If you’d told me 4 years ago that making cakes would require charts, ratios and histograms – I might have run a mile in the other direction.
When I first started my business, I knew it would involve clouds of icing sugar, hours of decorating and nervous car journeys to wedding venues. This is absolutely my daily experience, but between cakes you’ll find me in my home office/studio composing photographs and attempting to edit them nicely.
I suppose it’s my own fault. I decided early on that I wanted to learn to take my own images. I spend enough time eyeing up Instagram and pouring over Pinterest to know that image is everything. Posts and blogs with good quality images do around 92% better than just words. So it was a no-brainer for me. Get the camera out Judith and get yourself off Auto settings!
Photography is quite a precision hobby when you get below the surface. If you have an eye for a good image, you’re part way there but you’ll then need to learn how to process that image – enhance it, colour balance it, crop it, resize it – and many other cool functions that Photoshop has to offer . Then and only then will it be ready to post to your website, and share on social media.
And believe me, that’s only the beginning.
If photography is a bug, I think I might have caught it.
So now, as well as Business & Bloggers, I’ve also signed up for the Tech Processing Evening on the last Friday of the month.
Last week, Sandra (my photography buddy) and I headed to Chester for the 2nd session of the Welshot Imaging Tech Evening. It’s a nice small group of about 12 of us – all budding photographers who need help at different levels in the processing department.
The teaching element is delivered by the incomparable John Arnold – photographer, photography teacher and video producer. He loves to teach children coding and computing, blogs at DaddyCoder and co-owns a specialist printing company in Cheshire. He’d be the first to admit he’s a committed photo geek and knows everything there is to know about digital photo editing (he’d say that too!). He loves to help people with their individual journey and is usually more happy off at a tangent than on the straight and narrow. Oh, and he bakes, really quite well – mainly so he can photograph his cakes!
We all use a range of Adobe Software – Lightroom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, and the teaching element although focussed on Lightroom, transfers quite well to those of us on Photoshop products too.
We all shared a folder of John’s photographs that we worked on during the evening – trying out different effects and seeing what we could achieve.
I wrote down lots of technical tips, useful keyboard shortcuts and wise advice from John. We learnt to crop as if you mean it, colour calibrate every 6 months, and there was a lengthy discussion on the variations between vibrance and saturation.
All of this was very interesting and if it’s up your street – you should definitely find out about joining the next course.
My takeaway thought from last night was not at all technical but really made me think about how I process and show my images in the future.
Photography is storytelling and each image should have a clear purpose and message.
Photo editing is full of useful tricks and tools, but it’s really just there to help you tell you story to whoever is listening.
I’m a big fan of storytelling in my marketing and social media – as a business owner it’s vital to stand out and let people know who you are and why you do what you do.
So now I can add to this philosophy the importance of really thinking about my images. It needs to be much more than just a technically correct, creatively balanced image – it needs to be part of my story.
That’s what I’ll be working next …
I blog quite a bit about photography so if it piques your interest at all, I’d love to talk to you and introduce you to the fantastic community at Welshot Imaging