Collages

Collages are a great way of giving your images more of an impact. Where one photo can be good, more can be better. I use collages in a couple different ways. The first is artistically, where I want to evoke a mood/feeling by grouping my images together. For example the other day I was missing summer (the part of summer where the days are beautiful & warm… before the suffocating humid heat) so I made the collage below.

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As you can see the common thread is the beautiful blues of summer. Shots of the ocean, Bermuda’s national flower the Bermudiana, and the eye makeup I did this summer inspired by it all.

I like doing “artistic” collages where I add my own images to poems/quotes that really speak to me, or to other people’s images that have become an inspiration to my own.

20130127-123225.jpg A Shel Silverstein poem & my own photos

20130127-123418.jpg A Sufi poet’s words & my own photos

20130127-130805.jpg The life is beautiful image is someone else’s, all other photos are mine. Created this collage to remind me that life is beautiful, you just have to look around at it.

Another way I use collages is to show the steps I have taken to create something. This can either be beauty/fashion linked, such as steps in a manicure or an eye makeup look, or it can be the various steps to something I’m cooking, such as soups or jams. This allows people to see what I’ve done to arrive at my final product, making it look more accessible to them.

20130127-124509.jpg This is the steps to the roasted garlic Bermuda onion jam I made last night.

20130127-124637.jpg This shows how I did my candy corn mani for Halloween this past year (the students loved it!)

Sometimes I like to show the inspiration for my makeup or mani, especially if its matching my outfit (which if you know me happens a lot lol).

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Or I’ll show both the inspiration & the makeup used such as in this pic (you can tell I was obsessed with this skirt as its the inspiration for both of these collages done at separate times last year lol)

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Now there are tons of apps that let you make collages, I’m partial to PicFrame myself, but know others who use PicStitch, Frametastic, PicCollage etc. I say play around with them & find one you like & go for it. A good collage app will let you change the size of the boxes, allow you to zoom & move the picture within each box, and will allow you to manipulate the borders. I’m not to fussed with adding backgrounds to my collages as I like the pictures to be the star, but I have seen other people create collages that the background goes with their photo theme & it can be quite cute (I could see it being a great application for party invites such as a baby shower).

Photo Club

Had a meeting the other day with a teacher (from the school I did my practicum at) about helping with the photography club. I am so excited! We decided the students first assignment would be to photograph an object they have at home.
I have of course started a couple hashtags for the project #wpsphotoclub & #objectfromhomechallenge (since you know I am an IG addict) and am looking forward to seeing what the children come up with. I chose a Belgian stone sculpture because its size means its very portable, thinking I’ll be able to take it with me wherever I go & take some cool shots lol. Plus it’s a beloved gift from my grandmother.

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Flowers at night = art

Instagram is an art form, a socially active one where your vision is shaped by those you follow & by who follows you.

I first realized that IG could become an artistic outlet for me after I took some great shots playing around one evening. Being bored & alone I started playing with some tulips I had bought at the farmers market and a spotlight in my hallway. There were a couple shots that I couldn’t help but think “these would look awesome” on my wall.

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I loved the way the flower looked in the light & the way the background went dark. My #flowersatnight series has been on of my favourites since I began IG.

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Confessions of a Curly-haired Girl

So even though I have learned to love my curls, & feel that they have become to define my look, I have spent many years longing for long straight hair. I envied girls that could effortlessly run their fingers through their hair or just throw it into a ponytail & have it look good. With curly hair even putting it into a ponytail requires a mirror, and to get JLo smooth look you need to add a firm bristle brush to the equation. I have dabbled in straightening my hair before, but unfortunately Bermuda’s humid climate would make that a real challenge lol. That’s a pic of me with straight hair at university below.

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It has only taken me 2 decades to figure out the secrets to my hair, hopefully this will shorten the learning process for someone else lol.

First thing I’ve learned is to style it in the shower while I have conditioner in my hair, I comb it & part it before I rinse. Then when I get out I gently squeeze it dry with a towel (I’ve read that it’s better to squeeze with a t shirt as it is less rough on hair, but I don’t have a hair drying t shirt lol) leaving it fairly damp.

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These are the products that I used today. I’m constantly trying new products, and somedays I use more or less products as my frizziness requires. Weekends I’ll give my hair a rest an only use one or two, or just do an oil treatment (more on my favourites another day). I worked the products in one at a time, from left to right. I begin with a curl cream, this could also be a curl “lotion” or “milk”, this first step is the runniest product. I then layer in thicker curl creams/moisturizers. These can be quite thick & creamy if you have thicker hair (since my hair is fine I don’t go too heavy). I then put in a curl moisturizing mousse-like product (either the Sally Hershberger or the Aveeno one pictured) to give my curls volume & body. Last step is a curl cream/custard that is gel-like. I like the kinky curly at the moment but I have used many in my lifetime.

So that’s just what I use right after the shower before I leave the bathroom. After this I STOP touching it & let it air dry. Sometimes the front dries too fast, or it can be a bit frizzier because I washed it with shampoo (taking out some of the natural oils, I find my hair is better a bit dirtier as the oils condition it a bit), so I re-wetted it with a conditioning spray then put another kinky curly spray on the front.

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After this I walk out the door with hair that looks quite wet (if you don’t like leaving the house with wet hair you will have to plan to shower earlier – I firmly believe in not blow drying my hair).

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After the hair becomes dry to the touch, the products I use produce a wet curl effect so they will still look wet, I will take a finishing cream (such as the Sally Hershberger one pictured far right in first pic) or an oil (my favourite is moroccan oil) to break up the curls, losing the wet curl look and the hardness, making them soft & fluffy. I rub the cream/oil in my hands, making sure to not wear rings or things that can catch in the curl & create frizz. I comb up from under the curls like the pic below.

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Appreciation

Instagram has given me an appreciation for every day, a stop & ‘take a picture of’ (not smell lol) roses mentality, which has helped me to be a happier person.

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I certainly have learnt to appreciate the beauty of morning. The first caress of the sun on the sky, the dew on the leaves, the birds against the backdrop of the clouds, all inspire me to start the day in a positive way.

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My camera has forced me to find the beauty in every day & everyday objects. To make art out of the mundane. Such as the beauty of a fallen leaf on the street…

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Taking pictures on daily basis has made me realize how much beauty I have in my day, and forced me to appreciation my world daily.

Food as art

So my food journey began with my insta friends but flourished under the inspiration I found on IG. Being able to follow chefs & food artists (I’ll explain later why I use that term) around the world has given me so much to think about with regards to my plates and their aesthetic.

These are some of the first foodies that I was inspired by…

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While on a trip to NYC with a friend who was having oral surgery & was stuck on a liquid diet, I ate raw & juiced with her. I felt so great & energized that the whole week felt wonderful. I started to think that my body ran better on raw fuel. Maybe it was the limited dairy, meat & starch diet that had me feeling less bloated, & minimized my mood swings & energy levels. I think the raw zucchini noodles at the Water Well sealed the deal. They were so yummy! When I returned home to Bermuda I was able to cut out half my portion of pasta & replaced it with raw grated zucchini when making spaghetti.

I first started following foodies & chefs, looking at flavour combos and trying to find a style that felt authentic & exciting to me. As much as I do love meat and there are certain dishes that I couldn’t imagine never eating again, but as I have followed more healthy eaters, vegetarians & vegans I realized that it was a way that I’d like to eat. It seemed easy to go more raw, especially as it made me feel better. I started looking at all the veggies at the market as possible stars of my plates. I became willing to try everything raw, without drowning it in dressing, appreciating the flavour that was naturally in each bite.

To encourage myself to eat many different colour veggies I started using blue plates that my grandma gave me (allowing my colours to pop off my plate), & I started following some food as art IGers.

Here is my shout out to a few of them…

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One of my favourites @alifeunhurried

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As you can see from the pictures there is a reason why I call them food artists.

I really enjoy using food to cheer me up, & in the past that would include eating junk, but now I get a thrill from “painting” my plate with veggies.

Insta Friends

Instagram has allowed me to make connections with people who share my passions and my aesthetic. My first insta friend was Crystal, we share a passion for juicing, food & our dogs. After I bribed her with some homemade jam we’ve been buddies ever since lol.

It was her that introduced me to an fb group that allowed me to meet more like minded individuals. The group was Juicing101 with Steven Robalino; through this group I met some wonderful juicers: Steven (Robalino himself), Emily, & Donna Dee. Following these people on Instagram, seeing their lives & emotions through pictures and then reading their thoughts on their fb pages has given me a glimpse inside of who they are.

I got the opportunity to meet my insta friends one trip to NYC and over juice, then cocktails, Crystal, Emily & myself had a wonderful girl chat. Emily stayed with myself and another bermy friend that weekend. Teaching me her killer kale salad & dressing, & making us yummy fresh almond milk.

Emily, Steven & Donna are all raw vegans and meeting them opened my eyes to the power of raw food. That trip to NYC with its juice bars, new friends, access to good healthy food, movie night at The Water Well, & yoga with Emily at the Integral Yoga Center was life changing. I had an epiphany regarding my diet & who I wanted to be. I started changing at the end of last year; beginning with meatless Mondays, then moving to meatless Monday – Friday, and with the new year meatless January. It all began thru IG pics – giving me inspiration from new friends & influences & by making me accountable for the food I put on my plate.

This is a pic of movie night at The Water Well (left to right: Mousse, Emily, Steven, myself & Donna. Not pictured, my girl Crystal).

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How it began…

Little did I know when I first downloaded Instagram that it would so affect my life. It’s an app… but is it just an app? I have made great friends, & both my outlook on life & my diet have forever been changed.

It was my dad who told my about the app, since he is the epitome of cool & the source of my gadget/photography knowledge. I started & was hooked. I loved capturing moments of my day & turning them into art using my perspective & IG filters. I became a self described IG addict (& still am til this day, check out my feed @severing) but instead of going to meetings I dove even deeper into the IG community. Following people suggested by IG, people with the same interests, & people who were doing things that inspired me.

I can’t remember if it was #ilovemydogs ,#juice or #food that brought Crystal & I together as friends but after having met her in the flesh I know that our friendship is just as real as the ones I have with people I met the traditional way.

IG has brought good things into my life and has given me a new perspective on life. This blog has been created to celebrate my love for IG & what it has brought to my life.

I scanned all the way back in my profile to see what my first pic was and of course it was a profile pic, now called a #selfie lol (in my defense I was playing with my makeup lol)

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