photography journey – Inspiration

Part 2: Inspiration started my journey

I firmly believe that anyone is capable of taking a photo that is a special memory of someone’s life. These photos are so special and are often lifelong memories.

Think about how important your photos are – of family, friends or achievements that are important memories and milestones to you. They don’t have to be professional, posed or perfect, they just need to capture a great memory for you personally.

After much deliberation, research and lots of silly questions to online forums, I got my first DSLR camera: a Canon 7D. When it arrived I was shocked at how complex it seemed and was overwhelmed with menus, options, and buttons. I was scared stupid of the dreaded “M” – the Manual option!

I actually though I might break the camera if I used the “M” option!
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(c) Andy Edwards, 2016, Fear of the “M” option when I started

I read books, stayed up at night, watch online videos and spent many hours looking at my camera and wondering why the stupid photo was too light or too dark or out of focus.

Eventually, I had a breakthrough. Lauren had decided to take up competitive horse riding and this gave me a purpose, a subject – and lots of time to use my camera.

We went away often on the weekends and I took thousands of photos. I talked to Lauren about why she really needed to see the whole horse in the shot and “did she know how hard it was to get that shot?!”

Many thousands of deleted photos later, I was being praised for the photos I was taking and Lauren was happy to share them on social media…. This was a breakthrough indeed. I was making people happy with my photos. It’s an emotion, a sense of pride, a feeling of doing something worthwhile, a chest puffing moment when you create an image that people love.

I was hooked! I started taking photos of everyone at these equestrian events. I would sit in a field all day long, honing my skills and listening to feedback from the riders: “I like the way the horse’s face looks, I like the angle of that shot, I don’t like my bum in that shot!”

I saw other photographers at the horse events and wanted to talk to them about photography, share ideas and also provide more coverage for the riders, perhaps we could be a community of photographers….

Part 3: Inspiring a community

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My photography journey – Building a community

Part 3: Inspiring a community

I have a great belief in people. I believe that people are amazing and that we are capable of anything we set our minds to. Too often, in my view, photographers can be too solitary; they take photos, look at them on screen and never share them.

I wanted all photographers at these horse events to be able to share their photos quickly and easily so the participants had a great choice of photos.

I really believed that with some training, help with settings, learning from each others’ photos and some friendly teamwork, we could provide really great photography coverage of all the participants.

I wanted every photographer to feel what I felt about people loving their photos. I also wanted a great community aspect to photography at these sports events.

I also thought that photographers wanted something for their efforts; most of the photographers were at the event already (friends/family members of riders), and amateur photographers, not professionals, but some money per photo is always a bonus.

So I inspired a community of photographers at these events to upload and sell their photos for a small dollar value to the participants. These people are local photographers, parents, and partners of participants. Some are even both riders and photographers!

 

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(c) Andy Edwards 2015, GeoSnapShot photographers in action!

Inspiring photographers to get out at the weekends and do something really useful with their hobby is a major passion.

I’ve created a platform that photographers can use for this purpose called GeoSnapShot. Currently, we have over 2,000 photographers worldwide and have supported over 7,000 events and given 10’s of thousands of people fantastic memories of their sporting achievements.

Visit the GeoSnapShot website

Andy Edwards is a passionate photography, inspirational leader and believer in people. He’s created a unique photography platform that enables anyone with a camera to take photos that are precious memories of people’s lives.

Read Part 1 of this article

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Inspiration My Story Photographer photography Taking photos that sell Wildlife photography

My photography journey – The disappointment!

Part 1: The disappointment!

Disappointment can either drive you forward or sometimes cause you to stop. Fortunately in my photography disappointment drove me forwards.

A few years ago, 2009 actually, I had the privilege to go to a very small South Pacific Island called Niue. I had been told of the island by some yachting friends; they knew I had a lifelong dream of swimming with whales. When they sailed their yacht into Niue, they had whales swimming around their boat, and only a very short distance from shore.

Niue is not exactly a renowned tourist hot spot. Flights to and from Niue happen only once a week, so I quickly booked on the next flight, and 3 days later found myself on the small Pacific Island. The next 11 days were an epic experience: A lifelong memory of crystal clear, 40m visibility in the water, and swimming with a humpback mother and her 5-day old calf.

What does this have to do with photography, I hear you ask!

Well, on the trip my partner (Lauren) and I took the latest and greatest “point and shoot” cameras with underwater housings. Although I had a great enjoyment of photography I had only ever taken shots for myself and our own enjoyment. But on this trip, we took some amazing photos and video and were really proud of them.

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(c) Andy Edwards 2009, Just so you’re aware that’s me on the left, the whale is on the right!

The experience of being so up close and personal with these magnificent animals had such a profound effect on me that I couldn’t help but think I’d captured the next National Geographic photo of the year! So I sent sample photos to the New Zealand Geographic (Niue is an island under the protection of New Zealand).

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(c) Andy Edwards 2009, A gentle giant with her 5 day old

To my amazement, they came back and said they’d like to run a story on the Niue whales with my images and could I please send them the RAW files. After Googling what RAW files were, I had to admit that the photos were taken on a “point and shoot” camera that only did JPEG. That was the end of the dream and the disappointment of not being published in NZ Geographic magazine.

This disappointment ignited a fire in me. I needed to get a “good” camera to take “proper” photos. It also gave me the inspiration to believe that I (yes, even me!) could take photos that professional organisations wanted.

I still kept thinking, “But I’m not a professional photographer,” and “I don’t have the skills for this.” It took a while but the realisation hit me that photos are simply a memory, a fantastic way to capture a moment in life. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, is capable of capturing these moments.

Part 2: Inspiration started my journey

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Camera settings Monitising your hobby Photographer photography Selling photos online Sports photography Taking photos that sell Uncategorized

Top 5 ways to improve your sports photography

Photographers only get better from learning from others. Read articles, watch videos and above all else practice, practice, practice!

It’s great to pick up new tips and tricks to try something new and improve your shots.

Have a look at the top 5 sites that cover a range of ways to improve your sports photography.

1. GeoSnapShot: “Taking photos that sell”

Our training videos are awesome (well we would say that!). It’s great sometimes to look at what makes photos that sell and what photos don’t sell and why.

We go through a comprehensive video showing examples of shots and how to take them.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOvFSYg5WAc]

GeoSnapShot.com provides a global photography platform where any photographer can upload and share or sell their photos. People that organisers events can easily request talented local photographers to attend their events or existing photographers at events can take photos and upload to one convenient online marketplace.

2. Fstoppers: “11 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sports Photography”

There’s a couple of gory shots, but some great advice on capturing the moment after the play has stopped.

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Photo credit: J.J.Watt, Not my best work. Always strive to get better!

Read the full article

3. Digital Photography School: “8 Tips On How to Photograph Sports”

A short article about the key components to consider when shooting sports photography.

sports-photography.jpg
Photo credit: Pamela Aurino

Read the full article

4. Photography Mad: “THE PERFECT CAMERA SETTINGS FOR ACTION AND SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY”

It always worries me when someone states the “perfect” settings. As there are never any perfect settings. Yet, this article is informative and doesn’t actually give any perfect settings! Perfect!

speed-skaters.jpg
Photo credit: johnthescone

Read the full article

 

5. FroKnowsPhoto: “How to Photograph Soccer Tutorial”

You may love him or loath him but “Fro” (aka Jared Polin) takes us through how he photographs a kids soccer game. Watch his process of culling and editing his shots, it’s a long video so you’ll need a cup of tea and a sense of humor!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cm6mt1lJf8]

This blog is brought to you by GeoSnapShot

GeoSnapShot.com provides a global mass community-based photography platform where any photographer can upload and share or sell their photos. People that run events can request talented local photographers to attend their events, or utilise existing photographers at the event to take photos and upload to one convenient online marketplace.

What’s you favourite lesson learned from these articles and video? Do you have a tip that was not covered?

Next article: 6 tips to taking photos that sell