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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!