Tag Archives: #yourturnchallenge

On tv with Anne Geddes – how I did it.

You know those countless times when you turn on the tv and see someone famous that you think is awesome being interviewed and somewhere in the process some arbitrary caller comes into view and gets to speak to them and you think to yourself – How did that person get there? That could have been me!

Well on Tuesday this week I was that arb caller.

Now imagine being given the opportunity of meeting someone famous that you admire and aspire to emulate and you get to ask them just one question. What would you ask?

Then imagine you had two hours to prepare before asking that question on live streaming tv! That’s what happened to me on Tuesday. Would you do it?

HuffPost Live gets in touch

Kat Santiago (@KatHuffPost), an Associate Producer and Melissa Montanez (@MelMontanez_) , a community screener from Huffpost Live (@HuffPost Live) contacted me via Twitter and asked whether I would be interested in asking Anne Geddes a question and if I was that I should get in touch. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

It appears that instead of the traditional routes of finding guests HuffPost Live scans Twitter and other social media platforms to find people talking about subjects that they will cover. Now you know that too…

I had been tweeting and blogging about Anne Geddes because of a photography competition being run by Fine Art America and a chance to be on national tv. Who knew I would get that chance even before the competition ended!

Fighting the Lizard Brain

My tweeting, blogging and sharing had gone through a rapid exponential phase in the previous week due to the #YourTurnChallenge and its mission to make us ship our art daily for seven consecutive days.

So you would think that since I was in super productive mode and determined to make a ruckus and a huge fan of Anne Geddes that I would jump at this opportunity to speak to such a famous photographer who produces such iconic images. But I didn’t.

I stalled. My lizard brain wanted to retreat. The resistance offered me so many reasons to not do it.

The time difference between San Francisco and New York. The fact that I had no clearly formulated questions. The fact that I was still relatively new to floral photography. The fact that I had a workout appointment with my lovely neighbour Rachna. The fact that I was having a bad hair day.

I could find lots of reasons to quit before I even got going. But then I thought about the blog posts I had been writing all week. About doing it scared but still doing it. About finding a place to put the pain and the fear and taking action anyway.

So I did. I said yes to the opportunity. I was not the only one contacted on Twitter so I thought I would be one of a few.

It was a flurry of activity then. I emailed the reporters. They sent requests for details and a photo. I emailed them my three questions.

1.Your name is synonymous with beautiful and captivating baby photography. How would you suggest photographers who are new to the field make themselves stand out from the crowd?

 2. I loved your work on March of the Dimes for World Prematurity Day. How do you choose which campaigns to participate in and associate your name with?

 3. Sometimes parents are criticized for viewing their children’s lives from behind a lens and not being fully engaged in the experience. What do you think about the advances in photographic technology and it’s impact on our mindfulness?

I waited till they were ready to do a webcam test. The reporter called me, the producer called me. They sorted out some technical hitches and told me to ask the third question. We were good to go.

I watched the studio being set up.

In the meanwhile I saw Twitter notifications from the #YourTurnChallenge tribe, including my husband Robin (@RemarkableRuns) They had my back, especially the wonderfully helpful Joyce Sullivan (@JoyceMSullivan)  and they were rooting for me. It felt great!

Anne Geddes talks about Portraits of Meningococcal Disease

The interview started and Caitlyn Becker (@caitlynbecker) asked Anne about her new book and campaign “Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease” encouraging parents to vaccinate their children.

Then it was my turn! I was the only arb caller. The others must have quit before they got going and succumbed to the lizard brain.

The interview ended and I just sat still for a moment trying to take it all in and staring at a screen with an empty studio in New York. It felt surreal.

Go make a ruckus!

Afterwards Miriam Linderman (@MiriamLinderman) asked me- so how did all this happen? I said it happened because of my love for floral photography and sharing what I cared about.

So if you want to make a ruckus, be bold enough to share your story and what you care about. You never know where it could lead you.

Anne Geddes and me on HuffPost Live (Click image to view):

Me and Anne Geddes
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sullivan who blogs at Secret Gardens

Budding and Blooming Bloggers

This week has been quite unusual at ours. My husband, Robin, and I have both participated in the #YourTurnChallenge to blog every day for a week, initiated by Winnie Kao, project lead for Seth Godin.

“Are you reading something Daddy wrote again? asked my son “You two have been doing a lot of writing this week!”

Indeed we have – we have been shipping with a group of like-minded individuals from across the globe – and it’s been awesome, frustrating, challenging and liberating.

Photo 1: Spring buds and blooms in the park this morning

Spring Blossoms in the Park

Spring Blossoms in the Park

I have had my floral photography blog for four years and have steadily plodded along. I’ve blogged because I love to share what I experience and what I care about. I have a writing blog (needing a post) called Stories in #10Tweets  a Genetic Counselling News SA blog (in stasis) a motherhood blog called MumDay (discontinued) and my floral photography blog that just keeps going and now my martial arts blog Junbi.

When I first started blogging I was hooked on the stats. Was anyone reading it? Did it resonate with someone? Did people like what they saw?

When the stats remained dismal for the first year I was initially demotivated but then I changed my perspective. I realised that I was blogging because I enjoyed it, so I would just keep sharing things I felt passionate about.

I love it when people like my posts and send me comments. It’s a great way to connect and I usually comment on and follow their blogs too. Connecting is what makes social media social.

So my newest blog Junbi is steadily taking off. It has allowed me to connect with those I meet in other settings in a more in depth manner. I asked more questions in my Kuk Sool Won martial arts class so I had enough material to blog about.

I paid better attention to what Master Saidi said during my lessons so I could recall the key points he was conveying.

I asked more questions after Tai Chi class and discovered that Tim was also an author.

I had something different to talk about when I met another expat Mum in the park this morning and we chatted about blogging, martial arts and floral photography.

By being a brand advocate for Seth Godin I was also one for Kuk Sool Won, Tai Chi, Remarkable Runs, Fables and Flora, other challenge bloggers and myself! A very unique combination, generating chatter and making a ruckus.

Blogging this week has also allowed me to watch Robin unveil his writing skills and allowed me to peek into his mind during a run. Our kids got to see us committing to a challenge and shipping and they started writing their own thoughts too.

So we now have budding and blooming bloggers in one household! Congrats to all who joined the challenge this week and happy shipping on your journey forward.

Macro magic

#YourTurnChallenge #Day4

Magic happens in the minutiae of life that we are usually blissfully unaware of. Seeing the details of the ordinary up close gives a new perspective on the wonders the world holds.

I have always wanted a macro lens but could never justify the cost of one. Instead I used the lens I had to get as close as I possibly could.

Then for Christmas my darling husband surprised me with a beautiful new Canon macro lens. I almost wept with joy! A whole new world of photography awaited.

These are my first attempts at using it. It will take some getting used to but I am already thoroughly enjoying myself.

Photo 1: Salmon pink Geranium Macro

Geranium close up

Photo 2: Abelia husks

Abelia husks

Photo 3: Pink stocks

Stocks pink portrait

Let the blogging #YourTurnChallenge begin!

Live. Lead. Contribute.

Roses pink cluster on blue

I have joined the #YourTurnChallenge and started a new blog called Junbi. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

This blog was initiated because of a challenge by Winnie Kao, the Special Projects Lead for Seth Godin, linked to his book What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn), to do a blog post a day for 7 days.

To follow Seth’s key theme in his book – it’s my opportunity to take my turn and to make a difference. We all have the opportunity to contribute, to lead and to live our lives to the full.

My husband is blogging for this challenge too. Read his posts on Remarkable Runs.

I have been blogging for a few years now. I have tried various approaches and some have worked while others haven’t. Fables and Flora has been my most successful as I think it’s involves the content that I am most passionate about – flowers of course! My aim for 2015 is to revamp Fables and Flora and take the content to new exciting places so watch this space.

Hope you enjoy the journey with me and please give Junbi a read too!