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Clubhouse - a photographer's guide to the new audio app and how to find our TDL rooms!

We're really enjoying delving into conversations on the new Clubhouse app but not everyone has discovered this fab new place to hang out online yet so what is it and how do you get in?

Here's our quick and easy guide to Clubhouse and how we're using it to connect with other artists and photographers to find inspiration and enjoy live conversations where you can really connect with the people you follow - something I think we're all craving during lockdown.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a fairly new social media app based solely on audio. This means it's all about connecting via conversations, which are live and can't be paused or recorded, a bit like radio or a live podcast that you can interact with in real time. It's Zoom without the video, a modern version of a 90's internet chat room where you actually chat with your voice, no typing at all. It involves "rooms" where you have mods & speakers who can talk (at the top of the screen) and listeners who can become speakers by putting their hand up and being invited by a mod to join in.

How do you join?

For now it's only available on iOS so you need an iPhone or iPad to get the app. You also have to be invited even when you've downloaded the app and set up your username. This invite has to come via your phone number so if you need one, let us know and send us a DM on Instagram with your number as the team at TDL has a few spare invites available.

How do you find and follow people?

You can search for people based on their name, handle or keyword. There seems to be plenty of space to write in your profile but the top 3 lines are important for keyword searching so bear that in mind. Also be mindful of who you choose to follow, the rooms you see in your feed and get notification for are based on who you follow. You can find Bex, Kirsty and Catherine easily if you join us in our room later and click on our photos ;) Or search for our handles as shown below... (We haven't figured out a way to link to our individual Clubhouse profiles yet!)

How do you find & join rooms?

To be honest, we're still figuring this one out! It seems that notifications ping up (if you have them turned on) whenever someone you follow starts a room. You can also explore your home page which has currently open rooms and your calendar which will show upcoming scheduled rooms. To join a room it has to be "open" - i.e. has already been started by the speaker(s), you can see a few names at the top showing who else is in there - just tap on it to enter and then you can see everyone else in there and will be able to hear whoever's speaking.

How do you leave a room?

The good thing is that you can exit the room and even the app while still listening, so if someone is discussing a photo on Instagram you can go and see it without having to miss what's being said.

You have to click on "leave quietly" at the bottom of your screen to stop listening.

How do you join in with a conversation or ask a question?

Put your hand up (the hand symbol on the bottom right) in any room and if they allow it, a mod will invite you to speak. This moves you up to the top section and you can mute and unmute yourself. Etiquette seems to be to mute yourself to avoid background noise while others are speaking and wait your turn as others may have also moved up at the same time. The mod who made you a speaker will usually address you when it's time for your question/what you have to say.

Are there any other things to know?

We've discovered that tapping on & off mute can be used by way of applause or also if you want to say something without interrupting. A mod will usually notice and ask if you want to speak when the person talking has finished.

Mods might "reset" a room every so often, basically re-capping who's there, what the topic is and a brief outline of what's been/being discussed for any new people who've joined the room late.

How are photographers using Clubhouse?

Obviously it might seem a bit strange for such a visual art to be utilising an audio only version of social media to connect but the absence of photos or other distractions means artists can do just that - connect. It's all about the conversation, discussing inspirations, journeys, stories... And as I said, you can still go to other apps while listening so you can see images while discussing them if you want to. I only follow photographers but have seen a wide range of topics being discussed from womanhood to marketing, mental illness to just a general chit-chat over coffee. I'm sure there's plenty more to explore too and I look forward to discovering more rooms. Some photographers have already created regular programming so to speak so you know when to catch them and don't miss anything you're interested in.

How is This Detailed Life using Clubhouse?

We plan to host rooms regularly but aren't tying ourselves to a specific time slot as yet. We may have to adapt and change timings depending on how things are when lockdown ends taking into account childcare, work and maybe having a real social life again, lol. So far, Clubhouse is our new Friday night out (but in) and it may or may not stay that way.

We've hosted just one room ourselves to date - a relaxed intro to TDL and how Bex founded the magazine, it's journey from idea to magazine and a bit about Bex's history. We called it our Wine-down on a Friday night at 9pm GMT, just an informal chat with a glass of wine (or your preferred tipple) in hand as we head into the weekend and if this time continues to work well for others, will be a regular slot for us with different guests joining us each week.

Tonight we are chatting with our first guest, LeAnna Azzolini, a fabulous photographer who takes amazing self-portraits and recently started her very own podcast - Curating the Curious. We can't wait to hear more about LeAnna's varied past career and inspirations! Join us on Clubhouse here.

We've also scheduled a room on Tuesday 16th February at 8pm to discuss mirrorless cameras - is it worth the switch? Chatting to our very own Kirsty Hamilton who recently took the plunge purchasing a Canon R6 after reading Eddie Judd's article in our Celebrate edition of the magazine. We've got a few other people lined up to join in with their own experiences and thoughts too, whatever brand of camera they use or want to upgrade to so be sure to come along and ask questions if you're thinking about making the jump to mirrorless.

We have also been involved in both listening and speaking in plenty of other rooms, it's so inspiring hearing so many photographer stories and being able to ask questions and join in live. Bex was interviewed by Lisa & Carley (two awesome photographers who recently paired up to offer joint mentoring which we know they will rock at!) and will soon be speaking to Zephyre Hood of Wild Rose Family too - you can catch that on Wednesday 17th Feb at 8pm GMT.

We've also utilised an idea Lisa & Carley gave us which they'd seen done on Clubhouse where photographers can have the Instagram feeds looked at and feedback given. We're calling it "Insta Faves" and will basically ask our guests (and we hosts will also join in) to choose a photo from your feed that they love and talk about why. Positive feedback only (we might start constructive critiques in the future as a separate room idea if there's any interest in this?) Imagine hearing your favourite photographer talking about why they love your work - a dream come true right? If it's popular we might even create rooms just for this, it's always fun to evaluate the work of others - I particularly enjoy this and have already discovered some inspirational shots from feeds I'd never seen before!

How do we follow This Detailed Life?

We hope to eventually be able to form a "club" which will make it easier to follow us and find all the rooms we host within our clubhouse but we have to have a certain amount of activity hosting first. In the meantime, the best way seems to be to follow Bex Maini (@bexphoto) on Clubhouse as she schedules the TDL rooms so if you follow her you should be notified when they begin.

How do you share events?

You can "ping" people you follow into an active room you're listening to which will invite them to listen in and join (press the + sign on the bottom right of your screen next to the hands up symbol). To share scheduled events, you can usually find them in your calendar and when you tap on it the pop up lets you add it to your calendar or share the event.

As we're still getting to grips with finding all the rooms we want to listen to ourselves, we've found it helps to create an event on our Facebook page which is easily shared and should also send a reminder if you click "going". This event in Facebook has the link to the room so you can simply click there when it's time to join.

We hope that helps you navigate this new app, it's really proving to be a fantastic tool for learning, connecting and finding out more about the photographers you love! Will you be joining us in there?

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