Another Bits and Pieces Post

Today I thought I might just talk to you about things that have happened or will be happening.  The post isn’t about anything special, but there are little things I’ve been meaning to tell you about, but haven’t had a chance so I thought Iscartfair-hpm1569-6

would do this today, I hope you don’t mind.


I thought I would start with my website. I decided to give it an overhaul and thought perhaps I would buy a theme for it, so I did lots of searching and kept coming back to one, Photographer Theme by Organic Themes.  Since purchasing it and downloading the theme, then installing it, I have to say it has been very disappointing.  It is nothing like what was advertised and the instructions are not correct.  It tells me to do things and they don’t seem to be options that are available.  I hope there is an out clause, though knowing my luck there won’t be.  They do have a support system and they will be hearing from me a lot.  So keep an eye on it.


Part of the reason for wanting to update my website is because I really want to get into teaching.  Since teaching at Living & Learning Nillumbik I really have discovered how much I love it and how I really want to do more.  I also think if scmallee-hpm8580-9I teach, then I can just take photos of what I want.  I always find it unnerving doing photography for a client.  I don’t mind doing it, but if I could make a career from teaching, then I wouldn’t have to worry about doing that so much.

I will continue doing my short courses at Living & Learning Nillumbik, along with some one off photo walk style ones, but I also want to start doing some of my own.  Planning excursions for people to come out with me to take photos, not so much to teach, but more a social thing.  Of course, if someone has problems I will be there to help them make sure they get images, but if people have no idea what they are doing, then they would need to do my short course first or do a one on one with me.  I know that for many people, they don’t know other people to go out with to take photos, or they can’t think of anywhere to go, so this could be great for people. I do think many women would like this a lot more, safety in numbers so to speak.  I can always make the city, or somewhere like that my central base where we meet.

The One on One Photography Lessons are slowly happening, and I am getting more inquiries all the time.  I do enjoy doing them and love meeting new people.  It is interesting seeing sccity-hpm6648-5what they know and then working out the best way to help them get wonderful images.  I have even had an inquiry from someone on the internet if we could do an online one, and so I am now working out the best way of doing that, and think it could be an interesting approach.  Thanks to Skype I can teach people online.  So online photography courses could be available soon, I hope people will be interested in those.

More recently I have started offering One on One Photo Editing classes as well.  Fantastic way to start to learn, or for people who have some skills but don’t know where to go from there.  I had my first one this last Monday and it was a great success, I think.  The client brought photos that needed to be worked on and we worked out different things in Photoshop that they could use to edit the images.  It was very specific to what her needs were.  She said it was great, and that she is already applying many of those things to the images now.

The next question is can I do it online?  I think the answer has to be yes, there is no reason why I couldn’t do One on One Photo Editing using Skype.  Laura Macky and I skyped each other last week and did a lot of stuff sharing our screens, so I think it is very possible.  So if people are interested they should contact me.

Up for Discussion Posts

scmallee-hpm9256-6I really enjoyed the discussion the other day on colour monitors and there was so much information there for anyone who needs to know about this.  When I started the Up for Discussion Posts I realised that there was the potential there for what happened on Tuesday.  My blog is perfect for that sort of thing and with most of you either experts or beginners, there is no reason why this blog can’t be used to help everyone.  It is definitely something I encourage.  I would love to hear from people who have a problem with something, photography related, that they would like help with.  I have seen it time and time again how generous people can be with their knowledge and how much help they have given me and others.

So if you have something you would like to put up for discussion send me an email and we can talk about it.

I have included images that I have done a lot of processing on.  Though all done in 2012, I don’t think I would change much in them if I did them again.  I will include a gallery of them so you can look at them individually.  I hope you don’t mind the way I put images into the post and then include a gallery.  I put them in the post to break it up a bit.  I know I find lots and lots of writing quite hard to read, but with images in it, well always seems to make it easy.  Weekend coming up, lots of plans, hopefully taking some photos.


  1. I enjoy your blog and wish you the best with the teaching. I look forward to seeing what online options you come with. Cheers!

    • Thank you, seems people like the way I teach too, so that is good. Yes, online options could be good. I know the editing will be an option, and shouldn’t be much different to the ones in person. The online photography could be a little different, but I think I have worked it out.

  2. Btw, I think your website looks great in white, nice choice Leanne. It renders perfectly on my iPad Air as well.

    • This theme is meant to be good for that John. I don’t mind the white, but I want the gallery on the home page to be bigger, full width, but I am finding it a hard option.

      • In your ‘pages’ section, is it set to full width? I have been searching for info on this, try to help with it.

      • I am supposed to be able to set that in Appearance -> Page Layout, but there is nothing there. It is too strange. Thanks John, I appreciate the help.

  3. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    You have a very full plate, Leanne. I peeked and your photos are beautiful, as always. My husband, an engineer, always tells me that teaching is the best way to reinforce something we have learned, by teaching it to someone else. I have found this to be true and my daughter, an art professor, echoes that observation. I hope you get things worked out with your website. If you need help then push the button. And keep pushing it. I have found with WordPress that you can get help if you stay after them. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

    • Not so much yet, but hoping it will become a lot fuller. I think your husband is right, I know there have been things that I just know, but when I have to teach them, I realise I have to understand them, or rather be able to talk about them. It is hard sometimes. You can’t just know you have to know why. That is great advice and I plan on using that technique. I think it is crap that not everything is available, though it could be something I have done too. I will get it sorted. Thank you Jackie.

  4. Beth Johnson says

    Considering that you have just set up a new theme, I would say you have done well. Getting used to all the little changes is not easy.

    Now that you have paid, you have two choices: 1. You can ask for a refund within a certain time period. 2. You can log into your Dashboard, go to Appearance and then to Themes and “viola,” you have many more choices–maybe 200 or more! Try this second option before you give up.

    • Beth Johnson says

      I should have mentioned that you can actually try out other themes with no obligation.

      • I have tried many of the free ones and did have one for a while, but there isn’t a lot you could change, I thought buying one would mean I could, but there still isn’t a lot I can change. So far, from what I can gather, the free one gave me more options. Not good.

      • Thanks Beth, but I got some support and they gave me some code and now I have the left sidebar, so I am really happy with it. Still not entirely what I want, but the closest I have found.

    • I have done other themes on my website and got them set up really well, but I thought purchasing one would give me a lot more options, and so far I can’t see that.

      I haven’t had time to really play with it, so I am going to in the next few days, could be a lot of swearing. I got twelve months support with it, so I am going to use that. I have gone to Appearance and the information that they said would be there isn’t. I don’t have all those choices, I am starting to think I pick a bad theme. Time will tell.

  5. It sounds like a great direction!! As for editing and colour monitors, I tend to go on a wing and a prayer myself, but I think online tutorials would be wonderful!!

    • I think so to Cybele, I hope so anywhere, it is something I really enjoy doing and I think I’m quite good at it. Time will tell about the online tutorials. Thank you.

  6. Good luck with your transition. I vaguely remember that you can opt out and get a refund. However, this maybe dictated by the country that you live in.

    • I hope so, though it could be me, and I will attempt to get it working, so I know, but it came with support, so I will be using that. I don’t know about a refund, will have to look into it.

      • The forums are also a good way to get support. WordPress staff seems to monitor the forums and when a person can’t resolve a problem after 3 days they jump in. This happened to me when the theme designer (who was most helpful) could not resolve an issue. It took me about a month to get my purchased theme up and running. I’m not saying you will be as long but it is one example.

      • The biggest problem is that the website isn’t on WordPress, it is self hosted, so assume they won’t help, if it was here and I was replacing this theme you would expect them to help. I have found WP support a bit hit and miss, but mostly hits. Thanks.

  7. Hi, Leanne: A very interesting post. You are raising several issues facing photographers trying to take it to the next level. It will be interesting to see where the discussion goes. To pick one aspect, namely branding, I see that the look of your website (as currently displayed) is quite different from the look of your blog. Is that intentional? I presume some marketing gurus (I am most certainly not one) might advise a similar look across all platforms but perhaps the conventional wisdom is not always wise. I agree with you that the narrow look of the website is disconcerting. In other words, if there is a full screen there, why not fill it? Have you looked at Livebooks? They have a feature called “Scaler” that adjusts to the dimensions of the device being used. Anyway, I’ll be particularly interested in this discussion.

    • It is a great point Robin, and one that I have been considering. The problem is my website is self hosted, but my blog isn’t. I tried going self hosted with the blog, but people wouldn’t move and I have worked too hard on this one to give it up for self hosted now. It would be like starting again. So to have the same theme for both, I would have to purchase it twice, so I can have it on here and then another one for my website, it is crazy. So for now, I’m not sure what I will do. I haven’t heard of Livebooks before, should I check them out, do you have a link? I just thought upload the new theme and it would look like the demo, then I could make changes if I wanted, but the demo is nothing like what I got, and it seems very limited with what you can change. I am thinking of trying for a refund. Thanks Robin, it is a bit of a dilemma.

  8. There are many choices for you, and opportunity to explore each. Maybe you’ll find that one or two can be the core of your involvement.

    • There are, and at the moment I want to pursue all and see where I end up. I think teaching is definitely the right route for me. Thanks Sally, time will tell what happens.

  9. This is all thrilling news! I’m so excited about your teaching and doing so in so many ways. With the internet it’s possible to have incredible reach and I like that teaching frees you to artistically.

    I love the weaving of the photos with the words. Yes, large chunks of words are hard to read, but when it’s broken up as you have done, I find myself reading right through to the end! Plus I like how you right. It’s very conversational.

    • Thanks Nia, I think so too, it seems a great way to make some money and be left time to do what I want to do. I hope that is true, I just have to work out how to get those people on the internet to want me to teach them. There is a woman who has asked and we are going to try it out. It will be more me showing her things on Skype and then her just going out and trying it, coming back and tell me what problems she had and then me solving them, I hope. I think it could work, she can send me images and I can critique them. Do it over 4 weeks, something like that. Similar to what I do in my short course, but I won’t be going out to take photos with them.

      I like that too, I am not good with all words, especially on the computer, I am not one for reading a lot on the computer. So images in amongst words just seems to break it up a bit, gives you a break, so to speak. Thank you, that is good to know. I have had other people say that about my blog too, always good to know that people like to hear me talking, ahha. :)

  10. You really seem to have found a niche with teaching. With regards to online, I think there might be opportunity with that. I don’t have a formal education in photography, so most of what I have learned has either been through online short courses, reading on the internet or books. There’s always a need for good teachers!!!!

    • I hope so Nora, I enjoy it, so I hope there will be people who will want to learn from me. Time till tell. Thank you.

  11. Leanne, I love your idea of walkabout photo classes. You are right—so far as women go, especially, that’s an ideal situation! You could even market toward women more aggressively. I lose a lot of photography opportunities because my husband is working (happily, his new job means no more weekends and late nights, whew!)—not only am I female, my poor health probably makes me a little more susceptible, though I do have ways to protect myself. I prefer it never reach that point and am sure most women feel the same.

    Your one-on-one classes sound neat, too. I know what you mean about shooting for a client—it is kind of nerve-wracking. You do your best but are never quite certain if they are getting what they really want or not. I really hope the teaching works out for you and look forward to hearing your adventures. :)

    • I agree Jen, I know I don’t like going out on my own, and I know there are other women out there who feel the same, I just have to find them, and I think marketing to them will be ideal. I will have to start working out where they are.
      It is nerve wracking, and you really never know, and there is no way of guaranteeing money. I’m not aggressive enough for that sort of photography. Thank you Jen, I think teaching is the best way for me to go and I will be actively following it best I can.

  12. Leanne, I found your closing comment interesting too, why you intesperse photos in your text.

    It’s the same reason I use full width with no sidebar. I think it’s much easier to read across than across and back to down, continually. It’s not for my photos at all.

    Now, if we all could figure out how to put the “like” button on our main pages. :) We all use WP, and I’m sure some of us have learned tricks others don’t know.

    • I think you can do that with some themes, but not this one. It is funny how we all like to read, I post like how I like to read. If that makes sense.
      I see what you mean with your blog, but you have no side bar, I like the side bar, I like how I can put things there, whether anyone takes any notice of them is another thing.

      • That makes perfect sense, and I post the same way. I think your photos do break up the text effectively. It creates nice, short pauses. I read in groups of words, so your photos help establish my pause points/thought points.

        Sidebars, I don’t know, I admit to mostly ignoring them unless I am spending more time than average looking through a blog. I read yours more thoroughly, so I have seen your sidebars many times, but some blogs are not about the text at all. Many times my text is not needed, it is secondary to the photos. A side bar for me does little, and I felt it was routinely ignored when I tried one.

      • I hope so, I also use the photos in the post too, when I can, so I am usually talking about them. I like pauses and I like the way you have put it.

        I think they can be good, and I have realised that where you place things is important. I know most people don’t take any notice of them, but if they do there is information there for them. I hope. I think you are right, you have to decide what is good for you. Your photos look good on your site, nice size.

  13. Hi — this is Jeremy from Organic Themes.

    Leanne, we were not aware that you were running into ongoing issues with the theme you purchased from us. When you contacted us, you did not follow up when we directed you to our support forum. My apologies for any confusion or frustration this caused. I’m afraid we aren’t able to provide support if we’re not made aware of the issues you are running into, which is unfortunate: theme support is most definitely included in your theme purchase.

    I’m sure providing a refund won’t be a problem, but please in the future keep in mind that we theme developers are quite happy to provide support, provided we’re made aware of what’s going on.

    • I tried going to the forum after you fobbed me off in the email I sent you, but the link you sent me didn’t go anywhere. The current theme I have I set up in half a day, it was easy, it followed all the things that I expected it too. I wish I had had the same experience with your theme. I am married to a developer, he does software, and I know us plebs can be annoying, but the reason we use these themes is because we aren’t developers and don’t know how to do this stuff and want it to be easy. I didn’t find it easy.
      A refund would be appreciated and that will be the end of it. I know I let you know what was happening. I wish you had been this happy to help when I first emailed you.

  14. Hi Leanne .. I would love it if you could do photography lessons and editing on line. That would be perfect! If I was living back in Melbourne I would have had several 1:1 lessons by now. One day perhaps. Brilliant pics as per usual!

    • That is the plan Julie, I can probably start doing them now, so if people are interested, I would love to hear from them. Thank you so much Julie, that is so encouraging.

  15. I have just seen your website! Wow! I am drooling :-) You are a real artist and the best thing is: you inspire people like me. If it wasn’t for the time difference, I would love to skype with you, just to say “thank you”!

    • Thank you Ingrid, that is so good to hear, it is great to be considered inspirational. Time differences aren’t actually that bad, I’ve talked with a few people now from different time zones.

  16. I love the photos you have used here. Good luck with the teaching – it sounds like you are building a base, slowly and steadily, which is the best way.

    • Thank you, and thank you, I hope so, it is sort of happening, very slowly, I’m not good at slow, but it is a good thing.

  17. Leanne, I am not sure if anyone told you already here. I can not spend much time right now to read through all comments, since I have some stuff to do today…

    But about the themes…

    It´s possible to get a full refund up to 30 days from your purchase. It´s descriped in the wordpress article, how you can get your refund.


    • Thanks for that Dennis, the problem is I got for my self hosted website, so it is out of the control of WordPress, I probably should be more careful next time. Thanks anyway. I am hoping they will refund my money.

      • Ah I see now that you were talking about your other project. I am rushed a little bit through your article in the morning. But now I see. Hope you get this sorted out with your self hosted project. I am not sure yet, how the possibilities are in this case with refunds.

      • The guy left a comment here saying they would give me one, so time will tell if he was being honest about that. That’s okay, we all do that Dennis.

  18. I would love the online classes, but I can imagine it can get a lot of work if you want to do them all as one-on-ones. You could probably check out craftsy( as a platform for a more general course. I am not sure how it works when you are offering classes but I think it is a nice concept and you can help a lot of people with one series of videos.
    I am also really enjoying the discussion posts as they are really helpful!
    Greetings from the other side of the globe!

    • I would do all, but I like the idea of offering them to people, then they can get what they need specifically, I would have like something like it when I was learning. If I get inundated then I might have to rethink, but I can’t see it happening right now.
      That is great to hear, it is nice when people enjoy what I do, thank you so much.

  19. Beautiful images and I really like how you have them running through the post and then again as a gallery at the end. It helps join up the words and pictures and is much easier on the eye than lots of text. I hope that you succeed with expanding your teaching. I only wish I lived nearer, I would imagine that a one to one photography session with someone who really knows what they are doing is an amazing learning experience. :-)

    • That is great Katie, I write my posts the way I like to read them, and I am glad that others like it too. Thank you, I hope so too, interesting times ahead, I do love it, so I really hope that I get to do more of it. I don’t know about that, I hope it is. :)

  20. I was interested to see your comments about your new website theme. I bought the same theme a few weeks ago, and am also disappointed by it. I thought it was maybe just me as this was the first premium theme I’d purchased and wasn’t used to the more advanced features.

    • I am so glad I am not the only one. Did you try going to support Liz? Were they helpful? I am finding that I was having the same argument, going around and around. It shouldn’t be harder to use, you just should have more options, but I can’t find where all the extra options are. I changed the colours for links and things and then the next time I went back, they had gone to the default ones again. I am just not getting anywhere. I have deleted it and go back to the one I had before, the free one. It isn’t exactly what I want, but neither was Photographer, so maybe we just have to deal with that. Let me know how you go with it.

      • Hi Leanne, no I haven’t contacted the support team yet, but I think I will. I looked at their FAQs and didn’t really find them very helpful. I’m going to have another go of trying to make it work for me when I’m back from holiday (writing posts is one thing on holiday, messing around with the website is another!!). I’ll let you know how I get on.

      • They kept telling me I should have contacted support, but when I did I was fobbed off, so I don’t know. I got my money back, so I am happy about that. I think talking about it here made them act. Good luck with it, let me know how you go.
        I have purchased the premium version of the free theme I was using and it is fantastic, works the way it should and while I haven’t had to contact support yet, I am hoping it is as great as it seems so far. There are so many choices with the them, unlike the other one.

  21. Your images are stunning Leanne. And if anyone deserves to succeed it is you; for your talent and tenacity. I am rooting for you!

    • Thank you so much Karan, I love the support I get on this blog, you and everyone else are just wonderful.

  22. Thanks for another interesting Blog Leanne. I can relate to the feeling of pressure you get when undertaking client photography and the pleasure you get from teaching. If you can make teaching pay and most importantly you enjoy it then it sounds like an ideal solution. Also interested in reading how you get on with the website. I’m also thinking about upgrading my WordPress site for one of the paid ones bit which to go for,,,? Thought provoking as usual.

    • Thank you Paul, I hope it is, and I think the one on ones would give me that opportunity to make money from it, well enough anyway. I don’t know how the website will go, I have actually gone back to the old one that I had. I think if you are doing for the blog you have listed with your details here, then you have WordPress behind you, so if you want a refund you can have one. I did it for my website, which is self hosted, and therefore nothing to do with WP, so I am on my own. They said they would give me one, so will see.

  23. Hi Leanne,

    This is David Morgan, co-founder of Organic Themes. I wanted to personally send an apology for your frustrations in working with our support. It seems you were provided with a link to our support that contained a typo, a “ww” instead of “www.” I apologize for this confusion, and any other frustrations you may have experienced. Generally, our support staff is very helpful and efficient, but occasionally we make mistakes. I’m sorry that was the case in this circumstance. As a fellow small business owner, I hope you can understand that our intent is to help other businesses, not hurt them. I have refunded your purchase, and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

    • I have received it David and thank you very much for that, I know it is digital and I will ensure it is deleted from my machine and the host permanently. I understand completely, and I understand you can’t satisfy everyone, it wasn’t quite what I thought. Thank you again, and I think that is it.

  24. Good for you. The sign of a great business person is learning to go in different directions in order to meet the needs of the clients. I wish you much luck. :)

  25. I do wish you success with a career in photography you certainly have the skills and ideas

  26. Love the “Up for Discussion” series as well (among other regular posts :) ). Maybe they would deserve an entry of their own in your header menu?

    • I hadn’t thought of that, maybe they do, though I haven’t been keeping up with the weekend wandering posts, I should do that as well. Thank you for letting me know that you enjoy them, it is hard for me to tell what people like sometimes. :)

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