The Fire Of Images – Why I Started Taking Photos

The Fire of Images

This week I’m trying something a little different. Inspired by this fabulous quote carved into a flagstone outside Edinburgh’s Writer’s Museum, just off the Royal Mile, I’ve decided to post a photography series:

  1. Why I Started To Take Photos
  2. Why I Continue To Take Photos
  3. Why I Think You Should Take Photos
  4. Some Practical Tips
  5. Photography Announcement

Now this is not a series designed to intimidate or self-promote, rather it is a series to inspire, to support and to nurture. At the end of the week, I’ll be making a special announcement, so make sure you watch out for it. If you haven’t already subscribed, you might want to do so now!

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the 1st of 5 posts in my Fire of Images photography series:

Why I Started Taking Photos

If you were to count the number of photographs that I have included in the posts here at Lives Less Ordinary, you would discover that there are close to 1000 of my own. I am actually astonished at just how many images I have captured and shared here, as it was never my intention for this blog to become known for my photography!

When I began Lives Less Ordinary, I knew I wanted to create a space where I would enjoy spending time, and so I knew that I would need to integrate images that I personally found aesthetically pleasing. I began investigating using Flickr images, but quickly became confused by the copyright licenses. It soon became clear to me that using photos I had taken myself would be a much easier route.

And so I began carrying my camera with me whenever I went, and kick-started my love affair with photography. That was back in August 2007 – just 8 short months ago.

I’ve told you this story because I want you to know where I’m coming from on this. I’m not an expert – I’m an enthusiast. I’ve not attended photography classes and I don’t own a DSLR camera. This series is for people who are at the stage I was at last August: people who enjoy taking photos, and would like to share them, but who don’t feel that their captured images are worthy of gracing a blog post or being included in a Flickr photostream.

I do hope you’ll join me for the rest of the series. However, if you’re still not convinced that taking photographs is an activity worthy of your time and attention, hopefully tomorrow’s post will convince you otherwise, when I share why I continue to take photos.

Do you enjoy taking photos? How and why did you start taking them? Also please share any thoughts that come to you throughout the series about your personal experience of photography – they are all welcome here!

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May 19, 2008. Photography, Uncategorized. 39 comments.

Only Connect: The Essence of Authority

This post is an entry to the competition run by Chris Garrett to win $2000 of SOBCon and ChrisG consulting prizes. Details at the end of the post!
Only Connect
Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.
– E.M. Forster
For my 21st birthday my parents bought me a purple iMac. I had recently moved with my husband and my baby girl to the wild and windy north coast of Scotland; my nearest neighbours were 4 miles away, I couldn’t drive, I had no TV and I was 8 months pregnant with my son. By the time my birthday rolled around, my new baby was 6 weeks old, and I’ve never felt so isolated in my life. By giving me the gift of the iMac, my parents did more than give me a machine that I could write my essays on; they gave me the gift of connection.
 
8 years on and my connection to the internet is still of great importance to me, but things have changed somewhat with my introduction to blogging. Over the last 6 months that I’ve been producing Lives Less Ordinary, I’ve discovered that the connections that I’m involved in are multiple and wide-reaching. By posting images of where I live, coupled with my words and my thoughts, I have not only created a resource of beautiful photographs, a place where people can come and find inspiration, a corner of the internet where readers can enjoy an escapist moment out of their busy lives, I have founded a community of like-minded individuals. I am helping others to connect not only to their environment and to my environment, but also to each other and to themselves.
 
For me, this is the essence of ‘authority’ blogging: the ability to create connections.
 
As Chris Garrett states in his definition, to blog with ‘authority’ means to blog with a ‘friendly and open’ personality, to demonstrate ‘expertise, experience, knowledge or talent’ and to display an understanding of how to ‘develop visibility’. In order to demonstrate all of these attributes, you need to be able to make connections: you have to connect on a personal level with your readers, you need to connect your readers to ideas, information, and images that they’ll find valuable and will enhance their lives in some way, and you need to connect with all those you haven’t met yet, who you believe would appreciate your blog’s content. If I were to attend SOBCon 08 in Chicago, one of my main contributions to the event, along with my energy, my enthusiasm, my unique perspective, my creative approach (and my photos!), would be my ability to create connections.
 
What I would hope to gain from a consultation with Chris, from attending SOBCon and from meeting the other delegates, would be the opportunity to create connections to people, resources, information and advice which combined would help me put together a plan to make my next project a success. Yes, you read that right! I have another project brewing, which would, in some ways, be a sister blog to Lives Less Ordinary, as it would focus on one specific topic that I often engage with here.  I have big plans for this project, and I know that I can make it a success, but by attending SOBCon and by consulting with Chris, I would hope to gain the support of an amazing community, I would learn how to avoid some of the pitfalls which may slow down my progress, and I would learn how to refine the skills that I’ve been developing over the last 6 months. Attendance at SOBCon coupled with the consultation would be invaluable in helping me towards my goal of becoming an authority blogger.
 
It would help me to connect.
 
Now, if you fancy having a go at winning yourself the prizes listed below, you still have time. Follow the instructions on how to enter, and you could win the opportunity to attend SOBCon in Chicago. Trust me – you really want to be there!

sobcon08_logo189x60.jpg

Authority Blogger Contest Prizes and Rules

  1. $1000 budget to pay for SOBCon08 registration and travel expenses which also includes:
    • a copy of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
    • 60 attendees will get free design and SEO consults from Network Solutions experts.
    • a $99 lifetime hosting offer from THC
    • a pro account at E-Junkie
    • a free subscription to Blogger & Podcaster Magazine and a chance to join their new USA Today guide
    • a professional video interview on you and your biz for BlogTV sponsored by Fuel My Blog
  2. A hour of consulting with Chris Garrett, face-to-face if possible.
  3. The complete Authority Blogger online course when it launches.
  4. An introduction to all of the speakers at the event.

It’s a fabulous prize package!

To Enter:

1. Write a blog post explaining why you’re the best candidate to be the next Authority Blogger. What you’ll add to the event, what you hope to learn from a personal consultancy with Chris Garrett and the wealth of great business bloggers in that weekend in Chicago. Be sure to write with authority. Tell your compelling story.
2. Have your post written by March 31st.
3. Leave a trackback to this post or a link in the comment, so that we know you’ve entered.
4. Your post can include pictures, but should be no longer than 1000 words.
5. Liz Strauss, and Chris Garrett, that’s me, will select the winner on 1st of April.
6. In the case of a draw a representative from Blog Catalog will have the deciding vote.

So, how would you define ‘authority blogging’?  Do you agree that the essence of authority is connection?  What inspires you to connect with a blog’s community?

March 26, 2008. Admin, Inspiration, Uncategorized. 15 comments.

True Life Karma

I am a big believer in ‘what-goes-around-comes-around’ (check out Shelly’s fabulous post Karma or Cartma for a wonderful example of this in action!).  So, when I stumbled upon the site True Life Karma I couldn’t resist taking the Karma Test. Here’s my results:

Amy, Your Karmic Alignment is: Zen Intuition!

Zen Intuition

Score: 22 You have a direct perception of truth. You are very keen and don’t use it to take advantage. When you commit positive deeds, you don’t do them to get ahead, you do positive deeds simply because it makes you feel good. Your intentions are almost always meant well and all this positive karmaic energy is bound to come back to you in a great way!

So, I’m looking forward to good things in 2008 – it seems I deserve them!

Do you have any personal stories about Karma?

December 29, 2007. Inspiration, Uncategorized. 10 comments.

A Short Break

If you read my Thursday Thirteen post today, then you’ll probably know that I’m off to Madrid tomorrow.  This means that I’m going to be offline till Tuesday.  Until then, I wish you a lovely weekend, and I’ll tell you all about my trip when I get back.

October 18, 2007. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Another New Look

Ok, so this is the third change of theme for this blog.  One day I may have to bite the bullet, and have one designed, as I have yet to find one I’m completely happy with.   I like this one as it has the categories, archive and blogroll down the side, and not at the bottom, like the last one, and I also like the post layout a bit better.  I’m still not sure about the colour though, or the header that I’ve uploaded.  Please don’t be surprised if the header changes a few more times over the next couple of days, until I find one I’m happy with.  Any thoughts or suggestions are most welcome!!!

October 8, 2007. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Brief Hiatus

This is just to warn you that I may be taking a (very) brief hiatus over this weekend due to my trip.  If I can find a wireless hotspot then I may squeeze in a post, otherwise expect me back on Monday!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

September 13, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.