While I don’t see Instagram as the be all and end all that’ll make or break my business, it’s no secret that it’s by far my favourite little app and my favourite way of connecting with artists and creatives from all over the world. However, it can easily become a distraction that swallows up hours and hours of our time, and after watching The Social Dilemma a few weeks ago I became a lot more mindful of the way I use it, and have been trying to come up with new ways of using it more… smartly.
1/10th of a second. I’m not talking about my favourite shutter speed here, but how long you’ve got to make a first impression. That’s how long it’s going to take for someone to take a look at your website, your Instagram account or your latest ad, and decide whether they’d like to learn more about you and what you do… or not.
Here’s a secret: I wince and cringe when my family tell me they’re going to give my blog a read. Not because I’m ashamed of what I’m sharing on here, or because I wish they didn’t care about what I do (I’m so very grateful that they do!), but because when you really think about it, the nagging voice of self-doubt often sounds like the people who know us best, and it can be terrifying putting ourselves out there knowing that it might change the way they see us. Because I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a photographer, a translator, a business owner… And some days I feel like I can be all these things at once and balance them all confidently and perfectly, while on other days I need to separate them all in neat, tidy boxes so that they don’t overlap because it feels much safer and much more comfortable. I sometimes think that if I could run my business undercover, on a separate part of the Internet where no one I know in real life had a chance of ever finding out about it, I’d feel so much more confident and free. (Anyone else feeling that way?!)
It’s hard taking up space, isn’t it? Whether here, in this small virtual bubble, or out there in the real world, it’s not easy raising our hand and standing up to say “This is me. Here’s what I do. These are the things I love, and the things I care deeply about. This is what I want to be known for. Take it or leave it.” Often we’d much rather make ourselves as small as possible and not make any ripples, because it minimises the risks of being judged, shamed, criticised or misunderstood. And we try to back these feelings up with reasons, too — “I’m not ready” ; “I have nothing to say” ; “no one will care” ; “it feels too narcissistic”.
It’s been a while since I showed up on here… It would be easy for me to say “oh I’ve been so busy, I couldn’t find the time to write!” … but that wouldn’t be the full story. The truth is that when I launched my blog a few months ago I planned ahead and put together this big list of things I could write about. It gave me a sense of direction, and it felt great! But as the weeks went by I slowly realised that all the posts I’d planned to write were losing relevance — or weren’t relevant just yet. And instead of acknowledging the problem and finding a solution, I just stared at my list for weeks and hoped that I could still make these ideas work — except it never felt right.
I love writing these blog posts, but it’s important for me to believe in what I’m writing and feel excited about it. So earlier this week I finally sat down at my desk, scrapped my content calendar and started afresh — and I feel so much better for it. To me this is a good reminder that it’s okay to change course ; as creatives posting our work online, we’re often told that consistency is key, but if something doesn’t feel right… it’s okay to pause for a second, take a step back and readjust your plans if needed.
I have a slight addiction to downloading and trying out new apps. Well… at least, I used to. I’m better now, because over time and after much trial and error, I found tools that I clicked with and that genuinely helped me be more organised and efficient. Let’s just say I used to hang out in the Productivity section of the App Store quite a lot, hunting for the perfect tools that would help me stay on top of my to-do list. So today I thought I’d share four apps that I couldn’t go without and that I use pretty much every day! 🙂
Some time ago I did a little poll on my Instagram stories and asked what topics people would like me to cover on my blog, and I was quite surprised to see how often branding & visual identity were mentioned. Before we get started, bear in mind that figuring out your brand requires a fair bit of time, research and deep thinking, and that it won’t happen overnight. You might even be wondering whether you need to be thinking about branding at all! But I really believe that in the long term it’ll be hugely beneficial to you and your creative venture, so here are a few tips and tools to help you get started.
Reading Time: 18 minutes
If you’ve been on my website recently, you may have noticed that things are looking a little bit different! I am now offering a range of packages for creatives businesses in need of visual content for their websites, social media channels and other marketing materials… In short, branding photography services for makers, coaches and creative entrepreneurs. These will include portraits, product photography as well as lifestyle shots to ensure a wide variety of content to fit all sorts of needs.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
My mood has shifted this week. As frustrating as it is, it hasn’t come as a surprise: we’ve been in lockdown for almost a month now and it couldn’t all be sunshine and rainbows forever. It felt easy at first – I’m used to working from home, we don’t have kids to entertain all day or to homeschool, and our pup is pretty low maintenance. Without my job at the coffee shop, I eased into a routine very quickly and, yes — I felt surprisingly motivated. Read More
Reading Time: 28 minutes
If you’re reading this, first of all, thank you so much for stopping by. I know the Internet is a noisy, crowded place in “normal” times, but it has felt even more so in the recent weeks. Understandably so: we’re stuck at home, some of us with little to no work to do, so we’re trying to find ways of generating a little bit more income to pay our bills and/or doing our best to stay connected. It’s been heartwarming to see such a strong sense of community emerge amidst all the fear and the uncertainty, but it has also felt like a bit of a sensory overload at times, and I’ve been reluctant to add to the noise.
So what I am doing here, then? Well… the truth is, I like to help. Read More