CMA Conference 2017 Voices in a Changing World

This year’s Community Media Association conference went by in something of a blur! Held at The Station in Bristol, the conference had a theme of thinking about community media as an important movement for community development, civic participation and creative expression.

Helping to organise a conference means that you don’t really get to relax to enjoy the panel discussions and the breakout session, and because there was a lot packed-in to the conference, it meant that the CAM Council team had to stay on our toes in order to make sure everyone felt welcome, included and could get what they wanted from the sessions.

The Station is a great venue, and had the right feel of informality, technical capability and accessibility. Other venues might be slicker and more corporate, but The Station had the feel that it was a hub for community activities focused on supporting young people in Bristol.

My main job was to host a panel discussion at the start of the main session. I decided to approach it like I approach my podcasts, as an informal discussion in which we could open-up any issues that concerned the panel members. We started the session by playing a video of Ishmahil Blagrove who berated the media for their coverage of the Grenfell Tower tragedy (see video below).

I was worried that this would be quite controversial, but the passion and eloquence that Ishmahil shows in his critique of the exploitation of communities by corporate media got a round of applause from the room, and it propelled us into a stronger discussion of why community media is important.

The CMA Council has a very strong team at the moment, who are all committed to developing and leading on the changes that face community media, and are increasingly recognising that these changes can only come about it community media acts as a movement for change, and not just as a service sector for government or corporate media.

I’m exhausted this morning, after a couple of beers last night, so I’m going to snooze on the train and catch up with some reading and get back to Leicester and get myself ready for the coming week of new students at DMU.


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CMA Conference Bristol 2017

This is slightly ridiculous, but this is the first time that I’ve actually been to Bristol! I’m not very well traveled, so when it was decided to hold this year’s Community Media Association Conference at The Station in Bristol, it had the double benefit of being in a place that is on my list to mooch around.

Ujima Radio offered to host the conference this year, because the building that they are part of, The Station, has some excellent facilities and an inclusive approach to training, services and support, all under one roof, in the centre of the city.

So the job today is to set-up the conference room, to learn how use the sound desk and the projector, and to make sure that we have everything working so we can run the discussion sessions and the break-out sessions.

The theme of this year’s conference is Voices in a Changing World, because we want to broaden the debate about community media. In my view it is too easy to get bogged down in managerial talk of services sectors and economic development, and to miss the important issues that drive change, and the values that people feel and wish to express.

I’m looking forward to some vibrant debate, to learning from people who have experience pushing the boundaries of community media, capturing some interviews for a podcast, and taking lots of photos. As usual I’ll be Tweeting and posting on Instagram. I’m not sure what the hashtag is yet, so watch out and join in the discussion wherever you are.

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Is mental health an underlying problem within our education system?

In the United Kingdom, there are over 1.75 million undergraduate students, 1.7 million of which are in full time education.

Within this large populous of students, the statistics about mental are rather surprising.

One in four students are suffering from mental health issues within the university environment, 27% of students suffer from a form of mental health issue during the duration of study- a very serious statistic. With data such as this you would believe that it would be an important topic of discussion.

However, the discussion is frequently passed over without a lot of thought.

So why is this, why is mental health such a touchy subject for people to talk about?

I believe the older generations have put a negative connotation on mental health, thus making it a taboo amongst our society. People look down upon mental health making it a harder subject to talk about for those that suffer from it.

Mental health issues need to become less of a taboo within the society we live in so people feel more open to talk, it starts with being comfortable and then we can work with those suffering to make change!

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New Blog

I have made a new blog on wordpress with the same title as this one which will be updated regularly. I will post project progressions here as well as on […]

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DIY-DMU Social Platforms Development Session

Yesterday I organised and ran a training session with colleagues in the Media, Design and Production subject group, in the Leicester Media School. The aim of the session was to introduce and familiarise colleagues with the social media platforms that we have available, and that I’ve been developing over the last few years.

At DMU we use a WordPress blogging system that is part of the DMU Commons, which is a suit of open source and open access media platforms that students and staff can use as part of their studies, their personal development and their social interaction with one another.

The blogs that learners and staff create and share can be aggregated on a site I’ve set-up called DIY-DMU. It’s a standard WordPress site, but it has been loaded up with RSS feeds taken from the individual blogs. So every time someone wants to share blog post, if they use the DIY-DMU category feed, then it will be updated on the DIY-DMU site as well.

The idea is that in order to find out about what people are working on, what they have been up to, and how they are getting on with their learning or professional development, you only have to go to one place to see these posts. It needs a bit of work to make it more attractive and to manage the feeds to make them more accessible, so it’s under development and should improve as more people get involved.

The next platform that we looked at is the DMU Commons Wiki, which I’ve been using for a couple of years as well. This is an open resource for learners and staff to post information about themselves, their activities, their interests and their projects.

I use the wiki extensively in my modules, as it’s a great way to enhance collaboration, to provide a single and central point of information that can be easily shared, and in the process, promotes a collaborative working culture based on communities of practice and interest.

The last platform that we looked at is new – Talk. Working with Owen Williams in the ITMS development team, we’ve installed a version of Discourse, which is a chat forum platform that supports the development of online communities and collaborative discussions. The system is new, so it will be interesting to see how we can use it effectively, both as a resource for learners, and as a resource for colleagues.

The objective of developing these platforms is to support learners, researchers and colleagues to more easily interact, which has become a relevant question on the National Student Survey, which asks if learners feel they are part of a learning community. How we promote this sense of community, and what people bring to it is going to be interesting to learn about.

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A day in the park with Lexy

Welcome to the Shot by Amo photography blog!

This is one of my favourite shoots, my niece Lexy in her element. Being able to watch my niece interacting with the children gave me a different perspective on the social side of a child’s life. It is not uncommon for children in the modern day to turn down a day at the park for a day at home playing video games and watching television. It wasn’t until we arrived at the park and saw Lexy playing with the other children, that it hit me. The children were all playing amongst themselves and I was speaking with the parents. I had thoughts of how the social world has changed, how a catch up at the local park has evolved into a chat on social media. I thought to myself how all the social skills we have learnt in life, can be now easily be transferred onto a screen just by typing. But in a world of social media it is the social skills we learnt from childhood that should not be taken for granted.

Organ Hall park in Borehamwood was a perfect location for me. It is a place that holds memories for me and as a general location I thought it would be perfect to capture the emotion from the youthful side of the social world.

For this shoot I used the following camera settings:

Shutter speed: 1/80

F stop: 5.0

ISO: 100

From this shoot I wanted to capture the emotions that a child feels whilst socialising in a traditional social setting but one that feels natural to them. Unfortunately I did not get permission from the parents to include the children or themselves in my photos, but I feel that the shots of Lexy alone, replicate and portray the emotions she was feeling whilst at the park. The bright colours of the park and the surroundings, along with Lexy’s expressions really helped bring to life the bright and bubbly vibe I was trying to create. The vibe one would get as a child whilst playing with their friends. Overall the energy created in the images was to fully portray the power of children socialising in a traditional and natural manner.

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Intoxicated thoughts – Shot by Amo

Welcome to the Shot by Amo photography blog!

These are shots of, once again, my close friend Takunda. Prior to this shoot, I spent time searching through blogs from recovering alcoholics and alcoholism related social media accounts. What I read allowed me to empathise with those in those situations. I used this to help recreate the emotion and capture it in photo. From the moment Takunda woke up, I asked him specifically not to shower, not to change and not to do his hair. This was to help create a homeless alcoholic vibe, much like the scenes I pictured from the blogs.

This was probably my most effective and straight forward location. It was most effective as the shots were taken in Takunda’s bedroom which is currently under construction, adding to the already run down look. This helped set the scene but also allowed me to momentarily view Takunda from a different perspective.

For this shoot I used the following camera settings;

Shutter speed: 1/60

F Stop: 1.8

ISO: 2500

From this shoot, I wanted to be able to see how I can portray the circumistances of an alcoholic based on my research on social media. I wanted to use the emotions and imagery from the blogs and social media accounts to help replicate the situations that those suffering may have found themselves in.


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Shooting Up In The Heights!


On this shoot, me, and my best friend, Takunda, my cousin Antwi and his best friend Didi travelled to a location called the Northern Heights. Coincidentally, we managed to finish working at our jobs at the same time on this day and so, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get creative and we needed some inspiration of something to do. I direct messaged each of them the Northern Heights location and they were all as eager and excited to shoot here as much as I was. Beforehand, we decided to quickly grab lunch at my workplace Nando’s, just to get our energy up. In these images, I wanted to capture the breath-taking landscape as we all agreed it was truly mesmerising. All of us couldn’t stop looking around at the scenery as seen in the video. It was a great experience to get my friends and cousin involved into my passion. We posted these shots onto our Instagram’s as a way to share the amazing day we had and of course the beautiful surroundings. Shooting here made me realise my love for nature and the outdoors as I enjoy getting out and about.

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Gleaming in green

Welcome to the ShotByAmo photography blog!


So after all of the ShotByAmo group projects I can now share with you guys that Takunda has started trying out modelling! We were chilling at home scrolling through Instagram until a Nike ad came up, the ad itself was so aesthetically pleasing that me and takunda instantly and simultaneously the idea of us shooting a similar shot came into our mind. Despite our focus being on capturing the Nike brand on Takunda, we made sure that we captured scenery too. A lot of Nike shoots use scenic backgrounds to aid with the aesthetics of the shoot and our location was Aberford Park in Borehamwood which has an amazing large water feature within the centre of it.  The day of the shoot involved a lot of looking at social media and comparing that to locations known to us in order to make sure we got the best location for the shoot to give it the true ‘Nike feel’. With such a successful shoot Takunda posted the photos onto his Instagram in which one of the Nike accounts actually liked his picture, this was again a big milestone for me now because not only was the ShotByAmo group now known by Ellesse, but also one of the Nike accounts!

Settings for the two fountain shots are: shutter speed – 1/320 f/stop – 6.3 ISO – 100

Settings for shots of Takunda: Shutter speed – 1/125, f/stop – 2.8 ISO 100

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Shooting the bros with Amo at the park!


Welcome to the ShotbyAmo photography blog!


Its a luxury to catch the a consistent day of good sun in the U.K. so i decided to utilise the sun to its maximum potential. I brought my camera with me and conduct a shoot with my good friends Takunda and Tyler. The weather had been consistently gloomy prior to this day,  so the day of this shoot, my friends and I went to Organ Hall Park, Borehamwood to not only get the shoot done, but take some time to relax, play a game of football and drink our glasses of Koppaberg. The atmosphere of the entire day in the park was relaxed enough for me to get some good shots of Takunda and Tyler with little direction given to them in terms of poses. Although the shoot was the main priority the weather and atmosphere, made it feel less like a structured shoot and more like just a normal day with my mates having a kick-about.

From the day I learned that Takunda is great to work with infront of the camera as well as behind the camera, helping me conduct prior shoots with different models showing he is very talented and we have great chemistry. Tyler also worked extremely well in this environment and shot of him were executed perfectly.

Camera settings:

Shutter speed – 1/200 F stop – f/4.0 ISO – 100


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ShotbyAmo Family BBQ!



I took these photographs at my family BBQ. As part of my group project I really wanted to capture the essence of African family life. In these shots, I took pictures of my Mother and her brother, my big brother and cousin, I aimed to grab the priceless moments of their smiles and laughter, and my passion for photography has enabled me to cherish these beautiful moments forever. I wanted these images to illustrate the nature of my family being joyful and cheerful, as seen in these shots. I managed to do this successfully as we can see the genuine positive expressions on their face whilst they interacted during this time. I was able to capture the social energy of my family within the pictures I took, as even in these still shots their wonderful personalities could shine through. It was a day, were I could combine two of my passions, family and photography, I was totally in my element as seen in the video where I’m taking pictures of my beautiful mother. Through, social media such as Snapchat and Facebook I could share the beauty of family life with many of my friends and other family.

Shutter speed – 1/125 f stop – f/1.8 – ISO 100

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ShotByAmo working with DiDi Do It!

In these shots, I chose to capture my friend David aka Didi, who like myself, shares a passion for creativity as a music artist. Although, Didi’s passion lies in music, he was a natural on camera. The images were taken at one of my favourite spots the Lemming road park basketball courts. I chose this location due to the vibrancy of the scenery as shown in the background. I chose to match Didi’s clothing with the background to accentuate colour  because I enjoy capturing bright imagery, and so I aimed to make my images stand out through these complimentary colours. One of the images of Didi, was featured on the Instagram page of the popular brand ‘Ellesse’ this was a great opportunity that gave my photography great coverage and exposure. As a result of this, I was able to receive insight as to how people respond to my photography style from a wider audience and managed to gain much positive feedback. In each shot, I intentionally made Didi the focal point in order to reflect his bold character. After a long day of creativity, Didi and I, decided to play some basketball, as we do also enjoy a bit of friendly competition.

Didi’s Instagram:

ISO: 100

Shutter speed: 1/125


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The Peak District TSCH Shoot Blog!

Welcome to the ShotByAmo photography blog!

For the second week of our group project, I was fortunate enough to feature with Hat collection brand ‘TSCH’ be sure to check them out on Instagram:, the location of where this shoot took place has got to be probably the best location that I have been to in a long time! The Peak District National park is truly an attraction that is equally as eye catching and soul-cleansing. The 3 hour journey to Staffordshire, Greater Manchester was definitely worth the experience!

The silence of the air and the beauty of the nature in the Peak District really allowed me and the group to put our phones away and really start socializing with Earth! It enabled us to all connect and collaborate on a spiritual and creative way. I found myself admiring the performance of my work more than I usually do in a different place, surrounding by different people. The successful promotion of the hat collection on all social media platforms benefited me as I was a great part of it, it gave my ShotByAmo photography Instagram an immense amount of unexpected exposure.

There were a lot of talented photographers and models that attended this TSCH shoot, I am thankful for the friends that I made on this journey today, I have learnt a lot of the missing pieces that my photography and even modelling skills lacked!

Due to the newly found attention of my ShotByAmo account, this has made it possible and easier for me to reach out to a wider range of people across my social media in the hope of getting some more shoots done! Be sure to check out my ShotByAmo Instagram account: and the Peak District Instagram account:

I hope you enjoy the some of the pictures and videos captured from the shoot BELOW.

Be sure to check out the ShotByAmo blogs in the upcoming weeks, a lot of exciting stuff to share with you guys!



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First ShotByAmo Blog post!

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Welcome to the ShotByAmo photography blog!

As one of our first group projects we decided to start off the shoot with my very good friend Myles Riggs. He happens to live at the very top of the hill that watches over the whole of Borehamwood, so prior to the shoot I then decided to stay at his house in order for me to wake up and catch an early start for our shoot. The night before the shoot was a very enjoyable night, me and Myles spent most of it exploring Instagram and the various photographers that Instagram has to offer. We were able to analyse how the marketing of photography takes place due to the process of multiple sharing on social media. Ideally what I wanted to get out the shoot was for Myles to be made aware of his true modelling abilities within his means (home) and comfort zone. My other good friend Takunda was in charge of directing the shoot I.e advising Myles what poses to do and where to look. In my opinion I believe that Myles successfully executed the shoot, one thing that I can say I learnt from the shoot was that me and Takunda work very well together when shooting a model, the way our friendship can correspond with the on-set chemistry is admirable!

Camera Settings:

ISO – 100 Shutter Speed – 1/320 f stop – 2.8

These photos of Myles were shot with a 50mm.


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Takes Two To Tango

Again communication didn’t seem to be the strong point within our group tonight however Aidan and myself thought we’d best get cracking on at least capturing some more footage. We missed the boat on renting out microphones from AV Loans at Uni but what we did do was reserve a couple DSLR’s earlier that week. So being a student night we headed out to the town to record some cut scene footage of students doing what they do best, and well take a look…

Not afraid to get wet, but looking out for his mate, topLAD!
Keep The Meter Running…

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