Welcome back to another round of the stories behind our daily Instagram uploads. I can’t believe we’re on the fourth one. And I’m totally enjoying doing it. Right, let’s get into the stories.This shoot was a bit of a funny one. While strolling through town, we came across this bike by the sidewalk on a busy street and thought it would be the perfect prop for a street style self portrait. To my right were office folks gathering and peaking through the window, trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. To our front was another very curious audience who couldn’t stop staring even as they crossed the street. There was one man in particular pretending to have gone past but kept sticking his head out from the corner of the building and peaking, to make sure he understood what was really going on. Now that cracked me up big time, lol. Although uncomfortable, we weren’t giving up. Looks like our desire to succeed was greater than our fear of failure.It was a very busy day. We had a key campaign deadline to meet which saw us spend all day in front of our computer, editing and writing. I remember going back and forth between the kitchen and my office desk for tea and toast. To keep up with our daily Instagram upload, I had decided that I’d post a photo from a previous shoot. But later that evening, I received a blogger mail with this cute denim short as part of it and I couldn’t resist trying it on. I loved it so much so that I asked Craig to take a picture of me wearing it while I went about my tea and toast routine. I didn’t think much of the picture at the time but somehow it managed to become a hit on Instagram as it got a lot of engagement. These shots were taken while we were roaming The Northern Quarter in town on what would appear to be a sunny autumn day. To get the self portrait, we had to put or camera on the road. Which was quite the risky thing to do as a car could have easy swung by and knocked it over. Thankfully, it wasn’t quite a busy road. We did get a lot of folks look at us like we were crazy, lol. Being a self proclaimed plant lady, I thought this plant shop where I usually frequent for house plants was a lovely backdrop for a shoot and so I asked Craig to get a shot of me stood outside of it. This shot was taken as part of the new Bio Oil packaging campaign. While out shooting with my close friend Mimi, I thought it would be a good idea to make use of the flowers (which formed part of the shoot) and they seemed to fit in pretty well. To get the full story check out my recent blog post titled “There’s Something About Mimi”.Still exploring more of Manchester, we went out on this day and found ourselves at the arts and crafts centre in The Northern Quarter. It had beautiful shops full of hand made unique pieces. Craig fell in love with a quaint little coffee shop where we ordered a latte and tea to drink. While enjoying his latte, I thought it’d be nice to grab a candid shot of him and so I did.
Welcome to another week in black and white series. Like I did with the last post, I’ll be focusing on the key message from our week. Going about our daily affairs (which usually consists of shoots and catching up on blog work), it kind of hit us that we were living out our dreams. It got me thinking, how did we get here? Arriving at the answer was fairly straightforward. It was very obvious to see how we got here. How did we get to the point of quitting our jobs to focus on our blog? It turns out that we found the time to do a lot of blog related work when we both had full time jobs. I remember my routine quite well. I’d be at my desk, day dreaming about blog content and looking forward to learning new editing techniques on YouTube. When I actually got back in from work, I would practice editing until I was exhausted. During the summer months, we would shoot almost everyday after work. Our weekends were classed work days too. Slowly but surely, every minute spent learning and growing started to add up. Before we knew it, friends and strangers would approach us, asking photography related questions. We had somehow become experts on the subject matter.
The more we did, the more we got seen. This translated into brands finding us and wanting to work with us. Our success thus far hasn’t been built overnight. We knew absolutely nothing about blogging when we first started out but we were hungry to learn all we could. We found the time amidst our busy schedule because it mattered enough for us to do so. It turns out that finding time to do the things you’re really passionate about is the start to living the life you want and dream of. If you can see it in your mind, you can definitely achieve it. The beauty of life is that it’s never too late to start. I’ll be the first to admit that it might not seem easy in the beginning, but you at least have to try to give yourself a fighting chance by trying and doing.
This week was a very pleasant one. We got blessed with a few sunny days in Manchester given the very stormy weather we experienced last week. On this particular day, we were more prepared than usual. We knew it was going to be a beautiful day with lots of sunshine so we started our day pretty early. We knew exactly where we were going to as we had been there before. A pub with a back garden that reminded us very much of Mykonos thanks to the white and blue theme, not the mention the seaside aesthetics adopted. You could say we were in holiday mode as we dressed to match the mood of the day. Stepping out in denim and knit, we were ready to catch our train to in East Didsbury to enjoy some tea and coffee in Ye Old Cock Inn.
As it was early afternoon on a weekday, the outdoor space was empty which meant we could roam free. And roam free we did! I had some tea while Craig enjoyed a nice cup of coffee. We were feeling so at home that we forgot to take pictures of our beverages until we were done drinking, lol. Afterwards, we wandered round taking pictures and even got some footage of our day which we pulled together for an Instagram story. We headed back to the train station where we soaked in some more sunshine. I could see our train fast approaching and it looked like it would make for a great shot. Craig wasted no time making sure we captured it. It was really lovely going out on what felt like a city exploration made even more memorable thanks to the glorious weather.
Welcome back to another series of our weekly Instagram roundup. Today we’re sharing the stories behind the images we captured and shared on our Instagram page last week. This shot was taken a couple of weeks ago for the Pandora and Disney collection campaign. One of my best friends, Mimi, was present to see me in action. She seemed pretty impressed as to how I came up with the concept in less than a minute and achieved the shot in lest than five. She came round as we had arranged a shoot for an outfit post. And just as we were about to head to our shoot location, I decided it’ll also be a good idea to shoot the bracelet while we were out. She said I was thinking out loud. I said the campaign brief had a colour scheme of red and blue so I decided to take my red jumper with me. I also thought it was a good idea to take my red lipstick and serviette paper to draw a heart as one of the hashtags of the campaign was #DoSeeTheMagic. Upon completing her shoot, we came across a restaurant with outdoor sitting that coincidentally had a blue bench. I brought out my serviette and drew a heart on it like I had planned. We ordered a latte which coincidentally came in a cup that had some red details. I wasted no time laying things around until I I was happy before taking the shots. It was nice to hear someone relay my creative process back to me as I often get caught up in the moment and sometimes forget that I actually make calculated decisions to see that the final results meet all the requirements. This photo is an oldie but still a goodie. We took this a few months ago for a brand campaign for a gaming company. It was one of those campaigns where we had to create shots for the brand without sharing on our channels. I came across it while cleaning up my desktop and thought it’d be a good one to share especially since we had a busy day with little or no time to shoot.This day was a fun day out. We don’t always know where we’re going to end up whenever we step outside of our apartment for a shoot. On this occasion we did, by chance. Just before leaving, I went on Instagram and saw that a new place had opened up in town thanks to an account I follow which shares Manchester related news. I showed Craig what it looked like and it was a hit. It’s called Mackie Mayor. On our way there, we stopped by a £1 bookshop to see if we could find some hidden treasures. While going through the books, Craig sneaked a few shots which turned out to be lovely. Afterwards, we headed to the new spot where we were amazed by the open plan design and beautiful architecture. The upstairs wasn’t fully functioning and so very few people were there. We quickly grabbed a spot away from the crowd to take a self portrait. Craig then wandered round and took some more pictures of the place. Craig is always offering to fix up my hair or happy to tell me when it doesn’t look quite right, lol. On this particular day, we were only bothered about getting one shot. As usual, we set up shop right next to the library as Craig pointed out the view. After a few running back and forth to the camera (as we always do for all our self portraits), we decided to switch up our poses. And so I asked Craig to do what he does best, and he obliged. In the middle of him fixing it, we got this shot. It was a very rainy day and I had two looks to shoot for a fashion brand campaign. We succeeded in getting some of the work done as much as the weather would permit as it was a very rainy day. Doing shoots like this means we have to plan an additional shoot in order to keep up with our daily Instagram schedule. On our way back home from the first round of shooting, we stopped by Aldi to stock up on some supplies and I bought some flowers to hang. A habit I picked up when I travelled to Greece. Upon getting home, I posed with the flowers on the balcony before hanging them up to dry.This shot was taken at the end of the of what would prove to be a very hectic day. Walking through the Northern Quarter, we spotted this pub with a bike in front of it. After taking a few test shots, we decided to go with it. I did a lot of jumping as you can see. It was around 5pm, which meant folks were leaving work to go home. Some folks joined in my display for joy and others politely waited for me to get the shot. One dog in particular seemed very fascinated with Craig who was squatting on the ground to get the shot. She kept trying to leave her owner to go after Craig. It was funny and cute to watch. My guess is given his beard, she found him to be another fury friend.Sundays equals plant days in our household. That is, if we remember to water them, lol. Well, this Sunday we did. We had spent the morning shooting two looks for a brand with a deadline that was due the next day. We didn’t feel like going back out as we were still recovering from the cold we experienced earlier on. Just before feeding the plants, we got the camera out and posed for a self portrait.
We hope you’re enjoying the stories behind our images. Let us know in the comment section which one is your favourite.
Welcome to another week in black and white. Rather than talk about the events that transpired during the course of our week, I think it’s best to focus on the underlying lesson learnt. Those who know me well, know that I’m one to always draw a life lesson from any circumstance if I can help it. I really do appreciate that side of me as it gives at least one constant perspective to always view things amongst others. The key message I got from our week was “always embrace life”. Now, how did this come about? Well, it all started when I watched a live Facebook video by a photographer who said the best way to capture a moment was to actually be in the moment. Those words really stuck with me. Somehow it translated into embracing life and it got me really being extra conscious of each moment and making the most of it. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt (speaking from personal experience), its that what you focus on is what you’ll succeed at. Bearing that in mind, coupled with my new level of awareness, I made sure to embrace each moment. Rather than say to Craig, “should we go out and get some shots?”, I found myself saying “let’s go out and see if we can find a place we’ve never been before for some nice coffee”. Making it less about shooting and more about just living life with getting some shots being an added bonus.
It gave a very different feeling, one of being a lot more open to unexpected moments the day might bring with it. And it felt great! I could see beautiful stories unfold. In retrospect, it was obvious that there’s always something romantic about embracing life. After all, that romance triggered my journey to getting here. So I ask myself, how can I not live in the moment? Granted, life has it’s ups and downs. But the best way to push through is to keep hope alive. And with each passing day, we must learn to live a little more – romancing life.
Oh hello new series! Sharing a roundup of our weekly Instagram posts will not only help us archive these images, but also give us the opportunity to share the behind the scenes moments with you lovely folks. This shot with the birds was taken on Monday. We left our daily shoot pretty late as we had a lot of key deliverables to work on. While in town scouting for a shoot location, I decided to pick up a beret after feeling inspired by all the images I was seeing from Paris Fashion Week. Upon passing through Piccadilly Gardens, we stumbled upon the most beautiful gathering of pigeons. Yes, they were gathering for food and we wanted in. We decided to grab some bread from a nearby grocery store but that didn’t last long. Two lovely girls who were surrounded by the pigeons told us we were better off going to Poundland to score a bag of bird food and they kindly accompanied us to get some. We returned armed and ready to stuff the pigeons. I remember being very scared but I didn’t let it stop me. I did it scared anyways and we managed to get this shot. Although, not without a few screams when they tried to eat from my hands. Hence, the bird food being tossed in the air, lol.We shot a campaign for Paul Smith a few weeks ago but we didn’t post the images until this week. I remember is was a veery rainy day which isn’t unusual for Manchester. Craig thought we should wait the rain out, but knowing Manchester, I said we were better off finding an indoor spot to shoot as it could be raining all day. He suggested the library. What a brilliant idea it was as it had the most magnificent tiles that blended in so well with our aesthetics. The campaign was done to draw attention to their socks collection as well as run a competition for a chance to win a free socks subscription. To enter to win, please check out the Instagram post here. This self portrait was captured in the midst of us shooting our most exciting campaign (which at this point in time we can’t share more about until finalised). The day consisted of exploring the Town Hall mini stalls and some lovely lunch afterwards. As you can see, we tried our best to match.This shot was for a campaign by hush and Refuge. The proceeds from this lovely pyjama set will be going to Refuge (a Charity) to help provide a good night sleep to a mother and child. We did the shoot in our bedroom to give it that cosy feel. To find out more about the campaign, check out the Instagram post here.This one was a special self portrait to wish Craig a happy birthday. He had been suffering from a cold all day but we had to go out and celebrate in our own little way. We tried taking some shots in China Town but that wasn’t working so we went for wine and nibbles at a wine shop. We attempted another shoot there but that was a no and the lighting wasn’t flattering. On our way home, we decided to stop on this less busy street to see what we could capture and in less than 5 minutes we had the shot. It goes to show that you just have to keep moving about until you find the right spot because when you do, you’ll get better results. Happy Birthday Craig!Another campaign for a brand and charity. This time Fiorelli is donating £10 from the sale of one of their bag collections. We wanted to make it a lifestyle shot so we took a self portrait by one of Manchester’s many canals. The set up was pretty easy and we were done in less than 10 minutes. Although we initially forgot the tripod at home, so I had to race back to get it before it became too dark to shoot. To find out more about the campaign please check out the Instagram post here.Saturday was a very wet day and somewhat a lazy one for us too as we had been out the night before. We managed to leave the apartment to shoot around 5pm which meant we had a very short window to maximise the daylight. We went through the Town Hall stalls again and got distracted by the smell of food. Then it started raining so we had to take cover. Right after the rain subsided, we noticed this deserted outdoor restaurant sitting thanks to the rain. We figured we should make the most of it while we could. Let’s just say I danced about for a few minutes until Craig got the shot. Afterwards, we went to Paperchase to grab our free weekly coffee, yum yum.This shot seems to be a hit on Instagram. We took it on Sunday while out and about town. This was the first time we’ve seen folks care about our self portraits while shooting. A few people seemed intrigued at what we were trying to accomplish and would sometimes stare at us for a while which made posing a little awkward as you could tell someone was watching, lol. Being professionals, we had to get over it and stick with the task. There was quite a few going back and forth with the camera until we finally got it. This was actually the last shot we took.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as we have. Let us know in the comments which one is your favourite behind the scenes moment and story.
This week’s black and white series marks the beginning of our week in black and white. ‘See what I did there? “Our”, not “my”, lol. We can’t say enough thank you for all the support we’ve gotten on here and on our social media channels since announcing Craig becoming full time on the blog. One of the highlights of our week! As we’re now a duo, we had to come up with a routine (something we’re still trying to figure out). We’ve managed to set a goal of daily shoots and at least two posts on Instagram. One thing we’re keen on trying to incorporate into our routine is having an early start to our day. I find that we’re most productive when we start our day super early. Since winter is coming, this is something we’ll need to do sooner rather than later so we can maximise the little daylight we have. So if anyone has any tips on getting out of bed early, please let us know in the comments.
We managed to hit all our campaign deadlines and looking forward to creating more unique content for the brands we work with. One of the many questions we kept getting asked this past week was what equipments and softwares we use for our photography so we thought we should answer it here. We currently shoot using the Canon 5D MK III together with the Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens and edit with Adobe Photoshop. If you’d like to find out about our detailed editing process, then grab a copy of my eBook here. I’ve also set up a Facebook page called The Blogger Photographer, which you can request to join and ask photography related questions and hopefully I should be able to assist. This has left me feeling like I need to create my own Lightroom and Photoshop presets and make it available for purchase on the blog.
This week saw us catch a train to Knutsford, Cheshire where we found some inspiration. While there, we visited Tatton Park and walked the grounds for over two hours enjoying the beautiful scenery, one of which included watching the deers live so freely. Sometimes stepping out of the norm can be so refreshing and inspiring which is was seemed to happen here. To see the full recap of our week, catch up on our latest vlog here (PS- don’t be in a hurry to comment, we’re not pregnant, lol).