The Social Network

Sunday I spoke at a large Social Media show in Toronto – one of the world’s biggest, at Ryerson University.

Peter West talking in a social media forum (Photo: Michael Willems)

Peter West talking in a social media forum

With my friend Peter West, pictured above in an image that stresses the importance of iPhotography, I talked to an audience about photography for social media. Small World: Ren Bostelaar and Mark Shannon, two of my Henry’s friends, were also on several of the forums, as well as in my audience.

Peter West at Ryerson, before a Social Media workshop (photo: Michael Willems)

Peter West at Ryerson, before a Social Media workshop

The interest (and, um, yes, the room filled before we started) shows that social media are interesting to, and understood by, not just young people but also people as old as 25.

Social networking Forum (photo: Michael Willems)

Social networking Experts at work

Okay, I kid. Peter and I are at least 30.

My talk was not just a 45-minute photography lesson. I had two additional main themes:

  • You can do a lot on an iPhone. You can compose well, focus where you want, and even expose on a chosen point.
  • Social media (like this blog post) are just better with photography.

When some people say photography is dead, I do not believe it at all. When others say “everyone can now do it”, I do agree – but only if they learn at least some of the same skills I, and every other professional photographer, had to learn.

Social Media Forum (photo: Michael Willems)

Social Media Forum

For the images above, I used a fairly standard recipe:

  • Camera on Manual mode
  • Flash in TTL mode, aimed behind me, 45 degrees up
  • 400 ISO
  • 1/80th second at f/3.5

Those settings gave me an exposure reading just over a stop below zero on the meter – meaning the background is just over a stop below ambient, and the flash lights up the rest, namely mainly what’s in front of me.

Social Networking Panel (Photo: Michael Willems)

Social Networking Panel

And I think you may agree those pictures tell the story better than just words would.

Teaching News

As you probably all know, I am an educator. I teach a variety of photography subjects in various locations and in various ways.

Learning from a live person is a great way to quickly gain essential photographic skills, so I thought perhaps I should update you as to where you can see me.

Michael Willems Looking Very Serious - Photo, Albert Wong (using film!)

S0 – here are the ten ways you can learn from me:

    1. Via this blog. Of course a blog is only an aide to real, in person teaching, but it is a very valuable resource. Search, look at specific categories, check out keywords, and so on. Read back to over a year ago, when I started posting daily.
    2. Via the Henry’s School of Imaging, Canada’s premier photo school. I teach many subjects there, including my course on Travel Photography and my Outdoor Flash workshop as well as my outdoor Creative Urban Photography workshop. I plan to post my November/December School of Imaging schedule here later today.
    3. Via my courses in Mono, Ontario – like the Creative Lighting all-day course I teach tomorrow with Joseph Marranca.
    4. By way of Personal coaching and custom one-on one or group courses. Contact me if you are interested (“contact” above).
    5. Worldwide, via special courses and tours, such as the courses I recently taught in Phoenix and Las Vegas. If you are interested in having me come to your town, shout (same “contact” button above).
    6. Via local special events – such as the upcoming half-day course with special guest David Honl (yes, the David Honl) on 19 March 2011 – book this day off in your calendar, it’ll be a great event with limited seating.
    7. Via speaking engagements to photo clubs – again, contact me if your club has not had me speak yet, or if you would like a repeat.
    8. Via custom corporate speaking engagements: if our company has people who want to learn photography, go for it!
    9. And finally, via custom 8- or 12-week courses for your organization.
    10. As a speaker at photography shows, like the Digital Imaging Show that is held twice a year beside Toronto Airport.

      I hope that clarifies, and above all, I hope to see you at one of these events soon. There is, as said, no substitute to personal training. Blogs are good, books are great, but personal interaction is much better. Think about it – otherwise we would just ship our kids and students a bunch of books and URLs at the start of each year. It just doesn’t work that way!