Friendly Friday Retrospective

In our final Friendly Friday Challenge, Amanda’s asked us to talk about Turning Points. It’s a very appropriate topic given that we’re wrapping up a long and successful run of this blogging challenge.

For me, thinking about turning points means reflecting on the highlights. When my participation changed from being a contributor to being a host; when my focus changed from sharing pictures to sharing anecdotes and when my format changed from narrative to video.

During my sojourn with Friendly Friday, I have learned much and connected with many fine bloggers. In this post, I’ll take you through some of the changes that stand out for me.

In the Beginning

I started contributing to Friendly Friday when it was photo challenge hosted by Amanda and Snow. It, along with all the other photo challenges was a reason to share my travel photos. What set Friendly Friday apart was the enthusiastic response I got from Amanda and Snow. Without fail, they replied to my posts with cheerful and timely comments. As a novice blogger, this was incredibly encouraging.

When Amanda canvased for new hosts, I thought “Why not? Sign me up!”

My first Friendly Friday post was in May 2019. The topic was Chairs and it reminded  me of one of my last photo walks in Singapore.

It was in  Bukit Pasoh, an old retro district filled with colorfully restored shop houses. One shop house in particular caught my eye.   The orange patterned chairs and yellow walls contrasted sharply with the battered wooden doors.   Marilyn Munroe eyes and stacked tiffin boxes lured me in … <more>

Hosting the Challenge

As a host, my first stint was in January 2020. My topic was Simple Joys and it was triggered by the popular phrase coined by Marie Kondo “Does it give you joy?”

My challenge was to share photos depicting Simple Joys, be it expressions of joy, places or times of joy or things that remind of joy.

This turned out to be one of my most popular challenges with bloggers posting pictures of serene water scapes, places of childhood holidays, golden hours on the beach and many more.

More than just Photos

One of the things that set Friendly Friday apart from other photo sharing sites is the ability to tell stories. The chance to blog about moments behind the photos became important to me. So much so that I eventually stopped posting photos to Flickr etc. and made my blog my only social media platform.

People Profiles

In photography I have a preference for street photography and portraiture. As I’ve often said to my friend who suffers my company on photo walks, a picture isn’t a picture unless there’s a person in it. Backsides do not count … unless of course, they do.

An exception to my own rule, shown here in response to the Friendly Friday Challenge: BLUE

A blogging theme that I really enjoyed was One Person from Around the World. When it’s originator Caddy Luck Leedy discontinued it, it felt natural to evolve it in to a sub-theme under new co-host, Sarah from Travel with Me.

Just One Person from … Singapore

Every week I write about a person met during my travels. Whenever I travel, I take pictures of people. It’s these little encounters that I remember most. In this series, I’ll share a portrait and story on who they were.

Just One Person From … became Friendly Friday: Meet …

Friendly Friday: Meet … The Filipinas

Friendly Friday Challenge where Sarah asked us feature people met during travels at home or abroad.

Animation, Logo & Graphics

While Sarah continued to keep us close to photography, over the years Amanda and I have tried to widen the scope. For me it’s meant writing also about food, trends and haiku poetry. Along the way, I’ve learned and shared tips on using different tools for graphics.

Video Collaborations

One of the best things about participating in challenges is connecting with like-minded bloggers. Sometimes these connections become collaborations, resulting in extraordinary content. One of our more successful collaborations started with a simple vlog. It sparked an interest in me which has since grown into a hobby.

During the pandemic when most of the world was locked down, V from My French Chronicles had an idea. Since we couldn’t travel away from our homes, she invited us to share views of the world outside of our windows. She composed the first collaborative video for Bloggers with a View. My own clip was a shakey contribution but V’s final compilation was so good, I wanted to try it myself.

Altogether, I think there were six vlogs created by V and other bloggers.

My video was centered around Market Day with scenes from France, Oman, Australia, Singapore and Canada. All contributors were loyal Friendly Friday fans.

A subsequent collaboration was made in response to a Friendly Friday Challenge. Amanda asked us: If you lived through the sixties and seventies, what stands out for you?

Using photos and headlines from the 60s and 70s, I created a Flashback video with input from Manja of Yugoslavia, Amanda of Australia and me of Jamaica. Pulling it together was a fun exercise in editing and researching global events. Hopefully it was as much fun viewing it as it was in making it.

Friendly Friday (2019 – 2022)

WordPress tells me that I’ve published over a hundred Friendly Friday posts. I can honestly say that I would never have written as many posts, if not for Friendly Friday. Throughout it all, I’ve enjoyed meeting and engaging with bloggers and challenge participants.

I am especially thankful to Amanda for inviting me into fold and being a supportive co-host and collaborator. Kudos too, to Sarah for being an enthusiastic member of our hosting team.

There’s a saying that “all good things come to an end” but also that “when one door closes another opens.” I may not be posting Friendly Friday Challenges anymore but I will continue to post. Certainly, I will be regularly on the look-out for new and exciting collaborations.

After all, this is just another Turning Point and not the end of the road!


    1. Sorry for the late reply but for some reason your comment was hiding in my Spam folder. Wierd. I remember how much you liked my yellow photos and I was glad to find a medium to share them. I never guessed that it’d take me down a path of participating, enjoying & then hosting photo challenges. Thanks for that initial push!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Indeed it was an honour to have you hosting alongside me, Sandy! I would not have continued it for so long without your wisdom and support. We made such a great team and it was made easier for us when Sarah joined, giving us more time to formulate quality content.
    I loved reading the short history of Friendly Friday that you have posted here. It brought back many fond memories. Great pingbacks!
    Onwards and upwards toward the next challenges that life and blogging brings us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found it interesting. I’m hoping that all the participants (including YOU) will continue to engage. Afterall, I don’t need to challenge you to participate, right ?!


  2. “After all, this is just another Turning Point and not the end of the road!”, indeed… and yet I still feel a bit sad about it! Anyway, great post, Sandy. I do like how your posts changed through the years, I think you’ve found your perfect balance and now can showcase all your many skills. And thank you for the mention, I appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for being such a faithful supporter Sofia. I always appreciate reading your thoughtful comments.

      It nice to occasionally look back on blog history. Like everything else, it reflects changes in our life and personal stye. Unlike everything else, it’s conveniently archived for retrieval and reflection.

      Liked by 1 person

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