Learning A New Skill

Posted in Blogging.

colourful leather satchels

I took this photo earlier in the week and I’m still ridiculously proud of it. As a freelance community manager, I find myself taking on the role of several people – copywriter, customer service representative, PR girl, statistics analyst, ad manager and, the one I’m currently enjoying most, photographer.

When working with small brands, budgets often don’t stretch to professional photographers which means I’ve had to get handy with my camera a number of times. In 12 months, I’ve learnt so much about creating great shots and although they’re by no means perfect (and I am by no means a professional), I’m really pleased with how far I’ve come with a camera.

brit stitch pastel bags

I recently invested in a new lens which has made a huge difference, but when it comes to promotional photography I think composition and styling is just as important as technical knowledge. The part of photography I enjoy most is sourcing props and setting up each shot. My car booting days come in handy here – I have a rather large collection of vintage bits and bobs that work perfectly for the brand I do most of my photography work with – Brit-Stitch.

brit-stitch leather bags

Brit-Stitch has a very pretty, girly aesthetic so shooting for them is a total joy. I’m always on the look-out for props to use – from printed blankets and fabrics to use as backgrounds to bottles, old cameras and even a disco ball. As well as car boot sales and charity shops, I find props in pound shops (honestly brilliant for cute, cheap pieces), TK Maxx (great for quirky dinnerware) and Primark (their cheap necklaces look fab in detail shots).

vintage leather satchels

Most of my ‘photo shoots’ are set up in my back garden, on my kitchen table or on the floor in the spare bedroom. I’m not very confident with using the flash on my camera, so I look for spots with great natural light and plenty of space.

diptyque candle liberty limited editiondesigner glasses pretavoircath kidston mothers day

Developing my photography skills for my day job has really improved the photos I take for the blog. Although it takes me 10 times longer to get a post up than it did in the old ‘point and shoot’ days. Yes, my food is always cold by the time I’m ready to eat it and I can’t buy flowers without thinking ‘will they look good on camera?’, but I’m so pleased with the results.

I’ve still got a long way to go before my technical skills rival any professional photographer’s, and there are a few things I need to add to my ‘kit’ – a step ladder so I can really nail those overhead shots and a big piece of wood to get that ‘rustic’ background are first on my list. But for now, this post includes some of my favourite shots, taken over the last 12 months.

Happy Easter everyone!



These photographs are lovely and make me want to buy one of those cute pastel bags! Could I ask what lens/camera you use? I am just about to purchase my first non-kit lens and it’s a minefield! Similar to you, I have to take more and more photographs for work, as well as writing and various other things. I don’t mind at all!


Your shots are wonderful – and I bet it’s so satisfying to see the difference between your old photos and now.

I’m still definitely in that learning stage – but your photos have inspired me!

Hmm maybe…

Ashleigh Millward

I love this post Jen, improving my photography and taking more time over it has become such a priority of mine lately I can’t wait to get stuck in to improving it x


The LAMPLIG wooden chopping boards from IKEA are ideal for wood backgrounds. They’re big enough to fit a decent amount of things on and after a bit of use as an actual chopping board, it has the rustic touch too! This is one of my ‘proudest’ shots (and also one of my best bits of baking too) http://instagram.com/p/lUpaGfksBw


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