Learning how to take beautiful styled instagram shots with Carole Poirot

Last year, having seen Carole Poirot’s lovely images on instagram and read her genuine and engaging posts, I wanted to know more. She doesn’t blow her own trumpet, she doesn’t need to, her images do it for her. All the photos on this blog post are hers, shown here with her permission. She works as both a professional photographer and stylist in England and France.

Carole runs small workshops teaching the basics of using a proper camera, without it just being on an automatic setting. To be honest even automatic had to be better than my iphone images. I duly booked onto one of her courses. It was to be me and another half dozen people. At the time Carole was using different locations from which to run her workshops and this involved her travelling around laden with props, camera, food and equipment. That is the life of both photographer and stylist, and it can get a little wearisome and fatiguing at times.

To go off at a tangent, my youngest brother became seriously ill, and I needed to be at his side fairly constantly that year, so I had to wait before I could attend one of Carole’s courses.    She offered to give me a one to one day’s tuition at her home, which is incidentally full of fabulous props.

I set off on a wet, rainy, dark winters day feeling both excited and nervous, also I suspected my camera wasn’t working properly. Carole is a brilliant host and on arrival presented me with  delicious coffee and croissants. We went through the vital things you need to know when using a camera on a non-automatic setting. She showed me on hers and then I tried using my camera. I was correct the camera wasn’t working.

         *Note to self 

Check your camera before attending a photography and styling course.

For lunch, Carole had made one of those hearty soups you need on a wet winters day. She had developed and cooked a super delicious gluten free cake that we tried out at tea -time. This not only gave great eating opportunities but also plenty of shooting ones too.

As the workshop progressed Carole explained various rules of styling, light composition etc. she also showed how to manipulate and enhance images on the computer. We discussed styles of images shown on Instagram. At that time her dark moody shots were being much copied, so being ahead of the field she had moved on to lighter images.

It was a fascinating and informative day.  for anyone attending her workshops Carole provides fulsome and very useful notes.

Just as an after thought, if you can’t get to one of her courses Carole has a brilliant web site https://www.mademoisellepoirot.com/

It is full of beautiful photo’s recipes and much much more. The piece she wrote last year on photographing flowers is exquisite and extremely useful.

https://www.mademoisellepoirot.com/blog/how-to-photograph-flowers

I know that one of her ex attendees now runs styling workshops at £150 a head, so Carole’s course is a sound investment.

Want to be a success on instagram then HASH TAG AUTHENTIC is the book for you.

Finding creativity and building a community on instagram and beyond

We are forever being offered advice on how to up our instagram numbers and get more followers but no one does it as well as this Sara Tasker.

Sara Tasker  @me_and_orla

White Lion Publishing an imprint of quarto £16.99

www.quartoknows.com

Pics © Sara Tasker

If you are involved in design or any kind of creativity and participate on Instagram you are more likely, than not, to have come across the account @me_and_orla created by Sara Tasker. Sara set up her blog when she was on maternity leave in 2013 and she has become an inspiration to many aspiring bloggers and has in fact built herself a brand new and unexpected career out of social media. She has now written an informative and beautiful book about how she came by her success and how you might too become successful on instagram.

From the secrets of visual storytelling and crafting thumb-stopping instagram photographs, to archiving your day to day life whilst remaining authentic to yourself, this book is both an inspiring manual and an interactive tool for finding your voice online.

As she says ” Connection, communication and community are the underrated secret weapons of social media.”

The book is divided into four main chapters. Storytelling, Making Pictures, Archiving your life and Sharing your world.

The making pictures is particularly useful as she goes through what makes a good composition, why symmetry works, using negative space or a pop of colour, the rule of thirds and following your subjects gaze. She gives smart phone tips and talks about what grabs the eye. 

“Photographing our everyday lives allows us to zoom in on the details and think about the small things that hold big meaning for us”

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She finishes the book with ten commandments, for a healthy relationship with social media, I think they could equally apply to a healthy life. 1 Share, don’t brag. 2. Spend more time on other people’s pages than you do on your own. 3. Be human. 4. Mix it up. 5. Aim to serve others (instead of being self-serving). 6 Create what makes you really light up. 7. Follow your enthusiasm. 8. Stay playful and curious and don’t take it too seriously. 9. Take responsibility for your own boundaries. 10. Don’t compare yourself to other people.

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         In a book that is 190 pages long I thought that the book would have lots of repetition, it doesn’t. Sara has managed to cover everything you ever needed or wanted to know about using social media in an amusing and modest way. She is genuine, the real deal, and this with her beautiful images comes across on her instagram account.