. . . So much has happened since the last blog post, that I am a bit excited to tell you all that is happening and going on.

OK, Lets see, back then in September I think I just passed 64,000 points and the beginning level of Master on Gurushots.

Well since that time, I’ve managed to lay on another close to 30,000 points and I really need to say this . . . if you want to improve your photography then join GuruShots. There is nothing like the challenge and stimulation of a new photography competition every 3rd Day to keep you excited and challenged about your work.

So what else has been happening?

Well, there has been a lot of uploading of past work to my shop on RedBubble. I had kind of set a goal of uploading 500 photos there by early November, but I guess it will now not be possible to meet that.

Still, there have been quite a few competitions to experiment with Photoshop Actions and Plugins to create some very unique photos and I have enjoyed this tremendously. Most satisfyingly, it was possible achieve 4th place overall in the GuruShots competition called “Effective Effects” which has been my best achievement there to date. Quite happy about that, but its only served as a stimulation to try to do better in the future.

So recently I’ve managed to shoot a wedding, which was always a goal of mine. It was a lot of fun and I do have to say it was the most amazing wedding I’ve seen having attended quite a few over time just as a guest. Everything was so organised and so well rehearsed in advance that absolutely no one was stressed out on the day, which made for perfect photography subjects. It was pretty incredible in that regard. So in preparation I moved up to a second camera, the Sony A6000, and wow what an amazing camera this is.

The Sony A6000 is designed as a replacement for the Sony NEX 6 (released in circa 2011 or so), and it contains features which puts my NEX 7 to shame. Still, I am happy now to have two quality 24 MegaPixel sensors to shoot events such as weddings.

I think I commented on RedBubble shortly after, that it would be really neat to have three A6000’s for weddings with different lenses (the 18-200 mm zoom, an F1.8 50 mm lens and either a Wide Angle or a Zeiss Prime Lens), so that there would be no need to swap out lenses on the fly – just take heaps and heaps of shots. With large memory cards, and a good supply of batteries, I could see how a photographer could really capture some amazing shots and be prepared for any eventuality as the Wedding Ceremony progressed. So I suppose this is my new goal.

For my landscape work, I would dearly love to be shooting with a 42 MegaPixel Sony Alpha 7R Mark II, but in reality for the total workflow involved in a wedding, this camera (in my opinion), would be overkill for the job. Way too may pixels and too large file sizes to need to deal with for the downstream workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop.

So what else has been happening of late? Well, I am presently working on three new websites. You see, I feel that photographers these days need to be very Web Centric and Web Efficient, so building websites helps in many ways (both with photography and social media). These websites are allowing me to practice some Real Estate photography and some Product Photography (at the moment flowers and bouquets), as well as building an online solution for clients, which will hopefully enhance their business presence on the web. Time will tell, but I think that this work should give both of them a leg up locally with their businesses in this regard.

Lastly, the only other thing I have been working on of late is an “Engagement Walk” around Rosalind Park. The idea here is to offer something special to future Brides and Grooms in advance of their Weddings. This way they will be able to become acquainted with me as their future Wedding Photographer, and also they will get some great Engagement shots to share with family and friends on Social Media in the lead up to their special day.

I have devised a nice walk around Rosalind Park and the Bendigo CBD for 90 minutes where I feel it would be possible to capture the new couple in perfect light in their city with very familiar backdrops. If you are a newly engaged couple, perhaps send me an email or give me a call (0409 855 025) to discuss this. I think you will be very happy with the resulting photos because the light is working out perfectly.

Anyway, in typical fashion its time for a song and what better one but Billy Idol and “White Wedding”?  I’ve been on a bit of a wedding kick of late, consuming everything I can on YouTube about weddings, particularly from B&H in New York to posing models and Brides.  Been learning a lot!

P.S.  Lastly a big thanks to Jason Lanier and his YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/jasonlanier).  Mate, been learning so much from your teachings, thanks for sharing!

. . . its fun to scroll back and see how they have improved in the past few months . . . Or Not Improved.

Managed to reach “Master” on GuruShots since the last time. Got beat out in the last 12 hours by that other Canuck fellow I was mentioning, but oh well. And since he has laid down another 2,000 points and is still in the lead, but I’m not done yet 😉

Not quite half-way there to Guru, but almost . . .

GuruShots Followers = 380

GuruShots Following = 1,111 (Hehehe, something to do with Ned I think . . .)

LinkedIn Connections = 451 (this has been a nice growth.  Thanks Photographers around Australia for accepting)

FaceBook FanPage Likes and Followers (Presumably) = 413

Twitter Followers = 19.2K But this is only because I am Tweeting 144 times a day (once every 10 minutes) all the latest Photography News from around the planet . . . nice to see people are enjoying it. The Favouritings and Retweetings keep my phone ringing all day long, which is a nice motivator to keep going . . .

Pinterest Followers = 10.8K now, 239 Boards, 9.5K Pins, 245 Photos Uploaded x 26 Products = 6370 Products. This is an easy SM Channel to grow => Pinterest, very easy!

RedBubble Shop Likes = 301  (Need to be uploading more pics there soon, have way more than heaps . . . takes so much time)

GuruShots Followers = 380

GuruShots Emails Received (For Both Ned and I 🙂 = 5,312 (Likes, Comments, Admin Messages, etc. etc.). About 30 new ones a day now.

GuruShots Points Now -> 72,590

All Star:Elite Strike Rate on GuruShots:  Of late its been One in Two, but I am hoping to be consistent at One in Four going forward.  Not easy, as the Photography Themes are quite diverse.

Working My way along to Guru on GuruShots, just about half-way there . . . and then from there its on over to “The Arcanum” to hopefully become a MASTER on there as well . . .

From there a Cert IV in Photography and hopefully membership in the AIPP.

. . . It all takes time.

As I say, this is a Social Media Experiment. Seems to be working. Interesting to watch how these numbers grow or don’t grow in the coming months. Should be a Guru on GuruShots by May 2016, but its a lot of fun competing and meeting some interesting people along the way . . . if reading along here and curious, you should give it a go . . .

Oh yes, entered the Zoos Victoria Photo Competition on Friday.  Check them out on FaceBook and give a vote or two if you can find my photos.  Entered the “Lorikeet in a Sandstorm” from a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary in August.  Hopefully it will come good.  Currently 6th spot in “Effective Effects” on GuruShots.  Was 4th Place, but tonight dropped in a new one, as my 4th place photo was going nowhere.  So will have to see how that turns out in 16 Days time.

Anyway tonights song is a good one, an Oldie but a Favourite. Enjoy!

Now seeing as I’m about to become the first Canuck to reach MASTER level on GuruShots . . .

. . . as I cast my mind back to May 2015 and as I was watching this Portfolio ->


And seeing as I was trailing this fellow then by 7,000 points, I said to myself then . . . NOPE it can never be!

There is NO WAY another Canadian will EVER beat this CANUCK to MASTER FIRST.

So here we are on the cusp of that MASTER”Y” moment.

SJ = 63,340 Points

J.J. Guy Longtin = 63,280 Points

64,000 Points are required to reach MASTER on GuruShots.

So I dug deep and shot, after shot, after shot, these past 4 months . . . Only One Goal!

So we shall see, over the next 24-36 hours just how it turns out.

This “GUY” guy is a great photographer, and he just might turn over an ELITE or an ALL STAR or two these next 24-36 hours, so who knows, it could still all go pear-shaped at 11:59:59.

ADDENDUM:  OK, so its gone pear-shaped.  Congratulations Guy!  OK so this tactic is a bit akin to poking a stick into a hornets nest.  Now a few of them at least, see what’s up and what the gameplan is.  Back down to 12th place, Bummer.  Oh well, its time to come up with some new ideas.  I’m never short of new ideas . . . hehehehe!

Anyway, as usual, I am listening to great music as I wait for the outcome . . . Queen – Live Aid 1985. Enjoy!

Australia Post is now Following me on Twitter – @auspost.

Now either the Webmaster there is a Photography fanatic, and he’s caught wind that now @sjphotocomau is pumping out photography news feeds planet-wide at a rate of one news item every 10 minutes, which is leading to this:

17.8K Followers, where the top 47 have a collective Following of 11,163,121 Followers.  Can anyone spell R-E-T-W-E-E-T?  Especially for any one of my top 10 Followers?  Just one Retweet, is all I’m asking for . . . .  😉

Or else, someone has caught wind that Ned Kelly is back and is participating on GuruShots, and this time he’s taking no prisoners. 😉

Soon 10K GuruShots points and very soon after that EXPERT level.  Should be by the end of August, mmmm maybe first week of September.

Have always been madly fascinated about history, whether it be military history or historical things that shaped a nation.

It used to be the case on GuruShots that we needed to upload 8 photos in each competition. Now its only 4 and I was getting a tad bit bored waiting for new competitions to start.

Well whatever the reason for the AusPost Following, its been a long time since the last journal post so lets catch up on what Joseph and Trevor are up to at the Digital Photography Cafe.  A few episodes to catch up on now.  Will cover them in the next few posts.  Enjoy!

A few new photos for here tonight . . .

MUSE Hysteria . . . Enjoy!


My Immortal

No photos, blog description or text required for this one, because it would ruin it.  My Immortal . . . my absolute favourite song of the last 10 years.  Think of the photo opportunities presented in this video . . . One day maybe . . .



Pinterest . . . 4,767 Followers and growing massively daily . . . 7,924 Pins on 161 Boards Now.  With a bit of effort its now 500 new Pinners a day.  Some days no time, too busy out taking photos.

Twitter . . . 17.3K Followers and growing by the day.  The photography news feed is excellent (48 posts a day).  Learning a lot from checking those out and reading whats new.

Facebook . . . 285 Followers (these are so difficult to grow!  Doesn’t matter, in time they will come and stick around . . . Focus on Pinterest, Focus on Pinterest, Focus on Pinterest and yes Pinners are also Tweeters and so your following will also grow there too.  Forget about FaceWaste in your early days  😉

RedBubble Shop . . . 203 Followers (More Uploads Coming Very SOON!!!   Been out and about around Victoria Collecting More but more importantly been refining my Photoshop -> Lightroom -> Photomatix Pro workflow and thus why no RedBubble Uploads of late . . . the problem is, things are getting better and so no sense in uploading ordinary stuff)

As mentioned before, and as is listed on the main page of this website . . . this website is NOT about Photography . . . its about seeing what works and doesn’t work with Social Media while I work to improve my photography through the GuruShots competitions.

Oooops, nearly forgot . . . Now 50,000+ points and 1/3rd of my way to GURU on GURUSHOTS . . . lots of photo practice left to be done though.

Anyway, great song to share for this Post . . . Fall Out Boy and “Thanks for the Memories”  Enjoy!

P.S.  If you are following along, you might also like to keep an eye on Ned as well, because Ned’s is also going to be doing great on GuruShots!  😉




284 Likes on Facebook

192 Likes at the RedBubble Shop

17.1K Tweeters Following the Photo News with a top 25 Followrs having a collective Following of 7.18 Million

117 Boards now on Pinterest. Interestingly growing at a rate of 5-6 new Board invites a day now . . . Accepting ALL of them! Check out the Black SJ Hats and look thereafter. Re-Pin them too please.


Remember, the avg Gross income of a Pinterest Pinner is $25K-$75K/Annum . . . Perfect Coffee Cup and Pencil Skirt purchasers  😉

2,320 Pinterest Followers and growing at a rate of 300 a day

151 LinkedIn Connections. I invite ’em and to a letter they all Connect back. Who in the heck is this PHOTO NERD in Bendigo hey? 😉

Soooooooon, You’ll See . . . OPPORTUNITY 🙂

Reminds me of Brisbanite Pete Murray’s song, ENJOY!

. . . I had 987 Followers on Pinterest. And now?


So this seems to work. Step-by-Step. Here’s what I have learned:

1. If you create an account on Pinterest, and simply Pin then you are guaranteed to be seen as active and WILL find people wishing to follow you.

but that is the slow way

2. So you could jump on any number of sites on the Twitter feed and simply “buy” Followers, and some sweatshop in the sub-continent madly creating fake accounts will accommodate

but why do that when:

3. If you simply start Following your Followers Followers (if that makes sense), it actually works . . . the numbers will grow (200 newies today so far)

and then:

4. You seek out and find just one Board – 1000LifeHacks – and from there pin away onto a board at your own page, you will find that this alone will also bring in hundreds of new Followers through time . . . thus far over 600 in the past two weeks.

So, three rules to Pinterest which is the absolute BEST Social Media Site for Photographers to promote their work on because its very graphically oriented:

1. Create an account and simply participate, even if its only for 5 minutes a day. People will find you and Follow what you are doing.

2. Take time to check out your Followers and spend time Following their Followers, do it until the Pinterest Spam Blocker kicks in – usually 200 Follower Attempts. Then wait 12 hours and do it again.

3. Seek out and find “1000LifeHacks” and Pin those as often as you can whether to a board at your site, or to a trash can you have created (“Empty Once a Week” on my site).

The Net Result?

At this moment SJPhoto has:

82 Boards

6,765 Pins


and is Following 2,202 (remember, when you are starting out you will always be Following more people than you have Followers. Later on I will reveal a tool to cull inactive people you are Following to rebalance the numbers. Or quite simply manually Un-Follow everyone and make yourself look like an “All-Star Rockstar” 🙂  But clicking UnFollow, UnFollow, UnFollow thousands of times is a waste . . . there is an easier way.

Expect these numbers at SJPhoto to grow dramatically in the coming weeks.

Also from the Two SJ Ballcaps onwards, as you scroll down at my Pinterest Page. All the Pin Boards thereafter are from Followers requesting that I Pin to their Boards. Why has this happened? The answer is simple . . . “Life Hacks” Pins. You will definitely want to use those, because they are so handy and provide great tips to people about dealing with everyday life difficulties and situations.

Why the Ballcap? Well the answer to that is simple. Two Words . . . CHRIS RECORD


Follow this Guy in the Orange Ballcap, consume everything he has posted “EVER” on the web. Webinars, YouTube Videos, Videos at his website, purchase his courses, the lot . . . and you will end up just fine. Guaranteed! 😉  Start by paying attention to the Facebook Ads that pop up on your page.  The guy in the Orange Ballcap is everywhere.

OK so Pinterest is growing, that’s cool. What about GuruShots? Now cranking over 45K Points on there but one CJ is still chasing down my butt like “Flies to Sh**”. Need to shake her somehow. I’ve deployed the Yarn Bombed Tree which is now getting great view numbers (largely attributed to my RedBubble and Pinterest Followers), even deployed the 3 Day Pass at -> http://bit.ly/1gqg1vL and still she’s not giving up. Need to think of the next tactic.

This past week the Photo Expedition was to the Melbourne Zoo as the Photos atop this post suggest. Zoo’s are great spots to capture photos and build up the Photo Archive, so don’t hesitate to go there. Still post-processing photos from there and then I still have all the Pyramid Hill and Inglewood ones to work on as well from early last week, not to mention heaps of old Bendigo and Melbourne ones. It’s going to be a very long session tonight I think. Probably another all-nighter.

This week, most likely Ballarat or Echuca or both, not sure yet.  Depends on the weather and how I feel, or both.

Then Twitter, a great spot to set it and forget it. Every 30 minutes Photography News updates get posted on there from all the latest photography news feeds around the world. Want great advertising at the best possible price? Google search “MarketHub”. Run it for 3 months or 6 months or forever and guaranteed your Twitter Following will grow. The cost? $90/month. Can you get better advertising cheaper that reaches the top people in the world who have an interest in Photography? Doubt it. Right now my top 25 Followers have a collective Following of 6,988,200 Followers. Very rarely do I post to Twitter other than this Photography News Feed, and maybe the odd Pinterst Pin or two, no need to. The Favouritings and ReTweetings are happening all day long without my needing to do a thing and its a great spot to check in with from time-to-time to see whats new with all things Photographic.  Right now its time to focus on improving my photography and in trying to find a way to hit “All Star” every time on GuruShots.  Should this be possible, then its game on hey, so its set it and forget it with as many Social Media sites as possible for now.

OK lastly for this post, RedBubble. Last week RedBubble introduced a new line of Art Journals. These are 128 page journals that Artists, Illustrators and otherwise Digitally Creative People can use to track their journey and make notes, sketches, etc. in. The production price for these is $20 at RedBubble. From now till the end of this month, I am offering all 241 of mine at the SJPhoto RedBubble Shop (The Secret Diary at my Pinterst Board) for this production cost price of just $20. RedBubble has been very aggressive this year in introducing quite a few new products and there is one further one we can anticipate in the next few months which will make 26 possible products for each photo you take and upload. Have a look at RedBubble and consider them for your online shop. Research a few weeks back showed that there are now at least 139 RedBubble equivalents on the web and yes perhaps some are better known at this stage, perhaps they even provide better offerings. But RedBubble, originally from Melbourne, now Headquartered in San Francisco and with a production facility in London, England have established a great worldwide “just-in-time” production and delivery solution for artists and creative people and they are very aggressively chasing down new products for us to print our creations on.  I’m all in with RedBubble!

OK, so that was a long blurb. As its going to be a late one, time for some tunes and a long one at that. This time around its time to share my all-time Favourite MUSE concert in Austin, Texas in 2013.  Can’t wait to see them again at Rod Laver in December.



By 2017 you will be . . . such a small compact form factor, so easy to use, LOVE my NEX-7!!!

This show with Trevor and Joseph should provide some discussion about the SONY (Another Black & White Logo Mob just like CHOM hey and SJ . . . Oh yeah going to pump them next!) decision to dump $4 Billion into its plans to develop more and better Sensors in the next few years, but if it doesn’t (haven’t listened to it yet), they probably should have.  Hmmm, Trevor is again missing and developing more websites.  It’s OK, Joseph’s Solo review of the latest news is always great!

Usually less than 250 Views for these shows each week.  Lets take it over 1,000 per week, as they provide an EXCELLENT analysis of the latest Photography News!

Watch and Enjoy!