Ever stuck for inspiration on what to shoot? How would you like a little help? Keep reading to discover how Learn Photo365 can provide that inspiration and be sure to sign up for the giveaway! I had the pleasure recently of interviewing the creator of Learn Photo365, Noel Chenier.
What is your name and where do you live?
Noel: My name is Noel Chenier, and I'm a photographer and educator based in Saint John, New Brunshwick, Canada.
Noel: Since 1997, I've been a photojournalist working for the provincial newspaper in New Brunswick. I also freelance for a variety of clients and work on personal photography projects. My true passion however is teaching photography, and hope someday to be able to just teach photography full-time.
What is Learn Photo365? How did you come up with the idea?
Noel: I'm always trying to find ways to keep my students inspired, usually by giving them assignments via email list and my photo tips blog LearnPhoto.ca. I have continued to adapt to new technologies as they come out, and I had already done some experimenting with a web-based random photography assignment generator. After doing a bit of research, I was able to come up with a way to convert it to an iOS app and after a year and a lot of work, it was on the app store!
Can mobile and traditional photographers alike use your apps?
Noel: Of course! Photography to me isn’t about the camera you use, it’s about seeing possibilities. Camera doesn’t matter. There are some differences however between an iPhone and an SLR, so I have created two versions. Both have similar assignments overall, but in the iPhotography version they are all tailored to getting better images with iPhones. The SLR version has more assignments, mostly relating to camera settings, shutter speeds, apertures, flash, etc that iPhones don’t have.
Can experienced photographers benefit from this, or is it strictly for beginners?
Noel: I’d like to think that it will be of use to more experienced photographers. While they will already know all about shutter speeds, apertures, etc, I think they will be inspired by most of the ideas the app comes up with. One of the newer features of the app is the ability to create a fav assignment list, so those more experienced can choose the more random style assignments.
I know you recently updated your apps to V2.0. What's new with this update?
Noel: I’m super excited with this update, because it’s made it a true photo 365 app. Now you can get a complete assignment list for your photo 365, 52 week, or 30 day project, whereas before you’d have to go and find one each day. I’ve added more random objects, techniques, places, and scavenger hunt terms. Even put in a Selfie 365 list generator to help people shoot more fun, interesting, and maybe challenging self portraits. I also made some improvements on the design and functionality.
What has the response been to Learn Photo365?
Noel: For the most part, all the feedback and reviews that I have gotten has been really positive, with a lot of great ideas and suggestions from users for improvements. It’s very exciting to see people getting people inspired by the app, and seeing the #learnphoto365 hashtag when they share the results!
Is there a community where Photo365 users can share their photos and knowledge?
Noel: I have set up a few Flickr groups for people to share their images inspired by the app -one for iPhoneographers and one for SLR. I also have a gallery on my site that users of the app can access if they’d like to share there. I’ve also added the ability to share your assignments via email, Facebook, and Twitter, so users can get their friends in on the fun.
Is there anything else in the works for future updates?
Noel: I am always coming up with new ideas...mainly at this point more assignments and some improvements to the current ones. I would also encourage anyone who tries out the app to give me honest feedback about it on how I can make it better. Always looking for ways to improve, so fire me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I still am trying to get the app to Android, but it’s been a bit harder due to the variety of versions and devices.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Noel: I really hope people will download the free version and give it a try. I think it’s a unique app on the store, and I just hit the 25,000 download mark in total for all the versions. I’m pretty proud of that, but I’m still hoping the app could really take off with the right exposure. It’s very difficult these days to promote an app, and I think there is still a ton of photographers out there who would love the app if they knew about it.
For anyone who might be interested in getting into app development, I’ve also been keeping a blog about my “newb app developer” experiences. Lots of great information about the process, but also documenting all my stupid mistakes that people should avoid. They can check it out at here.
And a final thanks Geri, for giving me the opportunity to spread the word about my app. Keep up the great work on your blog, it’s a great resource for photographers.
Geri's Note: To be eligible for the giveaway (I have five promo codes for the iPhoneography version of Learn Photo365), just leave a comment below. I'll draw five random winners on Saturday, June 21st at 9 AM PDT. Good Luck!
Update: Congrats to the winners (your promo codes have been sent by email)
Connie Gardner Rosenthal