Most bloggers take photos, and many photographers blog. It's a way of the modern world I guess, and it's a system that effectively draws in the visually stimulated citizens of cyberspace. The best of both worlds happens if you're a photographer who runs a highly successful blogsite.
There are so many websites that provide relevant content to every kind of aficionado, and for the experimental, out-of-the-box photographer, one go-to blog is DIY Photography. This writer was fortunate to correspond with the site’s owner and editor, Udi Tirosh, who agreed to answer a few questions through an email interview.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do. Maybe tell us something not all people know about too.
Hi Jill, Here is an interesting fact. Up until about 5 years ago I was a project manager for Texas Instruments running a photography blog – DIYPhotography.net – as a hobby. As the blog grew bigger, my wife and kids hardly recognized me. Between the demanding high-tech job at days and running the blog at night, I practically had to show an ID at the door so they would let me in. At that point I had to make a choice, and it was an easy one, I followed my passion and quit IT.
Today I am the Editor at DIYPhotography a product inventor and a dad (probably not in that order).
When and how did you get first acquainted with photography? What did you photograph back then? How has it been so far?
I got to photography by chance. When my girlfriend (now wife) was studying in Jerusalem, I picked up a second hand camera just for fun and wondered the streets of the city. I soon became addicted. Jerusalem offers a great deal of opportunity for photographers who are willing to wander the streets.
What cameras have you used and what do you mainly use now?
My first camera was a beaten up Nikon F70 with an even more miserable looking Sigma lens. It was a film camera which I still have today. I then “evolved” to an F90x and finally moved to digital with the D70. Nowadays I mostly shoot with a D300 and a D7000 .
Why did you decide to shift to mainly digital?
I moved to digital with my first born. It was still on my amateur days and a D70 was the first camera that I liked.
What prompted you to start DIYPhotography.net?
At the time, I was learning photography mostly from the internet, and I started DIYP as a hobby. Something to give a little back to the community that helped me learn and grow as a photographer.
When I first started out, DIYP was mostly about fabricating gear at home (as the name implies). The blog had just about any photography piece of gear you could imagine: cameras, lenses, time lapse dollies, jibs, and more.
With time DIYP grew to be more than gear and is now covering photography and innovation, tutorials and inspiration.
What other websites and blogs do you visit for bits of inspiration?
I visit a few blogs on a regular basis: PetaPixel, SLR lounge and Fstoppers great as all around blogs. Planet 5D is my go-to video blog. I also read Colossal, Life hacker and Gizmodo. Lastly, I love the weekly feature from photographer Benjamin von Wong.
I read in a prior interview that you enjoy shooting families and kids now, as opposed to your previous intent to have big commercial shoots. Why the shift?
Great question, and as it turned out, there was never really a shift. To kick off the business I started shooting families, kids and maternity photos and loved it so much that I never actually “moved to the next stage”. Now, I am back to shooting as a hobby, with most of my time dedicated to DIYPhotography and developing photography products.
Would you say that you’re more of a blogger now than a photographer?
Most definitely. In the early days when I was freed from my high-tech cables, I did both. As the time progressed I found myself investing more time in the blog. As product development came in I went back and mostly shot personal projects.
Could you share with us analogue and digital shots you’re particularly proud of, posts on DIYPhotography that caught much of your readers’ attention, products or achievements you’re happy about, and the stories behind them?
I love to photograph people and of the four shots I chose to share there are two analogue and two digital.
“This photo was shot on a trip to Italy, shot in St Marks Square. The pigeons there are friendly, not to say aggressive and this particular pigeon was making friends with a passerby. Literally eating grains from her mouth.”
“This was shot at a cowshed at Hasharon, Israel. The cowfood attracts pigeons, and the Druze living nearby shoot the roofs to scare off the pigeons. If a pigeon is caught in the fire, it is very likely to end at a dinner table.”
“This is a photo of Liri, my oldest daughter, shot in the fields of Givat Brener, where I live. We went into he fields and had a crazy father- daughter photography fun day.”
“This is my most favorite photo of all time, and it was taken as part of kick off for the Light Blaster™. The background on this photo is actually a slide projected on a wall.”
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from being a photographer?
My best lesson and also the thing that I like most about photography is that in the end, it is all about how you connect with people. And photography is a great way/tool to get to know other people.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from having your own blog site? Any advice to photographers who want to blog like you do?
I learned that much like photography, blogging has to do with people just as much as it has to do with content. Reach out, get to know everyone. Have some hutzpa and send a mail to whomever you’d like to work with.