What if an event can be arranged, where aspiring photographers can come and get to learn about photography from the experts? Get inspired by the awesome work of these experienced photographers? Not only that, but also the aspiring photographers get to meet and collaborate with local bloggers. And then finally they get to learn how to build their personal brand using Social Media from the Digital Marketing experts. If you are thinking that all of these things sound too good to be true, specially to arrange in Kolkata, then let me tell you that some young passionate individuals successfully arranged this event and it was a huge success. And fortunate I was, to be present there.
How I Came to Know About The Event
It was 27th Feb 2014, the day I went to Kolkata to attend Aviva Bloggers Meet. I met with my friend Anirban after long time. We met at Park Street McDonalds briefly before going to the event. And I can still remember vividly how excited he was when he was talking about his plan to organize this event. And what I loved most was his intention. He didn’t want to do it for money or fame, he wanted to give a platform to photographers and bloggers of Kolkata to learn, collaborate and grow.
From that day, I have followed tireless effort from Anirban and his team to make that plan reality. From confirming speakers, to arranging sponsorship, to promoting event – the journey was not easy for them.
Anything and everything awesome starts with an idea. You don’t have to know ‘how’ when you start. Just start. Start taking steps forward.
Promotion Strategy Worth Learning
Anirban officially posted about the event on Facebook around 16th July’14. But I’ve noticed that he started creating buzz about the event long before that. I am sure that he must have shared the plan for the event with his other connections, just like he shared with me. He even organized a few bloggers meets, where he talked about the event. He also attended events organized by others and shared about this event.
And naturally the event page started getting eager positive responses from people.
- If you are planning a big event, organize some small events in between.
- Talk about your idea with others, specially those who’ll encourage you or can help you with it.
- If people like you as a person and know that you add value to people’s lives, they would love to come when you organize an event.
- You can’t do everything alone, you need an awesome team with you.
Why I went to The Event
Though I love to click a lot with my Mobile camera, but you can’t call me a ‘photographer’. I don’t even have a normal camera, forget about DSLR. So why did I go to the event?
First of all I went to the event because Anirban asked me to come. That was a reason enough for me.
Also I wanted to meet aspiring and experienced photographers and get inspired from their passion. But trust me, I had no idea that this event would touch me in this manner!
It’s a great idea to attend some events totally unrelated to your niche. Why?
- You’ll be able to import unique and fresh ideas to your niche from the experience, and set yourself apart from others.
- Meet new people and make new friends. There is nothing more important in today’s world than having meaningful connections, specially with passionate people.
Now let me share about the experience of the event:
Social Media in Photography Kolkata
When I reached the venue with Ramasish (another friend cum brother I got from Social Media), I was totally impressed to see the venue. iLead (Institute of Leadership Entrepreneurship & Development) is one of the most well decorated institution I’ve ever visited. Perfect venue partner for the Social Media in photography event.
I knew that first day line up was very interesting.
Though I was connected with Apratimda and Soumyada on Facebook, but met for the first time in the event. Had great conversation before and during the event.
Basic Photography Talk by Apratim Saha
Apratimda started the event with a wonderful presentation covering basics of photography. Though I must admit that I couldn’t understand the technical aspects of photography like exposure, focal length etc; but I am sure the aspiring photographers found it very useful. I made a mental note to contact him and get this presentation the day I buy my own DSLR.
Find Apratim Saha Online
You can find his work at his blog, or his Facebook page:
Here is a photograph of his session
Inspite of being a layman regarding photography, I got to understand quite a few science behind different types of photographs.
Then rest of the speakers showed the audience some of their photographs. Trust me, I fell in love with the world and life once again! Really the world is more beautiful than we think it is! And we should thank great photographers to give this great realization.
If you are anyway related to photography, I am sure you don’t need any introduction for Hari Menon. This super popular photographer from Kochi is not only a very professional artist, but also a very humble person to interact with.
Find Hari Menon Online:
You can see Hari Menon’s work from his website and his Facebook page
I don’t know how would other photographers present in the event would describe the time when Lopamudradi was showing her photographs. But I felt like Around the world in half an hour! With incredible photographs taken at different parts of the world, Lopamudradi is a real inspiration for all the aspiring lady photographers.
You can follow her on Facebook to see her awesome photographs:
Soumya Shankar Ghosal
Though it’s impossible to compare the photographs of these awesome artists, personally I found Soumyada’s photograph very close to my heart. Not only that, I learnt most from this person in those 2 days. He is a person, I would like to be like when I grow up. He is not only very knowledgeable in his craft, humble, down-to-earth but also incredibly fun person to interact or hang out with. Perfect role model for young photographers to follow.
You can find his mind blowing photographs in his website and on Facebook
Jomiye Adda Session
I am sure the aspiring photographers found the Jomiye Adda session really effective. It was not like some formal question and answer session. I was watching the reactions of the audience. They could really connect to these experienced photographers on a personal level.
- No matter how successful you become, keep your feet on the ground. Stay humble.
- There is nothing more noble than sharing your wisdom and experience to new comers in your niche.
- Science of Mind: Interestingly Hari Menon told during the interactive session that before going out to take photographs he tells himself that he is going to get some good frames, and he really gets that! Soumyada also talked about programming our mind on day 2 during his workshop. As it’s a subject of my research, it caught my attention. Once again I realized that anyone who is doing something worthwhile, are programming their mind consciously or subconsciously to focus more on what they want rather than worrying about things they don’t want.
Kolkata Bloggers Meet
It was a very thoughtful initiative to bring Kolkata bloggers and photographers together. Our idea was to brainstorm about
How bloggers and photographers can collaborate and create beautiful contents together
It was a very interesting and interactive session. Met some of my friends after long time, and also made new friends.
- The online trend is shifting heavily to visual contents – photos, videos, infographics etc.
- A blogger can use photographs to make their blog and online presence visually appealing. But using photos downloaded from Google or Internet is illegal and might cause serious legal trouble. Taking other’s photographs without permission is ‘stealing’. But then again buying stock photography is out of budget for most bloggers. Finding good quality free licensed images isn’t easy either. So the best option is to collaborate with some photographers and use their image with due permission.
- A photographer can also request their blogger friends to add stories to their clicks. Also by allowing bloggers to use their photographs, they’ll be able to reach wider audience.
- It’s best to have a Self Hosted WordPress blog, with a premium theme, to showcase your photographs primarily. [ Need technical help? I am here to help. Feel free to contact me.]
- Optimize your photographs to appear on Google and other Search Engine. Here is a tutorial for Image SEO. [ Some of you asked on Facebook about SEO, here is a detailed tutorial on Search Engine Optimization]
- Ranganda gave us a very valuable info. All images submitted to Wikipedia is under Creative Common license. So bloggers can use those freely. But still it’s a good courtesy to take permission from the owner and/or saying thanks.
Street Photography Workshop by Soumya Shankar Ghosal
Photo Courtesy: Supriya @ Eyesight
Second day started with a super interactive Street Photography workshop from Soumyada. Really I learned to look at the world from new perspectives!
Here is a very useful article on Street Photography from Soumyada on FootFlock Blog.
Soumyada also reviewed photographs taken by the young photographers and pointed out the scope of improvements.
- There is an extra ordinary story hidden inside each ordinary moment.
- Workshops need to be informal and fun to be effective.
- How to criticize someone positively so that the person get inspired to improve their craft, not feel disheartened. (Hats off Soumyada for the way you were commenting on each photograph with so much love and extreme care)
Cloud Photography from Debarshi Duttagupta
I love clicking photos of cloud with my mobile. But for the first time saw what cloud photography really was! Here was a owner of a Pharmaceutical company, who chase clouds on weekends and capture their beauty through the lenses. This is why I went to the event! To soak into the passion of these amazing persons.
You can find Debarshida’s photographs in his website and on Facebook:
Food Photography from Sayantan Mitra
Before watching Sayantanda’s photograph I thought ‘taste’ and ‘smell’ are the 2 most important senses associated with food. But after watching his mouth watering photographs I must agree that ‘sight’ comes first!
Advertisement Photography from Neelutpal Das
Neelutpalda came up with a complete different genre of photographs – commercial advertisement photography. He honestly disclosed the role played by camera and the role played by post processing. He gave lots of valuable tips for those who wanted to pursue photography as a profession too.
You can see his stunning photo shoots in his website and on Facebook:
Landscape and Macro Photography from Srivatsan Sankaran
Srivatsan came all the way from Chennai for this event and he was the youngest among all speakers. Watching his landscape and macro photographs were real eye treats! Also he is a real nice person to talk to.
You can find his photographs on Facebook:
There was another Jomiye Adda session where audience got to interact with the speakers.
Now the concluding session was most important, atleast to me. Personal Branding is something that I am learning every day for last 7 years and also try my best to teach others. Internet and Social Media has given anyone the opportunity to create their own identity .
If I didn’t work on my Personal Branding, then I could have never run a Home Based Business from Laptop, sitting at my suburban hometown Midnapur, working with people from all over the world.
The session was a great opportunity for me to learn more about Personal Branding from 3 experts in the field.
I don’t think summarizing the lessons in some points would be justice to what these experts shared. I’m embedding their slides here:
Reaction of Social Media in Photography Kolkata Event
If you think that I am the only one who is so much moved by the event, take a look at the #SMIPKOL hashtag on Facebook.
Wish I could mention each and every single person I’ve met in the event. But I can’t resist myself from sharing about 1 amazing photographers community: Cam2O
Their craft and behavior really inspired me!
Also I must mention the organizing community who made this event possible: PhotoAdda.in (Most of the photographs used in this blog post are from their page )
Eager to Collaborate With New Photographers
For some time I am collaborating with some of my photographer friends to create inspiring content. You can take a look at this post to get an idea.
If you kindly allow your photographs to be used to inspire people to live their best lives, please contact me. I’d love to collaborate.
Please Share Your Experience About The Event
If you are a photographer and attended the event, please share your experience in the comment section. Come on, not being a photographer I might have missed many valuable points that you can point out.
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