Friday, 26 January 2018

How I Instagram

I always enjoy scrolling through Instagram & checking out other photographers galleries. I love each how photographer builds their gallery, some seem to have a theme & others just post what they shoot without considering if the next photograph will go with the one before & it just works.

When I started my Photography Instagram, I just uploaded my favourite shots, not following any theme, pretty much like my personal account. Then while completing my project for my course, I found I really enjoyed the process of putting photographs together along a theme, to tell a story.

So I began to implement this into my Instagram & here's how...

1} 1 Row = 1 Gallery.

For me, instead of having an overall feed theme {thats a tongue twister!}, I decided viewing each row of three posting spots was more beneficial. Each row is like it's own little gallery.

An Instagram Album helps keep your future posts organised.

2} Theme Within The Gallery

I know I said I don't have a feed theme, but, in order to show each row is its own little gallery, the group of three photographs need to be cohesive.

3} Choosing Photographs

Once I'm done with the post processing stage of my work flow, I then go back through my shots & begin to look for ones that will go well side by side. One example of how I do this is say I've been in my garden taking photos. Instead of just choosing three different shots, I'll section these into groups of the different flowers or garden items I've captured. From there I'll choose my three shots & add them into my "Instagram" Album.

4} Do They Go Together?

Finally, I double check the chosen shots in my "Instagram" album, as I can see them side by side before I post them. This when I also swap out a photograph for another one if I feel they don't look right together.

Sneak Peak of my Instagram posts!

5} 1 Row + 1 Gallery = 1 Feed!

Even though I treat each row as it's own gallery, with its own little theme, because I post each set of three from a day where I'm capturing similar shots, they work well together. When I'm posting images from different days, the change in the theme, for example garden shots to cat photographs helps to break up my gallery.

6} Black & White Or Colour

Since I predominately shoot in Monochrome, my Instagram is mainly a monochrome filled gallery. However, I do feel some scenes call for colour & so to help break up my gallery, I will post a set of three in colour.

7} Posting Your Set of Three

Once I have my set of three photographs, I then post them through the day, giving about 4 hours between each post. I struggle at times with a caption & I usually end up rambling about my day. I also add in brackets 1, 2. or 3 of 3, depending on which photograph I'm posting.


My instagram Gallery

8} #Hashtags

If you're using Instagram to get your work seen, hashtags can really help. Choosing the right ones can go a long to promoting your account & photography. I have a set of hashtags I use for every post I do {I copy & paste them on each post} Adding ones that photography companies who feature a photographers work use, is a good place to start. This has paid off for me a couple of times, the most recent of which being a lovely feature from Jessops!

So there you have it, that's how I Instagram. If you'd like to check out my account {link below} to see the result of all the above steps, then please have a nosey & tell me what you think.

If you have any other tips or tricks in using Instagram to show case your photography then please feel free to leave a comment below.

I've also just added a few new images for sale on my website. The link is below if you'd like to check them out & maybe you'll find something to spruce up the walls of your home.

Take care,

Louise


Friday, 12 January 2018

Kitchen Table Studio

I came across the concept of a "Kitchen Table Studio" when I was doing my photography specialisation a couple of years ago. The basic idea is to turn your kitchen table {or dining room, as in my case} into a mini photo studio.

One of my professors set up a white cloth background & used little lump cubes as extra light sources & then set his camera up on a tripod. In his demonstration he photographed a few products, but you could use this set up for any type of photography you wanted. You can also vary the kit you use & go all out with different lights, colour backgrounds or maybe you'd prefer a more minimal set up, just your subject, your camera & maybe a back ground or small light source.

Table, iPhone 8 Plus Torch & Plants.


On Tuesday I decided to venture into the garden to take a few photos, something I've not done for a little while. however, it was so cold & the breeze wasn't helping the fact I wanted some Macro shots. I took a few shots & then I'd had enough of battling the wind & cold, so I picked a couple of Hydrangea petals, a sprig of Crocosmia & a Lily Seed Pod, all of which had seen better days.

I put them on my dining room table & decided to take my photographs there. Although I have soft boxes, one of which I use as a light for my room, I just turned on the ceiling light. My background was one of our black placemats, which I held in my left hand. I also have a tripod but I decided to stick with my usual handheld approach. I like to move around when I take photos, especially when my subject can't move, moving around also encourages you to change up your vantage points & try new angles.

Hydrangea Petal Veins

So I began to play with how close I held my background placemat, how much light I allowed on my subject, how it looked with the plant in silhouette & how sharp the shadows were. Playing with the angles & vantage points, even using a chair to try a "birds eye view" shot. As I was playing around with the Hydrangea petals, I realised when the light was behind them, you could see through them & seen all the veins & little sections they split into. So I grabbed my iPhone 8 Plus & turned on the torch. I lent it against the back of one of the chairs & used it to back light the petals & I also used this light source to make the shadows even crisper.

I am predominantly a black and white photographer, shooting in monochrome more than colour & doing conversions. However, I did switch a little bit to a colour setting as I was taking photographs of the Lily Seed Pods as I notices the light from my iPhone torch was picking up a golden tone from them even though the looked quite black.

Crocosmia Silhouette 

Overall I spent about an hour at the most playing around with my minimal "Kitchen Table Studio" & going through the shots later, I was really happy with how a number of the shots came out. I had a lot to go through but throughout Wednesday I checked & minimally post processed them. My first attempt at a "Kitchen Table Studio" went well, even if I did have a minimal approach to it. This type of photography set up is something I definitely want to do more often & I think will really help with a couple of projects I want to give a go in the future.

See Through Petal

Have you tried this "Kitchen Table Studio" set up? What kit did you use & what was your photography subject? Do you have any tips on how I can improve my set up {other than using my soft box & background} Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

On a side note, I'll not only be posting a selection of the shots to my Instagram in the coming weeks be adding my favourites to the "Macro Magic" gallery on my website & making them available to buy, so be sure to keep an eye on the site. {link below} If you follow me on Instagram & love a photograph I've posted & would like to buy it, just leave me a comment on the post & I'll add it to the site for you.

I hope you're all doing well & the cold weather isn't hampering your photography.

Take care,

Louise

Website: Lo Elizabeth Photography

Monday, 1 January 2018

Photography Website Launch

I have a Photography Website!

Home Page

I've been toying with the idea of setting up my own photography website & selling my work for quite a while. Over this past year, I have been researching which website provider would be best for me & which printing labs they used. I even picked up information on a couple of them while at The Photography Show back in March. However, I didn't do this sooner simply because I wasn't sure if anyone would want to buy my work & don't take this as a lack of confidence in my work, but more in myself as I have only been taking my photography seriously for the past couple of years & wasn't sure if I was on the same level as all the pro photographers out there!

Uploading Photographs

Then last month I posted a photograph on my personal Instagram & one of my friends asked if they could buy a print of it. This really boosted my self confidence as I realised that people might like some of my work enough to want a copy of it. So I began to plan out my site; how I would like it look & feel, what photographs might be good to have for sale & also the cost of it all.

I finally settled on Smug Mug as my provider for a few reasons but the main one is that the print lab they use for the UK is Loxley Colour & I've been using them for almost three years now. Their products are good quality & their delivery time is brilliant so I wanted to make sure that if I was to start selling that I could still use them as I know that my customers would be getting great quality products. My discount via being an N-Photo subscribe was a nice bonus!

So last week I signed up to Smug Mug & began to build my website. I wanted something that was fuss free & clean looking. I remembered at a Pro Photographer Masterclass I attended that a couple of photographers mentioned that they had their sites set up to look very similar to Instagram in how the photographs were presented, it gives the site a familiar feel. So I decided to go for a similar look myself & I really like how it's turned out as the photographs are nice & easy to view.

Key wording - A necessary but long job.

I've found Smug Mug really straight forward to use as they section each element you can add into "Content Blocks" so you just simply add the blocks you want & tweak them to how you want them to look. Adding photographs to the galleries is quick too, with a drag & drop facility, the only long job I've found was adding keywords to the photographs once they're in the gallery.

I was also very impressed with their customer service, not long after I'd signed up I received an email from one of their team introducing themselves which was lovely & when I contacted them regarding a price list query, they were very quick to get back to me, despite the time difference {they're based in the US}.

Overall I'm really happy with how my site looks & I'm even happier that I've decided to give selling my work a go!

Galleries


If you'd like to have a look at my site, then please click the link below:

Lo Elizabeth Photography

I'd love any feed back you have on the site. I've tried to add a nice selection of different types of photography for sale, ranging from Macro to Landscape. I plan to go through my catalogue of photographs & add more as time goes on but I think what I have on there is a good starting point.

I want to thank you all so much for all the support you've given me this past year, especially over on Instagram & Twitter. I hope this coming year is a good one for you all!

Take care,

Louise