Everyone edits their photo's...

I thought and doubted taking the Meet the Blogger Masterclass Photography & Styling despite enjoying the Video and Personal Branding class last year. I don't edit my photos (I only recently cropped a few) and most pictures are exactly as my home is. And while I like my pictures, they are not completely conveying what I want them to say and while for now I'm still working with a compact camera that gives me error messages half the time, the tools will always be just that without knowledge, vision and style..done deal, to the masterclass we go!

The location was Vitra's showroom. Talk about style. I have Vitra in every spot from living to kids to my office. The fact that they have an amazing showroom combining the traditional architecture and modern glass additions with the fun and colour of Vitra was the icing on the cake. The aspect I love best about the space and the brand..livability. Design can be striking and uncomfortable. Yet the space remained bright, light but comfortable. All the living things with plants everywhere and the white being sated with colour makes it feel like a space you want to be in and where you can actually live.

To be honest I was a bit late because I navigate with an iPhone and it took me to two wrong locations and only found the right one after skipping the address and searching directly for  Vitra, which give me not Ouderkerk aan de Amstel or even Amstelveen but Amstelhoek. Go figure, even my phone makes a beeline for design and can't navigate..

The masterclass was not so much about technical photography knowledge, though it did touch on that topic. What it did do was give me food for thought. The central question I took away, being What is my style vision? What do I want from my photo's? Helping to define that in one go is not easy, so breaking it down helps. Questions like; What inspires me? What am I drawn to? What not? &Why?

I went to learn how to polish and make my look the smooth, editorial, minimal one that I love looking at but left with a realisation that is not me and why it feels so heavy and forced. Don't get me wrong, I love minimal and suave and have gained some great insights into making my pictures pop more. The pop is however not polishing it into a shiny palette of smooth greys (what I'm drawn to like a moth to a flame) because the photo's I love taking and sharing are the ones where the life springs off the photo, not the striking stills that are my inspiration.

Then comes styling. It incorporates many different aspects. The way the light falls, the shadows are all part of the picture and not just the actual elements of the photo. A big take away here for me is thinking in terms of the shot. Doing a storyboard ahead of time where I really take the time to decide before I start snapping and not feeling so fraudulent and vacuous to do adjustments for a shot. Adjustments mostly in layering and contrast. I love the look of my home but realise now looking 'in the real' or via a photograph are different things. Layers and contrast add depth and depth conveys life.

It was more tiring than I thought and not only because I alas live nowhere close to the neighbourhood and rightfully decided to get up and go running at 5.30 am that morning because even the lunch was executed with design. I mean watermelon, feta and mint salad in March and trays of scrumptious brownies? I left with not only a head filled with information and inspiration but also a full goodiebag as well as tummy!

Here are photo's of the beautiful showcases and of the inspiration it give me to layer, contrast, add elements outside my comfort zone and play with shadows and series photography..

These are the photo's I took during the exercises. The concrete house I brought with me and the green glass bottle, which I would have overlooked, belonged to another attendee but brought lightness to the weight of the concrete and solid shape.

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