Photo Diary: Rekorderlig ‘Apple & Guava’ Spirit of Summer Press Event

On Thursday evening I headed to St Paul’s for a beautifully Swedish affair. My favourite fruit cider (who am I kidding? It’s the ONLY cider I drink) Rekorderlig were hosting a press event to celebrate the launch of their new Summer flavour. That meant the fiancé and I were able to take in the amazing views from the Sky Bar (at The Grange Hotel) roof terrace as we sipped on the new Apple & Guava Rekorderlig. It’s juicy, sweet and very unique. After trying the new drink, I wanted to jump straight onto the cocktails (they’re my jam, yo!). Luckily Rekorderlig’s amazing mixologist Joel Persson was on hand to offer us some delicious beverages. My favourite was the Guava Semester, a succulently sweet cocktail made with Rekorderlig’s apple & guava, gin, apple juice, mint leaves, lime juice and sugar syrup. Now all I need is a stocked fridge and a pitcher to make it my drink of the Summer.
Once again Rekorderlig managed to host a chilled and enjoyable event. I loved the decor and more importantly the venue, which was the perfect Summer setting. This Summer I can definitely see myself chilling on a roof terrace with some friends, having a laugh and throwing back the Guava Semesters. Well done Rekorderlig, you’ve outdone yourself again!
Visit Rekorderlig to get your hands on their new flavour this Summer.

Workshop: Take Better Instagram Photos, with Jess Macdonald & Cath Kidston!

On Sunday, I headed to the 180 Piccadilly Flagship Cath Kidston store with AlexSarah. You’d probably expect me to go on and say how we were doing some casual window shopping, right? Wrong! We were there to learn how to take better Instagram photos at a special workshop. May saw three new free workshops (in collaboration with Indytute) pop up at the 180 Piccadilly store: ‘Vintage plate upcycling’, ‘My Cool Shed: how to make small spaces beautiful, with Jane Field’ and ‘Master Instagram in an instant, with Jess Macdonald’. I am a self-confessed Instagram addict! I was incredibly eager to take part and learn some new skills, so it only made sense that we were the first ones to arrive at the workshop!
Jess is a key player on Instagram, with over 32K followers on her @missundergound account. 
She also co-founded Instagrammers London and IGers UK – this lady knows her stuff! I eagerly took notes on my phone during the workshop and threw my hand up every time Jess asked a question – yes, I am THAT person! I’m sure my enthusiasm was charming…at least that’s what I like to tell myself. Anyway, I was taking notes to share them with all of you on here, so no judging, ok? Read below to find out Jess’s tips on how to take better Instagram photos and gain more followers, and to also see my ‘challenge photos’ from the workshop.

How to Take Better Instagram Photos 

No Instagram Filters! That probably sounds a bit insane when you’re talking about Instagram, but it’s true. The Instagram filters can flatten your images and take away the colour and impact from the original photo. Instead you should…
Use Apps! Jess recommended Vsco (my personal favourite) & Snapseed as two of the best. She also said that you should feel free to use the filters on Vsco because they are made to enhance your photo. Just make sure that you don’t go filter crazy, and try to always use one or two of the same filters.
The 3 Ss: Sunsets, Silhouettes & Symmetry: They can make your photos pop and look amazing! 
The Rule of Thirds: This is a simple photography tip that most people may already know. It’s my go-to rule! It’s a bit much to write in note form though, so read all about it here
Borders: Either use ’em, or lose ’em! Yep, either stick with the Instagram square, or only use borders (of the same size). I have been guilty of mixing both, but will avoid that from now on.
Selfies: It can be a bit awkward trying to take your own photo, which means that you don’t always get a great image. Instead ask someone else to take your photo. 
Take someone else’s photo: If you see someone interesting or someone with amazing style, ask them if you can take their photo. Don’t be scared! Just make sure you get their permission!
Hastags: Use them, but keep them relevant e.g. No #London if your photo wasn’t taken in London. Also remember not to use generic terms such as #nice #pretty etc.
Invest in a portable battery: So you won’t have to worry about running out of battery whilst you’re being the pro-photographer that you are!
Make relationships and reply to your comments: It’s all well and good liking someone’s photos but you won’t make relationships with users based on just that. If you like a photo or have something to say about it, leave a comment and let them know. At the same time, if someone comments on your photos, reply or say thank you. 
Jess’s Recommended Instagram Users

Jess recommended 3 inspirational Instagram users:
After Jess had given us some tips and tricks, we were asked to take part in a special photo challenge. We were told to take one Lifestyle photo (think table top, birds eye view), a photo of the Cath Kidston window, and a Selfie/Portrait.
My entries for each challenge category.
So what do you think? Did I do the themes justice? I was very happy with them. I had so much fun messing around and taking photos with Alex, Sarah, Jaz and Rubo. We played with beach balls, hopped inside the displays and basically treated the store like a big playground. All with the consent of the lovely Cath Kidston staff, of course! A big thank you to Jaz for hosting the event, and Jess for her insight, and for inspiring me to take my photography to the next level!
You can find me on Instagram: @bloomzy

Photo Diary: Of Castles and Kings

Yesterday I visited Chirk Castle in Wales, which is part of the National Trust. I’m a bit of a history geek and I love walking around old manor houses and castles etc. I also knew that it was the perfect time for me to take my camera and snap a few arty shots. I love sharing non-fashion/beauty images with you every now and again. Chirk Castle is lovely and the gardens are equally beautiful. The castle’s decor was as opulent as it was extravagant.  Flowers were in full bloom, and the sun was shining. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re nearby.

Photo Diary: London Skies & Coffee Bars

There’s nothing better than walking around East London on a sunny day. I took my mum and sister around my usual haunts, and to a few new places. The sky was absolutely clear, so it was no wonder we were looking up at the rooftops. I find that a lot of amazing architecture is missed out on because we just don’t look up. Well I spent last Sunday looking up, and I saw some amazing sites.

Photo Diary: Culture, Peanut Butter, Skincare and Me

If I ever had my own autobiography it would probably be named something close to the title of this post. The past week or so I’ve really been doing a bit of everything I love, which has been really lovely. The change in weather has given me a bit of a boost and it also means I can get out a bit more. Friends and family have also been visiting, so I get to do lots of stuff I wouldn’t usually do.

I’ve been visiting lots of museums, restaurants and art galleries. I live for culture, probably even more than I live for beauty products – shock, horror! It’s been fun being able to indulge in that particular passion, and I know it won’t end soon. I’ve also been receiving some exciting items in the post, which I’m sure you’ll see on here, no doubt. I thought my love of photography might suffer, what with my camera being sent back for repairs. Luckily that hasn’t been the case, and even though my iPhone 5s isn’t as good, it does the job.

You can follow me on Instagram @bloomzy

Photo Diary: Birthday Celebrations

As some of you may have noticed it was my birthday this week.
I know people say that your birthday gets less exciting the older you get, but I dislike that saying.
So I always end up using my birthday as an excuse to fill the whole week with things I love to do.
This week I went out to several different restaurants for meals, with the fiancé, and my friends.
The fiancé and I went for an amazing French dinner at La Sacre Coeur in Angel, Islington.
The food was traditionally French and very authentic, as well as being incredibly delicious.
My birthday is also the date of our anniversary (which makes it a lot easier to remember).
The next day I visited the Saatchi Gallery with Hanni, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
We had a lovely lunch on Kings road, which involved pasta and cake…although not altogether.
The following day a bunch of us went for food at Far Rockaway and then for drinks at The Book Club.
I received some amazing birthday presents of course, from some wonderful people, which I’m so grateful for.
Yes that is one of the new Tatty Devine horse brooches, a dino-sir card and a brand new iPhone 5S.
I’ve been uploading photos of them every now and again, because I’m just so giddy over everything.
Going out also means an excuse to dress up, so I’ve been uploading my outfits over the last few days too.
You can follow me on Instagram: @bloomzy

Photo Diary: Sunday in Shoreditch

Spending a Sunday afternoon in Shoreditch is one of my favourite things to do.
I love the vintage markets, world food stalls and street style of Brick Lane.
I love the smells, colours and the people who wander down Columbia Road.
It’s somewhere I always take people when they visit because it has such life.
Everywhere in Shoreditch has such atmosphere and effortless style.
If you aren’t a fan of London I suggest you visit these places and then decided again.
If you can’t make it to London anytime soon, hopefully my photos will help.
Locations/People in this photo diary include:
Hanni Bow, Brick Lane Coffee, Rough Trade East, Brick Lane Market & Columbia Road