Thursday, December 15, 2011

High Quality Connections: Dunbar's Number

When building your social media strategy, the quest for followers to spread your message is eternal. It's about creating a mass following, placing a viral campaign in-front of them that encourages sharing with their followers and so-on. Hopefully your viral campaign is aligned with your core brand attributes but at the same time, you spark an emotional response that propels sharing beyond your extended circles. This is inbound social media marketing at it's best. But maintaining a high quality relationship or connection is another matter, right?

A close friend recently shared this video with me that sparked my interest. It talks about the next wave of social media services aimed at only sharing information with the high quality connections you have, according to Dunbar's number. Dunbar states that each human being can only really maintain a high quality connection with 150 people.

The video is from "The Daily" Interactive News App for iPad - featuring "Next Wave" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Watch this edition posted on YouTube:

What I find fascinating about this video is that it talks about how Dunbar's number might apply to a brand's relationship with it's high quality connections within the context of a social media strategy. Gary's forecast is that individuals will only chose to have a high quality relationship with their Dunbar's list. Sure, this may be true, but what does this mean for brand strategists? Do we only have to maintain a relationship with our Dunbar's number?

This is where I go back to my marketing education, where Pareto's Principle (otherwise known as the 80:20 rule) applies. So, if we applied Dunbar's Number to the 20%, that would mean that we need about 750 connections to be able to decipher which were of true quality. Add to that micro-relationships, using micro-content sharing sites like Twitter and Instagram, perhaps the number is multiplied by a factor of five to reach a critical mass.

Is 3,750 followers the magic number to achieve success in a digital marketing strategy? And what tools do you need to make it happen? Answers to these questions will be posted in a separate article. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on Twitter @markhamimages.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Couture Fashion Behind the Scenes

Mis-en-scene: Backstage access to the top couture fashion show, presenting in Australia during the 2010 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, with special guest presenter, Alex Perry.

You can say what you like about the television personality, the main judge in the reality tv series "Australia's Next Top Model" and more recently, taking over the mentor position on "Project Runway Australia", Alex Perry is undoubtedly the King of Australian women's fashion. A hard fought position coming from a humble working class background, with Greek immigrant parents and one of eight children.

Always surrounded by beautiful women, Alex Perry started his career by managing models, moving on to open his first fashion atelier in 1992. Married to a Greek former fashion model, Mary and Alex have two beautiful daughters.

As Australia's most glamorous designer, by virtue of his magnificent couture fashion ball gowns and striking evening wear worn by celebrities to red carpet events across the globe, Perry knows how to make a woman feel and look fabulous. Front-page-ready, the Alex Perry brand is synonymous with prestige, luxury and classic style with a flavor that cuts a striking pose.

Backstage at the former Commemorative Pavilion, an art-deco hall built in 1938, located at Fox Studios Australia, Perry and his team prepare for the largest event at Australian Fashion Week 2010. The "Arabian Princesses" Spring-Summer 2010-2011 couture fashion collection is supported by fellow Greek-Australian success stories, Napoleon Perdis make-up, and hairstylist Renya Xydis of Valonz.

As the crowd gathers around the presentation stage, we take a glimpse into the last minute preparations of the models before they strut down the catwalk. Couture fashion with Alex Perry - it doesn't get any better than this. Follow this link to see the full set of 20 couture fashion behind the scenes images: Markham Images on Google+

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Increase SEO Results Using Original Content

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results directly relate to the unpaid listings on search engines from any query entered. Google promotes original content on business websites by providing high SEO quality scores for that content within the “Google Algorithm”, as opposed to reductive SEO quality scores for recognized content, (like stock photos, articles existing on other websites or any webpage that is not optimized). A high quality score for original content on your website helps to rank you higher in search results, which can lead to increases in “free” search engine originated traffic.

As Google Fellow, Amit Singhal puts it; “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find high quality sites by reducing the rankings of low quality content”.

What can my business do to rank higher in natural SEO results online?

To start with, optimize all your web pages for the search engines and remove or modify any images that might also be used by other websites. Secondly, get involved in building an ongoing digital marketing strategy to maintain and improve upon the financial investment you’ve already made into your web presence. In digital marketing terms, the aim of the game is to build traffic to your website.

What options do I have to increase traffic to my website?

There are many digital marketing options to increase website traffic. You can do this via online advertising (costly), pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing, (can also be expensive if not properly managed), via social media pages (a frequency intensive exercise) or through natural SEO results with search engine listings driven by the original content on your site – the later including blog articles, photography or video files. In addition, SEO back links from high quality partner sites can also help SEO quality scores.

So how do I do this in a cost effective way?

If your business is into low-cost publicity, then writing articles describing how you helped a customer to satisfy their need is a great way to promote your business. All your website needs is a page dedicated to your “news” where you can add the blog articles yourself. Add an original photo to each article to pique the interest of those browsing through your site – remember, humans are visual creatures and are far more likely to read if they like the photos attached to your articles.

Try to write a 200-word article and create a corresponding original photo, once a month.

"Optimize your original images for the keyword phrase that corresponds to your webpage URL. The image metadata can help your Search ranking quality score too".

What articles work the best for SEO results?

The best articles answer the questions that are being asked on the search engines. Mostly, problem solving questions need to be answered. For example, “How to Remove Beetroot Stains from Satin Garments” might be a good article for a dry cleaning business – positioning the business as an expert in their field, while being helpful to the customer in a difficult situation. In-fact, “How to” articles are a tried and tested format that works, time and again, with search engines.

Just remember to always write what you know about, stay on topic, keep it simple and always make sure it is properly edited prior to being placed online.

Before posting new articles and photos into your blog, also make sure you optimize the content with the keyword phrases being searched by your target market. Adding keyword phrases (technical jargon = metadata) into all your original content will go a long way to help the SEO quality scores for your website. If you’re unsure which keyword phrases are relevant or how to add them into your content, ask your friendly digital marketing consultant for a quick edit before uploading.

All businesses spend time maintaining the state of their offices and stores and the same rules apply to maintaining your website. Remember: your website is a natural extension of your business and your digital marketing strategy is how you keep it clean, relevant and up-to-date. Making it a priority will bring you great SEO results and increased free traffic over time – and who doesn’t want that?[1]

[1] Using a digital marketing strategy with original content on any website can only produce higher SEO quality scores if every website page is also optimized for SEO results.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Original Content for Standout Website Performance

If you're serious about the ability of your website to convert casual browsers to registered customers, you're always on the lookout for digital marketing tips and advice that improves the performance of your goal conversions. Of course, if you don't have Google Analytic's, Hubspot or some other measurement tool for understanding your website performance, this article is going to be irrelevant to you.

I always harp on the need for every business to get away from using stock photography images to represent your business. While stock photos may be inexpensive, chances are that your competition is using them too - and what individual is going to trust a person or a business if they're not willing to put their own face "on the cover"? Also, using unoriginal content decreases your Google ranking score, as Google recognizes the content and excludes it from their algorithm.

One way I help businesses with building original content, in the way of images, is adding a moving element or animation to the static image. This process is actually converting your original content JPEG to an animated GIF within Adobe Photoshop. The effect may look gimmicky but the visual recall of moving versus static images is in the order of 170%, according to the latest Adobe research for their retail shopping content management system, Scene7. They poll thousands of people around the world to collect stats like this, so you know you can trust what they have to say.

This flashing "M" logo is a basic animated GIF and a great example of what I am talking about here. This started as a two dimensional graphic design that is now a shining visual beacon that entices the audience to take notice, while burning the logo into your memory.You may have also seen other examples of the "M" logo throughout my original content images website "waving" in the breeze like a flag. I've used this method time-and-again because I believe in the power of enhanced brand recall, especially when using the motion element.

If your business brand could do with better visual recall or needs an overhaul of original content to improve goal conversions, contact me at for a digital marketing strategy designed for standout performance. There's no situation that I can't find an improvement solution for - ask for a free initial consultation to get the conversation started.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tourism Images Hawaiian Islands Sunsets in Waikiki

Tourism images are by far the most prevalent photography category available on the Internet today but creating our own original content library of images, meant a trip earlier this year to the Hawaiian Islands for Quaetapo Media.

The first night was spent in the Hawaiian Islands most popular destination - Waikiki - staying at the 110 year old Moana Surfrider Resort, which celebrated their historic milestone shortly after we arrived in March 2011. The weather was idyllic and the location couldn't have turned on a more spectacular display of classic Hawaiian Islands experiences, in presenting us with a truly magnificent sunset at the end of a day.

In editing these original content tourism images, months after the experience, I can't help but long to be back there, luxuriating in the enveloping sea breeze, sunshine and relaxed atmosphere of this first-grade tourism destination. Hopefully one day, we'll get to return there.

Using original content (rather than standard stock photography, often used by your competition) on your website increases the level of trust instilled in your audience and positions your brand as a differentiated service provider. 

If your business is locked into a saturated marketplace, an original content development strategy will help you to standout from the crowd. A smart content marketing strategy will also help your business to drive traffic to your website - and an increase in traffic often means increased sales, if you're set-up to capture and convert these leads.

At Quaetapo Media, our mission is to help online brands standout in a cluttered marketplace, using engaging and original digital marketing strategies, designed to convert online leads into sales.For more information about these digital marketing strategies and how to effectively execute them, contact Quaetapo Media for more information at 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Featured Photographer in Aerial Photography Article

I recently did a Google search on my photographic works and found one of my photos being featured in an article written by Jonathan Dy, for WordPress About, showcasing "30 Amazing Photographs of Aerial Photography". To go to the article, click on this link:

It's an honour to have some of your work showcased in this way, up there with the best aerial photographers in the world. The photo is part of a collection of images I captured from a sea plane over the Great Barrier Reef National Park in late 2009. Interestingly, some of the underwater photography images I managed to capture on that adventure have also been showcased by other online blogs.

No doubt, aerial photography is one of my all-time favourite genres - the thrill of the adventure, coupled with the unique perspective makes it a standout experience, as a photographer. My dream job would be to build a collection of natural landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes, hanging out of a door less helicopter or light aircraft, finding the artistic composition in what lies beneath. 

I might have my head in the clouds (pun intended) when it comes to this dream being realised but you never know when a benefactor or corporate entity might come along and say "now is the time to make that aerial photography dream a reality".

Here is the aerial photography example used by WordPress in their article published on the 13th July 2011:

To see more of my aerial photography collection, you can either find me on or go to my website and browse through the "Landscapes" Gallery. Don't forget to share your "like" and send me an email to make a connection.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Studio Portrait Photography

My photographic life is one of service. My purpose is to "find the light and share it abundantly". Part of the way that I fulfil my purpose is to help individuals and couples to produce beautiful, lightworking portraits that truly reflect their outer and inner beauty. In fact, the glamour portraits that I create are a significant part of the recognition I receive as a photographer. I love doing it and I'm honoured that people recommend my services to their friends.

So, when it comes to producing a studio portrait, there are three lighting conditions that I have to consider. The first and most obvious is how to use the studio set-up and lighting system to the best advantage of the subject(s). The second is about connecting with the inner-light of the personalities that I am shooting. And finally, the lightworking "magic" that I apply in the post-production process.

This blog article is going to provide you with a greater understanding of the portrait photography process, what it takes to capture your image and turn it into a portrait that will enthral your family and thrill your friends. Here is a visual before-and-after example of my studio portrait services in action:

The camera captures an extraordinary amount of detail as shown in the "before" image, while the "after" image reflects the human perspective of the subject's natural beauty. Click to Enlarge. Copyright 2011 Markham Lane.
Now, I want to start this by saying that I truly believe every single adult human being, no matter how old and experienced they are, regardless of race, colour or creed, has something beautiful to offer to the world and it's my job to interpret that for the viewer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Redcliffe View of Morton Bay Night Time Photography Series

A night time photography session of the Redcliffe view in Queensland, overlooking Morton Bay, produced some beautiful and moody images, thanks to the moonlight dancing in the sky and on the water, during April 2011. 

This original seascape photography series, some using time lapse shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds, capture the detail of the moon's dance on the water, giving the reflections an incredible amount of life that you don't normally expect to see in a night time photography set. 

Night time photography forces the viewer to find the beautiful detail in the smallest amount of light-filled space. Click on each image to view a larger edition of each photograph. All images have been produced to the highest quality possible, with granular elements removed, leaving a clean and crisp effect on some of these images, reminiscent (and having taken inspiration from) the Bill Henson style.

Produced by photographer Markham Lane, all images are Copyright 2011 Markham Lane. Non-watermarked copies of these night time photography images can be requested via Quaetapo Media at or directly to Markham Lane at

Monday, April 4, 2011

Aerial phototography over Hawaiian Islands

A recent trip to Hawaii for the first time had us getting onbaord a doorless helicopter to capture these stunning aerial photography and landscape photography images of the Hawaiian coastline and surrounding mountain ranges.

 All images Copyright 2011 Markham Lane photography. All Rights Reserved.

Aerial photography really is an adventure ride for a photographer. Competing with the elements of movement, changing lighting conditions and the force of wind against the telephoto lens makes for an interesting experience. Add to that the lack of a helicopter door and just a harness to strap you in, you can appreciate the adrenalin rush that makes aerial photography my favourite type of photo shoot experience.

To combat the elements, I use a top range telephoto lens with an image stabilization unit. This helps to capture great quality aerial photography images without the shutter shake. Looking at the images during editing, I was amazed to see such increadible detail captured within the breaking waves.

Printed at A1 size, these aerial photography images would look amazing along the plain coridoors and walls of workspace offices and boardrooms. There's nothing like a unique perspective of our beautiful planet to enliven the senses and lift your spirits. Coupled with the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands and Grand Canyon collections, these Hawaiian Islands landscape photography images are going to make for a delightful exhibition.

For more information about collecting archive quality prints or using these or any other aerial photography or landscape photography images in your next ad campaign, contact or call his Agent at Quaetapo Media Pty Limited on +61-9332-2028.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Colours of Our Community™ Project

Original Post Published on 15th February 2011:
What do you think constitutes a good definition of the idea of "community"? Some people in the art circles will tell you it's nothing more than an excuse to produce "bad art" and that there's really no such thing as a community - it's just a human construct of the mind, like time.

Growing up, I pondered this very question. In our neighbourhood at the time of my teenage years, there were a large amount of "community services" being offered by the local council but I hardly felt that any of them related to me and my needs and so, I wasn't able to find identity within that. I kept looking for a definition of community that related to me.

Fast forward to the first year of my adult life and I find myself walking on the same street on which I was born. Crown Street, Surry Hills. There used to be a hospital there. On this day, it was a run-down, closed off to the public, decrepit building in need of a major renovation. I looked upon it, for the first time ever, as a curiosity. So this was where it all started. What did that mean to me?

Late for an appointment, I walked on and turned my attentions back to the client I was about to meet with. I had to present some creative concepts for promotional materials to be used for their next bacchanalian dance party.

And that's when I felt it. Somehow, for the first time, I felt a sense of belonging. It just felt right, being in that space. A sense of connection, not only to the hospital and the street it was on, but also for the creative people living and working in the area around it. That's when I began to see the colours of my community...

"Colours of Our Community" is a trademark of Quaetapo Media Pty Limited ABN 77 091 248 663

Additional Edit Published on 8th June 2016:
Many years later, at the start of the digital revolution in 2006, I picked up the camera again and began shooting, only this time it was a digital SLR. It was with a Canon of course, because they're simply the best kit on the market.

Guided by a conversation I had with one of my photography idols, the genius William Yang, I decided to embark on a photo essay of the local community in and around Oxford Street, the LGBTQI community in Sydney, their friends and supporters. It led me on many different paths - a fascinating ten year account of the personalities and events that make up the full spectrum of the colours of our community - and it presented many challenges along the way.

These challenges were both internal; with my own creativity, my confidence, my ego, with developing my own style, with exploring other styles and other forms of photography while honing my editing skills - and externally; the challenges of cashflow in a world drowned in a tsunami of image content, with balancing the needs of my significant other with the job at hand, with seeking recognition for my work and acceptance from my contemporaries, mentors and the wider community for my style which is sometimes labelled as "community art" which apparently carries little significance or described as "too commercial" and therefore not even worthy of the categorisation of the term "art".

Well, it is my form of photographic art and I pushed through regardless, knowing that my account of this ten year period has historical significance and while some pieces are fine-art worthy, others are editorial or commercial in nature and I'm ok with that.

Now I'm at the conclusion of this ten year journey, I'm preparing my first exhibition of the entire collection and publishing a book to accompany it. It's due for release in early 2017. And as it's a book about our community, I think it's only fitting and quite natural that the community could be called upon to help take the evolution of this concept into the light.

For now, if you could share this post with your networks, either on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or anywhere you think would make a difference, please go ahead. Later I will be offering pre-sales of the book to help fund the printing and shipping of the book and prints for the exhibition.

Love and light always,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shot by Markham Lane photography

Portrait and lifestlye images, as Shot by MarkhamMarkham Lane photography studio is located in Womerah Avenue, Darlinghurst NSW in the Sydney Eastern Suburbs. The portrait photography and lifestyle images contained here have been used by my clients as actors headshots, business profiles, personal profiles, for their websites, social pages, portfolio and as a gift for mother's day or valentines day. Go to my website to view a larger selection of the Markham Lane portrait photography portfolio.

All images Copyright 2011 Markham Lane photography

Shot by Markham is a trademark of Quaetapo Media Pty Limited.

Sydney photographer Markham Lane provides portrait and lifestyle photography services.
Copyright 2011 Markham Lane. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Photography Mosaic of Your Life, With Added Inspiration

In my life, photographic inspiration comes from many sources but the strongest visions ever generated, seem to come from interactions with my "creative muses". A photographer's muse provides a different level of inspiration than the standard person you meet. It's kind of spiritual - a deeper, heart-felt connection and an instant recognition that we have a shared understanding and perspective of the creative process. My creative muses are Adrian Van Winklehof, Kamini Morrish and Greg Ruggeri.

Here are three original artworks that pay homage to them, as "told" through a mosaic of images from my personal life.

All images are Copyright 2011 Markham Lane photography. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Links

I am building a new section to my blog for directory listings and relevant links. Here is the first one:
Photography Blog Directory

The Australian Blog directory is here: The Australian Index

My business partner has an interesting blog about things that inspire him about business and building e-commerce websites and SmartPhone Apps. Take a look at:
The Art of the Quiet Achiever

Our multimedia company is

I am constantly updating my Facebook page with relevant information about my latest photo shoot, video production or artwork in-progress. If you would like to see more images and less words, become a Fan and Find Us On Facebook