Author

Onyi Moss

Have you ever heard of crochet ice cream? Me neither. At least not until I came across this ice cream spot tucked away in Affleck Palace in Manchester city centre. Craig and I discovered it while trying to hide away from the frosty cold that has become January. You see, we both love ice cream. Even though my three scoops always consist of the same flavour. Vanilla, vanilla and vanilla. While Craig goes for anything that doesn’t contain nuts. Ginger’s it was called. The name of the ice cream spot. After spending a little while looking at the menu, we quickly realised it was the best ice cream spot in town. However, it was too cold to enjoy one of Ginger’s special. We opted for hot drinks instead which was very sensible given the weather we escaped from. I went for a nice cup of breakfast tea and Craig a delicious latte.

Sitting rather pretty on the ice cream stand was a well made crochet ice cream that seemed to match my outfit really well. I couldn’t resist shooting with it. It wasn’t quite my triple vanilla favoured goodness, but it was perfect for the shoot. It got me pondering on life in general. Many at times we don’t get the things we so desire, but sitting in front of us could lie many other treats that might be just as good and in some cases even better than what we asked for. But in order to see these things we always have to keep an open mind. That’s how I’ve learnt to find inspiration. Knowing that somehow life has got my back just like this crochet ice cream in winter.

ONYI / COAT – TOPSHOP / KNITWEAR – FRENCH CONNECTION / JEANS – NA-KD / SHOES – HUSH / BERET  – ASOS***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

January 17, 2018
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One question that I get asked a lot is how I make my Instagram stories. So I figured talking through my process in a detailed blog post should help some of you who’ve asked in the past. For those of you who don’t already follow me on Instagram, I tend to create short professional films as a way to express my creative side. I’ve heard some folks say but why spend all that time creating something that will disappear after 24 hours? Well, it would seem that this is no longer the case as Instagram now archives stories and lets you keep them on your profile after the 24 hours has elapsed. I’ve also heard some folks say stories are meant to be filmed in realtime and natural, but I couldn’t disagree more. Nothing that allows for a medium of expression is meant to be a certain way unless you deem it so, even then you are allowing yourself to have a perception that will often stifle creativity and not let you stand out from the crowd. And the latter is just what you need to succeed in an ever growing industry such as blogging.

Going solely off the number of social media followers I have, I wouldn’t class myself as a big blogger. Sooner or later you’ll realise that the numbers is only a part of it and content ultimately remains king. Hence why I’ve been able to leverage my Instagram stories as a means to booking certain campaigns that might otherwise prove difficult. I was even paid by Instagram to create two unique stories for them to showcase on their community platform. Okay, enough of my waffling. Let’s get into how I go about it.

The Story

In many ways you have to be a creative at heart to tell a story. Before filming, I tend to have a rough idea at the very least what the underlying story is and how I intend to capture it. I play it in my head over and over again which always helps when it comes to planning.  Sometimes I already know the music that I intend to use for the story and use it to drive the storyline. A good example of this was when I booked a party collection campaign titled “The Art of The Party”. I knew how many looks I was going to showcase and the settings I hoped to utilise in order to drive home the party feel. That helped me pull the concept together. Without a story, all you have is just some footage. So try to spend sometime working on a story as it’ll set the tone for the whole process.

The Equipments

I shoot all my stories on my DSLR camera that is the Canon 5D MK III together with the Sigma f1.4 50mm lens. The footage is always captured in portrait style as that is the format that best works with mobile devices when uploading to Instagram stories. It is important to note that you can also get quality footage using your mobile phone depending on the brand and model. The latest iPhone and Samsung models tend to do a pretty decent job.

For stabilisation, I use the strap of my camera by wearing my camera on my neck and pulling it away from me until my arms are fully stretched out. I then swing from left to right to give the feeling of motion. When it comes to steady footage, I usually just place the camera on my tripod and record.

Software

My go to editing application is Final Cut Pro. I use it to stitch the footages together to create the story. For those of you who don’t know how to use Final Cut Pro, there are tones of tutorials on Youtube that teaches you the basics. As the application isn’t free, you might want to take advantage of any free editing apps that already come with your computer such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. It is very important to scale the video to the format for Instagram stories which is 1080×1920. The footage you shot in portrait style should first be rotated a portrait style then scaled afterwords. If you shot your footage in landscape style, you can still scale it to fit Instagram stories format. This video does a good job of showing you how to go about it. I tend to colour grade (apply a filter) the footage as well in Final Cut Pro using the free luts that come with the mLut plugin extension which you can download here. Alternatively, you can do a search on Youtube to find out how to colour grade with other applications you might use for editing.

Music

Finding copyright free music that you like can sometimes be an arduous task. Performing a search on places like Google and Youtube can help point you to some copyright free music which you have to listen to and get a feel for it before deciding if you like it. Sometimes I go for songs covered by other artists which don’t usually have a copyright attached to them. Once I’ve found a song I’m happy with, I usually download it and import it into Final Cut Pro so as to apply it to the footage to complete the story.

15 Seconds Splits

Instagram stories currently limits one upload to a maximum of 15 seconds. Which means if your story is longer that 15 seconds then you’ll need to split it accordingly. I use the app called CutStory to do this. It is a free app that will split your stories and save it to your phone ready for upload to Instagram. The free version puts a watermark of the app on your videos but this can be undone if you pay for the pro version at £1.99.

That’s it guys! I hope you’ve found this post useful. I’d encourage you to read a similar post written by Carrie Santana da Silva of @wishwishwish, who also creates amazing Instagram stories. She shares how she goes about it which might seem a lot practical for anyone creating stories using their phones.
***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

January 8, 2018
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When I first started blogging, I deliberately steered away from fashion blogging as I thought it quite dull to say the least. I would come across the same sort of fashion images which is basically a blogger standing on a street and doing everything they could to draw attention to their outfit. Don’t get me wrong, I too indulged in similar shoots like these but it lacked excitement. It wasn’t until I came across the show Fashion Bloggers, featuring a group of talented bloggers who were photographers, creative directors and writers in their own right that I was excited to explore more of fashion blogging. I wasted no time investing in a camera and lens and then tried to recreate some of the work I was inspired  by. Their content sparked something in me. It made me want to go out and push myself more. They were ladies just like me. If they could do it, I could definitely find a way to do it. And so I practiced when I got a chance. Soon I began to see things differently and sure enough understanding the need for creative direction  became a part of my process.

In a time where almost every profile you stumble across on Instagram is that of a blogger, you have to set yourself apart with your content. For me, that has been to consistently focus on delivering content backed with creativity. The key is to always seek inspiration, and push yourself to constantly think outside the box. The more you do this, the more it’ll come naturally. Take for example this shoot. It wasn’t pre planned but something that came to me while putting on my makeup in preparation for my usual daily shoot. I went through my outfit mentally and it gave a very French vibe. As soon as I was done with my makeup, I put on the outfit as I had imagined it and told Craig that we’ll be stopping to pick up a baguette for the shoot and we were going to do it in front of a newsstand in town. And we did. It took me less than two minutes to come up with the creative process but this is because I have made sure to do this every chance I get with my content. The good news is you too can do it. All it takes is practice, patience and perseverance.

ONYI / COAT – FRENCH CONNECTION / SHIRT – STYLE OF MOTION / SKIRT – MONSOON / SHOES – HUSH

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

January 6, 2018
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Ever since I’ve known Craig, he’s always had a thing for New York. I remember him telling me lots of stories about the city like he had been there. He’d say things like “I can’t wait to go to New York or “I wish we lived in New York. I don’t mind living in cities, but my true dream would be to live in the countryside. Quite different from the big city vibes which is everything Craig loves. When we finally had the chance to visit New York, he was even more certain about his love for the city. His passion became renewed. And I completely understood why. It’s hard not to be inspired when living in a city as magnificent as New York. But when you don’t live there, you just have to make the most of what your surrounding. Yes, New York is for lovers, and so is Manchester.

Given what we do for work, we’ve learnt to discover the beauty in our city. Take for example the day of this shoot, we came across steam emanating from a corner of The Midland Hotel, which was very reminiscent of the streets of New York. We also discovered some hidden spots in a place we’ve been many a times and took some pictures there. We might not live in the big apple, but there’s still much to explore of our city and we do so everyday because somehow its become our passion. It’s safe to say Manchester is definitely for lovers.

ONYI / T-SHIRT – TOMMY JEANS / JEANS – DR. DENIM / SNEAKERS – ASOS

CRAIG / T-SHIRT – TOMMY JEANS / JEANS – DR. DENIM / SHOES – NEXT / COAT – FRENCH CONNECTION

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

January 4, 2018
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Happy New Year! Today we’re rounding up what’s left of 2017 from our Instagram account that didn’t make it to the blog, and sharing the stories behind the images.Still exploring the Christmas markets. Only this time, we went after some food. Yum yum.Feeling very elated this Sunday evening having captured all the images for my collaboration with Monsoon. Craig captured this shot to reflect my mood.A self portrait captured on one of our numerous coffee dates. I later found out that I forgot to finish my make-up before leaving the apartment. I was missing some eyeliner and mascara, lol.You might as well call me a CLUSE brand ambassador. This shot was captured as part of their campaign.This was a fun hangout with my girl Samio. We both booked the same campaign with Starbucks and decided to feature in each other’s posts. We grabbed our drinks and headed to the Christmas markets where we took self portraits for the campaign.Upon returning from the blossom and brunch event with CLUSE from London, we had lots of flowers to hang. But not before being creative with it and taking a cheeky self portrait in our sparkling clean kitchen thanks to the guys at Fantastic Services.We spent this Saturday aligning our diaries a bit like Jane and Michael from “Jane The Virgin”. I’m sure you can tell by now my obsession with the show.I got dressed up for some Sunday afternoon tea but the weather was having none of it as it poured all day. Finding shelter in this empty restaurant was lovely. There we chatted with a Greek waiter who cracked us up with his life story.Feeling super inspired by our latest Netflix watch titled Godless, we decided to do a western inspired self portrait. I got myself some new sunnies to match the one Craig took from me and I’m not the least surprised that he wants to own this one too, lol.We shot a campaign for a scotch brand. They wanted the campaign to reflect our personal style. I managed to convince Craig to wear a hat which was a task in itself, lol. Some images Craig captured of me doing my thing in our apartment. It’s safe to say I now have an obsession with hats. Not just any hats though, Lack of Color hats.I love the way they make their hats sturdy. Perfect for complimenting almost any outfit.These shots were taken as part of a campaign for the taxi company Gett. When taking the shot on the left, the taxi driver kept looking at us like we were crazy. I don’t blame him though, as our tripod was set up by the footpath and I kept going back and forth to press shoot until we got the shot. Afterwards, we headed to an old record store where we browsed through some awesome collection and sneaked in another self portrait.On Christmas day we went a bit crazy with candles and lighting around the apartment to give it a very moody feel. We took a self portrait and enjoyed a very cosy day in. Craig captured these shots of me going about our usual routine around town. I’m not quite sure why I keep doing the same hand movement that looks like I’m telling the DJ to queue the music, lol.A self portrait we captured at the museum. A place we’re enjoying spending a lot of time at as it has a lot of hidden corners to still explore.More shots captured at home. The one to the left was me looking through our balcony door into the city while enjoying a cuppa. To the right is me interrupting my flower hanging routine for a self portrait with Craig.These shots were captured as part of a campaign for the Swedish watch company CLUSE. They were both shot in our apartment and used for counting down to Christmas and the new year respectively.

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

January 1, 2018
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Looking at these pictures you’d think I suddenly found myself in a beautiful sunny location away from the winter cold that is England right now. Wrong! I’m still very much in Manchester, dreaming about summer. As someone who always speaks about living in the moment, I can’t help but find myself wishing for lots of sunshine this season. It’s no wonder when I came across this cosy spot at the museum, the thought that sprung to mind was “let’s have a very fruity picnic in winter”.  And so I said to Craig, “I want to have a fruit picnic here”. He actually indulged me. So we went home, grabbed a throw, some tangerines and strawberries. I then got ready like it was summer time.

We returned back to the museum and practically made it our home. Throw spread out on the floor next to the fireplace, and fruits on display for us to munch on. I couldn’t help but daydream about the space being my home. It’s such a grand hall that visitors barely go to so we got to have it all to ourselves. Although when Craig whipped out the camera and began shooting, people started taking an interest and gathered around. I made sure to remain professional, as getting the shot is key, lol. It’s the kind of shoot location that would be a photographer’s dream. It has beautiful huge windows that captures the sunset making for the most wonderful lighting. I am very certain we will be revisiting it to spend more cosy times there. LET'S HAVE A VERY FRUITY PICNIC IN WINTER

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

December 29, 2017
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It would seem this year that visiting London has almost become a part of our lifestyle as bloggers. Which isn’t surprising as that’s were a lot of brands and PR contacts are based. Being in the city is always something that we enjoy as there’s always much to do so its no surprise that we found London calling one last time just before the year ran out.

We were there for two reasons; attend a networking Christmas drinks set up by a really lovely PR company we’ve been working with, and pick up my passport from the Nigerian embassy which took over four months to renew. We settled into the Green Rooms Hotel, a place we’re beginning to fall in love with because it gives us the feeling of being in our own apartment. Craig helped style my hair into a fringe to help beat the hair boredom which was nice for a change. The Christmas drinks was a success. We got to meet brand contacts and further build relationship which is of utmost importance in the blogging industry.

The following morning, I headed to the Nigerian embassy where I waited for three hours before finally picking up my passport. Although the wait time wan’t ideal, the mood at the embassy got me laughing every now and again with the characters I encountered. And now we can get back on track with our travel plans. First on our list being Eindhoven, then Paris, and perhaps Nigeria as I’m beginning to feel very homesick, lol. But who knows, we might find ourselves back in this wonderful city in no time. 

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Get my Lightroom preset or grab a copy of my eBook here.***

December 27, 2017
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