October 22, 2014

Quote of the Week / 10 / Jorica

‘Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.’ ~ Peter Drucker

Peter-Drucker-quote-of-the-week-hand-lettered-wallpaper-by-Jorica-Glen-for-Her-Lovely-Heart

Today, a reminder about the importance of being a constant learner. There are so many vast worlds adventures and opportunities that lie on the other side of learning new things.

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 / 12 / Jorica

Jorica Glen hand-lettered our quote of the week this week, and here’s your chance to stay inspired, and to remember to always keep learning, with a free desktop wallpaper download.

blog-Peter-Drucker-quote-hand-lettered-wallpaper-by-Jorica-Glen-for-Her-Lovely-Heart-2

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October 21, 2014

Guest Blog: How to use backlighting in photography

her-lovely-heart-guest-blogger-nick-rayUnderstanding how to use light is one of the key ways to improve your photography. In this guest blog series, our in-house photographer Nick Ray explores the multitude of ways you can use light to create the kind of images that stand out.

Today I’m exploring the technique of backlighting your subject with the help of natural light. Although all natural light comes from the sun, it takes on many different qualities according to the weather and the time of day. Backlighting simply means that the light-source, in this case the sun, is behind your subject. This can go against conventional wisdom, but there are many advantages to shooting this way. Direct sunlight can cause unflatteringly harsh shadows and can make your subjects squint. This is solved when your subjects turn their backs to the sun, but it does bring a new set of challenges to getting a successful photograph.

Exposure

Your camera will most likely be exposing for the bright sun it is now pointing at, therefore your subject, being in the shadow of the sun, will be too dark. This means getting the camera out of ‘auto’ mode and setting the exposure manually or using exposure compensation to increase the exposure, so it is correct for the subject, and not for the sun or sky behind. If your camera has a ‘spot meter’ function you can accurately measure the light on your subject.

Using backlighting in photography.
 Diffused backlight. 50mm, 1/2000, f/1.4, ISO 100.

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October 20, 2014

Ask Marianne / 10 / How to approach a photo shoot

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers 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…

I sometimes go into a shoot thinking my clients will be good fun only to realise they are very awkward in front of the camera, which then causes me to freeze. What’s your number one tip for approaching a photo shoot in order to get the most natural results?

Great question! Reading this really took me back to a time when I too struggled with similar things, and it makes me truly appreciate how all the work I have put into this are has paid off, seeing how I’m able to fully enjoy pretty much any shoot situation and client interaction these days without worrying about things such as freezing or ‘difficult clients’.

You asked for my number one tip? Here it comes. Have no expectations. Having expectations on how the shoot will go, or what you want the outcome to be, is the quickest way to guarantee the kind of situation you describe. Based on what you (think you) know about the client you might be expecting for them to act in a certain way and go in with the expectation of a great success where they naturally reveal their inner beauty in front of your camera while perfect sunlight illuminates them in a magical way. Or conversely, you might have a client who you have pre-judged to behave in a certain negative way, based on an experience with someone who reminds you of them, and you go into a shoot dreading it in advance, which doesn’t really pave the way for a successful session. In both of these scenarios you are setting yourself up for failure.

The only way to truly allow your clients the safe space they need in order to reveal their true selves, is to not have any expectations, and just be prepared to go with the flow and with an interest in learning more about who your clients are. By all means go in fully prepared in all the areas you can affect (time of day for light, gear for the type of shoot, logistics, backups and workflows), but always remember to clear your mind when it comes to your clients. Most of all, keep in mind that the session is about them and what they are comfortable giving, not about what you want out of them.

And those awkward moments? Get comfortable with them. When you learn to just stay calm through an awkward or silent moment, your clients will feel that and mirror you. Likewise, if you panic or freeze, your clients will take a cue from you and feel similarly.

 
Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

October 17, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 5

Her Lovely Heart Instagram.

In the past weeks, on our Instagram feed, we’ve been sharing encouragement in the form of quotes, plus teased about some exciting things to come. We’re building something pretty special, and can’t wait to share it with you as soon as we’re finished!

If you have an Instagram you think would inspire the rest of our readers, just hashtag it with #herlovelyheart for a chance to get featured on our feed.
 

October 16, 2014

Guest Blog: How to manage your business while travelling

her-lovely-heart-guest-blogger-emily-johnstonGuest Blogger Emily Johnston is a photographer who loves the sense of freedom travelling gives her. In this episode she shares practical advice on how she is able to run her business while travelling the world.

In my previous post, ‘Remember why you started your business’, I talked about my love of travelling and how it’s one of main motivations for being self employed. I have structured my business in a way that allows me to spend most of the UK winter months traipsing around the globe. Over the years I have formulated a successful working practice, which means I can still communicate with clients, take bookings, as well as keep my social media accounts updated all whilst getting my freedom fix. Thanks to technology the world really has become a very small place and it is now totally achievable to run your business from anywhere you choose to.

Preparation is key

Before you leave for your trip make sure you have updated your answering machine messages and out of office email responses, have a copy of all your email templates including responses to enquirers, booking confirmations, as well as templates for quotes and invoices. Make a copy of your marketing material, for example the company logo and images that most represent your brand, and save them to a lightweight external hard drive and/or upload to Dropbox or a similar service. Bookmark the websites you use the most in the browser on you smartphone, tablet or laptop, for example your WordPress account,  Google Analytics and online banking. Also make sure you have copies of all your passwords saved safely too. To help with these tasks, check out some of Her Lovely Heart’s favourite productivity apps of 2014.

How to manage your business while travelling.

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October 15, 2014

Quote of the Week / 9

‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.’ ~ Anaïs Nin

Hand-illustrated for Her Lovely Heart by Mari from Crab+Fish.
I hope you’ll excuse me for posting an Anaïs Nin Quote of the Week two weeks in a row… I just couldn’t resist posting this gorgeous creation from our latest contributor Mari! This might just be the most gorgeous thing I’ve seen in a while, and it certainly gets me more in the mood for autumn! I also love this cute behind the scenes shot of the work in progress, below.

Hand-illustrated for Her Lovely Heart by Mari from Crab+Fish.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Mari from Crab+Fish. You can also follow her on Instagram. Download a desktop wallpaper set of this Quote of the Week in today’s Goodie Bag.

Goodie Bag / 11

Mari from Crab+Fish hand-lettered our beautiful Quote of the Week, and now you can stay inspired by downloading these original desktop wallpapers.

Free wallpaper: hand-illustrated for Her Lovely Heart by Mari from Crab+Fish.

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October 14, 2014

Thru Your Lens Photography Workshop

Thru Your Lens Photography Workshop by Her Lovely Heart.

Many of you have gotten in touch asking for more photography training, and we’ve certainly heard you. We’re so happy to finally announce our first Thru Your Lens Photography Workshop with Nick Ray & Marianne Taylor on the 19th of January 2015.

The workshop is for you if you want to learn to properly use your d/SLR camera, and to gain a deeper understanding of how and why we make the technical decisions we do. Perhaps you want to be a professional photographer aiming to take the first steps into getting to grips with your equipment, or you might be a blogger wanting to take more professional images for your blog. Which ever the case, we’d love to help you!

Click through to our store to sign up & learn more!

Thru Your Lens Photography Workshop by Her Lovely Heart.

October 13, 2014

Ask Marianne / 9 / How to achieve success

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers 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…

If someone said ‘How can I achieve your level of success?’ What would you say?

Success is a dangerous word, as there’s a trend among photographers to look at success in terms of how idolised someone is among fellow photographers. To me, the real measure of a successful business should be how valued you are among your clients, as they should be the number one reason for all your actions, they are after all your biggest sales force. And to achieve success among your clients takes working out what it is you really are offering, and figuring out why you do what you do, and then communicating that as clearly as you can. Plus countless of hours of hard work, perfecting your craft, perfecting your processes, perfecting your customer service. There is no easy way, especially if you do become successful, as then you really have to stay at the top of your game in all areas.

It’s also important to realise that when it comes to feeling successful, there is no one tried and tested recipe. We tend to think of success in financial terms, but there are so many other things that add up to your personal sense of success, such as your quality of life. You should always define your sense of success on your own terms, not anyone else’s.

Marianne-Taylor-creative-fine-art-wedding-reportage-photography-preston-court_0085
 
Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

October 9, 2014

Inspiration Board / 3 / Pink tech

This week I’ve gone full on girly with Inspiration Board. It might be the end of summer looming and the fact that the days are getting shorter, which makes me look up bright, cheerful things, but what ever the reason, sometimes channeling your inner teenager can do wonders for your mood! I love the fact that there’s much more choice now when it comes to choosing our tech, and even though there are certainly some areas where more design options would be appreciated (hello people who design black boring external hard drives and card readers?), at least we can now find cuter options for some of the everyday tech we use. Even if pink might not be your thing, hopefully some of these picks will get you thinking about how to amp up the mood-lifting ability of some of the more mundane things you use!

Pink tech inspiration board by Her Lovely Heart.

A pretty iPhone cover that will lift your mood in more ways than one from Alphabet Bags.
An in-car charger doesn’t need to be black and boring.
I love this soft pink laptop case, which kinda makes me want to go back to school.
The bring pink Philips headphones are ripe for the picking.
bubble gum pink telephone, which reminds us of a time before everything got sleek and silver.
A clever and pretty pink juice cube, which will charge your devices on the go.
This bright pink diamond speaker is exactly the kind of fun tech we need more of.
Say yeah to an iPhone case to keep you motivated.
In-ear headphones that are cute enough to lift your mood any time you pick them up.
It’s the retro tech, like this baby pink Instax Mini camera, that is leading the way on the girly tech front.

Follow us on Pinterest for more inspiration!
 

October 8, 2014

Quote of the Week / 8

‘We see things not as they are, but as we are.’ ~ Anaïs Nin

Anais Nin quote hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Lola Hoad

Today, one of my favourite quotes, which I’ll never tire of. Every time I read it I get a little jolt, a reminder about how we create the world we live in. It’s so easy to feel like a victim of circumstances, but real freedom comes from being able to change the way we view those circumstances.

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

Goodie Bag 10

Lola Hoad hand-lettered our quote of the week this week, and here’s your chance to stay inspired and keep learning with a free desktop wallpaper download.

Free Anais Nin quote wallpaper hand lettered for her lovely heart by Lola Hoad

 

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Lola Hoad.

Click here to download Quote Wallpapers by Lola Hoad: 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 submissions@herlovelyheart.com 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!
 

October 7, 2014

We need to seek out a spark to keep inspiration alive

Greetings from Palm Springs in California, where I’m attending the annual Adventure Always conference, which always feels like diving head first into inspiration. After listening to the speakers today, I started going through some of my old diary entries, trying to find those little moments where a spark has been ignited or relit. I noticed that very often they coincide with travel, or at least getting outside of my routines and everyday surroundings. I came across this fairly lofty thought from last year, written on a retreat in Tuscany.

10 September 2013, Tuscany, Italy

‘I have the freedom to be strong, the freedom to choose kindness, the freedom to make my life look like I want it to look. I want to choose grace and being gentle with each other. I want to heal, I want to teach, I want to learn. I want to remove pain, boredom and fear, I want us to live in joy. I don’t have any use for jealousy, bitterness or hate, they do not serve me. I want to lead you to a place of non judgment, where all masks are off and there is just truth and beauty. Beauty in strength, beauty in weakness, beauty in honesty and beauty in connection. Beauty in seeing without obstacles, in feeling with your whole being. We can be the pulse, we can be the heartbeat.’

Marianne Taylor Photography Tuscany Italy

Isn’t it funny how strongly you can experience things at times, and how far removed you can feel from those clear moments at other times? It’s important to seek out those moments that help us keep the flame of inspiration and connection alive, but the real challenge is being able to ignite that flame not by the change of circumstances, but rather by the way we choose to view things around us where ever we are. Sparks after all always happen on inside, not on the outside.

October 6, 2014

Ask Marianne / 8 / Meeting with clients

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers 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…

Can you please describe your first meeting with a potential wedding client?

These days I get so many wedding enquiries that I don’t generally get to meet the client before a booking, as it would be a bit of a logistical nightmare, especially when there are more than one couple interested in the same date, which often is the case. I do try to meet with my wedding clients before their big day though, whether at their engagement session, or at a consultation where we’ll look at some samples of albums and get to know each other better.

My main prerogative is to learn more about the client and their story, and to educate them about my process (although I do this with my material prior, so generally in meetings it’s more of a reminder), and to connect with who they are. Quite a few of my clients are based abroad, so sometimes meetings take place over skype, technology really has made such a difference to our lives in such a short space of time!

If you’re starting out, and nervous about consultations, I think the best thing for you to do is to try to focus completely on the people in front of you, and ask questions about them, rather than going in with a sales pitch about who you are and what you do. After you’ve gotten to know a little bit more about the couple, do invite them to ask you questions. When it comes to talking about your pricing, practice makes perfect. Make sure you know your prices and are comfortable with them. You can even practice saying your prices out loud so that when it comes to a consultation situation you are able to do it confidently and calmly.

London pre-wedding shoot by Marianne Taylor Photography
 
Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

October 2, 2014

Guest Blog: Remember why you started your business

her-lovely-heart-guest-blogger-emily-johnstonGuest Blogger Emily Johnston is a photographer who loves the sense of freedom travelling gives her. In her first post she talks about the importance of remembering the reason why you are self-employed in the first place, and of always navigating by your own values.

If you had to choose one word to sum up the reason why you decided to become self-employed what would it be? Mine is freedom. The freedom of choice, time, and creativity, but the most importantly the freedom to come and go as I please. The freedom to travel. To say I love traveling is some what of an understatement. I am a modern day nomad who is at their happiest when either swimming in the Pacific Ocean, exploring the streets of a European city, or watching the sun set over the an island in the Caribbean.

As a  wedding photographer, my main season is generally from May till October. This leaves the winter months in the UK, but more importantly the summer months in my favourite destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and my new happy place Fiji, free for me to travel. Therefore I choose to only book weddings, as well as arrange fashion and bridal shoots, during the warmer months of the Northern hemisphere, allowing me to travel for up to three months from December to March.

Guest post by Emily Johnston.

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October 1, 2014

Quote of the Week / 7

‘Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.’ ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe Quote hand-lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis

I hope this quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe will give you some encouragement when going through tough times. The tide will always turn, one way or another, and it’s our job to learn from any obstacles we’ve faced, and adjust our course accordingly.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia De Antoniis. You can also find her on Instagram. Download desktop wallpapers of this Quote of the Week in today’s Goodie Bag.

Goodie Bag / 9

Gioia De Antoniis handlettered our encouraging Quote of the Week, and now you can stay inspired by downloading these original desktop wallpapers.

Free wallapaper hand-lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis

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September 30, 2014

A postcard from Cannes + branding success stories

Her Lovely Heart travel photography

It wasn’t supposed to happen, really. The sun was warm making my skin smile, as we walked along the picturesque cobbled streets of Cannes in the South of France. A feeling of old school glamour hung in the air. As this was a work trip (we were there to shoot a multi-day wedding), with only one evening and one morning to ourselves, I hadn’t really planned on doing any shopping. But turning the corner the window display caught my eye instantly, the pastel coloured arrangement pulled me towards itself as if with an invisible thread. With the full intention of just ‘taking a peek’, we stepped inside a patisserie that fantasies, or perhaps movies, are made of.

Her Lovely Heart travel photography

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September 29, 2014

Ask Marianne / 7 / Setting prices as a newbie photographer

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers 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…

What advice can you give about setting prices for those who are new to the photography industry?

I’m planning to write a post about pricing in the future, but for now, here are some simple tips that will hopefully help you in the right direction. First of all, you shouldn’t look at other people’s pricing too much, as everyone’s business is structured differently, and their life situations and needs are different from yours. While not ideal in the long term, a still much healthier place to start is a cost-based pricing model, which looks a little bit like this:

1) Work out your own annual cost of living. When doing this, add up everything you can possibly think of from your basic bills to other expenses which add up to the kind of life you would ideally want to live.

2) Work out your costs of running a business, including all your overheads and expenses you can think of.

3) Think about how many shoots you are comfortable doing in a year.

4) Divide the number you arrived at on the costs side with the number of shoots, and you’ll have your minimum that you’ll need to charge per session. Then add a margin for when things go wrong, and you’ll arrive at a sum that should at least keep you in business, and surviving in life.

If the sum you end up looks scary, realise that this is your issue, not necessarily your client’s. In order to justify what you’re charging to yourself, make sure your craft is at a level you are proud of, and that you are offering an exceptional experience and service to your clients.

When you set realistic prices from the start, you will have a much better chance of keeping your business alive, and you will eventually be ready to move on to a pricing model which will leave you with some more breathing space, too.

London anniversary session by Marianne Taylor.
 
Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.