On Monday I had the opportunity to borrow a colleague's ticket for Flash on the Beach to attend Chris Orwig's talk The Art and Craft of Photographic Impact. It was a really good way to spend an hour and I came away feeling quite inspired.

A couple of things that he mentioned gave me a different viewpoint - instead of A picture is worth a thousand words and trying to tell an entire story, how about using a photo as a poem - so more open to interpretation, and based more on emotions and interpretation. Another thing was about the photographers use of prediction skills - when photographing a child with their birthday cake, you want to take a photo as they blow the first candle out, or whilst their cheeks are puffed up ready to blow, not when the candles are all blown out. Similarly when photographing someone jumping or diving into the sea, you want motion. All fairly obvious, but quite nicely put.

One of the interesting tactics he used was that half way through the talk he turned the lights up and made us talk to our neighbours about what we thought of the talk so far. Quite a good way to liven it up.

He also made the point about photographing what really happens, not what should happen - he used weddings as an example, its all very well having the posed group shots, but what about the fun ones - this reminded me of my own wedding photos and the fact that we have photos from the 2 minutes that Richard's Dad wore his Mum's hat, and of me comforting my little pageboy who thought he was going to marry Aunty Jane and how much I still love these photos for keeping the memories alive. This is what I tried to do when I did some photos for my friend's wedding in April.

Finally he described some projects that he'd assigned for us all. They are available, along with some book recommendations and kit recommendations here.