That awkward moment when a landscape photographer finds himself becoming a model...???

You never quite know what you'll come across when you're scrolling through Facebook. In the midst of all the updates about where someone is enjoying their latest cup of coffee, between all the selfies posted for us to enjoy, you'll sometimes come across posts that particularly catch your eye. 

Towards the end of February, one such post caught my eye by Manfrotto bags. "Call for contributors!" it boldly declared at the start - and it had my attention already. They were looking for guest bloggers to write about their experiences using a Manfrotto bag. As I like to write (and with the promise of new gear too), I was now hooked! All I had to do was to link to my blog in the comments - and wait to see if I would be selected. They were only looking for 12 contributors, so would I have a chance...?

A few days later, and into my inbox pops an email saying I had been selected! The good folks at Manfrotto wanted to send me a Messenger bag. And I was looking to add a decent messenger bag to house my new Fuji camera system and to be a handier bag for more day to day use than my Manfrotto Back Pack that accompanies me up into the Mournes.

A week or so later, and the bag had arrived. I decided to test drive it on the Causeway Coast. And so began a different kind of photography for me - one that featured the bag out and about, and that featured me too! Like many photographers, I'm much happier behind the lens taking the pics, so stepping around the other side of the camera was a bit daunting!

But off I set to various locations on the North Coast to get a collection of shots. The Fuji's wifi capabilities and phone app really came into their own during this time, as they meant that I was able to set the camera up on the tripod and get myself into position. I was able to use the phone screen to see what my camera was seeing and to position myself as best I could before taking the shot. I was sharing the resultant photos with some of my photography buddies - much to their amusement and with lots of good old Northern Irish teasing! It seemed more like I was taking my bag for walkies like a pet dog - and so it wasn't long until the bag was christened 'Frotto: "Here, Frotto, there's a good boy!"

If you want to read more about my experiences using the Manfrotto bag, click on the link to the blog on the Manfrotto website. 

So what of my career as a model? Well, I'm now quite happily mostly behind my view finder again pointing the camera at other people.  But I must say I'm thoroughly enjoying the company of my new best buddy: who's a good boy then, 'Frotto!

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