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Challenge Host Interview Series: Photos by Jez

Welcome to a long-awaited interview with the Challenge Host of Fan Of…” and “Water Water Everywhere,” Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez. If you join challenges at all you know that Jez supports many of them with pictures taken with Snappy (DSLR) & Lensy (lens ball). I fell in love with his fun attitude and beautiful pictures, and I know many of you have also.

Jez’s Blogging History

Even though Jez started taking photographs when he was 12, his blogging history is much more recent.

I’ve always been keen on photography & got my first SLR, a Praktica, at the tender age of 14. I’ve been taking photographs of my travels as a school kid, through my twenty-year career as a Naval Officer, and of anything that’s caught my eye since. Until 10 years ago, my photos sat in albums or in the packets that came back from the developers; then I got Snappy, my current DSLR. Since then, my photos have sat on my Mac and in the cloud. I tried a website about 3 years ago to showcase my pictures but gained minimal traction.

Jez

He started blogging in 2018 following the example of his wife, Susan, a Scottish romance author. It took adversity in 2019 when Jez suffered from a collapsed lung and broken leg before he started blogging in earnest with WordPress.

2019 was a pretty grim year with a collapsed lung in February and a broken leg in June. It was whilst recovering from the broken leg and displaced ankle joint (I was in a non-weight bearing cast, so pretty much off my feet for 12 weeks) that my wife, Susan (already a blogger), then suggested that I give blogging a go and in particular join the WordPress photo community; and so my life as a blogger began.

Jez

How Jez Started Hosting His Own Challenge

Fan Of…

The first challenge I really got involved in was Becky’s July Squares that year (the topic was blue). This was a great challenge with a lot of scope for pushing the boundaries of the rules and a lot of fun to participate in and get great ideas from others taking part. I was off my feet, so this gave me a significant focus for my energies. As August rolled around and Becky’s Squares ended, I was still recovering and decided to do a daily post to keep myself occupied and further my photographic and blogging skills. Another challenge I participated in, the WordPress Weekly Photo challenge, had also ended, leading to me finding my own blogging path.

My Fan Of… post came about as a result of a couple of factors. I decided that I would post about random things that interested me, and my wife came up with the idea of calling it Fan Of…, and so the post was born. Part of the reason behind the original post was that people could get to know a bit about me through my interests. I thought of all the bloggers out there and that we rarely get to really know the people (beyond their “about page”) and that maybe others would be keen to share their interests, and so the challenge was born.

This was going to be a daily post where I featured photos of things I was interested in, and that was it. For the first couple of weeks, there wasn’t much traffic on my posts, but by then I was learning the WordPress way and discovering the plethora of challenges out there.

PPAC #19

I started taking part in other challenges such as Cee’s FOTD, which led me to Cee’s other challenges (CFFC, CMMC, CB&W, and PPAC), the newly started Lens-Artists Challenges, Sunday Stills (hosted by Terri) and One Word Sunday (Hosted by Debbie), to name but a few. Through this and visiting other participants posts on the various challenges, I was able to gain more followers and noticed that my Fan Of… posts were gaining popularity.

CFFC Twisted or Squiggly & Becky B’s PastSquares

This was the point that my own daily post morphed into a challenge post. People appeared interested in my random subject matter, and it was fast becoming my most viewed post. The post became weekly, and others were invited to play along. I must add at this point that I had fantastic support from Cee, giving me some tips on running a challenge and adding me to her challenge page.

Water, Water Everywhere

A retired Royal Navy Veteran from Scotland, Jez had been participating in Granny Shot It’s Challenge, Water, Water Everywhere. In November, 2019 Granny wanted to spend more time with her grandkids and handed over the challenge to Jez.

Cee, I wanted to let you know that I will not be posting to my blog except every once in a while from now on. Jez has agreed to take over the WWE challenge, but he can’t start until November 11. I told him that I would tell you and that if he wanted to change anything about it (frequency, etc) to let you know before the 11th. Thanks for all the help you have given me and all the things you have taught me about blogging and photography.

Granny Shot It

Hosting this second challenge made him better known and got even more links and responses. Like all of us bloggers Jez enjoys the contacts he has made from hosting these two challenges.

I get much satisfaction from seeing my own people come along in their photography. I learn so much from other people.

Jez

Jez Shouts Outs to Blogging Heroes

These bloggers aren’t just people I admire but also those who have supported me as a blogger & as a challenge host. Whilst I am thankful for all those that follow my blogging journey, those below deserve a special shout out (they are in no particular order).

  • My wife, Susan at Susan T. Braithwaite. Susan’s ongoing support & encouragement is the whole reason that I began blogging during a bad health year. She also ran a writing challenge for a year before concentrating on her own novel.
  • Cee Neuner giving me tips about how to host a challenge and adding my challenges to her ongoing and updated challenge list. Her photography tips have helped me grow as a photographer, too,
  • Debbie from Travel With Intent — Her architectural posts are fantastic; she also hosts Six Word Saturday & One Word Sunday. She regularly posts on my Fan Of… challenge
  • Becky from the Life of B, and host of the Square Challenge; she’s also responsible for my fascination with lensball photography.
  • Brian from Bushboy. He’s always ready to support, give good practical advice & has a great sense of humour (we have regular back & forths in comment sections). He also hosts the Last on the Card Challenge.
  • Aletta from Nowathome has been a fantastic supporter of both my challenges.
  • Natalie at Little Pieces of Me has been another blogger whose challenges I got involved with at an early stage; she post regularly to my WWE challenge with some stunning seascapes & wildlife shots.
  • Elke at Eklastic & Pictures Imperfect blog has been a brilliant supporter of my Fan Of… challenge & has really got behind the ethos of it. I feel that I have really got to know her & where she lives through her Fan Of… posts.
  • Anne Leueen at HorseAddict. Anne is another great supporter of bloggers as a whole & regularly takes part in many challenges, including my own. She also writes post about horse riding, dressage in particular & her own training with her horse, Biasini; every so often she does a post “Biasini Speaks” where the post is written from the mind of Biasini, which is so much fun!!!
  • Hammad from the Blog of Hammad Rais. Hammad is just a thoroughly nice guy that I have met through the world of blogging. He is another regular on my challenges as well as hosts his own Weekend Sky Challenge.

Now it’s your turn

Please leave a comment for Jez and me, and be sure to follow some of the links to meet his favorite people, join in his challenge communities, and see more of his beautiful photography.

96 replies »

  1. Nice to see so many of your photos Jez and my friend lensy included! And thanks for the mention of my blog as well. Much appreciated. I look forward to .meeting ,,more bloggers through this series Marsha 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, obviously I’ve known Jez for quite a while. He has always been easy to work with and talk with. I learned a lot from his photography as well. It’s wonderful. Thanks Susan for getting him to blog. It’s been a joy to have him on our blogging universe.

    Also, thanks Marsha for your interview of Jez 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for letting us know more about Jez, Marsha! He is always so positive and generous when commenting, and he is a great photographer. I know he hosts challenges, and if I only had the time for it, I would love to participate! Love to you both ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was a great read and filled in a few blanks, but not many as I feel I have come to know Jez well over the past couple of years. It was lovely to be mentioned by Jez. It shows how blogging can open the world to our eyes even though at times Lensy turns that world up side down 😂 Great interview Marsha 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great idea to interview Jez…..I started blogging on wordpress in 2019 and his blog was one of the first I started to follow and join in with the challenges….due to technical issues I had to take an almost 2 year break….when I came back, Jez and Cee were the first blogs I checked on to make sure they were still there. I’ve only been back for a couple of months now but have already made so many new acquaintances and love the little community that comes together every week to share their lives and pics. thanks Marsha….I loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Marsha 👋 I finally got the chance to fully enjoy the post & I love it 😃 I really enjoyed meeting with you on zoom & can’t believe the hour we spent together flew by so quickly 😲 Your interview is definitely the high point of my blogging time so far & I am honoured that you took the time to take interest in my life. Thank you once again for a marvellous experience 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome. I loved doing it so I’m super glad that you like it. That series is what got me back blogging again after about a 4-year break of not knowing what I wanted to do with my blog.

      Like

  7. This was such an interesting post of an interesting person who’s had a big, and positive influence on the WP community. Though I don’t follow him regularly, I always enjoy his posts when I see them. A great piece of reporting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice to know more about Jez.
    What a lovely interview!
    Both you and Jez thrilled us, you..by your friendly questions and Jez about his passion and his health situations.
    Glad to know that he recovered fully.
    I am also happy that I could contribute to his challenges.
    Thank you both guys for helping and encouraging the photographer community.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What an amazing interview, Marsha! And, thank you so much for including my link with all those excellent bloggers 👍

    I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished, Jez. Sweetie, you constantly awe me with your unwavering commitment to your craft and your blog. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was an amazing interview, Susan. I didn’t write too much down because I was busy enjoying the interview and looking at photos. It’s a good thing that he responded to some of the questions by email, too. It was fun to hear about your bike rides with Snappy riding along wherever you go. Since I have the same camera, I could appreciate the effort to take S with him all the time. My Snappy gets heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember when Jez used to have Snappy and all the lenses and Lensy in a backpack and how heavy it was. Having the bikes has certainly made taking the camera et al a far less back breaking task. Plus, Jez has far more opportunity to take photos of new places.
        If possible, I’d advise getting an e-bike and doing a camera bag hack (Jez has his attached to klickfix mount on the handlebars) for quick and easy access when on the go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We do have e-bikes, but I tore my meniscus August 3rd, and had deep vein thrombosis and was in the hospital the day after I talked to Jez. So my bike riding days are still a short way off. I am back to walking about 2,000 to 10,000 steps a day depending on my schedule, so it won’t be long. I can’t wait to get back on my bike again. I love how much fun you two have together, and your fun names for things. You are both such internet joys.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Susan T. Braithwaite and commented:
    As it’s Monday, and my beloved Jez hosts Fan of… I thought I’d share his Featured Blogger Interview on Marsha’s Always Write blog as my Fan of… post.

    If you want a lift to your Monday with some fantastic photography and a wee bit of an introduction to Jez, then take a gander at this excellent interview.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan, what a sweet comment. Your Jez is so blessed to have such a supportive wife. What a difference you have made in his life and through him, the lives of many bloggers. He is well-loved across the blogosphere. It was a joy to interview him over zoom. I was hoping to meet you too. Maybe next time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, thank you, Marsha!
        For every bit of support I give Jez, I receive a bucket-load back in kind from him.
        I’m so happy that he’s connected with wonderful bloggers like yourself, Cee, and so many other. Your friendship, and your blogs, have helped Jez to not only share his art, but to learn more about photography.
        Re: Zoom interview, I would love to have met you 🙂, but as it was Jez’s interview I didn’t want to intrude or make him self-conscious. Next time, I’ll give you a wave 👋
        P.S. Sorry for the late response, I’ve been on a bit of a break from WP and social media.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I have two in line. I’m pretty slow. My first one is an interview with the Horse Addict’s horse, Biasini. My teddy bear, Manny is doing that one. I hope to get it posted on Tuesday.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I love it. 80s music. Cute. Manny and I have never discussed music. He picks up various tastes from his travels, but since I don’t go with him, my memory of his ramblings is not stellar. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • No, he visited Spain first to visit blogger Ralph, then Ute Smile from London picked him up and so on down the line. He’s been home now for several years, but looks forward to going to Florida in January.

            Liked by 1 person

          • We’d love to have him visit! I’d suggest May would be the best time–we’re both off and the weather is pretty good for going on bike trips. (I just told Jez and neither of us can stop giggling. Though we worry that our bears could be a bad influence on Manny 😬 )

            Liked by 1 person

          • LOL He’s been around lots of bad bears. My friend Ralph had him for quite a while, wrote about him on his blog, took him to neighborhood parties, where one woman put him in her blouse. He was pretending to get swept up in a new vacuum cleaner once. He’s had more adventures than even I know about! So, he’s pretty indestructible. May would be a great time. Let’s plan on it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sounds like Manny is going to fit in well with our lot. They’re all getting very excited about meeting him–so are we! We’ll have a spot on the sofa and in my bike basket for him all ready for his arrival in May. We can’t wait!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You will all have lots of fun together! He is beside himself over getting two trips. Puppy Girl and the kitties will be glad to see him on the road again. He’s been getting far too much attention since meeting Biasini! He was bragging to her yesterday about getting to see a real Castle and getting his picture taken with some of the beautiful public art in your town. 🥰 Kids!

            Like

          • Unfortunately, I don’t have any books out to read. But! Sometime next year my first novel will be out.
            I did have a couple of books out a few years ago, but have since removed them from the shops. They got good reviews, but they were erotica, and I’m focused solely on a career writing romantic suspense. (I’d been advised to write erotica before writing what I really wanted to write–bad advice as it confuses branding.)

            Liked by 1 person

  11. A little late to this party, Marsha! Jez is a wonderful photographer and very inspirational as well! Eeek, and I forgot about WWE and need to add that to my photo challenge lineup! Such a great interview and I always love learning more about my fellow bloggers and how they got to posting their blogs and sharing their talents. Great to see you here, Jez and keep inspiring us all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. There wasn’t much for me to post with water in it through Halloween, but now… And, to be honest, I’m not a fan of Halloween. As Cee pointed out, “I’m a fan of photo opps.” That’s me. So now, I’m ready to start Fan of and WWE.

      Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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