How to create a cohesive colour palette for Instagram

One of the elements of our photography that we are both in huge agreement about is how cohesive our colour palette is. We love nothing more than working out how each image works in its own right and at the same time, forms a set of images for our website, blog, and instagram that flows and keeps our audience in tune with what we will create. 

It's an odd thing to think that if we happen to throw a picture of someone in a purple t-shirt into our feed that it would throw the people that enjoy following us, but it seems it has a lot to do with what is expected and what they come along to us to see and feel. 

Here are a few ways to help keep your images more in unity with each other and keep people coming back to you to see more!

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.12.55.png
 

In our Photography Coaching we talk a LOT about finding your style, it's so important to figure out as soon as you can the kind of images that draw you to them, and which patterns and similarities they have. That way you already know which photographs to take and how they will fit together. 

It could be worthwhile to save just 10 of your own favourite images and have them laid out so that you can see how they work together. Keep looking for similarities in colours and tone too. You could use an app like planoly or UNUM for this.

Shooting in the same kind of light each time, using similar backgrounds, certain pops of colour here and there or even a space where you just use one of your brand colours with words over, will all help you to have a more cohesive feed.

Once you have these images, you can start to work on an edit that gives them even more unity. 

For our images we have the saturation turned down on our greens and yellows, which gives our feed a much more calm feeling, we also throw a little bit of rust in there every now and again.  You may prefer a much warmer or cooler palette. Whichever it is, try to find an editing style that brings everything together.

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.12.41.png
 

VSCO is one app we have used for the longest time and it has some great presets that can instantly help your overall brand look. Why not try these - 

Neutral Toned | DOG1, F3, L1, LV1

Warm Toned  | A6, M5, A3, A10, C2, C6, C7 & E4

Cool Toned  | H5, H6, HB1, HB2, P4, & SE

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.13.37.png
 

Another tool we love at the moment is light room for your mobile. from your main light room presets on your desktop, you can save your favourite presets and edit on the go!

It’s never as complex as it first seems -

Look out for similar colours to shoot within your grid

Keep to the same preset, just maybe change a few of the sliders such as exposure, highlights and shadows to fit your other images.

Try to shoot in the same kind of light if possible. (this is good for flatlays ect)

Happy Instagram story creating!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Winter hashtag project

It wasn’t such a long time since we (in the UK) were still trying to figure out how little clothes we could get away with wearing, whilst still going about our daily things. The British heatwave certainly made being outside a joy didn’t it?

Think, one layer of clothes maximum and some open shoes.. or no shoes, who needs shoes anyway? We’re definitely the family that prefer to feel free.

Anyway, it came as a bit of a shock after weeks on end of heat, to finally really feel the chill of September. It was on Sunday morning of the 9th to be exact. I stuck my leg out of bed and quickly recoiled it when I felt that familiar chill. Either that or I was about to be pulled out of bed with it by a 2 year old.

One of the things we notice most about winter, being outdoor photographers mostly, is that it can at times, limit our creativity. Years of rearranging shoots, harbouring big plans and being let down by the rain, or snow, or fog.. or it just being too blooming grim. Living in Yorkshire can really put the literal dampeners on when you step outside into sideways wind and rain. Regardless of how much enthusiasm you have, you can’t make Yorkshire look like it’s something you would like to prance around in with no coat on. Neither does it usually look like one of those far away places with all the warm sandy tones and hazy heat. It just ain’t happening.

BUT

What happens if we turn it on it’s head a little bit. What happens if we stop trying to create something that isn’t, and embrace the winter?

You know what, it is cold a lot, usually wet a lot, and the rain can still seep in through the seams of even the best waterproof if the wind has it’s way.

but how about we’re a bit more real about it all? I’m sure we all have a story to tell. A cosy scene that lights up when you think of your warm and happy place or something that takes advantage of those dark and sometimes dreary tones?

We want you to come along with us this winter and b*gger the weather, learn to live with it a bit more and see what we can make with it. Think Wuthering heights and layers of fabric, warm bright hats against dark grey skies and pots of hot tea steaming against a wooded backdrop. Feel the cold against your cheeks and the colour coming into them. Remember what it’s like to feel alive and outside.

Connecting with nature and getting as much vitamin D into our bodies is just one way to keep ourselves happy and healthy this winter.

If you’d like to join in and celebrate feeling alive this season, come along with us and post your creations to #gooutsidethiswinter

We’d love you to.

 

Don't panic - Booking a last minute wedding can actually be a good thing

Is it really worth all the lengthy stress of planning your wedding well over a year? I guess it may work in your favour if you just LOVE to plan and are excited about the prospect of lists after lists, long deliberations and the chance to sample loads of cake.

But if you’re like us and have a busy life already and the thought of adding ‘wedding planner’ to your endless daily tasks sends you into a mild panic, let me tell you, it can TOTALLY be planned in just a few months.

Some of the best most connected with each other weddings we have photographed, have been the ones that haven’t had too long to plan. Somehow they mostly focus on the act of marriage and what that means to each other, rather than all the other things that start shuffling into the mix when you have months and months to think about it. The most relaxed wedding days have been those that have mostly come together out of the couples ‘real’ likes for things, their hobbies, favourite places to hang out and favourite kind of food to eat. I can quite honestly say that your wedding doesn’t need to be a pinterest inspired one. It’s the things you really want and have time to plan, that you’ll care about more on the day.

Our day ended up being planned in just 3 months. We’d had a rough few months and decided that we didn’t want to be planning it forever so at the end of March 2015 booked the registrar and were married on the 26th June the same year. I know, totally crazy right? You could say we had it easy, I guess we did already know some of our suppliers and had spent years shooting other peoples weddings and spent lots of time deliberating who we wanted there and how we wanted it to be.

Here’s a little bit of advice for you -

Listen to your friends recommendations, if they’ve had a good experience, it’s likely you will too.

If there’s somewhere local you like to eat, be brave and ask if they would cater for you. Not all things wedding need to have the price tag attached.

Spend more time in the beginning talking to each other, writing down the things that you really enjoy doing, the kind of style you like, music. Go out to eat, sit at home and sample drinks. Make it an enjoyable non stress inducing thing.

If you do feel the need to trawl the internet, find a blog or supplier list you like reading the words to. The ones that seem honest and down to earth. Same if you look on a suppliers site or see a wedding story on a blog you like. Hunt those people down and get in touch. Check if you can speak to them over the phone, that way you’ll get one of those natural gut feelings whether or not they are for you.

Try not to over complicate your guest list. SOMEONE SOMEWHERE will be missed out. It’s ok. We had some people at our wedding three years ago that we haven’t seen much since for one reason or another, and some that didn’t come along that we now see everyday. It’s life and it changes and that’s ok too.

Not all dresses/suits/flowers need months of preparation. Find someone less ‘commercial’ and ‘flouncy’ eeek.. sorry, but it’s true. Find someone who is passionate about making awesome clothes and personally get in touch. Our friend Hayley from Glory days now sells her dresses in different sizes so win win! or go buy a suit or dress from the high street if it looks good. There’s so many more brands these days that don’t make it such a big deal.

In the end for ours, the location, the dress, the flowers, the photographer, (essential obvs) the music (all important) the food, the entertainment and tent/teepee.. all came from local people. We tried our best not to fuss too much about it and realised that it just wasn’t worth the worry.

Of course there were elements which gave it our own style and feeling, but in the end, and on the day, the most that mattered were our people and us making that commitment and of course seeing everyone enjoy themselves. It was all pretty emotional.

So if you’re on the fence about booking something last minute, I can honestly say from our own and from experiencing others, just DO IT.

You won’t regret it!

Here is Catrin and Geraints wonderful day in Wales.

A few wonderful suppliers we know are -

Hayley at Glory days bridal

Fiona at Firenza floral design

Rings Element jewellery or Trumpet and Horn

Styling Hannah Bullivant

Be still my wild heart

 

“We are here to love hard and true. Here to give ourselves over to the rush and bliss of it all. Here to offer our patchwork hearts over and over again. Here to feel and fall and hurt and bleed. Here to say yes and to choose wholeness and to break anyway and to do it all again.” 
― Jeanette LeBlanc

Little Cotton Clothes - Brand photography for likeminded creatives.

Working for brands that we appreciate, come back to time and time again and actually buy from has been one our biggest goals. When we set out with MELIA MELIA one of our aims was to find clients who understood the way we worked, so that we could work along with those people to create a vision for their beloved brand. 

So for us, it has always helped to find people who are passionate about what they do, how they do it and also care who buys from them. I guess that means it matters to us YOU CARE about what you do. 

Creating a vision for your brand can be a tricky business and sometimes you can get so caught up in the actual making of things (usually this is your original skillset right?) that when it comes to having to put your 'Photographer hat' on, it can be pretty daunting and quite often what you see in your head, doesn't always transfer in the way you want to your photographs. For so many of us, taking pictures and capturing our work so that it speaks to the right kind of audience, has become such a big part of our businesses. Not only do we need to be able to create the 'thing' that we first thought of,  but we need to be able to market it in the right way. 

For this, it's helpful to have someone who understands what you need. I'd like to think that we understand, we listen and we want to help you to create your vision. After all, it's what you were aspiring for when you first set up. It helps to create the business you always dreamed about and makes people stop in their tracks and interact with you. 

For the past few years a personal favourite of ours has been Little Cotton Clothes. When you have a new baby girl and all the high street shops seem to offer are clothes that look as though  'a unicorn has throw up rainbows on'  (quote from a funny instagram follower, thank you!) we really just wanted something more simple for Margot. We came across them through a friend who's daughter was in her second year of wearing their bloomers. Comfy, simple and a style with kids in mind. We ordered some straight away. These were clothes that were made with love, with attention to detail, with our little ones in mind and also designed with such a lot of traditional unfussy style. Margot is now also in her 2nd year of wearing her bloomers, rompers and simple dresses. Everywhere we go, people comment on how great they are! Well, they really are. 

Needless to say we're pretty happy to be able to shoot some of their Autumn/Winter 2018 Collection. It's so great to be able to understand the 'feeling' behind a brand and be able to capture it's spirit. 

We're very excited that we may have the chance to mentor one of the wonderful people behind the brand and help to teach her how to use her own camera to continue to create the pictures she sees in her mind. What ever it is that helps you to create the magic you want for your business, or even for your own personal photographs, we would love to help you out. 

If you want to work with us, have any questions for us or just want to chat something through, we're happy to help!

Just send a little message to us here

and we'll be in touch! 

 

 

 

How to find the right support when you start as a photographer

One of the things that was most valuable to us in our years beginning as photographers was filtering through ALL the complex and confusing information online to find somewhere that gave really USEFUL, RELEVANT and INSPIRATIONAL content that actually HELPED us.

Whether that was in a youtube channel (wow, so many of those are dull), an online learning website, a workshop with a support page, all were so very valuable to us when we had many many questions. 

One of the ways we found the most support, was through a small but purposefully picked community of people, where we could all share our experiences, any great tips, perhaps share some tricky moments and also gain some super helpful feedback. As a creative, the hardest part is sometimes just getting out of the house and actually creating, without the fear you may be doing something wrong or that today is just not the day for it.

Over the summer we would like to invite you to a group just like this one. In here we will offer inspiration, share content that will practically support you, set weekly challenges ( all are optional but should help you to creatively grow) and be there as a community of likeminded people who also love photography. 

If you would like to join us, follow he link here and sign up for a summer of photography!

We'd love to have you there! 

 

2017-09-28_0015.jpg

Nancy - A child's lesson in now

 

- Breathe 

- Listen

- Notice

- Slow down

 

Being a parent of three children, I know all too well how days can pass by in a flash and before you know it, the moment has gone. 

I sometimes look back and wish I'd have treasured certain times more, paid more attention, lived IN the moment more rather than being distracted by so many many things. 

but we're only human.

and change is constant and inevitable. 

When we take some time out with the kids to slow down, go for a walk, to breathe in the air, listen to their voices as the wind carries it away, notice the changes since last time you stopped... it's a grounding experience.

All those hours and days you have nurtured them and watched on as they grow, somehow make more sense when you are back between the trees and the earth. They have a way of stripping you right back to the start, leaving you feeling refreshed and giving you the chance to acknowledge them now, in front of you. 

Here is Nancy, it was only a short walk and a chat, with a little bit of quiet filming in between. 

but it was worth every second. 

Thank you Nancy! 

 

 

 

Leaving time to dream

How do we continue to keep our minds alive and well if we never allow it some peace? 

I'm sure we are as guilty of it as you are - if I get a quick minute to myself before the school pickup, before a fringe trim, while i'm waiting for James, when Margot is safely tucked up in bed. I look through messages, checking if there's anywhere or anyone else that needs updating. Scrolling in a mindless way, quietening down a tiny bit of the busy day. Or so it feels. 

I've started to wonder if our minds really are relaxing in this way. If absorbing all this extra information is really doing us any good? Because if I really concentrate on what i'm doing, I realise I feel a little more agitated and unfulfilled whilst at the same time feeling disengaged with my actual life. 

Every now and again we'll realise what we are doing and consciously try to stop. We start tutting at strangers we don't know in cafe's, sat together, idly scrolling. 

What if we didn't do that for an hour, a day or a week? what do you think could happen if we used those minutes of mind filling to dream. To sit quietly and watch the world go by, to notice the person sat next to us, to imagine a different way of being. 

Maybe in that time, our minds would remember what it was like to be a little bit empty, bored even, now wouldn't that be a strange concept? I know we already say this to the kids!

If we had half an hour to allow our minds to wander, to seek peaceful spaces, perhaps something really wonderful could happen. 

We could feel calmer and more ready to enjoy the moment. We could see that the person sat next to us needs a bit of help. We could make changes in a bigger way than while our minds were constantly entertained. 

Wouldn't that be a thing? 

Could be worth a try.