5 Things I Learned at the Google+ Photographer’s ConferenceTips & Tricks
Last week we had a great time at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. As an event partner and sponsor we had a chance to meet a lot of great photographers in attendance. The conference had a great energy to it. With photographers being so active and social on Google+ it was rather effortless to pick up conversations in person with photographers of all stripes and experience levels. It was for this reason alone that attending was an amazing experience. Beyond meeting with great photographers there was a lot of great information shared amongst attendees and speakers alike. The 5 takeaways that I came back with that all photographers on Google+ could stand to benefit from included:
1. Focus on Community
The community on Google+ feels like the Flickr photography community of old. There is a constant flow of photos with many photographers you’ll find familiar and many more that will likely be new to you. It’s a great time to explore and network with photographers of all backgrounds, experience levels and expertises. In fact there are numerous sub-communities on Google+ focusing on various photography niches. Google+ makes it super easy and fast to find information in alignment with your photographic and non-photographic interests.
What made the Google+ Photographer’s Conference so special is the fact that this virtual community became tangible. If you follow someone on Google+ it was all the reason you needed to introduce yourself. It was great to be able to pick up conversations previously confined to posts and comments. Getting out to talk and photograph with your compatriots from abroad made for an extremely special time.
Google+ is a great place to connect with a community, but it’s only as good as you make it. Find great photographers and interact with them. You never know when someone is active online so don’t let it phase you if your comments go unnoticed at first. Keep commenting and interacting and before you know it you’ll be conversing with photographers you thought you’d never talk to.
3. Hangout: Join One, Start One
What sets Google+ apart from other social media web sites is their ability to support group video chats. It is by far one of the most novel features added to a social media site that I’ve yet to see. Conveying text updates in real-time is great, sharing photos is also great, but being able to talk and see each other in real conversations is extremely cool. It has its moments of getting bogged down if your connection isn’t the fastest, but its still a great experience. Over time it will no doubt improve, but in the meantime there is nothing that should stop you from giving it a try.
4. Chrome Plugins
Above and beyond my previously recommended chrome plugins (see 5 Highly Recommended Google+ Chrome Extensions) Guy Kawasaki shared his 3 favorite plugins at the conference. They may not all be of use to you, but I bet at least one is. Take note that “Replies and More” will help you with Lesson #2 (see above) as tagging someone in your reply will send an email to that person. It’s a great way to reach out to someone above and beyond the average comment.
- Do Share allows you to schedule posts.
- Replies and More simplifies responding to authors and commenters.
- Nuke Comments streamlines reporting, blocking, and deleting comments in a single click.
5. Hashtags to Explore
Hashtags are a great way to see running threads of conversation across broad pools of people that you may or may not yet be following. Some hashtags are used to note photo themes and others to note discussion topics. In either case if you see a hashtag (ex. #gpluspc) click on it and you’ll find posts relating to that topic in less than a second. With a little deeper searching you’re sure to find new people to connect with.
A great photography hashtag list to start with is from Eric Leslie: Daily Photography Themes on Google+ You’re bound to find something of interest here and its a great catalyst to start interacting with some great photographers.
Now that you know, we hope to see you on Google+ and be sure to visit us on our G+ BorrowLenses.com page.
Tip of the Week – Replicate Photographer Peter Hurley’s Signature Look With StrobesTips & Tricks
Want to learn how to replicate famous headshot photographer Peter Hurley’s signature look, but with strobes? Check out this edition of Tip of the Week!
Photo Finds – Week of May 28, 2012Photographers
Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.
This week, we bring you the work of concert photographer Brad Moore, from Tampa, Fl.
I met Brad briefly at the Google+ Conference for Photographers in San Francisco. He was there as part of the organizing staff, as he’s conference organizer Scott Kelby’s assistant. Brad has also appeared on a few shows produced by Kelby Training, such as The Grid and D-Town TV. (more…)
Hanging at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference – Part IIIBL News
We’re still reeling from the Google+ Photographer’s Conference experience, but I thought I’d put together a few final thoughts on this unique experience.
This was two days of jam-packed sessions that started at 9am and ended at 9pm, with everything from panels to live shoots going on at any given time. The conference was relatively intimate, held in a space that, while spacious enough for everyone, wasn’t sprawling. You didn’t get exhausted walking from one room to another, nor were there so many attendees that you felt like you got lost in the crowd.
Photographer Ivan Makarov said it best: ” It seems like my whole G+ feed was there live, and instead of +1 or re-sharing stuff, I was able to talk to them in person.” That’s really what it felt like to us too.
We’re used to seeing Trey Ratcliff, Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, Catherine Hall, and Brian Matiash pop up on our G+ feeds. Seeing them in person was another experience altogether. It was a reminder that, for all of the social media activity we all engage in, photography is a pursuit that’s carried out by real people, in real life (IRL).
The sessions at GPlusPC reinforced this. Every speaker who had a session on Google+ talked about using it to forge real connections, with real people. Even the conversations on building brands and developing strategies focused on connecting with people, rather than creating marketing plans.
You got this sense that there was an effort to explain to folks that Google+ isn’t necessarily where you market to your clients, but rather, where you connect with other members of the photo community. I saw no sessions on how to increase your revenue or reach new clients – this was a conference about connecting all of us through Google+, then using those connections to become better photographers.
We had a blast at GPlusPC, and we hope they bring it back next year. We look forward to meeting folks there, but in the meantime, make sure you follow us on Google+ as well!
Tip of the Week: Get Better at Google+ With “Google+ For Photographers”Tips & Tricks
There’s a new resource to help photographers make the most of Google+. Photographer and educator Colby Brown has released a book called “Google+ for Photographers,” and whether you’re new to GPlus, or have been around for a while, you’ll find something useful in this book.
Hanging at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference – Part IIBL News
We’re having a blast at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference! Take a look at some of the folks we’ve had the pleasure of seeing here at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Yeah, We’re Fanboys…BL News
Max, Jim and I are at Guy Kawasaki’s talk on branding in Google+, and we got a pleasant surprise.
So, here’s a shot of Guy, with his computer’s display mirrored via projector.
And here’s his screen, zoomed in.
Yep, that’s us! and yeah, we’re fanboys.
Guy was kind enough to mention us during his talk, and for those who missed it, Guy also visited out offices recently.
Here’s another shot of Guy’s screen, showing him at BL’s office.
If you’re at the Google+ Conference For Photographers, remember, we’re here too! Come find either Jim or Max (they’re walking around in BorrowLenses.com t-shirts) and say hi!
Hanging Out at the Google+ Photographer’s ConferenceBL News
I’m hanging out at the Google+ Conference for Photographers today, listening in on a panel on “How to Stay Fresh on Google+.” This is a pretty unique conference, in that it’s the first time I’ve seen an event dedicated specifically to a particular interest group (photography) on a particular social network.
What’s surprising me is how this particular panel is both specific to Google+, and general enough that the advice could be adapted to your activity as a photographer on Facebook or Twitter.
Catherine Hall and Matt Kloskowski are entertaining and informative, as always, but Brian Matiash and Colby Brown are relatively new voices and I’m pleasantly surprised by their eloquence and enthusiasm. Colby, specially, is a great advocate for Google+ (and is also the author of a book on the subject).
By the way, you can watch the conference session streaming live, by going to the conference’s Google+ page.
BLCast Episode 2 – An Interview With Steve BumgardnerBL News
Welcome to Episode 2 of BLCast, the official podcast of borrowlenses.com.
Steve’s YouTube channel can be found here.
Cool Stuff – Week of May 18, 2012Cool Stuff
Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.
- We begin this edition of Cool Stuff with an outstanding behind-the-scenes video of a fiat ad by Dave Hill. A combination of still imagery and high-speed Phantom camera shots, this “moving still” is something truly remarkable and surreal.
- Speaking of remarkable and surreal, photographer Kristy Mitchell has created an incredible series of images called “Wonderland.” Inspired by tales her late mother used to tell, these images were shot in surprisingly non-exotic locations, and on a shoestring budget to boot. Her blog has more details on the setup and process of her shoot.
The guys at FStoppers are on a roll. Here, they’re going on a roll to try and create the largest digital camera every made. Check out this piece and the accompanying video on their site.
- Now this is just too cool. Check out Dodge and Burn, a website selling photography-inspired t-shirts. I ordered two. Go on. You know you want them.
- Alright you social media mavens. We know you don’t have all the time in the world, but need to post to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, all at the same time. Our friends at DPS have a great piece showing you how to do just that.
- From the “why didn’t I think of that?” files, here’s a nice bit from PetaPixel about models wearing light-painted dresses.
- Speaking of models, the guys at ISO1200 have a neat behind-the-scenes video of Annie Leibovitz’s cover shoot for Vogue.
- So Kodak went bankrupt. We all know that. My question is, why did they have a nuclear reactor in their Rochester building? Yeah, I’m not kidding.
- We end this edition of Cool Stuff with some doom and gloom. Photographers shooting still life, pay heed. You’re about to be replaced by a computer (and no, I don’t buy that – not yet).
That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.