A Makelight workshop by Emily Quinton had actually been on my hit list for quite some time. I’ve followed Emily since her wedding photographer days, but now Emily uses her photography skills to impart wisdom on others. So obviously I wanted a piece of that pie. One evening, when I was thinking about how I wanted to build my skills to help the blog, and inevitably the Year of the Yes business, I decided that photography was a good place to start.
I am not a natural photographer, I love photos and seeing memories captured, but I am not so adept at taking those shining moments and I find myself taking many photos for the blog that don’t quite cut the mustard, so was clearly something I needed to improve. I didn’t want to start too technical, this needed to be about my styling skills, framing something worth photographing, as well as some easy to follow guidance on brushing up some of the basic technical skills. And that really is where Emily offers the perfect balance.
The Makelight workshops take place in Emily’s beautiful studio in West Dulwich. It encapsulates the true essence of light, with bucket loads of the stuff brimming through the windows, practically whatever the weather!
Not only that, but it is packed full of endless beautiful props that will make you green with envy (and promptly head out to start your very own prop collection).
Emily guides you through finding inspiration, developing a photographic style, using natural light, composition, styling, getting the most from your camera phone and digital camera, and basic editing.
She is fabulously inspiring and encouraging. If you want to build an identity for your brand, or just give your photos, instagram feed or blog an extra burst of pretty but are lacking inspiration, I thoroughly recommend that you book yourself a place on Emily’s course.
Here’s just a few snippets of the things that I learnt (but there is so much more you will learn from the pro in person).
- Wherever possible, always shoot in natural light. Practice with the light in your house and learn the best places to shoot at particular times.
- Think of the photos you take as individual images, but also as part of a gallery and try to produce a coherent style that reflects your personality, brand or general outlook on life.
- When composing a shot, use the rule of thirds, you need to learn the rules to be able to play around creatively with them. Look at images you like and work out how they use the rule of thirds and then look at how that could apply to your work.
- When you are collecting the images you like, also look at how they are styled and how you could reflect that with your own style
- Don’t use too many colours in your images, a colour wheel really helps you to work out which colours go well together
- Set yourself some time every week, or month, to play around shooting your images. You can then store them up and post them at intervals.
- Practice, practice, practice. And have fun with it!
- Pic, tap, go is a very easy to use and effective phone editing app.
Some of it might not be rocket science (though Emily is totally capable of the photography rocket science if you are more advanced than this novice), but I honestly left bursting with ideas and ready and raring to get practicing.
So, how have I used my knowledge? Well you check out our Year of the Yes instagram feed, and my personal feed, and hopefully you can see the styles that I am trying to develop there. A bright and vibrant aesthetic for YOTY, and a clean and punchy look for my personal pictures.
My photography style and purpose is all about a marriage of words and images, so I have been using my newfound knowledge to shape a beautiful quote style for Year of the Yes. It still needs some polishing, but with the help of the Word Swag app, our words are certainly starting to look a lot prettier around these parts, and with a bit of practice I promise there will be more to come very soon…
If you are looking for some more photography tips, why not check out the post we did with the lovely Lisa from Wildgoose Photographics.