August 29, 2014

PRO File / 2 / Karin Lindén

PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

Karin & Frederik are a husband-and-wife team of wedding photographers based in Sweden. They have built a unique business around safeguarding the creative process and their way of life. Here Karin tells us how they have moulded Lönnbacka Photography into a business that lets them live in the here and now.

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

I wanted to play. I wanted to create. I wanted to love. My parents, however, were too busy creating the life that they thought was the greatest for the whole family. I thought that they missed seeing that I really needed them to hold me tight to be brave enough to follow my heart, so instead I just went along with what my friends were doing and studied economy. It could have been worse, but to me that was like dying a little.

As a paradox, economy is now what I am most disconnected from. I am now climbing that mountain with new eyes. In business it is as important to master the organising part as the artistic part.

I ended up at my uncle’s real estate business for a couple of years as a start of some sort of traditional career. I did enjoy it but I mostly enjoyed taking lovely pictures at people’s homes and gardens, talking to customers, writing lovely words about each unique and special place that was on sale. I wanted the right buyer to find the right place for them. It really was the first seed to see that photography can be magic as a tool. An honest but well-pointed shot could sell a million dollar house very fast.

I thought it was my parents being busy but it was part of the big plan. I had to do it by myself. We all have to do it by ourselves. All our little steps are necessary. The ones that are steep and hard and lead to a change are the most important steps. They are there to take us further and higher.

Outside of the agency window life went on and people were colourful and laughing and I felt as though my life had slowed down too much. It had stopped. The colours were gone. Love came as that powerful energy that swept me away to London. New steps had to be taken to follow a different path. New unique things to live, love and learn.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

Has photography always been in your blood?

No. But looking at what is right now and right here has. To ‘paint with light’ is to have the eyes open; to see. I have not only seen the world, but I have felt it too. To have a camera in front of the eye and press the exposure button or never press the button is the same. But if the brain wants to categorize the now it will say that now is always new. But even if it is new it is now. New Now. Now New. Now is now.

It is always the same moment.
When you think about it. Everything is in the now.

Why run away to the next? It will not hold anything better or more beautiful than what the now now holds.
In photography that is the question: Why keep this specific now forever? It is only an old now when you look at it.
Well, sometimes, if the intention is right, it’s lovely to go back to the old now and fall in it again. To keep it. But do not cling to it as a thing. Just to be in it as an energy. That is what I want with my photography.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

More and more people asked me to photograph them. It was time to realize that if I wanted to do it full-time I had to ask for money.
Or become an breatharian.
I decided that I wanted to be a photographer.
And I love food.

I have always had the hardest time asking for something. To give comes more naturally.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

How did you go about starting your own business? How did you transition from employee to boss? How did you secure your first clients?

I started slow. I did the classic part-time-photography-thing until I did not have time to do anything else. It took a couple of years.

I did not really have the same courage as I have now. I did not know that if I follow my heart and close all the doors that I keep open (just in case…) it will definitely create that space that is needed for something new to be created. I trust the power of life itself now which means that it is always by my side, inside of me, behind. I am stood in front of people and moments that are brought to me by that specific power. Because that is what I have to learn and see. And that is why I am grateful to all that happens, good and bad.

Clients have not been secured. I never thought about it that way. To me life is life even when I work. They come because we have something to learn from each other. I just wait but not like a fisherman with a bait – I wait and truly enjoy life while waiting. And customers comes without me activating any program for it.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

What is your typical daily routine like?

I start with meditation and qigong. I want a fresh mind. From planning, to shooting, to editing, to administration, to deliver, to follow up – I want all of the little pieces to be created and have lived in the same energy.

If somewhere along the line I run into frustration, or my energy changes, I want to take responsible action.

Sometimes I don’t realise what is happening until afterwards. I ask myself where it went wrong. I do not want to make mistakes again and again. I know that even if the customer gets a nicely packed bunch of fine art prints and feels very happy and surprised about it, there is an invisible touch that is felt.

If I am always present, there is a magic to editing which is as present as doing administration.
I wait.
I meditate.
I work in presence.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

How do you decide which kit to use? Do you have an allegiance to a particular type of gear?

I am friends with my whole equipment. A couple of years ago I went a lot with the 50mm f/1.2 because it suited my intentions to create dreamy, poetic pictures. Now the lens I use the most is a 85mm. When I am filming I use the tilt/shifts. I am not looking for sharp stuff. I am looking for energy.

Really, I don’t care too much about equipment. But I should. Not only does my insurance company get a little angry, but I have to learn that, really, it is important to take care of everything with love.

wedding in hungary, wedding in budapest

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to pick up your camera and shoot the world around you?

Yes, when the energy is completely magic, healing or just very specific or makes me feel happy and free and me, I know it is to save. It is an overwhelming and focused feeling. I happen to be there to see this and keep this.


Do you ever feel alone in your work?

Never and always. Yes. And No.
In front of other human beings sometimes we do not feel as part of one but separated. That creates the feeling of being alone. It is an illusion of course.

I am never alone. I am held and I am part of something big. We just have to remember it.


You say that ‘Lönnbacka Photography is freedom, quality, peace, love, fine art, healing, meeting, flow and presence.’ Can you explain how this manifests in the way you work and run your business?

I put ‘time for meditation’ in the wedding photography contract.
I look after myself as much as I look after my customers.
I choose the vendors that correspond with my heart.
Matte, soft papers. Fine Art books.

I work with the Beloved Technique and the customers will feel that when we work there is love and peace, healing, meeting, flow and presence. I just live it and that is why it is felt. This is not something that happens in conversation and static photography.


Where do you find inspiration?

Inside myself. In nature. In music. In poetry. In friends’ hearts.

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

1) Be here
2) Be now
3) Start at 1) again


What would you like to be remembered for?

Nothing. But I think it is lovely to think that I will be remembered, not for what I did or did not do, how I looked or any wonders or disasters that happened when I was around, but simply be remembered because I am.

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

It’s impossible to choose one. I think all moments are the best.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?



What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

Working with my husband realizing that we walk different paths, both unique and perfect. We can not struggle to change anyone to make a ‘profile’ or ‘style’. It happens as it happens and it is what it is. Instead of holding the wind it has been such a free and peaceful feeling to just follow and fly free.

Sometimes hand-in-hand.
Sometimes little loops apart.

Although business is important, so is remembering that life is. Love is. And it is a joyful game that we are playing. I love what Eckhart Tolle says: ‘Life is a dancer and you are the dance.’


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

It is not possible to put in words. It is not given to me but born with me. But it is about just being. How simple is life when just being? Does just being not really give you all the important things?

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?

I would let life choose. In media there are people called ‘famous people’. In life there are just ‘people’, all with such rich uniqueness that it makes my heart explode when I think about how fantastic it is that we are here. And now. One and one and one and one. All and all and all and all together. Now. Here. Today.

At this very moment.


All images by Lönnbacka Photography.

August 28, 2014

How to navigate your emotions when running a business as an artist or a sensitive person

How to navigate emotions in business for artist or sensitive people

I’ve heard many stories about artists, writers, musicians and other creatives who are self-employed and frustrated with their clients, plenty of complaints about how they don’t have enough freedom to create, or how running a business is making them feel like their passion is being snuffed out.

Your emotional, sensitive side is what makes you unique and connects with the artist inside. It’s what gives you your edge and allows you to see things from a different angle. But sometimes reacting emotionally does stand in the way of your business. The good news is, there are ways to work around your emotional sensitivity, and to safeguard you from sabotaging your business by reacting emotionally in the wrong situations.

Educate your clients.

Manage your client’s expectation and give them as much information as possible about the way you work. The only way to get enough freedom as possible from your clients, is for them to know exactly why you work in the way you do, and why it’s in their best interest to trust you.

Learn how to say no.

This is a hard lesson to learn, and it often goes against everything we think we should be doing with our business. Surely saying yes, yes, yes, to any potential client or business proposal means you will be more successful and thriving. This is not true. The wrong clients, the wrong employees, and the wrong associates can grind your business to a halt. They will drain your creativity, and they will distort how you perceive your business. You want to work with people who really get you and what you are about, and who are willing to invest in you. Start saying no now.

Let people assume you know what you’re doing.

As a photographer, you will walk into new shoot situations, or as a performer, you will take the stage for the first time. You feel out of your depth and caught in the headlights, you start questioning yourself and whether you are really cut out for what your heart is willing you to do. Your initial instinct is to start making excuses for your lack of experience, or apologising for any mistakes you might make. Stop. Your clients, or your audience, want to trust you, they want you to do well and be a success. They want to feel like you know what you’re doing. Let them. Take a deep breath and push through the uncomfortable feelings without apologising. No-one else needs to know you feel out of your league. And always remember, that uncomfortable feeling is the feeling of growth happening.

Visualise your fears.

Often, on the road to greater self or business growth, we come across things that scare the pants off of us. In my workshops I always encourage people to go towards their fears, as feeling scared can be a good indicator that you are hitting upon something that really means a lot to you, and thus, is worthy of pursuing. But dealing with fear can be, well, scary. The good news is, there are techniques you can use and develop to help with dealing with the fear. And every time you conquer that paralysing feeling, it will be a little bit easier the next time.

I’ll share with you one of the techniques that I have used in the past. One of my biggest fears involved public speaking, which I managed to successfully avoid for a big part of my life. But I also had this niggling feeling that speaking in front of people would be an important part in fulfilling my desire to teach. And yet I resisted. Until my desire to advance with teaching became so great that I felt like I was standing on an edge of a cliff, I could force myself to step off and see how far I could fly, or I could forever stay where I was and just be a spectator.

‘I’m gonna take that fear and wear it like a crown.’

Before my first talk I was a nervous wreck. I was seriously questioning my judgement in agreeing to take the stage in front of real life people, sure that I would most likely spontaneously combust the minute everyone’s eyes locked on me. To calm myself down I was listening to a lot of music, unconsciously trying to find a ‘power song’ of sorts. And then I heard the line that change it all. ‘I’m gonna take that fear and wear it like a crown.’ While Rebekka Karijord sang these words, I felt the fearful anxiety circling my body shifting and flowing above my head. I visualised all the tense energy forming a crown that fizzed with power. And when I took the stage, I ran this line in my head once more, I visualised that crown growing, leaving my body calm, and providing me with extraordinary energy. I could feel myself standing taller, I could feel all that fear changing its behaviour and transforming into a source of power. I’m not saying I was in any way amazing when I did my first talks, but I had invented a way of turning that fearful energy into a resource to be used for good. By realising that all my emotions can be affected by how I visualised them was a big breakthrough on my way to going from being scared of public speaking to enjoying it as a way to connecting with people.

Realise that your vulnerability is what makes you special.

While writing this I looked through my old diary, and I found a text message from a friend which I had saved. It read: ‘Remember that this experience of life is tidal. That some days we are invincible and others, fragile. And that both are always true.’ I admire such clarity. It’s so so important to realise that our most vulnerable moments are just as valuable than the moments of clarity. Your vulnerability is what makes you connect with others, it’s that part of you that will always ring the most authentic, and the thing that attracts your biggest fans to you.

Know when not to over-share your feelings.

While being in touch with, and knowing how to share, your emotional core is what connects you with your perfect clients, it’s also not sensible to always concentrate solely on your emotions. There are situations, and business relationships, where it serves you better to pull from your logical mind and not project all your feelings to the situation in hand. When you find that perfect balance of being authentic with who you are and what you’re feeling, but knowing when and where to pull back and leave some things unsaid, you will be on your way to being the perfect boss, business partner or someone to invest in.

Set clear boundaries.

In order to safeguard yourself and your creative process, set clear boundaries. Make sure your clients know when you are available to them, and when not. Your clients will respect your boundaries if they know about them, so communicate them clearly. It could be that you’re a wedding photographer, who works most Saturdays, so you decide that you don’t work on Mondays. That time could be dedicated to your family. Clearly communication why this is your policy to your clients will make them understand, and respect you for standing behind your values.

Likewise, when hiring or collaborating with other people, emotional people tend to get carried away with the ‘connection’ of a good fit. You might feel like you’ve found the perfect person to work with, you really hit it off artistically, and the world is your oyster. That’s brilliant, but do remember to put down some structure, whether in the form of a contract or at least agreements on what is expected from each party, who is (or isn’t!) getting paid what, and what happens if things go sour. Working with people who are a great fit is the best way to grow your business, but having that structure in place to make sure everyone is on the same page, is the only way to safeguard your business for the future.

And lastly, don’t send emails when you are feeling emotional.

Email is a wonderful thing, but it can also lead to some of the biggest misunderstandings there are. The beauty of email is that it’s immediate, but that is also its biggest danger. If you feel yourself emotionally reacting to an email you’ve received, wait. At least until the next day. Wait until you can honestly say that you are responding, not reacting, to the email. Try not to read in between the lines and apply a tone, which might be entirely in your head and not actually the intention of the author. In the same way, try writing business emails in a neutral manner, don’t assume the recipient will understand your tone. Something meant lightheartedly can easily come across as offensive.

Image of Amy Messenger by Marianne Taylor.

August 27, 2014

Quote of the Week / 2

This quote of the week by Pablo Picasso is at the heart of what art means to me. Without art and creativity, life would lack a certain magic. That’s why artists are so important, they show us a world beyond logic and open up windows to alternative futures.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen. Download a desktop wallpaper of this Quote of the Week in today’s Goodie Bag.

Goodie Bag / 3

Jorica Glen handlettered our quote of the week by Picasso, and you can also download it as a free desktop wallpaper.


Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen.

Click here to download the Picasso wallpaper by Jorica Glen: Download

Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!

August 26, 2014

Her Lovely Heart Garden Party

On a beautiful August afternoon, the Her Lovely Heart team gathered together for a little catch up in the form of an informal garden party. It was lovely to get together with old friends, and meet new faces, as there’s been a bit of a baby boom among the HLH crew this year! We obviously also couldn’t miss the opportunity to prettify things a little bit, what would be the fun in that!

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer
Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

DIY gold-dipped cups in the making. We used Elegant Metallic Gold to spray them.

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

At HLH, we only use pink canisters of helium to fill our balloons… obviously. We got these Ginger Ray White & Pink Balloons from Amazon.

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

These Ginger Ray Honeycomb Balls were super easy to put together and added such a cheerful vibe. Love them!

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer
Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

Fairynuff Flowers once again hooked us up with the most beautiful flowers.

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer
Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

The sequinned chevron runner from The Sweet Hostess added some glitz to a simple garden do.

Her Lovely Heart Styled Garden Party Mixer

Our logo was handlettered by Berinmade, and she organised it being cut out from a sheet of acrylic, which we then sprayed gold. I’ll show you later on what we did with it afterwards!

Read the rest of this entry »

Goodie Bag / 2

In this Goodie Bag we have these gorgeous printable place cards, designed for us by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. We love them so much that we used one of the designs in our Her Lovely Heart garden party!

Printable place cards designed by Rose & Ruby Co. for Her Lovely Heart

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Rose & Ruby Paper Co.

Click to download printable place cards by Rose & Ruby Paper Co: Download

Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!

August 25, 2014

Ask Marianne / 2

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor will be answering some of the burning questions submitted by photographers, business owners and blog readers, spanning everything from technical questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

Do you always shoot with manual focus? How do you catch the right moment?

No, I don’t. I focus manually on manual focus lenses (such as the tilt/shift), or when the lighting is tricky and auto focus has trouble locking on. I wouldn’t use manual focus for very fast moving situations.

Having said that, if you asked this question 15 years ago when most of my cameras and lenses didn’t have the option of autofocus, it would have seemed weird to find it a problem. Focusing fast manually is something you get used to doing the more you do it.

How do you get such intimate candid shots of guests at a wedding without spooking them? They always seem so natural and relaxed.

There are two different approaches. I tend to shoot fairly close up, with a 35mm or a 50mm lens, so I mingle quite a bit. With my approach to candid photography the biggest factor is demeanour, if I were to act awkwardly people would be awkward in my pictures. When I approach people calmly and in a way that doesn’t make them feel like I’m doing something weird, they’re not spooked.

My assistant generally shoots candids with a longer lens (often the 100mm), which lets her sneak shots from further away without people noticing. I myself have started using the 85mm a bit more as well, it’s sometimes nice to be able to catch moments from slightly further away. Obviously the different focal lengths create a visually different kind of feeling to each other as well.

Do you have a question for Marianne? You can post your question here. The best questions and answers will get published on the blog throughout this series. 

Inspiration Board / 1 / Happy Workspace

Welcome to our first ever episode of Inspiration Board, bringing you a dose of visual inspiration to make life that little bit more colourful. Our boards get pulled together from what we’ve been pinning on Pinterest that week, and for this first one we’ve gone crazy for cute things to make your workspace happy! A little bit of colour brightens most days, and being able to work in a space we design ourselves can make even Mondays feel exciting (even when you find yourself working on a Bank Holiday!).


Cloud iPhone case by Emaley Accessories.
Cute geometric pocket notebook by With & Whistle.
DIY geoball to hold your washi tapes by Zü.
Live What You Love special edition print with neon heart by Heartfish Press.
Gentle reminders pencils in mint & gold by Amanda Catherine Des.
Vintage metal locker basket by Haven Vintage.
Wall decal lettered by Berinmade.
Packed with love paper packing tape by Fancy.
Geometric chevron watercolour print by Sweet Magoo.
Anne Ziegler’s gorgeous home office on A Beautiful Mess.

Follow us on Pinterest for more inspiration!

August 22, 2014

PRO File / 1 / Mark Brown

her-lovely-heart-profile-mark-brownPROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

This week we hear from Mark Brown, a filmmaker based in London, who specialises in filming weddings with Super8 cameras. Mark is a free spirit, a dreamer and an adventurer, who just happens to have built a reputation as a wedding filmmaker of such high esteem that he ends up being flown out to weddings on other continents!

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

I don’t think I have ever had a proper job, more a pursuit of interests… I once worked in an old people’s home when I was eighteen. I used to sing to them a lot. I would say what I’m doing now is my first ‘proper’ job.

Has filmmaking always been in your blood?

Always. My earliest memories involved either holding a camera or watching a movie that in some way changed my way of thinking. I daydreamed my way out of school with no qualifications. Cinemas were much more interesting.

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

I knew a lot about cameras, my editing was taking shape and I was getting enquiries…I was working as a bartender at that time. I couldn’t keep working two jobs, so I decided to give freelancing a trial for a month. It was a tough period in my life – I needed something real to concentrate on. I never looked back.

How did you go about starting your own business?

I had never started a business before, so I didn’t really have a clue on where to begin. Luckily though everything came together organically; I just shot the films, people took an interest and it grew. Business wise, I put where I am today down to four people who helped me tremendously in different ways; Joel Seratto, Annabel Beeforth, Marianne Taylor and my father.

Maxine & Anthony from Mark W Brown on Vimeo.


How did you secure your first clients?

I shot a few small wedding jobs through very basic advertising, I worked hard on them and I contacted Annabel Beeforth at Love My Dress to get her opinion. She posted one of them on her blog and that generated what I consider to be my first proper clients.

What is your typical daily routine like?

I can’t sit still for long. I’m an explorer at heart. I do a lot of wandering, I love to meet new people, find new places, take pictures, learn something… Recently I’ve realised that these things are an integral part of my creative world, which lends itself enormously to the way I shoot and edit my work, which generally happens in the evening. My inspiration comes in waves, so I keep an unstructured routine to work around them.

Why Super 8?

Beyond the immediate beauty of shooting film, the colours, the energy, the timelessness… Super 8 keeps me in the moment. I have shot a lot of video, but I find it a somewhat hollow experience, whereas filming a scene on Super 8 I find myself in a conversation between celluloid and light. I don’t do much in the edit – what you see is what I did on the day. Sometimes a shot works, sometimes it doesn’t, but no matter which way it goes there is an art to it that keeps me coming back for more.

8mm Artist Portrait: JAYMAY from Mark W Brown on Vimeo.


How do you decide which kit to use?

You never really know what the best camera for the job is until you arrive and take it in. I always travel with at least three different cameras and three different film types.

Do you have an allegiance to a particular type of gear?

Nizo. It’s never steered me wrong.

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to pick up your camera and shoot the world around you?

I’ve always put life and creative projects hand-in-hand. Recently some friends invited me on holiday and I didn’t take any cameras with me – it was the first time I had ever done that. In retrospect, it was the first time I had ever gone on holiday with friends as I usually travel alone. I’ve never felt so relaxed in all my life. I must do it more often.

Do you ever feel alone in your work?

Yes. But I make up for it. I’m a very social person and I’ve never had problems being by myself at weddings or strange new places…

You shoot weddings, fashion, editorial and commercial work – how do you deal with straddling so many different genres?

Again, it’s the pursuit of interests, I don’t take on anything that’s a ‘job’, I mix genres to keep things interesting, and I feel my style of storytelling is open to all kinds of interpretation.

East Side Story from Mark W Brown on Vimeo.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from other artists. Living in east London helps, everyone here is doing something interesting. But ultimately inspiration lies in my somewhat eccentric fascination to travel and discover.

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Keep going, it will all make sense soon…and don’t give up the saxaphone!

What would you like to be remembered for?

It sounds a little egotistical, but I like to think I’m a courageous person. I put myself into some interesting situations simply to experience a life out of the ordinary…and if some art comes from that then I will die a happy man.

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

I was flown to Texas last year to film a wedding and they treated me like a king. I don’t stop talking about that.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s always the feedback. I’ve had some beautiful words written to me recently. It fills me with rainbows.

What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

Working with film. It creates a lot of obstacles. But persistence through trial and error in the face of ruin has taught me so much, about the format and myself… I’m a much better person for it.

super 8 wedding film from Mark W Brown on Vimeo.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Fer Juaristi gave me some good advice…it’s hard to word, but it’s basically ‘do what you want.’ It sounded better when he said it.

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?



Latest from Instagram / 2


On our Instagram this week, we’ve been live-posting from our Her Lovely Heart garden mixer, which was filled with prettiness from BerinmadeFairy Nuff Flowers, Rose & Ruby Paper co.Ginger RayThe Sweet Hostess and others. We’ll be blogging about our get-together next week, with a proper look of the all the prettiness.