One of my favourite things about blogging, is the ability to create something beautiful. Although I love writing, photography will always be my favourite part of the process. As I’ve recently started a little series of blogging tips posts, I thought it was high time I talked a bit about taking blog photographs. When Panasonic asked me to create a post about blog photography I jumped at the chance. Their Panasonic Compact System Camera is ideal for bloggers, looking for an all round camera.

How to take blog photographsIn recent years blog photography has really stepped up a gear, especially with the rise of Instagram. Everything is very visual these days. This blog has three main types of photographs; they are photographs of items and products, outfit photos and photos of places. I wanted to focus on the first type of blog photographs in this post.

Backgrounds: Having lovely back drops for your photos is a great place to start. For my photos I use anything from furniture in my house to nice floors and often pretty pieces of wallpaper work well. Many bloggers opt for a simple white background. If have a nice supply of papers and locations I use and always have something to hand for when I need to get a job done in a hurry.

How to take blog photographsLighting: Good lighting will always be your friend when taking good blog photos. Natural light without too many shadows will always work best. If theres a bright but overcast day, the diffused light is perfect for getting those snaps. I also use a soft box light when I absolutely need to. Its also nice to add a little depth to pictures using light boxes, candles of fairy lights.

How to take blog photographsProps: As my blog has a vintage theme, I usually find nice things to include in my photos at car boot sales and charity shops. I love using vintage books, kitchen bits, china and jewellery to make my pictures interesting. I also love using fresh flowers. You can choose nice things that go well with the look and feel of your blog.

How to take blog photographsFind your own style: At the moment flat lays are everywhere. They look great, work across all social platforms and are a great way top show off products, bakes or whatever it is you want to show. As well as flat lays I like to take photographs from lots of different angles. It’s all about finding your own style and what works well for you and your blog. For each post I usually take about 50 pictures and choose 3 or 4 perfect ones for the finished piece. The more you work at it, the more you’ll find your own style.

How to take blog photographsTake inspiration from others: One of the best ways to find inspiration is to read lots of other blogs, look at Pinterest and look at pictures in magazines. Obviously do this without directly copying someone else ideas. I often get ideas for composition and layout from elsewhere and then do my own thing from there. Blogging is all about learning as you go.

How to take blog photographsEquipment: Depending on what you can afford, a good camera does make a big difference. I started off using my phone to take my pictures, as time has gone on I’ve upgraded my camera several times. I still take outdoor shots on my phone sometimes. For my flat lays and food shots or anything taken indoors I use my SLR camera with a macro lens.

How to take blog photographsEditing: This is a really important part of the photography process for me. Once I’ve taken and chosen my blog photographs I like to crop, edit and watermark them before adding them to the blog. I used to use photoshop for this. I now use Pic Monkey as its very quick, straightforward and easy to use. There is lots of free editing software online as well as more advances options that you pay to use. It’s worth shopping around and trying different things to see what works best for you. As I’ve got better at taking pictures, I’ve needed to edit less, but it can be a great way to improve pictures when the light wasn’t perfect or the colours aren’t quite right.

I hope these tips have been helpful when taking your own blog photographs. If you have any questions or have any blog tips you’d like me to include in a later post, please let me know and I’ll get to work on that for you. Be sure to check out my Blogging Tips section for more blogging advice.

* Thank you to Panasonic for working with me on this post. All opinions and images are my own. 

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Last week I wrote a post for the Laura Ashley blog, all about getting cosy and ready for Autumn entertaining. I absolutely love their Autumn themed range, it has everything from cute fox mugs to leaf shaped coasters to really get you in the mood for snuggling up with warm treats as the nights draw in.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite things throughout the year are delicious hot drinks like tea and coffee, and I know I’ll be using my fox mugs a lot over the coming months.

Autumn Home wareFor my Laura Ashley post I created a spiced apple juice recipe. This is a lovely warming drink for cold days and the recipe can also be used for a spiced cider.

Autumn Home wareThe pumpkin soup bowl is perfect for not only a lovely warming bowl of soup, but I thought it worked really well as a mini punch bowl for my spiced apple juice.

Autumn Home wareI also used it too store this lovely autumnal pot pourri. This has a gorgeous spice and orange scent and contains lots of pretty things in colours that really capture the season. Alongside the autumn burnt amber and orange scented candle, my house was smelling all spicy and warm in no time.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite autumn treats would have to be toffee apples. they are such a traditional classic and no bonfire night celebration would be complete with out one. I’ve also shared my Toffee apple recipe on the Laura Ashley blog.

Autumn Home wareThese are all the things I used to create these gorgeous pictures:

Autumn Home ware

Top Row: Autumn Wreath – Pumpkin Soup Bowl – Leaf Coasters

Middle Row: Leaf PlacematsAutumn CandlePumpkin Pie Dish

Bottom Row: Fox MugAutumn Tea TowelsPot Pourri

Autumn Home wareWhat are your favourite things about autumn? Which are your favourite pieces from the Laura Ashley range?

*Thank you to Laura Ashley for sending me all the lovely things I used to create these blog posts. All opinions as always are my own. 

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If you’ve been reading a while, you’ll know I’m a bit obsessed with the Disney and Cath Kidston collaborations. I’ve been collecting the dresses since the first Winnie the Pooh one came out last year. Before each new collaboration is announced I get really over excited and try to guess which it will be. So far we’ve had Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, 101 Dalmatians and now Peter Pan. I’m already guessing what will be next, here’s hoping for Lady and The Tramp or Aristocats one day!

The Peter Pan collection launches next Thursday and Cath Kidston have just released their preview, so you can see everything that will be coming in. Realistically I can only choose a couple of things, but I thought I’d put together a Wishlist of all the stuff I love from the collection anyway.

Fashion: I’m starting with the most important one here! This is probably my favourite fashion range yet, I love the longer length on the dresses and the shirt dress is absolutely perfect for this time of year.

Cath kinston Disney Peter Pan Collection

Tea Time: I am completely and utterly addicted to buying nice tea sets and pretty things for my kitchen. The Tinker Bell Posy print, is absolutely perfect for me and I really love the range which includes a tea cup and saucer, cereal bowl and mug. I also really like the apron, perfect for a spot of baking. I also like to take a hot drink out with me, so the travel cup would be super handy.

Cath kinston Disney Peter Pan Range

Accessories: Being Cath Kidston, there are obviously a lot of nice bags and accessories, including some cute make-up bags. It was hard to choose my Wishlist, but for me the tote bag would be really useful as it’s big enough to carry all my things. I always need nice notebooks, as I never stop writing lists and blogging ideas. I also just love the pom pom keyring and phone cover.

Cath kinston Disney Peter Pan Collection

Take a look at the preview and let me know what you’ve got your eye on from the collection. I’d also love to hear people guesses for what the next collection will be.

Find out all the details of the launch and how to shop here.

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It’s time for the next instalment of my Blogging Tips series. This time I’m talking about blogging equipment and the tools I use to do my job.

Really all you need when you start out blogging is something to write your posts on and something to take pictures on. When I started out out I had an old laptop and a camera phone. As time went on I have definitely gained a fair amount more blogging equipment. This post is all about the things I use, you by no means need all of it, these are just a few things that help me create my content.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentLaptop – I use a MacBook Pro to write on, I love how portable it is and lots of my work happens while I’m on the go. I am one of those people who can be spotted in a coffee shop typing away! A lap top really is the most essential bit of blogging equipment.

Camera – My main camera for blogging is a Nikon 5200, this fab SLR is perfect for blog photography. I have a selection of difference lenses that I use for different types of photos.

Camera Remote – A really useful tool, if you’re going to be taking pictures of yourself. A self timer remote, takes the stress out of taking your own pictures.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentPhone – I have an iPhone 7. Since getting this phone, I’ve taken a lot more blog photos on it as the camera is amazing. Most of my Week in Pictures posts are now taken using my iPhone rather than my big camera. I’m loving the extra space in my bag!

Notebooks – I am forever buying pretty new notebooks and filling them with to do lists and ideas. Blogging may be an online things, but good stationary is a big part of what we do.

Chargers – When you’re constantly taking pictures or checking social media, a portable charger is essential. I  never go anywhere without one. Check out the Tylt charger for an easy solution.

A big bag – I’d love to travel around with a tiny bag, but as I always have notebooks, cameras and chargers in tow, a big bag is a blogging essential.

Lighting – Good lighting is so important for taking good blog photos, I try to use natural daylight, but I also have a pair or soft box lights to help.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentProps – I’m always on the lookout for new probs for my photographs. I pick up little treasures at charity shops and car boots to include in my photos. I also have a big selections of backgrounds. My favourite photo prop is definitely a bunch of fresh flowers though.

This post has kindly been sponsored by Tylt. They have a fantastic range of charging solutions, perfect for bloggers and those who work on the go. Their range includes power cases, portable chargers and wireless chargers.

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There are many things I love in life, those little luxuries that never fail to make me smile. Very high on my list of favourite things are tea sets, cake, history and visiting beautiful places. This probably explains why I love all things National Trust so much! Whenever I visit a National Trust property I always have a good look round the gift shop. The girls will often get a little treat and I sometimes pick up something nice for myself.

The National Trust shop have a team of in-house designers. They create beautiful prints inspired by the many beautiful places in the Trusts care. One of my favourite recent ones, was inspired by West Wittering. My grandparents had a beach hut there when I was little and the print brought back fond memories.

The latest addition to their lovely range of designs is Bohemian Circles, inspired by the Bloomsbury Group and Virginia Woolf’s former home Monk’s House, which is in the care of the Nation Trust today.

Here’s a little back ground on the Bloomsbury set:

The Bloomsbury Group were a circle of friends, writers and artists who created new ideas for art and literature. They lived in the Bloomsbury area of London, and met, lived and loved together from 1904 until the 1930s. They believed creativity and beauty were central to life and they created and enjoyed vibrant and radical art.

You may have heard of their names as their influence is still important a century later. Roger Fry inspired them to embrace modern art, and when now famous artists such as Cézanne and Gauguin were hardly know in Britain, he and Clive Bell introduced them to the public. This appreciation of new art inspired their Bloomsbury friends. Vanessa Bell created paintings full of gorgeous bright colour.

Her sister, Virginia Woolf pioneered new forms of writing in novels such as Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia’s novel Orlando was inspired by Vita Sackville-West and her vast house, Knole, now cared for by the National Trust. Vanessa’s many talents included design, and she created the covers for Virginia’s novels published by the Hogarth Press. Virginia ran the press with her husband Leonard Woolf, and they lived together at Monk’s House, now also cared for by the National Trust.

Virginia’s companion, Duncan Grant, shared her talent for art and design, creating everything from paintings to textile designs for the Bloomsbury run design company, the Omega Workshops. Other members of the group excelled in their chosen areas, whether it was Lytton Strachey’s radical biographies and critical writings, or John Maynard Keynes economic theory. (above picture – the living room at Monks House)

It is remarkable that this small circle of friends contained so many talented people, whose work still seems vibrant, fresh and radical today. Their relationships now seem as forward-thinking as their art, and can still seem a bit unconventional to us today. They believed people should be free to live and love as they chose. Above all, when we visit a garden like Sissinghurst, read a novel by Virginia or enjoy a beautiful painting by Vanessa, we can still feel the love, beauty and pleasure they brought to their life and their art.

I love that the new range pays homage to so much talent and history, as well as being very pretty. The kitchen and tableware range features a bold, yet chalky colour palette, reflecting colours the Bloomsbury Group artists used most frequently. Including a particular shade of green, based on the distinctive colour Virginia used to paint her sitting room walls.

~Every penny of profit from sales of the range, goes to support The National Trust, who protect and conserve hundreds of beautiful buildings and places, so that we can enjoy them. These would make amazing gifts, for Christmas, a new home or a wedding, or just something special for yourself.

The National Trust kindly leant me this set to try out and to take some pictures of. I adore the range, everything from the history to the beautiful design is lovely.

Of course no tea set would be complete with a great cuppa to go with it. The National Trust offer an amazing selection of tea, in lovely tins. As someone who only buys fairly traded tea and coffee, I am glad to see that National Trust Tea is Fairtrade too.

Featured Products:

side platecake slicecake standmilk jugcake forksteapotteacupnapkins

The range is available in selected National Trust shops or on the National Trust online shop.

Thank you to Matthew Storey for helping me with this post!

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