Ollie Quinn / lifestyle photography

For a few years now both James and I have taken it in turns every other year to choose a new pair of glasses. It became a bit of a long standing argument/joke at the start of this year as to who’s turn it was.. I know, kind of ridiculous but it kept us entertained! We were steadfast and convinced that it was each, our turn.

Eventually we were called by the optician to have our eyes tested and the game was over.. seemed James was the last to pick up a new pair, YES, my turn!

I guess if you’re a glasses wearer you can understand how important it can be to get the right pair, they can be expensive and kind of have to go with everything for a few years. Often i’ll fall out with them after a year and spend the last year not really liking them much.

In the spring someone recommended us to Ollie Quinn, and we were excited to be able to go along to one of their stores in leeds. Not only are they handcrafted but they house locally cut lenses and feature thoughtfully sourced materials. They were also around £105 including standard lenses and with coatings! Perfect.

Honestly, the whole experience was great! A calm, well thought out space with lots to try on and great light to really see what you were looking at. There are a range of great colour ways along with some up to date and more classic styles of frames. The staff are also cool, calm and knowledgeable without being pushy sales types. Neither of us are great with those!

I think I found my frames in around 5 minutes and after having measurements taken, my new glasses were ordered for around half the price I was used to paying with designer glasses, with a much more comfortable experience. Just to make things even better I was told that I would receive a message to say they were ready within two weeks and 3 days later they were in the store ready!

The extra bonus of course was that James could get his too.. at the same time. The long standing argument has had a stop put to it!

We’re now both very proud and happy owners of some Ollie Quinn frames.

*This isn’t an affiliated or paid post… we just had to share them with you!

Creating sets of images for instagram that work together / photography learning

Creating a space online where our work can really showcase what we are all about and how we work, has been quite a work in progress since last year. Before instagram, most of our work was uploaded to our website in blog form or added to our galleries. We often used facebook to share wedding and family photographs too but there was something quite special about the instagram community that drew us in a few years ago.

But it’s not as easy as it looks…Instagram requires a little more continuity and format. It doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot more varied images, but these are usually best kept for your wider portfolio.

I’m sure there’s many of you out there who still just don’t know how to create the kind of feed that show your work off to it’s best and tell a little of your story as you go along. So we figured we’d share how we do it step by step so that you can try it for yourself.

Planoly has been our go-to for around 2 years and really helps us put sets of images that work well together. Of course we don’t shoot everything all in one go and often images are taken in different seasons, different lighting and this can really make it tricky to create a feed for instagram that draws your audience in.

Here’s some ideas to help you create images that will work together and how we use planoly to put them together.

1- When taking photographs, try to think of which colours most represent the ‘feel’ you want for you and your work. It really helps to stick to a base colour palette or tone, perhaps using the same background for every 6th photo and work along with that colour when you’re shooting other things.

2- Choose 6-8 images that you like to take regularly. It may be a scene in your window, or of a doorway, table, food, a product in the same place, use a pattern of the type of images you like to take and make a note of them. Practice taking these photographs in different ways and keeping them in a folder on your phone.

3- Use an app such as Planoly, or UNUM to help you to arrange your images. Drop a selection of images into the app and see how they look.

4- It may not look right to begin with and the more you practice putting them together, the more it will start to become natural to you. Adding the images you have taken into an app such as these will allow you to move them around until you feel they are right. Practice practice. It’s all about they way your eyes run over the images, if you have a group of light images together and then a set of dark following, maybe try to mix them in a little and see how they look. If you have a range of colours that just don’t sit right together, try moving those to the top of your planoly grid until there’s a time for them to fit in.

5- Try not to forget instagram is a way to build up a community, it’s ok to be individual and not follow the trends! Be yourself and create images that have a flow to them, your flow. Enjoy the process! People want to see you and what you have to say in your own unique way. Using these tools just helps to bring a bit of order to the things you want to share with people.

Here’s a look at how we arrange some of our work into Planoly

This is how our feed looks once we have put it all together in Planoly, but it’s not what it starts out like.

This is how our feed looks once we have put it all together in Planoly, but it’s not what it starts out like.

 
Here is what our feed would look like if we put all the images in and didn’t arrange them. We still do try to shoot things with a similar tone, use the same editing preset and have a pattern to the kind of images we shoot. You may notice that there are similar images next to each other which will need to be moved.

Here is what our feed would look like if we put all the images in and didn’t arrange them. We still do try to shoot things with a similar tone, use the same editing preset and have a pattern to the kind of images we shoot. You may notice that there are similar images next to each other which will need to be moved.

 
Here are some images that we have uploaded recently but have not been rearranged. Overtime we will arrange these as new images will be added and may take more prevalence over ones we have already added.

Here are some images that we have uploaded recently but have not been rearranged. Overtime we will arrange these as new images will be added and may take more prevalence over ones we have already added.

 
This shows the upcoming ARRANGED images. Images that have been posted to instagram have the little insta logo and the ‘U’ stands for images that have been put in place but are UNSCHEDULED.

This shows the upcoming ARRANGED images. Images that have been posted to instagram have the little insta logo and the ‘U’ stands for images that have been put in place but are UNSCHEDULED.

 

Working with a planning grid isn’t about making your work like everyone else’s, it’s more about creating a format that people are used to seeing things in. Our brains are naturally drawn to things that make sense and this way of working really helps in those few seconds while people are scrolling away. You may only have a short space of time for someone to know what it is you do, it’s always worth trying to show them the best version you can!

Being a new parent / family photography

Just look at those toes! I don’t know one person who can resist tiny baby toes, they are the best!

We’ve known Hannah for quite awhile now so was such a pleasure to visit their little family and take these photographs. It really doesn’t matter if you have done the parent thing before and you are kind of ready for a new baby, or are on a brand new journey of parenting. Holding your own tiny one is blooming magical.

Here are some of the photographs we took for Chris and Hannah of Ella.

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Working with what you have - It could be a good thing / Photography learning

When you’re starting out as a photographer there’s such a pull towards getting more and more gear. Finding the right camera for the job (that’s if you even know which kind of work you want to shoot) and also which lens/bag/flash/tripod.. and the list goes on and on.

In our courses we’re often asked to recommend certain camera systems, help to work out which lenses and so on. If we can help at all. we always will, there will no doubt be a perfect set up for you out there.. but you have to start somewhere.

I wrote in a previous post about being limited. How narrowing down choices can really help you to ‘Master’ something. Maybe these days we have too much choice available to us and it might just be confusing us and taking up too much of our valuable ‘mastering’ time.

What we’re saying here is - how about you find a camera and/or a lens you can afford, go for the best you can possibly manage and work with it for the next 2 years. Really get to know it inside and out, push all of it’s boundaries and your own. Move with it, stay still, shoot people, shoot still lives, shoot movement, come close, move away.. but ALL with this same kit.

Become a specialist within these limits, learn more about yourself as a photographer and spend a little more time watching, learning, and listening. Find the things that make you tick, and that make others have fire in their belly’s and follow those stories within your limits.

You will know when you have spent enough time within them as you will have broken free from those initial limitations and found your own voice, you will have come so far that you will have pushed through those boundaries to make new creations, things people have never seen or felt before.

So the next time you wonder if you really do need that 35mm lens, or to change systems.. ask yourself.. are you already pushing the limitations of the things you already have surrounding you?

If the answer is no. Stick with it. Stay with it. Wait with it. Run with it.

You will find a way to use your limits. Bend them, shake them, move them.. just don’t give up.

Acorn and Pip / Lifestyle photography

We met Lucy and Tim from Acorn and pip a few months ago now. After following them on instagram and realising their beautiful shop was only 20 minutes from home we figured we ought to go and have a little look. If you’ve seen them online or insta you will know just how beautiful their shop is and their whole branding aesthetic is right up our street too.

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Ingolstadt

Our family went on it’s travels this past weekend to Ingolstadt for my brothers wedding. It’s a beautiful space a great place to take the children, who loved it and also broke Jo and me. In all honestly I’m putting some of the images out there because I’ve wanted to travel more with photography for a while now, so this is us making a start. It wasn’t that easiest to take the images that I wanted with the children in towe, but then on reflection I’ve learnt that I just need to make more time for it. #everydayisalearningday

I’m now going to search the internet for travel photographers that I can connect with, if you have some favourites then send them our way.