Been a busy start to 2024 after a huge season of Santa Beach Photos at the end of 2023.  Every year it gets bigger and bigger and more popular.  We had such a great time as usual.

So far this year I have been taking lots of van camping trips, flying my drone when I can, two overseas trips to New Zealand to see my dear old Dad and then deal with family matters.  Most times I leave my Canon gear behind and just travel with my drone and iPhone.  The phone does a pretty good job of recording everything I need to shoot on trips, mostly videos for my YouTube Shorts channel and Tiktok account, and some still images or reels for my social media or record shots of where I went and what I did, and any exciting meals that appeared before my eyes.  The phones become like a visual diary for us if we use it this way, to record people, places and special meals.

I am always careful to backup my mobile phone images in different ways both in the cloud and in several other substantial formats so they don’t get lost over the years.  This is often where our best photos are kept of loved ones, pets and travels.

While overseas in New Zealand I got to see my coffee table book on Rangitoto Island actually on the island in the Museum there which is right beside the wharf.  It’s an old bach (holiday home) built in the 1930’s and restored to become a museum.  It houses table and bedroom set ups like it would have been back then, plus some books on the window ledge including my book with over 200 photos, text and stories of the island and island life as it was back in the day.  It’s a great read and can be bought and shipped to your house by clicking on the Rangitoto Island book image on my website.

I have also been photographing lots of buses for the transit company I work for.  They gave me a company hat and lanyard to stop people giving me the ‘stink eye’ as they think I’m a weirdo shooting buses.  It does look odd, but it pays well and the work is pretty easy to shoot but challenging to find each bus I need to photograph (shooting the advertising on the buses), so I enjoy the whole process. It’s nice to get out of my office for a while and earn money too in the fresh air and sunshine.

In-between photography jobs I have been working on my three online stores and making lots of sales.  The sales are slow and steady but I really enjoy the design process a lot.  Working with my images plus graphic designs to create homeware, footwear and clothing.  It’s a lot of fun.  Check out my website and click on SHOP to see my main shop.  It’s secure shopping and lots of products now have free shipping worldwide.

I have been doing quite a few online judgings for camera clubs in Queensland so far this year, and heading up the meetings of the Judge’s Executive Committee once a month in my role of JE Chair.  We have been supporting new judges to get qualified and I have mentored a few people in this process too.  It’s always great to have new and fresh judges join us especially as the older ones are needing to retire.  It’s good to give back to the photographic community and inspire other photographers as their work inspires us while we are judging too.  So many talented photographers and digital artists out there.

The other night I attended an information evening on using AI in business which was pretty interesting.  It’s one of those developments that can be used for both good and bad so was a great night out learning more about AI. It makes you look twice at every advertising photo you see and wonder how much is actually real using real models and real backgrounds and how much is made inside a computer.

Next up for me, is more design work, sales and marketing, more freelance jobs, shooting videos and dabbling in some more AI work just for fun, before we head into yet another crazy season of Santa Beach Photos at the end of the year.