woman's hand turning a wheel. Abstract shallow depth of field

Why Volunteering is a Great Way to Grow as a Photographer

Sometimes it’s fruitful to give away what you are gifted at doing. You never know how much you can truly bless someone or what may come your way as a result of your generosity.


Thai woman and small child with a DSLR camera

Why it’s Important to Have a Good Relationship With Your Camera

Let me encourage you to save some money. Don’t upgrade your camera. Not yet. Not until you really know you have got the most out of it and it really is time to upgrade.


Chiand Mai street scene

Why it’s a Good Idea to Take Lots of Photos

If you are not taking a lot of photos and making a lot of mistakes, you are denying yourself so many opportunities to learn. I’m not meaning to encourage you to go out and blaze away taking photos without thinking. Let me explain …


Two men takling about photography holding DSLR cameras

6 Reasons You Should Hang Out With Other Photographers

I bought my first camera second hand from a friend. Three of us used to go out and take photos together, initially this is how I learned a lot about photography. In this article I share six good reasons it’s beneficial to hang out with other photographers.


Market portrait of a young woman and sausages

How to Use a Small Softbox With Your Flash to Transform Your Portraits

I do not write much about equipment, but now and then I do like to share some about an accessory I love to use. This article is about how to use a small softbox and flash to enhance your portraits.

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couple with a small camera

7 Questions That Will Help You Decide Which Camera To Buy

I’m often asked for advice by people wanting to buy a new camera. I think many of them expect me to tell them to buy a Nikon, because that’s what I use. But I don’t tell them that.

First I ask a series of questions. Then help them make the choice.

If you’re looking to purchase a new camera and not sure how to make a good decision about it, check out these seven questions that can guide you though the process …

couple with a small camera

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.


food vendor in Istanbul

How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.

Being well prepared for a photography project can make the biggest difference to the number of good quality images you return home with. Whether you’re interested in street, event, travel or any other genre of photography being prepared for the task is essential to your success. Here’s some solid tips to help you to be better prepared …

food vendor in Istanbul


Hmong man riding an unpowered kart

5 Key Elements of Quality Photography

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.

So much is written and so many videos are made about making great photos and how you can improve your craft, but what is a good photo? What makes some pictures better than others?

I’ve written an article to take a look at five elements essential to great photos.

There’s two versions – the short and the long.

Hmong man riding an unpowered kart


How to Use a Reflector to Improve Your Natural Light Portraits

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.

Through teaching our photography workshops here in northern Thailand I have learned there’s four mistakes people commonly make that hinder their photographic development. As you learn to avoid these four things you can advance more quickly to becoming a more creative photographer and find greater enjoyment in using your camera.

fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar, at sunrise


fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar, at sunrise

How To Avoid 4 Photography Mistakes That Will Hinder Your Development

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.

Through teaching our photography workshops here in northern Thailand I have learned there’s four mistakes people commonly make that hinder their photographic development. As you learn to avoid these four things you can advance more quickly to becoming a more creative photographer and find greater enjoyment in using your camera.

fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar, at sunrise


old Karen woman smoking her pipe

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.

The popularity of photography has increased dramatically in recent years, esperciallywith the inlcusion of cameras on smart phones capable of impressive results. More and more photos are being published every day on social media, blogs, websites and everywhere, so it’s much more difficult to get your photos noticed in the crowd. Taking time to learn a little more about phtoograph and how to make great pictures will help get your photos noticed.

old Karen woman smoking her pipe


7 Tips for Learning How to See What Your Camera Sees

Depth and a fresh dynamic can be easily added to your natural light portraits by using reflected light. This can sometimes occur naturally, but more often than not, it’s easier and more effective to use a fold-out reflector for this purpose as you have control over the amount of light you are reflecting.

Here are some helpful tips on using a reflector effectively …

Kevin is a contributing writer for Digital Photography School website. This article is published there.


Kayan woman having neck rings put on as her daughter watches

Learn How To Create Effective Photo Essays

New Rings

It was a special experience to arrive at Baan Thong Luang and see Malu having her neck rings put back on. So when we arrived again a few weeks later taking another workshop there we were amazed to see Malu’s mother having her rings wound around her neck. Masu had just returned the evening before from her journey home to her village in Myanmar and the grandma was at work wrapping the brass coil around the younger woman’s neck.

Chancing upon a juncture like this it’s important to take stock of what’s happening and work quickly to ensure you capture the action as it’s unfolding. The first thing I do is to ascertain if it’s appropriate and polite to take photos. I never like to just assume that it is. Because we have a lovely existing relationship with these people it would be easy to assume taking photos is OK, but it’s always best to ask.

Given the go ahead I started taking a few initial shots. My immediate thought was to create a series of photographs that would tell the story of this event. I’ll always be looking to get great single images that will stand alone, but I also like to make collections of photographs that provide a record of the situation.Save

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Kayan woman having neck rings put on

We’d arrived when the old grandma was already a good way through the process so I knew we would not have so much time. I know the light in that particular location is lovely, as we’ve taken many photographs there over the past few years. I also know the background can be a problem as it’s fairly cluttered and has some areas of bright light where you can see the sunshine through the gaps under the house. So, as usual, I moved around and found various points of view so as to avoid most of the distracting bright areas.

I was then looking to capture interactions between Masu and the grandma and anyone else who may enter the scene. Masu’s youngest daughter, Naam Cha, was there, (as usual,) and enjoying having her mother back home. She was quite intrigued by what was happening and this made for some lovely photos. I always like to look for this type of interaction when there’s a main activity taking place as it adds deeper meaning to the photo essay.

Kayan woman having neck rings put on as her daughter watches

It’s important to anticipate the flow of the activity and the likely associated expressions you might see on people’s faces. I aimed to photograph various facial expressions as Masu sat there having her appearance returned to it’s customary state, (she had not had the rings removed for about 5 years prior to this time.) In this situation there’s a number of factors that make it easier for me:

  • Knowing my camera well
  • Knowing the location and lighting well
  • Knowing my subject well enough that she’s comfortable
  • Capturing a number of different expressions of your subject will enhance the narrative you are creating.

I was able to shoot 89 photos in about 15 minutes before grandma indicated to us she preferred to continue without our cameras present, so we thanked them and went on our way. Bringing the photos into Lightroom and working through them to choose five or six for my picture story was fun. I knew I had some interesting photos, some fun interactions with Naam Cha and some good expressions from Masu.

Kayan woman having neck rings put on

To choose just one image to illustrate an activity like this is very difficult. When I worked for the newspapers this was most often what I had to do. These days it’s great to have the flexibility to share a small series of images giving a clearer account of the experience.

If you’re interested in learning more of my Lightroom workflow and how I go about choosing which images to include and which I discard, please check out our online course on the subject here.