One of my goals for this year is to get to grips with social media for the business, and improve my photography.
Ok, so that's two goals, but they're completely intertwined. Certainly Instagram is nothing without beautiful images, but photography and the image are so incredibly important across all social media now. The Makelight 'Visual Social Media' course that ran last month popped up at just the right time.
I first came across Emily Quinton and Makelight at Paperfest, back in the Summer, during a session all about online presence. Within a few days I'd signed up for the 'Photography for Stationery Lovers' workshop in her lovely Dulwich studio. For me the day in the studio was a great starting point: a moment to focus on what I wanted from my images, and getting the best out of my big, unwieldy DSLR camera. To give your photography a bit of a kick up the backside, I can thoroughly recommend a day in Emily's studio.
A few of the day's images:
The difficult thing is keeping the momentum going back in the real world.
The workshop fell right in the middle of fine tuning my first screen-printed stationery collection and manically printing all the samples. Looking back, this was probably a goldmine of material but faffing about with flat lays didn't feel like the most urgent thing. And besides, l certainly wasn't ready to share it all.
As 2016 rolled around, the new collection, with it's attendant website revamp and Etsy shop was just about ready to roll. Time to take the social media bull by the horns! Admittedly I was in two minds about signing up for the online course. I hadn't applied everything from the previous course yet, and would I necessarily learn much more? I'm so, so glad I went for it! The online lessons arrived in my inbox over the course of two weeks, ready for my attention when I had a moment. Some of the content I'd already covered in the workshop, but breaking it down really enabled me to focus on one thing at a time.
The really brilliant thing though, was the Facebook group.
Being able to connect other people encountering the same obstacles, and share images for feedback in a supportive and encouraging environment definitely kept me accountable! Every so often my husband suggests that maybe I should join a camera club if I want to improve my photography. The mental image of a group of men like my Dad, all comparing lenses has always put me off, but I think in Makelight I might have done just that.
So thank you Emily. Armed with my camera, freshly identified spot of sunshine and brand new content plan, I'm good to go!
If you'd like to find out more about Emily's courses, visit the Makelight website.