88 - I Have This Thing With Glass Houses

Friday, July 29, 2016

@bbutterscotch / @littlegreenshed / @alfiesstudio / @thefuturekept
It's been a while since I last posted a round-up of #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses. Alas, I failed miserably at posting a monthly selection (which is what I would have liked to do) but there are some beauties for you to catch up with. I've started a Pinterest board of the images I select for these posts too, be sure to check it out here.

@squarehare / @tinykingdom_uk / @haarkon_ / @hannah.straughan
This (below) by @vesters_workshop is my very favourite today. It isn't traditional and maybe only loosely fits the stereotype of "glass house" but it feels like summer in Italy. With the rain pouring down outside, I think we all need a bit of that.

Join in the glass house goodness on Instagram - I'm looking for guest-post reviews as part of the "outdoors-in" series - know somewhere amazing you'd like to see featured? Tag me in to a picture on Instagram (@alfiesstudio) or get in touch here...

87 - Bluedot

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The project and design work wind down has begun. Today is my last "proper" day of work for six weeks and we are celebrating in style this weekend by heading off to our first summer holidays adventure at Bluedot festival.

With a stellar (pun intended) lineup (Public Service Broadcasting, Underworld, Air, Beth Orton, Caribou and Mercury Rev all on our must-see list with lots others we're looking forward to being introduced to...) and lots of family fun to be had we can't wait to be dancing under the stars and getting our space and science on.

Big acts aside, I'm quite looking forward to seeing the apparently world famous Nic Harrigan and his Titchy Tiny Science show, centred on Kevin, a little piece of dust with some big ideas. I'm quite sure small will love it as there's talk of rainbows I believe and I'm looking forward to seeing how a fellow South Bromsgrove High survivor is doing (it really is a small world, I was super surprised to see a "Nic Harrigan" mentioned on the press release and even more surprised to learn via the magic of google that it is the very same that I used to sometimes hide out in the library and talk music and CD's with in sixth form).

The best part, we've managed to keep it all a surprise from the littles. They have no idea they are going. As the boy dreams of becoming a spaceman one day and girl loves to dance I think it'll be a super start to six weeks of summer adventures!

We got our tickets the day they went on sale but I believe there are still some Tier 3 left... (click here for the Bluedot site)

Let's hope the dry weather sticks around for a weekend that's bound to be out of this world!

I'm done with puns now, as I write it is hot, my brain has all but melted and there are just so many pun opportunities... Done - I promise...

Photos credit to http://www.discoverthebluedot.com

We bought our own tickets to this event.
I'm not being paid / sponsored / bribed to feature it - I just like sharing good stuff with you!

86 - A Confession...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

... I long for the days that are so hot that I crave the kind of shower temperature that I would curse on a winters day.

Cool water cascading down over me, washing away the sweat and heat of the day. Stepping out into the warm air without a shudder, dither or hurry to get dry and clothed.

The indulgence of lying still on the bed wrapped in a towel and the remains of the warmth of the day, watching the clouds pass by through the open window.

Today was 29 degrees and that kind of day. The kind of day I have longed for. Thank you weather...

85 - ... on Instagram

Friday, July 08, 2016

Things I have learned... On Instagram

I fell out of love with Instagram for a while, around about the time the news of THAT impending algorithm change broke. Now it has happened, I find it is kind of freeing. I'm less bothered now about posting time, likes, popularity or the whole numbers game (tho I'm sure they are still important factors in reach and engagement figures etc. which ultimately lead to a better user experience - if you're talking it's nice if there's someone listening, yes?) and more interested in pulling back to my key ethos, telling a story and telling it well.

I've sought out knowledge and researched how to up my game. Which is what I do when I set something as a goal - research it incessantly... I wanted to improve mostly out of respect for the platform rather than playing the numbers game (but I did find out a few things that would help with that too). I like that it is for sharing great photography and want to stay true to that (+ I always have twitter for pictures of my kids pretending to be rock stars...). Here is what I've found...

1) More visibility across the community (liking and commenting on others posts) means more visibility for you. Likewise, hashtags let people find you by subject matter, don't forget them.

2) The golden section applies. I attended an iPhoneography / styling class with Sara Tasker of Me and Orla last weekend and one of the things she said was that rule of thirds is key for taking great photos, she didn't know why in particular but it seemed to work. It occurred to me, I do know why, albeit by a different name and slightly different principle in practical use. I feel super silly for having forgotten it in the first place, one of the key things I learnt as a designer was about the golden section/ratio. It is fascinating, mesmerising and quite honestly mind blowing - I've gathered a few sources for this (relating more to photography than purely principle based) and theres a whole rule of thirds vs golden section conversation happening which is also quite intriguing - links below...

3) People are fickle. They follow, they unfollow. Minds change, trends come and go. The likes and followers can be somewhat like a tide but as long as I'm telling my story in a way that I'm happy with, the rest is redundant really.

4) Light is everything. More than that, it is magical. On my walk home from taking the littles to school this morning I stood and watched a flower blowing in the wind and was captivated by the light casting over it and changing how it looked at any given moment and how that in turn altered my perception of what I was seeing. Light can help you tell your story and make images appear "on-brand" - use it wisely.

5) I appreciate there's a lot of skill that goes in to crafting the perfect image quite often. Personally, I'm not happy styling and posing images for the sake of having content, and I've finally learnt - that's ok. I might not get so many followers (refusing to be a crowd pleaser for the sake of popularity), but that's ok too (see no. 3).

6) It is a platform to tell my story. Share the things that I see, share why I see them that way. To give other people a look at the world from my perspective. It's my adventures, my work, my story, through my eyes, shared with you.

I'm sure there are numerous other shimmer shiny gems of advice, but those are the things that have stood out for me. If you have any other bits of advice you think I should hear, please do comment, I'd love to hear them!

I had a bit of inspiration whilst working after writing this post so thought I'd add this last thought...

7) It has been said that a cohesive feed is most attractive and will bring greater Instagram happiness (that or higher engagement figures / more followers) and you should plan your feed and how images fit together. Using the VCSO grid seems to be a fairly popular way to do this but I stumbled upon an idea this afternoon that seems too simple for words - set up a "ghost" account, set to private where you can post everything before posting it to your actual feed. Simple huh?


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