Props Under £20 for Creating Beautiful Blog & Instagram Images

Props under £20 for creating blog and Instagram images

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I’m certainly not a photographer by any means (that is more of The Bloke’s passion than mine), but one of the things that I enjoy doing in my free time is experimenting with props and different flat lay images that I can use for my blog and social media.

I’ve written about creating beautiful flat lay images before, but this was more about the process of how to set them up. Since then, I’ve received lots of questions asking about prop and budget ideas from others who want to create their own but don’t want to spend a fortune doing so.

There’s a million different advice posts and tutorials on the subject, but what I’ve discovered when trawling through a some of them is that many have splashed out on different lighting rigs and light boxes, backdrops and props and use an expensive SLR camera. Continue reading

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The Online Power of a Squirrel…

The Bloke is an avid photographer. He particularly likes wildlife, architectural and landscape photography and his pictures are utterly fantastic – we can be in the same place at the same time, photographing the same thing and he always manages to create something beautiful and artistic with seemingly very little effort. I’m so proud of him, and extremely jealous of his skills.

However, there’s one particular thing that he has an affinity for…

Squirrels.

Living in Birmingham, UK, we have an abundance of them and very little else. I’m enormously envious whenever I go on Instagram and see images of incredible wildlife in people’s back yards – I saw a racoon in Central Park a few months ago when we were on our honeymoon and that was honestly the first time I’ve ever seen one in real life… Perhaps I shouldn’t have stood there and yelled “oh my god it’s a raccoon!” at the top of my voice while pointing at the poor thing like a maniac, but it was a bigger deal to me than most. Continue reading

How to Spend 4 1/2 Days in New York City

The Bloke and I recently visited NYC on our honeymoon and had an absolutely incredible time. It’s a fast paced, exciting and vibrant city that has interesting things to see and do on every block, but it isn’t possible to do it all in just one visit, particularly on a limited budget.

It is, however, possible to experience an enormous amount of things in a short amount of time and without spending an enormous amount of money, and we’re proof of this as we’ve just done it ourselves.

It is worth noting at this point that we were staying at a fairly centralised hotel – Hotel @ Times Square on West 46th Street, near 6th Avenue, so it was possible to easily walk to a number of the locations we visited on the first few days, but the subway is efficient enough that it is easy and inexpensive to get from one side of Manhattan to another in a short space of time. Continue reading

A Winter Wonderland and Christmas Prep

For once, The Bloke and I timed things perfectly.

The plan for Friday evening last week was to drive up North to visit The Bloke’s Sister (my new sister-in-law!) as it was her birthday the following day. However, the snow heavens opened, The Bloke’s school closed early and so we decided to risk it and drive up at lunchtime instead. There wasn’t even a hint of snow there and so we spent the Friday afternoon and Saturday catching up, playing with Harvey and Charlie (my sis-in-law’s Goldendoodle and my mother-in-laws retriever), going through some social media (sis-in-law is a blogger and photographer) and eating the BEST fish and chips that I’ve ever had at the Garden Room Cafe in Braithwell. It was nice to kick-back and relax in a different surrounding. Continue reading

Interview: Deborah Fletcher Photography

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I love photography and take as many pictures as I can wherever I go. So, when I discovered that one of my favourite photographers – Deborah Fletcher – was showcasing some of her photographs in a new exhibition at Thoresby Gallery, I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her inspiration, her process and her influences!

Tell us a little bit about yourself – how did you become interested in photography?

I don’t have an artistic background, in fact I was discouraged from an early age to pursue something else due to my lack of skill! My career was mainly in the travel industry which did give me the opportunity to photograph many an exotic beach and well known landmark. I bought my first serious camera around 12 years ago after following a friend around the North Yorkshire Moors watching him produce such beautiful images, I was really hooked after that. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Girl and Her Passport

I love travel blogs – they give me an insight into parts of the world that I have always wanted to visit from a first hand perspective, and if I am planning a trip I will spend lots of time reading travel posts from some of my favourite bloggers to gain ideas of things to see, do and eat that are not part of the usual tourist hotspots.

Tiffany is one of those bloggers. An American ex-pat currently living in Qatar, she is the creator of A Girl and Her Passport, a travel blog that documents her travels and experiences of countries from all over the world. What I like about Tiffany’s blog is the fact that she varies her posts to incorporate all areas of travel, from reviews of hotels that she has stayed in, individual activities in cities that she has visited (I particularly loved this one about a Thames boat trip in London), what to pack for specific activities, and, my favourite of all of them, humane and ethical encounters with wildlife in places that I would consider to be exotic – her Elephants in the Wild post in Sri Lanka made me incredibly envious. I love her photographs from her travels: Continue reading

How to Create Flat Lay Images Using Basic Props

When I first started using Pinterest one of the things that I had to learn how to do were pinnable images. It took me a while, developing my own style over a period of time using either my own pictures or ones that were available for free on stock image sites. However, one thing that I always had difficulty in finding were what I now know as Flat Lay images – pictures taken from above of beautifully arranged objects within a specific theme.

In particular, Flat Lays are hugely popular on Instagram and are a fantastic way to tell a story. I’ve seen absolutely stunning examples of everything from travel, blogging and stationery, to clothing, make-up and food.

I’ve wanted to create my own for some time. However, I’m not a photographer. I use my iPhone and my Canon compact camera to take pictures, but my knowledge doesn’t extend past point, shoot and edit via Instagram or Canva. So, I set out to spend a minimal amount of money on some props and use basic trial and error to see what the end results would be.

And thankfully, they turned out far better than I ever could have expected! Continue reading

Ghosts of Students Past

Yesterday I received a Facebook message from a friend that I haven’t spoken to in a while. We met through a project – the school that I worked at did an annual concert with an orchestra and he was the composer for the music that we performed.

He now works for my former University that is currently moving to a new building. When he was cleaning out some of the cupboards, he found this:

Continue reading

A Day in South Kensington

The other week The Bloke and I attempted to take advantage of a ticket sale from a train company. It went a little wrong, but we still decided to use the offer and have a day out in London, as we haven’t done that for a while.

We decided to spend the majority of the day around South Kensington – it’s a beautiful (and very expensive) area with several museums and it’s one of the few places in the city that we haven’t explored as much as we would like. We were on the train at ridiculous o’clock, as usual, and by the time we arrived at Euston the weather was fairly clear and sunny, so we took advantage of the early morning to get there before the madness of tube travel at the weekends began. On the way there I discovered an image on Pinterest of a ‘thin house’ on Thurloe Square, opposite the Victoria and Albert museum, so this was our starting point. We found it and then spent some time just wandering around the streets, admiring the private parks and the beautiful town houses and flats, along with the statue of Bartok, followed by breakfast in a local Pret a Manger (where I’m CERTAIN that we were sitting across from Julian Lloyd-Webber, although I didn’t have the nerve to go and say anything to him). Continue reading