Welcome to Just Write, a blog for newbies and fun bloggers, writers and photographers, where you do not have to be Patrick Problogger to have a great blog.
Leanne Cole became my blogging friend when I first snuck onto the internet in 2012. She visited my site religiously every day, and I never let a day go by before I visited her site too, even if I had to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. Photos, like the one above of a Melbourne bridge, take my breath away. With all the time she spends taking and processing her work, and her heavy teaching schedule, this fabulous artist had time for not only me but hundreds of bloggers, many of whom, like me, had 5 -10 likes on their posts. One of them was always Leanne’s little black and white rectangle.
Leanne, welcome to my new blog. I’m so excited to interview you. You are famous in the blogging world with nearly 34,000 followers. You’ve always had time to comment on my blog and keep in touch personally, so now after four years, we’re close friends. As if you were not already busy, now you have a gorgeous online photography magazine called “Dynamic Range.” Congratulations on that major accomplishment! You have done so well. I’m honored to have you share with my readers how you’ve become so successful.
M. First, how did you get started blogging and do you think that led to your success in photography?
L. I first started blogging in 2010. I was doing a lot of photography around cycling, and a friend suggested that I should start a blog. Seemed to be the thing to do at the time. I looked into it and started one on Blogspot. However, I found certain aspects there difficult and then a close friend introduced me to WordPress. I immediately started one there and had been using it for the last five and a half years.
The second part of the question is a little tricky; I don’t know. I do know that it helped to find the inspiration to go out and take photos. It was amazing how it got me to continue striving for better. Perhaps they have gone hand in hand.
M. That makes sense, you highlight the careers of many other artists, and have opportunities for many of your readers to send in their photos. So you get a lot of outside input that inspires us all! Tell us a little about your blogging experience.
L. As I said, I’ve been blogging for awhile and if you count the first one last January was my six-year anniversary. I’ve found the experience to be very rewarding, and it has opened up some incredible opportunities for me. I have met some amazing people, both on the internet and in person. I have learned to write better, and take better photos. There is that constant wish not to disappoint people.
M. You’ve specialized in landscape photography on your blog. I was thrilled to meet you when you toured in the US last year How do you manage to blog and work full-time, and travel so much as well?
L. I like landscape photography and architecture. I like structures in my photos and like to see the hand of man in them. I don’t like straight out landscape photography if that makes sense. I like seeing other people’s, but I like more unless it involves water, I love photographing water.
I consider the blog as part of my job. It has to be done. Part of my success relies on it, so I have to keep it up. I don’t travel that much, not as much as I would like, but again, to me, it is all part of the job. I am a photographer and have to travel to get the images I want.
M. I guess I meant landscape to include cityscapes as well. In my mind landscape means anything that is not portrait or candid shots of people. Your photographs are fabulous. What online courses available right now?
L. Thank you; I wish I could say I tire of hearing that, but I never do.
I teach photography, so do one on one photography sessions around Melbourne, though if someone wanted me to come to them and teach them, pay my airfare, etc., I probably wouldn’t say no. LOL. I also do Skype sessions and can teach people how to edit in Lightroom and Photoshop. I have also taught others how to use them cameras via Skype as well.
M. I’ll never forget our Skype lesson. It took me 10 minutes to figure you were saying “camera raw,” not camera roll.” I learned so much in such a short time. Having a personal tutor analyze my photographs helped me correct my problems without wading through everyone else’s issues. That being said, you probably get the some of the same challenges over and over. What quick advice do you have about taking pictures and using them on your blog?
L. Take photos that interest you, and of things you love. If you love what you are doing it will come through on your blog. Remember to resize your images, and watermark if you choose. Remember people hate watermarks so try not to make them intrusive.
M. I love your watermarks. They are always a creative part of the picture. I used to love being imaginative with my watermarks to imitate yours. Now I spend a lot less time on them. What are the best opportunities that have come your way that you would attribute to blogging?
L I was given a fantastic trip to the USA last year because of one of my wonderful subscribers. We spent an incredible three weeks together. That has been the most amazing thing that has happened, but I have been asked to photograph some things that I wouldn’t have been able to without the blog. People being able to see my work and see that others like it as well is a great boost.
M. That was a great trip. It was my chance to meet you for a few hours after you had been traveling for something like 30 hours straight. I felt so honored that you would stay up long enough to have a cup of coffee with me. What advice do you have for new bloggers?
L. Be you, do what you like and don’t give in to trends and such. Trends or fashionable things die, so you want to outlive them. If you enjoy what you do, then it is like a virus and becomes infectious others will want to join you.
M. That is great advice. Ourselves is all we have to offer, isn’t it? What else would you like to add that I haven’t asked you?
L. Oh I don’t know, I think we have just about covered everything. I do enjoy blogging and have found it to be a very rewarding experience. I have now changed everyone over to my self-hosted site, which I hope will mean a less confusing experience for my followers/subscribers. I have everything in one place, and that feels right at this time.
M. Leanne, it has been a privilege to know you all these years, and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to address my readers and me. Most of all thank you for being my friend. Best of everything in all your future endeavors and continued success on your blog and with your many photography adventures.
L. Thank you Marsha and same to you, all the best with your new adventures too and perhaps we will catch up with one another again in the future.
M. I certainly hope so.
In conclusion, after blogging for nearly six years, blogging has brought Leanne 1) a lot of pleasure, 2) a chance to travel, expenses paid, to distant places to do what she loves doing. 3) has improved her writing and photography skills. 4) Leanne advises you to do what you love to do and create your niche. 5) She is available for face to face classes as well as online tutoring.
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Here are some pictures from Leanne’s galleries that I chose, with her permission, for you to enjoy. I love how perfectly the buildings are aligned, and not skewed so that they all parts of the photo cannot be straight. She manages to get enormous buildings completely into the picture without sacrificing crispness. Please honor her copyright, and respect that she earns her living selling her photos.
Be sure to visit her site at Leanne Cole.
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Thanks again for joining us here at Just Write for a cup of coffee and a great interview with our guest blogger, Leanne Cole. Don’t forget to give her blog a peek! 🙂 To be a guest on Just Write or read other interviews, click here.