I love writing this blog, but there’s no denying it often completely frustrates me.
I have tons of ideas for things I want to write about all the time, but only about half, maybe a third, ever make it up onto the actual blog. At any given time I have endless half-written posts sitting in drafts, waiting for that magic something before they’re completed and published.
And the magic something? Always a photograph.
I rarely have a problem writing – well, it’s what I’ve done for a living for the past 13 years or so – so if I have a spare five minutes and a bit of inspiration, I can bash a post out. (Though bashing is sometimes very much the operative word and I certainly don’t want to imply that I don’t go through spells, weeks sometimes, where I think everything I’ve written is a load of old twaddle. But, on the whole, I don’t find it a strain to write a blog post. Of course I don’t, I wouldn’t have a blog otherwise…)
But the photographs! God I find it hard to take a good photo! Especially when it comes to photographing all my craft paraphernalia.
I have a million excuses: all the crazy old wallpaper in every room of our house makes it hard to find a normal backdrop, it’s very hard photographing anything with the sproglet around as he tries to grab the camera the minute I get it out, there’s no decent light in the house… All these are true, but fundamentally the problem is that I’m not a very good photographer.
I’ve written about this before and it’s true to say I’ve definitely seen big improvements in my photography since I started this blog, but yesterday, I took the bull by the horns and spent the day at the Make Light Photography for Bloggers workshop run by Emily Quinton.
Emily is one of those amazingly inspiring people who somehow manages to juggle things that most of us would take about four lifetimes to complete. She’s got four children, runs photography workshops, writes a blog the Startup wife and has the most mind-blowing Instagram feed I’ve ever seen on top of all that.
She was also super lovely, helpful and reassuring.
I picked up lots of tips across the course of the day, both technical and creative, to help with editing, styling and the way to approach photographs.
But there was one thing Emily said that really, really resonated with me and which will – I hope – change the way I go about taking photos for this blog.
She talked about how your photography should have a recognisable style. That people should be able to look at your photos and think “Oh, that’s a photo by so-and-so.”
And, you know though it sounds odd to say this, I had never thought of that before!
I think quite a lot about what style I want to aim for with my writing on this blog, what sort of projects I want to include, what sort of overall blog I want to produce, but it had somehow never, ever occurred to me to think about what style my photos should have (nor that this should match everything else)…
Because I still find it hard to simply take a “good” photo, if I do get one, I will certainly, definitely use it, irrespective of the style.
But from now on, my dear readers, there shall be an end to that! I’m going to spend the next few weeks thinking about what sort of photographs I like, looking for inspiration in all places I can find it, and hopefully, slowly, starting to try and develop my own style as I photograph various projects and bits and pieces.
You’ll have to let me know how it’s going!
So, many thanks, Emily, for a hugely inspiring day. And if there are any other bloggers out there reading this in the London area who are looking to improve their photographs, I strongly recommend the workshop…
P.S. All the photos in this post are ones I took on the day. I was trying to focus on photographing crafty things (since that what I find the most problems with, usually) but inevitably I got a bit distracted by the beautiful dahlia and the amazing light bulbs…
- I’ve started to edit one of my Pinterest boards to include lots of wonderful photos in the sort of style I love, if you’re interested, take a look at Great product photos
- Despite my constant grinching on about my bad photographs, there are a few posts with pictures I’ve been really proud of: Peckham Rye Park, my old Hong Kong photos, some from a trip to Brighton and this random one of some chisels (!)