PHOTOGRAPHY – Little Paper Swans http://www.littlepaperswans.com Digital Content Creator & Blogger Tue, 19 May 2020 13:13:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cropped-LPS-2-32x32.png PHOTOGRAPHY – Little Paper Swans http://www.littlepaperswans.com 32 32 134976444 3 ways to get Creative with your photography http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/05/3-ways-to-get-creative-with-your-photography?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-ways-to-get-creative-with-your-photography http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/05/3-ways-to-get-creative-with-your-photography#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 13:12:04 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5705 Being able to create “creative” photographs doesn’t mean you have to be a photoshop wizard, or have the most amazing props. Quite often imagination counts for far more. I’ve got three ways to encourage a little bit of playful photography. Don’t think they have to be perfect, they don’t ever …

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Being able to create “creative” photographs doesn’t mean you have to be a photoshop wizard, or have the most amazing props. Quite often imagination counts for far more. I’ve got three ways to encourage a little bit of playful photography. Don’t think they have to be perfect, they don’t ever have to been seen by anyone but if you don’t try it you’ll never know.

I’ve also created some “Creativity Cards”. It’s a free print out when you sign up to my mailing list #thecreativemonth (existing members will have received theirs already). Just print them out, cut them out and get creative. You can find the link below. Meanwhile here are some creative ideas to get you started. 

flowers make great props

It’s so true. I am a bit of a flower addict and would buy myself a bunch each week, but recently I’ve been making the most of what we have growing around us.

Daisies and dandelions can be found in the grass on the pavement and make for wonderful props.

photo ideas:

Arrange flowers to make different shapes. Rainbows, big flowers, tea cups. The possibilities are endless.

Play with perspective. Flowers make great “skirts, hats and dresses”.

Use flowers as the background. From blossom to wisteria, make the most of the block of colour.

pics art creative photograph of blossom and butterflies

doodles & art

It’s amazing how a doodle or “sticker” can take your photo from something simple, to something extraordinary. You can use apps or png files on photoshop.

photo ideas:

Add rainbows and lens flares.

Add butterflies They can make a photo look so magical.

Add flowers to make it look like they are growing around you.

Add doodles and lines

get creative with backgrounds

You really don’t need to worry about finding specific locations of buying things to use as backgrounds. Sometimes you have everything you need at home with you. Sometimes looking up or down can help too. Think outside of the box, don’t think of the obvious!

photo ideas:

The sky makes for a perfect blue background, the same goes for green grass too!

Tape book pages to the wall with washi tape (remove carefully).

Use different coloured bed sheets and create scenes holding the camera above.

Sheets hanging on the line look amazing as backgrounds.

I hope that’s got you thinking of some creative ideas and if not why not download my Creativity Cards for free to help! You can get them by clicking here.

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Camera & Equipment Guide http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/05/camera-equipment-guide?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=camera-equipment-guide http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/05/camera-equipment-guide#respond Sun, 10 May 2020 14:57:51 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5638 This post contains affiliate links. It’s no extra for you, but it means I might make a few pennies (literally pennies) if you click through and purchase. First of all let me begin by saying none of my equipment is 100% essential to be a digital content creator. Imagination, creative …

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This post contains affiliate links. It’s no extra for you, but it means I might make a few pennies (literally pennies) if you click through and purchase.

First of all let me begin by saying none of my equipment is 100% essential to be a digital content creator. Imagination, creative flair and working hard will pay off far more than a fancy camera, but as I get asked a lot about camera’s I thought I would share my camera history and a few pieces of advice on when it comes to making an investment in to your photography.

So I had so many little compact camera’s before I invested. I used a Fujifilm, really basic, battery eating compacts and it wasn’t until I went to Sixthform where I studied photography that I had used a DSLR.

In Sixthform the school had 2 Nikon D200 cameras that we could use. This is where my love affair with Nikon started. I loved how simple it felt to use and I was so impressed with the quality of the photographs. Back then I wanted to be a fashion photographer. The next Rankin or Bailey. I loved how I could hook the camera up to the professional lights and shoot away. I loved every second of it.

Holding Nikon D200 camera up to her face with a bunch of bluebells. Wearing light pink top against a blush pink fence.

I dropped out of sixthform after my first year, my Dad has passed away and I wanted a fresh start, somewhere where I wouldn’t have to deal with peoples sympathy. I went to college and studied a Foundation course in Art & Design. It was nothing like what I wanted to do and I didn’t show up for lessons because it wasn’t my passion. It was a lot of drawing people naked!!! However during this time. I started working and saving up money towards a camera. I wanted the same one I had used at Sixthform. It wasn’t the latest camera by any means but I knew how it worked. I found one on eBay with a standard kit lens (18-55mm) and fell in love. I used to take a lot of self portraits and began shooting families and weddings. Previously I had photographed weddings on a point and shoot. The guests had better cameras than I did haha!

Eventually I purchased a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G Lens – 50 mm it helped my photography progress and created a beautiful depth of field. My photography got better. Although I was still shooting in Auto (eeeek!).

I then dabbled into the world of Canon. In 2016 I bought a Canon E0S 600D from fellow blogger Rosie. I wanted to be able to shoot videos and this offered that function. I used this camera with a Canon EF 50mm 1.8 Lens. It took great photos and I loved that you saw a preview on your screen after shooting. I shot weddings on it too. It was small but mighty. It’s a great little camera. By now I had learnt about shooting in Manual (after my two years of uni, before dropping out, sense a theme here?hahah). It was great but I had officially turned self employed and I wanted to up my game for weddings. Most venues had awful low light and I knew I need a full framed DSLR to get the best for my photography.

In November 2016 I made the biggest purchase of my life (and still is to date) A Nikon D750. Oh my goodness. She’s a beauty. Deals with low light fantastically!! And I love her haha! I also splashed out on an Art lens. A Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Lens for Nikon. An eyewatering amount. But it was for my business and oh boy was it a game changer. And I haven’t thought about upgrading since. I’m super happy with my camera and lens right now and they serve me well!

As for the rest of my equipment. I use my phone as a remote shutter, using my cameras wifi. I use the most basic tripod you can think of! It’s similar to this one here (apart from mine is 10 years old!)

My advice for anyone who wants to learn how to use a camera properly and learn the art of photography? By second hand. Get yourself one of the cameras I have mentioned. Get yourself off Auto. Learn how to control your camera before you jump in and make a huge purchase. There is no point having the worlds best camera if you can’t work it to it’s true potential.

Like I said it’s not entirely necessary to have great equipment if you use Instagram for fun or small campaigns. But if you want to be shooting for brands exclusively, most require super high quality images which you will need a DSLR for. I’m always happy to talk camera’s if you need some advice. Drop me a DM. But my biggest piece of advice and always will be what my Sixthform photography teacher said:

“Artists have sketch books full of skies, learning, practising. As photographers we need to do the same. Take endless photographs, learn how to use things, keep practising. It’s an art.”

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Creative Maternity Photography Ideas http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/04/creative-maternity-photography-ideas?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creative-maternity-photography-ideas http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/04/creative-maternity-photography-ideas#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 14:57:00 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5448 I have to admit, I loved being pregnant. I loved my big bumps and I took every opportunity to document my ever expanding bump. Some people however don’t love being pregnant and they don’t want to take millions of photos. I totally get that, but I would 100% say take …

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I have to admit, I loved being pregnant. I loved my big bumps and I took every opportunity to document my ever expanding bump. Some people however don’t love being pregnant and they don’t want to take millions of photos. I totally get that, but I would 100% say take photos. Although 9 months can seem like an awful long time it’s flies by and one day you’ll look back on those days. Without photos, without documenting there’s not much to look back on.

You might not want to get super creative you may just take a few selfies but please do it! And if you do want to get a little creative, well I’ve put together this blog post with a few ideas on how to capture that ever-growing bump!

Bumps in Water

I don’t know why but I just find milk bath photos so beautiful and with a beautiful bump. Well it’s even better! Get someone to help you. Fill the bath tub with water (and a 6pint of milk) get it (slowly) and place flowers all around. Then get your helpful assistant to snap away. So beautiful.

Bumps & Blooms

Because everything is better with blooms right? They make a great prop against your beautiful bump and you can pick them up quite cheaply in supermarkets. Get creative and use one flower balanced on your bump, or cradle your bump with one hand and hold the flowers with the other. Bumps and flowers are just meant to be!!!

Bare All (well ish)

I didn’t take photos like this with Edith and I’m so glad I did the second time around with Norah. It makes you appreciate just how incredible your body is. Growing that beautiful baby. Grab some matching undies and a dressing gown and put your camera on self timer. These photos don’t need to be published anywhere if you don’t want but you’ll be grateful you took them.

Seasonal

Make the most of what’s around you. Christmas trees in the background make for great bokeh (blurry lights). Be playful with pumpkins or find blossom. Use what’s around you at the time to remember those months you were carrying.

Sibling Love

And of course, my favourite. Get siblings involved. Whether that’s a toddler resting on your bump, close ups of bumps used as a mountain or your little one cuddling your even littler one. It’s just lovely to get siblings involved.

I hope that gives you a little bot of bump photo inspiration, it’s not helped my broodiness at all haha! I have a Pinterest board full of beautiful bump shots if you need more inspiration.

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#creativefrominside – Finding creativity http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/03/creativefrominside-finding-creativity?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creativefrominside-finding-creativity http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/03/creativefrominside-finding-creativity#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2020 20:16:50 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5560 You would have to living in a deep dark hole to not be aware of what’s currently going on in the world. Social media is a wonderful tool but it can be overwhelming in a time like this. So with the #springhashtagchallenge not looking likely to go ahead I thought …

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You would have to living in a deep dark hole to not be aware of what’s currently going on in the world. Social media is a wonderful tool but it can be overwhelming in a time like this. So with the #springhashtagchallenge not looking likely to go ahead I thought that I would bring you #creativefrominside . A mini challenge to keep us creative. To keep our minds busy in times of social distancing and isolation.

Photography is my passion. If I was a painter I would paint in times like this, a writer, I would write but I’m a photographer. And getting creative is such an escape. So with all this in mind the challenge will start on Monday the 23rd of March for 5 days. 5 prompts and hopefully a wonderful community coming together. A way to find light through such a dark time.

The prompts can be found above. The idea is everything can be taken inside. You can find beautiful moments in the everyday. Everyday creativity is there if you look. I thought I would put together a little moodpboard for each prompt to hopefully give you some creative ideas.

Monday 23rd March – Home is a cup of tea. Hopefully something we all have access to and if not you could use an empty mug, a toy cup etc. It doesn’t have to be literal at all. You can definitely think outside the box. You could create a beautiful flatly, or a self portrait. Other drinks will be allowed haha you’re not just restricted to tea!

Tuesday 24th March – Blooms from outside. You could take this literally, bringing flowers in. Our camellia has just bloomed in the front garden and even the weeds in the back garden can be pretty. Or get creative and make some flowers out of paper. Or use apps like PicsArt to add flowers on. With Spring finally making an appearance a nod to it had to be included!

Wednesday 25th March – What brings you joy. Share your favourite things. It could be photos of your babies, chocolate, books, those quiet moments. Anything that makes you happy.

Thursday 26th March – Get Crafty. Photograph your makes, your children’s creations. Or make props for the photo. You could bake something too!

Friday 27th March – In my hands. Hands tell stories and with the emphasis on hand hygiene I couldn’t not include them! Think outside the box. Close ups with flatlays, holding props, books, babies etc.

It would be wonderful if you could join in, there’s no pressure to join in each day but as and when you can. Let’s find some postivity in the world.

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Simple Creative Newborn Photography http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/01/simple-creative-newborn-photography?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=simple-creative-newborn-photography http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2020/01/simple-creative-newborn-photography#respond Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:04:21 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5351 When I was pregnant with Norah I made myself a Pinterest board of photos I wanted to take of her when she was born. The reason behind this? Because I knew that once she was here my brain would feel like mush and getting creative would be the very last …

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When I was pregnant with Norah I made myself a Pinterest board of photos I wanted to take of her when she was born. The reason behind this? Because I knew that once she was here my brain would feel like mush and getting creative would be the very last thing to think about but I knew I wanted to document those tiny baby moments because we all know they fly by so quickly. So I thought it might be helpful to share a few ideas of creative newborn photos. All of them are simple and require very little brain power which after having a baby is excellent but it will provide you with gorgeous memories to look back on! So here we go!

Hold Them

We tend to think that we should have the babies laying down to photograph them but more often than not they’re not to happy about that! So embrace their need for comfort and hold them! If you don’t want to be “in” the photo wear light/white clothes and blend in with the background. You could hold them out and then crop yourself out of the photo like below. Or embrace the cuddle and get Dad’s involved. That little bit of beard and the sweet cuddle of Norah in his arms.

Creative Angles

Play with angles. Taking a photo from above with your baby resting on your legs. Or from the side. It doesn’t have to be a straight shot. I love how Norah is resting in my legs not only does it make for an interesting composition but it shows just how small she was at the time. The fact she could fit in that space.

Close Ups – Capture the Detail

There is nothing more intimate and beautiful as close ups newborns. The tiny fuzz on their ears, the rolls of chub. Lay them on you and capture with your phone. You could use blankets and muslins as a pretty backgrounds. Capture those moments of feeding or those bendy froggy legs (she still does this with her feet sometimes at almost 2!) Those tiny details make for such gorgeous memories and such gorgeous photos!

Props

Lets face it, there is nothing cuter than oversized bows and hats! And baskets make for wonderful photos too. There only small once and very soon they won’t let you so go ahead! Play with angles, Norah in the basket on the rug made the background more exciting than our old carpet! Flowers are a great one too! Lay them around the baby, hold and bunch while cuddling them. Experiment with what looks good!

The most important tip I would say is don’t stress yourself out of taking nice photographs, enjoy those moments with your baby! If they’re not feeling it, try again later that day!

I hope this post has give you some ideas you can find more creative photographs on my Instagram feed by clicking here.

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The Creative Month – November http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/11/the-creative-month-november?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-creative-month-november http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/11/the-creative-month-november#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:08:12 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5294 Can you believe we are entering the penultimate month of the year! From next month’s #thecreativemonth it will be all things festive. So lets make the most of the last month of Autumn! We had the most amazing #autumnhashtagchallenge. So many creative and wonderful entries. You guys have blown me …

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Can you believe we are entering the penultimate month of the year! From next month’s #thecreativemonth it will be all things festive. So lets make the most of the last month of Autumn!

We had the most amazing #autumnhashtagchallenge. So many creative and wonderful entries. You guys have blown me away with your talent. You have also decided we need something before the #xmashashtagchallenge so there will be a #novemberhashtagchallenge at some point towards the end of November. It will probably be a 5 day challenge. It will be a great way to get creative. 

This month’s presets as named by you guys are Autumn Blush, Spiced Latte and Fall In Love. There’s a brand new feature this month with a guest post from a creative which is super exciting!

As always if you enjoy this months #thecreativemonth, sharing means the world, it will enable more people to join in with what has become such an amazing community! Anyway let’s get stuck in….

Hashtags to use this month:

#seasonalstyleseries – From @life.simply.styled @pretty_boho @mamaandpea @stacefacexo A hashtag to share seasonal styles. Outfits, flatly, stack lays, selfies etc. 

#reluctantautumnembrace – From @katiemorwenna – For those who aren’t quite as passionate about autumn as everyone else on Instagram. Finding moments of Autumn beauty that have lured you in. 

#atthekidstable – A fun photo challenge with weekly themes. Run by @marharmother

#cultivatewithme  – A hashtag from @Caroline_carter4 an opportunity ti share how you are flourishing and growing through the seasons. 


Don’t forget about these ones either! 

#ourchildhoodautumn Move over summer it’s all about autumn now! Use the hashtag in exactly the same way. Share your beautiful photos. Days out, simple seasonal moments. 
#thecreativemonth – Share your photographs from the prompts in this email! 

#instantmagicinsta  My own personal little project. Taking it back to the old days where we all used our phone all of the time and snapped and posted without worrying about algorithms. All of this week I’m using this hashtag and being a bit more spontaneous. If you want to join in you can find all the info you need here.

(If you have a hashtag you’ve created, I would love to hear. I’ll share my favourites each month!)

Instagram Inspiration

This month I’ve been hugely inspired by the following accounts. You can definitely see why as their photographs are just beautiful!

@a.b.and.me – Megan’s creative game right now is on fire! Playing around with doodles, drawing and textures. So inspiring!

@thisseasonalstory –  Jules from @thisisjules set up another account solely to post pretty photos. Whatever she wanted to post without fear of “good engagement”. And boy o boy does she have an eye for pretty! 

@peoniesandfallenleaves A new find for me but I love the mix of content! And her pumpkin photo from the #autumnhashtagchallenge has to be one of my all time favourites! 

Guest Feature – Amazing Stories

Something new for this month! Each month I’m going to ask someone who is killing it creatively in some way and ask them to give us a few tips and advice! This month I ask Nikki. Not only does she have the prettiest grid but her Instagram Stories are amazing! I asked her to share her secrets! 

Username:@nikki.plus.two

About me: Hi! I’m Nikki, 29 year old mama of two. I live all the way up north in Newcastle with my two boys (Isaac & Rory), my fiancé Craig and our dog, Gus.

How do I create my stories: I pretty much do them all within the app using the Instagram stories brush and about a million GIFs!  I occasionally use templates from Unfold, but rarely these days. I usually open a photo I’ve already taken so that I can shrink it, fill the screen with a colour and use the eraser to make a shape around the picture (I hope that makes sense). Then I just use GIFs and the paintbrush to create pretty patterns etc.

How do I find GIFs to use: I honestly just use the search bar and enter whatever word seems the closest to what I have in my head. Some of my most used GIFs I’ve come across by chance through searching things like “squiggle”, “scribble” or “doodle”. Sometimes I’ll keep them relevant to the picture of text, so if I’m complaining about being tired (always) then I’ll search “coffee” or “zzz”.

What inspired you to create these stories: I think for me, it’s a quicker way to be a little bit creative. I don’t always have as much time as I’d like to take beautiful grid photos (total respect to Cathryn who somehow manages it regularly with two little ones!!) so it’s a nice way to share snippets of my day, but still make them look pretty!

I hope you feel inspired by Nikki’s gorgeous stories! Make sure you head over and follow her if you don’t already and tag her in your stories if you give it a try!!

Photography Prompts

So part of #thecreativemonth is sharing five prompts. If you’re stuck for what to photograph and you need little inspiration then look no further. I would love you to use #thecreativemonth on your posts and next month I will share my favourites in this email and on my blog. This month’s prompts are:

Sparkle –   With Bonfire Night just around the corner it’s the perfect excuse!
 

Look Up – Capture those last leaves hanging on the trees.
 

First Light-  As the mornings stay darker for longer capture that first light!

Thankful –   November marks Thanksgiving so why not capture something your thankful for! 

Frost –  Those fresh, crisp cold frosty mornings. 

Words of Advice: When You Feel Like You’ve Lost “it”.

It happens to us all. That creative burnout. That “am I doing things right”. That feeling of failure. When you job is being creative and it all rides on that it can be hard. Last month I found myself getting very caught up on things I shouldn’t. Worrying if I was “relatable enough”. (When I say worry it wasn’t keeping me up at night) but it made me doubt what I do. And you know what, that had a knock on effect. So the last few weeks I’ve gone back to “me”. Getting creative, pushing my comfort zone and remembering what I love doing. You see the more you get caught up on others the harder it is for you to focus on you. 

So I decided to focus on me. I went back to what always makes me feel inspired. Podcasts. I listened to my favourites and in particular the podcast from Sara Tasker of Me & Orla. Her episode on when you feel like your failing was the perfect timing. It really helped clarify things for me. I would totally recommend a listen. And her book. Okay everything! I’m a total fangirl!!

So instead of scrolling. I went looking. 

I got outside. Walking through the cemetery. It might sound morbid but it’s quiet, full of golden leaves and autumn treasure. And that freedom to breathe. I felt inspired, came up with ideas it really helped me to reconnect back to what I had set out to do. I’m not here to be relatable. I’m here to create and to help others create. 

I went to Pinterest. Starting looking for ideas, brainstorming getting inspired. 

I sat down and wrote things out. I muted accounts that didn’t serve me. Accounts that made me doubt what I was doing, that made me doubt my path. It helped. And now I feel back to my creative self. We all have burnout. We all have self doubt. Don’t let that consume you.

Stop. Don’t just carry on. Look at what you’re doing and what you want to be doing.  Find yourself again and pick yourself back up!  

And that’s all for this month. Let me know if you enjoyed this month. If you haven’t already you can subscribe to my email newsletter that contains the full edition, with exclusive subscriber benefits by clicking here! I’ll be back in your inbox on the 1st of December!

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Creating Photography Backgrounds http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/11/creating-photography-backgrounds?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creating-photography-backgrounds http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/11/creating-photography-backgrounds#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2019 12:35:33 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5278 Now if there is something I like when it comes to creative photography, it’s a good background! And although I love a coloured wall (read all about that here) sometimes I want to stay at home and make the most of the walls I have right here. So I thought …

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This blog post contains images that were used for #AD’s & #Gifted items. All opinions are my own.

Now if there is something I like when it comes to creative photography, it’s a good background! And although I love a coloured wall (read all about that here) sometimes I want to stay at home and make the most of the walls I have right here. So I thought I would put together a little guide on how I do that and some lovely person on Instagram asked me to (sorry if that was you! I’ve completely forgotten who it was?)

First things first you’re going to need some washi tape or masking tape. Or both! This will mean you can stick things to your walls without damaging them! You will need to be super careful when you do remove them as if you pull off too quickly that might cause damage. I get my washi tape from cheap shops (i.e Poundland, Home Bargains etc). Masking tape is cheap enough to pick up from anywhere! I’m always in need of more as my girls love to play with my tape!

Get Wordy

One of my favourite props to use for backgrounds is pages. If you’re a book lover look away now! But I go to charity shops and buy their 20p books and then carefully tear out the pages! I keep re-using the pages for as long as possible and then recycle them once they get too tatty. They are great for places sporadically on the wall or creating a whole wall full of pages! I sometimes pair them with flowers or other props depending on the kind of photos I want to take!

I stick the pages on the wall using washi tape if I want it to been seen. The gold tape looks great against the book pages. And then masking tape if I don’t want it to be seen. Sometimes I photoshop out the tape marks, most of the time I like to leave them in.

You can also get creative with the angles you use. I put my legs up in the air in the photo above to create a bit of an illusion. You can get as creative as you like! The Women’s Slippers in the image were gifted from the lovely Celtic & Co. I’m a little bit in love with them!

Get Crafty

I quite often think that my job is very much that of an Art Attack presenter! I seem to forever be cutting out shapes to stick on the wall. I have cut out hearts, leaves, stars, Christmas lights and even glittery bats! You just need some coloured card or paper and a few templates. I use cookie cutters or print off a template to trace around. I then cut out the shapes I need. I then use the tape to fold over to make it sticky on both sides and stick to the wall. That way you don’t see any of the tape!

Get nature

Flowers on the wall (#myflowersonthewall) are always pretty! You could use seasonal flowers or whatever you an get your hands on! Gathering things on a walk is also lovely. You could string up a load of pinecones to hang on to the walls or find the prettiest leaves to tape up! I find that when it comes to things like this your best to stick them on randomly rather than in an order. It can be hard to get them right so if it’s random it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect.

Get Creative

Think outside the box. In the image above I used five of my mum’s scarfs taped to the wall. It made such a lovely backdrop. You could use shower curtains or pieces of material. There are endless possibilities!

I hope that gives you a little bit of inspiration for your photographs? It’s just a case of experimenting and seeing what works for you! So are you going to give it a try?

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#InstantMagicInsta http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/09/instantmagicinsta?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=instantmagicinsta http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/09/instantmagicinsta#respond Wed, 25 Sep 2019 18:25:38 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5262 When you call yourself a content creator (as cringey as it may sound) your job is too create content. Okay I’ll stop pointing out the obvious but for me that means having content shot, edited and ready to post. That pretty much is my weekends at the moment, due to …

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When you call yourself a content creator (as cringey as it may sound) your job is too create content. Okay I’ll stop pointing out the obvious but for me that means having content shot, edited and ready to post. That pretty much is my weekends at the moment, due to no childcare in the week. Some weekends it’s a squeeze to fit it all in and this weekend coming is Edith’s Birthday celebrations so I have no time at all to shoot anything.

At first I felt a little bit panicked. I like to have everything ready in advance but I’ve decided to encourage the opportunity. I’m going to use the week to shoot what takes my fancy on the day. Making my Instagram more “Instant” again. Now I know a lot of you do that anyway so it might not be much different but for me being spontaneous and instant is not something I’m good at.

So I thought this little challenge would be great. Shooting on my phone instead of my camera, something that I used to do a lot more off. Editing on my phone and posting it live as soon as I can. Making #instantmagicinsta . Now I’m not expecting loads of people to join in because it’s a personal project but when I mentioned the idea on my stories earlier this week you guys seemed really interested!

The results of the study showed that primates, including humans, can produce an enzyme that could break down the exoskeletons of insects. This was sensational news because before it was believed that it is impossible for humans to produce this enzyme and consequently, to digest insects.

So here I am. Making my pledge with a blog post because once I put it out there there’s no going back. I have an AD going live Monday morning but after that nothing. So I’ll be joining in once a day from Monday 30th until Saturday 5th. I can’t tell you when because that’s the whole point haha! I’m excited for this little experiment and hopefully it will push me to be a little more creative too! If you’d like to join me use #instantmagicinsta and tag me, that way I can share!

Wish me luck!

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Creating & Planning Content http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/07/creating-planning-content?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creating-planning-content http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/07/creating-planning-content#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2019 12:27:35 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5193 One of the questions I often get asked is how do I keep coming up with ideas? And my answer is always “I’m just an ideas person”. And while that’s very true, it wouldn’t make a very good blog post would it? So I’ve decided to break it down and …

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One of the questions I often get asked is how do I keep coming up with ideas? And my answer is always “I’m just an ideas person”. And while that’s very true, it wouldn’t make a very good blog post would it? So I’ve decided to break it down and explain the process of how I plan and create content.

So first things first, it all depends on if the photograph is brand work or if it’s just for me. Quite often photographs that are just for me are ideas that have just come to me or things that I know will look nice. Things that please me. I’m always saving photos on Instagram and Pinterest and most of the time these help to spark ideas (I never copy directly, but if I’ve taken direct inspiration I will always credit the original poster!). I then use what’s around me, location (more on how to find pretty locations here), props etc and then give it a go! Sometimes it works and sometimes it really doesn’t! An outtake blog post needs to happen doesn’t it? 

And then there is brand work. Now most of the time the brands I work with have quite loose briefs and are happy to take my lead. These are my favourite kind of brands! I take all the elements from the brief, brainstorm some ideas, I then go on and on and talk about the idea to my husband until I’m happy with the concept. For example, some brands are specific about having the product in direct view so I come with a concept that includes that.  That’s where I go back to Pinterest and Instagram and find some inspiration. I quite often type a word relating to the idea, followed by “photography” and get some ideas that way! 

So once I have the content. I then plan it into my schedule. Now I know not everyone likes this way of posting and like to be free. But we all know that I am a perfectionist and a control freak so I like everything to be planned out a week in advance. This is also because I only get to shoot at the weekends mainly due to my husband being able to look after the girls. As my grid follows what’s called a “checkerboard” grid (ie light background then a coloured background etc) I have to slot in the photographs to make my grid work. 

I use an app to do this it’s called PLANN. I use the free version and it’s useful to get a good balance of colour and different photographs across my grid. In general I like to plan my grid on a Friday night so I know exactly the content I need to shoot over the weekend. I then put in placeholders. These will be photographs that are similar or screenshots I’ve taken just to get an idea of what my grid will look like.

As I photograph and edit my images I then replace the placeholders with my photos for the week. I usually like to have this done by Sunday evening so my images are ready for the week. Sometimes I end up photography, editing on the same day.  It just depends on our life and my workload at the time.

And that’s it. I don’t use any apps to post to Instagram because I am a firm believer that you need to post live and be active for a bit. I wrote a post about that before, which you can read here.

I’d love to hear your process or get in touch if you’ve got any questions around this!

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#thecreativemonth July http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/07/thecreativemonth-july?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thecreativemonth-july http://www.littlepaperswans.com/2019/07/thecreativemonth-july#respond Thu, 04 Jul 2019 18:27:47 +0000 http://www.littlepaperswans.com/?p=5162 It’s the 1st of the month which means two things. A brand new edition of #thecreativemonth and two… It’s the start of the #summerhashtagchallenge I’m so excited! I hope you’ll join in with us. This month’s #thecreativemonth is full of photography prompts and accounts to follow. As always if you …

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It’s the 1st of the month which means two things. A brand new edition of #thecreativemonth and two… It’s the start of the #summerhashtagchallenge I’m so excited! I hope you’ll join in with us.

This month’s #thecreativemonth is full of photography prompts and accounts to follow. As always if you enjoy this months post, sharing means the world, it will enable more people to join in with what has become such an amazing community! Anyway let’s get stuck in….

Hashtags to use this month!

#summerhashtagchallenge Started on Monday! You find all the info here. We would love you to join us! @littlepaperswan @edinburghwithkids

#mybeautifulstories @storisse meaningful moments in our day to day lives.

#happinessinmysquare @lifewiththebuxtons for sharing anything that brings a smile.

#morethanmummondays @midlandsmummy encouraging to post beyond motherhood and everything else we are instead.

#floralsandfriendships @all_four_of_us @lifethroughtheseasons love of florals and to build connections

#powerofpostpartum @youngmammaadventures celebrating our postpartum bodies, sharing our stories. 

#pastelsandme I have teamed up with the lovely @thebumblediaries to create a new hashtag to celebrate our love of pastels. Think pink walls, pastel balloons, beach huts anything that is pastel perfection! Join us.

Instagram Inspiration

This month I’ve been hugely inspired by the following accounts. You can definitely see why as their photographs are just beautiful!

@magiclittlesquares – Jenny’s account is full of creative goodness and she shares all of her edits and tricks. She’s super lovely too!

@alexismaymcmullin – Continuing my love affair with colour. Alexis makes me want to get even more colourful! I mean just look at her grid!

@nicolahuthwaite – Does it get more dreamy than Nicola’s account? She captures childhood so beautifully. 

So part of #thecreativemonth is sharing five prompts. If you’re stuck for what to photograph and you need little inspiration then look no further. I would love you to use #thecreativemonth on your posts and next month I will share my favourites in this email and on my blog. This month’s prompts are:

Photography Prompts

From my windowsill – I took this photograph from my windowsill. Using a sheer curtain on the window itself and the other over my head and over the camera. It made such a lovely effect! 

Tip toes – Capture those tiny toes or even your own feet. Add blooms to make the photo even prettier.

Bubbles –  Because there is something pretty magical about bubbles! Why not get creative and play with perspective. Put yourself in a bubble!

Find a rainbow – Find a rainbow of collected objects, rainbow foods, make your own by playing with light and water. Use photoshop to create your won rainbow.

Ice Cream Days –  Like you need any encouragement on this one! Ice cream days are every sunny day right?

Some of last months gorgeous photos from #thecreativemonth

Words of Advice: Gifted but never paid.

 Being a creative online now means you are so much more than ever before. When I started on Instagram it was about dodgy filters and sharing what you ate for your lunch. If you scroll back far enough on my account you can witness both of those sights. 

As advertising moved into a more digital age and being an “influencer” became a thing, Instagram changed. To be honest I don’t mind it. I love the fact there are so many people who may not have been able to work or go back to work who can now run their own business or support their family. Isn’t that amazing? 

But what’s not amazing is seeing hard working creatives being taken advantage of by brands, PR’s and businesses. In those early days. You say yes to everything. Because it’s exciting. I remember being sent chocolate and thinking I had made it. But it gets to the point where you realise that actually it’s hard work and as lovely as chocolate is. Chocolate won’t pay the rent. Chocolate won’t pay off that credit card and you deserve more than chocolate. You deserve cash in the bank for being so wonderful!

Now don’t get me wrong there have been campaigns I have worked on, even recently, where I have been gifted things. If it will fit into photographs I have already planned to take I’ll accept. If it’s a brand I really would love to work with, I’ll accept but the first thing I will do, before accepting? I ask this …

“Hi So & so,

This sounds like a fantastic opportunity and I love would love to work with you. Can I ask if you have a budget in mind for the content you would like me to create?

Thanks”

It’s a simple as that and they come back with a yes, a no or ask you to send over your media kit (something I’m going to talk about next month!). Then you can decided whether to go ahead or not. I will say, don’t feel pressured into taking something just because they promise future work. A lot of time that’s just a way to get you to work for free. The more we ask to be paid for our content the more the industry will recognise our hard work. So for the sake of everyone being paid and respected.

Ask to be paid!

For the full version of next months #thecreativemonth and for first access you can subscribe here. Emails land in your inbox on the 1st of the month with exclusive subscriber content (free presets, images etc)

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