blog https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog Just another WordPress site Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:01:34 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 7 DIY Framing Ideas For The August Bank Holiday https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/7-diy-framing-ideas-for-the-august-bank-holiday/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:40:42 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=766 We have assembled a list of our favourite ways to get creative with framing this Bank Holiday weekend. Without further ado, read on to discover some of our top DIY tips for framing. Some are extremely simple, whilst others are rather elaborate…

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The final Bank holiday has arrived and with it the last annual long weekend of the year. The bank holiday is seen as the ideal time to get those odds jobs started (and hopefully finished) within the home. We believe it also represents the perfect opportunity to finally frame those pictures which have been lying in storage. With the extra couple of days in the bank, it could be the perfect time to raid the archives and frame those prints.

Below we list some relatively simple DIY framing tips to trial this weekend, Happy framing everyone…Don’t forget to share your projects with us by using the hashtag #FramedMoment.
From Phone to Frame

1. From phone to frame in moments…

With a bit of extra time to spare this weekend, why not utilise our frame designer and take a moment to browse through your favourite camera roll imagery. Using our frame designer, you can upload a photo and see it within a potential frame in minutes! All you then need to do is place your order, wait for it to arrive, and hang it up during the bank holiday! Did we mention that we are doing free delivery at the minute as well…?

That Awkward Poster

2. Awkward posters to measure…

Perhaps you’ve got some posters you’ve been meaning to frame, or maybe you’ve been putting of framing that piece of wall art due to its awkward measurements. There is no better time to crack out the tape ruler and collect your measurements and order some frames. Please feel free to check out our how to measure video for expert guidance on measuring your beloved piece of artwork. It’s much simpler than you may believe to frame a custom image.

Alternatively, you may be looking for inspiration on what kind of posters to frame, another area we may be able to assist… Ink and Drop is a fantastic resource of vibrant prints, we have worked with many influencers who have used their services and their artwork is always breath-taking in our picture frames. We have also worked with talented individuals such as Peter Dean of Kite Print. Peter, along with the help of some friends, skillfully recreated an iconic poster which Beatles Legends John Lennon and Paul McCartney took inspiration from when writing the lyrics For the benefit of Mr Kite!

eFrame Gallery Wall with Instagram Influencer HomeAtTheHeathfield

3. Gallery Wall creation…

This could be the ideal moment to start that gallery wall which has long been in the planning…

With the extra days in the bank, why not get started on this endeavour. Decide upon your images, work out how to position the frames, and start constructing your perfect gallery wall. If you are struggling for inspiration, or aren’t entirely sure what you need to do, check out the fantastic page of @HomeAtTheHeathfield which details how to go about creating your dream gallery wall. Click on the gallery wall highlights icon..

How To Mount Your Art

4. Mount your art at home…

Whilst we can mount on-site at our HQ, there may be those of you looking to mount your own picture as a project. We have created a How-To mount guide which covers all the fundamentals when it comes to mounting your artwork. You will need mounting tape, your picture and of course the frame!

To discover more information on “How To” videos click here.

Create an Instagram inspired frame

5. Create an Instagram inspired frame…

We recently teamed up with the talented team at Little House On The Corner and if you want a project which will prove a real labour of love and take a little more time, check out their life-size Instagram frame which is extremely bespoke and takes advantage of multi-openings to create a real-life Instagram board.

After all, with so much of our precious memories now stored on the sharing platform, it makes sense to try create a physical copy of these pictures. The concept is simple, like on Instagram your images are displayed within a grid, rather than this grid being digital it is a physical collection of images which can be framed on the wall.

Cave Of Pixels

6. Pixel art perfectly framed…

What is pixel art we hear you say? Well, we teamed up with Iain from Cave of Pixels who uses beads to create unique works of art which have a resemblance to famous cultural figures, check out his gallery by clicking here.

If you would like to try to recreate this type of design, simply pick your frame from our website, and take inspiration from Iain, in his own words “I soon realised that the only thing you really need to be a pixel bead artist is patience. By the bucketload. Ok, creativity and attention to detail helps a lot too!”

Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Create a retro gaming picture frame

7. Create a retro gaming picture frame…

Social media is a funny place, isn’t it? You can stumble across some truly amazing ideas and inspiration and that’s exactly what we found with Connor’s #FramedMoment. Reaching out on our Instagram channel we were so impressed with the effort Connor had gone to frame his childhood Nintendo Gameboy and Pokémon cartridges that we simply had to get in contact to discover how he achieved it.

Keep your eyes peeled for the full overview on how Connor achieved his creation. Yet another way of getting creative with framing.

Should you have any further questions on framing, check out our entire How-To section which is designed to answer any queries you may have. We have done our utmost to take the stress out of framing.

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Meet Laura Teague – Baby Photographer & Founder of Little Hat Photography https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/photography/meet-laura-teague-baby-photographer-founder-of-little-hat-photography/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:00:58 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=758 It’s a Friday afternoon and we are in the comfort of a family home nestled within Cambridgeshire. Today we are catching up with Laura Teague, a newborn photographer.

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We talked to Laura about her style of photography, the woman behind the camera, and how to capture those truly special newborn baby moments….

Little Hat Photography - Laura Teague

Why Photography…

I have always had a passion for photography, I specialised in this discipline during my early Arts Foundation Degree. I had my first son Harry when I was 26 years old, I had been living in Leeds so decided to come home to my family for support. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with my son’s dad and the relationship ended. I now had a newborn son who I adored greatly along with significant bills to pay. Being a single mum, I needed to find a way to provide for my son and create a life for us both, this was the moment I returned to my fundamental passion for photography. I moved in with my parents where their support proved invaluable.

I can’t sugar-coat it, there was difficulty re-adjusting to life at home having been away for so many years. I was a new mum, living back at home, and even worse I had to re-enter the dating game under the roof of my parents! Thankfully, they spent a lot of their time in the countryside, so I actually enjoyed great freedom back home. My parents really have been fantastic, my dad has helped me enormously in building my current studio, he painted the walls and laid the floorboards, the business was built up from the ground upwards with that support of my family.

I like to look at my current path in life and the family I have today as the Phoenix that rose from the ashes of difficult times in my mid-20s, I am forever grateful for the hardships, they have made me a better person. I strived to make the very best of life despite any setbacks and follow my passion and heart always, a lesson that I constantly hold dear within my professional work.

Little Hat Photography - Laura Teague

Inspirations behind newborn baby photography…

The studio was essentially born from my obsession of taking photos of my son, I loved catching him in the moment and it wasn’t long before word of mouth regarding my talents reached both friends and family. I had all my friends asking me to do their family photos as they wanted the same level of quality for their precious memories! You don’t get too long to savour that cuteness of a newborn, the folds of skin and the chubby cheeks of a toddler, before you know it they’re turning 8 and a string bean! It’s great to try and catch these elements before they disappear in later life. I have always preferred taking photos of people rather than objects…

I did go through a phase of spending hours trying to find the perfect outfits for newborn shoots, but in the end, I discovered that it’s better to just capture the memory of the moment, that’s what photography is about in its essence…In terms of my style, I’ve learnt over the years that Its ok to like lots of things, but you don’t have to emulate each of them all the time…

I stopped seeking approval from photography groups on Facebook and entering photography competitions for recognition. The reason for this was my work was starting to not look like me, I was obsessing about getting the lighting technically perfect, the crop correct according to the experts, following the rule of thirds…

This was not where I wanted my work to be, I needed it to be from the heart. So as of a couple of years ago, I’ve started to concentrate my sessions around emotion and capturing the joy in childhood. It’s all about the purity of moments, it’s about following your heart. This will take you far in newborn and baby photography.

Little Hat Photography - Laura Teague 2

Top Tips for a newborn baby shoot and catching those special moments…

It’s important to try to show that tenderness between a parent and child, the parent is that baby’s world, and as a parent you never see how you look at your baby, but these photos can capture the most special of gazes we give to our babies. It’s not about the perfect smile or a moment of eye contact, it’s about catching pure moments, not obsessing about the lighting, the staged shots…

I strive to keep it natural, stick with my heart, that’s my main aim during a newborn or baby shoot. I stopped caring about trying to catch those staged moments, I want to see real life, the times when a child and parent interact. It’s like I previously said, I want to follow my heart…Never shoot for anyone else, always follow my intuition. I want the real reality, not the fake reality and staged shots you can find anywhere, it always comes back to leading with the heart.

Little Hat Photography - Laura Teague Cute Baby & Clouds

Interests away from the camera?…

I am someone who enjoys stalking Ikea and decorating the house, I like to shut off from the typical photography world during my spare time. I actually used to sail with my sister and father growing up, something I carried on doing until my early 20s. Unfortunately, she’s older than me and due to sibling rivalry, my dad actually had to get us separate boats in order to allow us to compete, we enjoyed some great battles. Once the little sister starts to win the rivalry becomes very real, my sister absolutely hated it when I won! It’s thanks to those early years that I have a very sportsperson like personality, I want to be the best at everything I do.

I firmly believe a lot of my drive and determination has come from this discipline instilled in me during sailing, it has helped provide me with the tools I need to run my business. Growing up I had this crazy ambition of owning my own fashion company, which is quite strange as I’m the least fashionable person. However, I used to like sketching dresses and even scouted out a possible venue for my business.

Little Hat Photography - Laura Teague Cute Baby

How does framing fit into your life? How does it enhance your imagery?

I always tell my clients when they arrive in the studio to consider their own home when choosing their frames. They should fit in with the rest of your home, frames need to be in harmony with the surrounding environment, they are an extension of your interior decor. View your wall space and evaluate it, decide how the frames will work on the wall.

I currently have a client who needs to take some time to consider her frame selection, scope out the environment of her home and then come back to me with sizing. With regards to the eFrame service, it’s great that it allows me to fully focus on shooting the photos for my clients, I don’t have to worry about anything else, the logistic concerns are covered by you guys. Knowing that eFrame can print and frame the photos my clients are after, it really does take the stress out of that particular aspect of the business.

I’m not spending my days worrying about different packaging and despatch dates. It’s wonderful to have the mounts, printing and framing all done in one place. I simply want to focus on getting the very best shots for my clients, without worrying about the logistics. After all, I’ve got a family to look after, I’m a full-time housewife, I don’t have the time to look after the sheer amount of post-shoot aspects that need taking care off. I will only put out my very best photos, the ones I connect with, they must feel right. It’s great to know that eFrame care just as much as I do.

Laura-Teague Little Hat Photograhy Baby Autumn 6

What can we expect to see in the future both professionally and personally?

I cannot change my style now, I am so happy with the level I am at, therefore stylistically it will remain much more of the same. I will probably look to experiment with more textures and start to bring in some of my interior decoration passions.

This means using more earthy colours and mixing it up with a lot of my personal favourite tones. I want to use more browns, infused with pops of colour. With regards to my personal ambitions, I would like to do more short breaks as a family, exploring the outdoors and beauty of our country. Airbnb is my best friend here!

We went to Ambers Bell Tents last Summer in Norfolk, it was absolutely magical watching the kids be free and having absolutely no worries but to let them explore. I got some wonderful natural shots of my family. I loved capturing those special childhood memories, I love catching these snippets in time, I want to capture more of these moments, that’s my main aim personally for the future.

Advice to aspiring photographers?

It’s never about the equipment, don’t get obsessed with lighting etc. The equipment is not as important, though the lens is everything, don’t go substandard on the lens for your camera. Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like some colours, for instance I don’t like blues and purples, don’t be afraid to stick to the colours you believe in… you’re the expert.

Furthermore, don’t try out new techniques on paying clients, always do free shoots, don’t be afraid to do free shoots as its great way to try new styles. I have only done three photography workshops in my life, they are great for the basics and I would recommend them, but you cannot find a substitute for getting that vital experience and natural progression into your own style.

Don’t be afraid to dump the studio lighting and go with the organic environment, it’s so freeing! I rely upon that natural lighting, it looks great, real colours, depth and real shadows! Simply take the time to learn your craft, enhance your skills by getting more experience and putting yourself out there. When you feel like you’ve plateaued, that’s when you can ask for further help.

To discover more on Little Hat Photography click here to visit Laura’s Website

And don’t forget to check out the official Facebook and Instagram pages.

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An Interview with Award Winning Photographer Tim Wallace https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/photography/an-interview-with-award-winning-automotive-photographer-tim-wallace-eframe/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:39:05 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=671 Tim is based in Manchester and works both in the UK and internationally with many large respected clients, and has received awards for his commercial and advertising work.

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Renowned automotive photographer Tim Wallace spoke to us for just under two hours to discuss all things about his life, career and passions. In this extract from Tim he discusses his some of his more general learnings. If you would like to discover Tim’s top ten tips regarding photography, click here.

There is no sort of magic route, there is nothing that you can just touch on or hit on, or you suddenly do work for them and it all explodes. It doesn’t really work like that and there are several reasons for that. It is a gradual burn, it’s not going to happen overnight, you’ve got to build it up. When I was getting prepared to start the business I didn’t even know how to do anything on Photoshop, so I opened that up and thought my god! How the hell am I going to… I’ve just taught myself Photoshop. I’m in the states last week at an Adobe conference teaching Adobe people Photoshop! And it’s like how bizarre…
Tim Wallace Seminar Training

The first few years were a learning curve for me in virtually every way. About how to hone my craft and how to light, and how to light in all sorts of different circumstances. I had to learn to get work in and how to quote, and it’s a bit of a minefield, but you have to go through that experience and it’s a bit like riding a bike. I could give you a pile of books on how the bike was made, invented, developed, built, everything, and it could be 6 foot high this pile of books and you could spend two years reading them… But when you get on a bike at the end of it guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to fall off! My policy in life for everything is not to read the book on anything and just get on the bike.

Tim Wallace Aston Martin Wheel Shot

Lighting is key, once you’ve learned to use your camera, I use a Hasselblad or Nikon, but I change my settings on both so they mirror each other, therefore I know the front wheel and the back wheel do exactly the same thing so I don’t even think about it. I will often use my camera without even thinking about it… i.e (like) riding a bike.

Your lighting is what you need to learn and I would suggest that you don’t need massive amounts of equipment to do that, start with one light and the best one to start with is the sun, and learn how that works. Learn how you can position stuff and learn how to shoot directly into the sun and how that has an effect on this, and that has an effect on that. And do all the things that people say you can’t do to find out why you shouldn’t do it, or maybe they said you can’t do it because they couldn’t get it to work for them but you can get to work for you. And then start getting lights, I bought one light then I bought two and now I have got a massive equipment room full of gear. That’s not because I’m a gear freak, it’s just built over the years from what I need. But learn lighting, lighting is not something that will come to you in a week, and you can’t sit on YouTube and watch how to do it. You’ve got to do it, it’s really important but if you can light, if you can understand how light works, then you can make it work for you. And if you can make light work for you then you can literally shoot anything in any circumstance.

Tim Wallace Yacht Photography

For example, I wanted to do a shot of this model stood on the centre part of the back of a yacht, and I wanted to shoot with the sun coming straight through the mast and straight into the camera, so I used a pro photo twin head. It’s one single flash head, but it’s attached to two batteries, so the cable splits of into two batteries, meaning you can shoot at twice the power. Both packs are on full power, so that’s 2400 watts straight into a flash, which is like proper Hiroshima type, you can feel that go off, in fact you can even smell it when it goes off! I’ve also got what you call a magnum dish which is like a reflector dish which focuses it forward and I’m bobbing up and down on a tender on the back of the yacht trying to get to the centre whilst the sea is moving us around obviously… Everything is in complete silhouette because of the sun and I’ve got a couple of people from Pro Photo and Hasselblad who are with me because they are trying to film a behind the scenes feature.

They are going “this isn’t going to work, it’s not gonna work, you can’t do that” and I’m literally using this direct straight in and the team are still going “it’s going to be too hard, it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna work”. The Hasselblad wouldn’t even focus… It can’t focus on anything, therefore I’m manually focusing and everything else. I do three shots, the first one I’m too far to the right, the middle one is great, and the last one I’m too far to the left… But the middle one was spot on and it looks like beautifully soft light and pretty much didn’t need a massive amount of retouching at all. The reason it’s soft even though you go in at 2400 watts direct straight in you’re balancing what’s coming straight at you in the opposite direction. So, it shouldn’t work, but it does work and that’s the thing with lighting. Unless you try it, you’re never really going to learn!

Tim Wallace - Yacht Photography

This is being 100% honest because I’m really down to earth and open when it comes to this kind of stuff because there’s no point in giving people advice that’s not on the mark and that’s just all fluffy, because fluffy advice doesn’t really help anyone. A client doesn’t really give a damn about your pictures, they really don’t… You have to see it from their point of view, they might have a 200k budget to shoot a campaign. They need to know you’re going to do it, they need to know you’re going to give them the results, you know? So they have brand guidelines for their company, and maybe they come to you because your style is very close to their brand guidelines, and then you’ve shot in their niche area that their business sits in and you do it consistently, then it means that percentage chance of you carrying this off to the level and the quality they want is high. Therefore, they will start having a conversation with you. they’re not looking at your work and going “oh look at that, that’s brilliant”, they’re not. All they’re seeing is that you’re a safe bet because if you turn up on the day, or you go in studio for a week and you make a complete hash of it, not only do they need to completely redo it, but that’s the budget blown, someone is going to get their balls kicked over that!

Tim Wallace - Hot Rod Photography

I give my all with every client no matter what level they are, so in the case of McLaren, there was an image that wasn’t in the brief and it was shot from the rear of the car and it’s got the doors up and its completely silhouetted and it looks a bit like an Angel. And I just did it because we had the time to do it, I made sure we had the time to do it and I did it, and it was my own idea to do it and they went really big on that, they weren’t expecting it, but they got it, it’s just that little bit extra to knock it out the park. Now, literally three weeks later I get the telephone call, can you do a brochure for the new high downforce kit? They are straight back on me again… “Yep I can, right let’s do that!”.

Tim Wallace - McLaren Photography

Furthermore, I think I was one of the first people doing what I do to turn the wheels in and that was like 11 years ago. It’s fascinating now if you look at billboards and everything from all over the place, and you think those wheels are turned in!… I wonder if I did that? That’s fantastic though… It’s just a simple change. But, it’s a tiny thing, but in the industry it’s like wow that’s a bit dangerous, we have never done that before! But if you go back post 12-13 years, you’ll not find a car advert where the wheels are turned in…

Tim Wallace - McLaren Photography

The full Tim Wallace podcast is available on SoundCloud and Spotify

For more information on Tim Wallace visit www.ambientlife.co.uk
Tim has a wealth of in-depth online courses available at members.kelbyone.com/author/twallace/

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How To Achieve Feng Shui In Your Living Room https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/style/feng-shui-in-your-living-room/ Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:39:23 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=680 We have teamed up with the Editorial team from Marble.com to help create an in-depth guide to Feng Shui.

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Feng-Shui as a design principle, has a long history. When translated from the Chinese language, Feng Shui stands for wind and water. The actual discipline and associated philosophies date back several thousand years. In fact, Feng Shui came into existence back when early people were settling into farm life to grow crops. The concept was designed to help families flourish and prosper in their environments and to determine burial places for their loved ones.

Sophie Tea Style Art

Though the idea of applying a design concept to your home that was used as part of ancient burial practices might not seem all that lucrative or desirable, it is hard to put aside the fact that Feng Shui does provide practical insights for design that can truly draw life and positive energy into a room. So this all said, how can Feng Shui be used to select artwork to complement your living room space?

1. Putting Feng Shui to work when selecting artwork for your living room

Feng Shui-style paintings can play a significant and positive contribution to the overall energy and flow within your living room space, and this concept applies to paintings and artwork too. The Bagua map (a tool in Feng Shui) can be used to help homeowners determine where artwork should be placed in their spaces. So, print out a Bagua chart and use it to map out the layout for your room.

Feng Shui Interior

2. Incorporate the elements into the artwork in your living room

Feng Shui experts highly suggest that at least one of the five natural elements is incorporated into the artwork in your living room. Doing this will provide an elemental energy. The five elements in Feng Shui are fire, wood, water, metal, and earth. The creative cycle is the first energy cycle created by chi, which is a life source. When the life source falls to the earth, it creates water that becomes the creator of all life. If chi could not convert into water, there would be no life. The creative cycle then continues through the rest of the elements in the order of creation. For example:

  • Fire enhances earth, weakens metal, and reduces wood
  • Earth enhances metal, weakens water, and reduces fire
  • Metal enhances water, weakens wood, and reduces earth
  • Water enhances wood, weakens fire, and reduces metal
  • Wood enhances fire, weakens earth, and reduces water

Here are some quick pointers on what to consider for the paintings in your living room:

  • Fire – Candles, fireplaces, or other fiery things
  • Earth – Mountains, crystals, plants, etc.
  • Metal – Cars, coins, or silver
  • Water – Rivers, waterfalls, lakes, oceans, vases of water, or other liquids
  • Wood – Trees or driftwood, landscapes of a forest or wooded area and similar images
Now that you better understand the five elements and the roles that each play in the balance of chi, you can begin to find a balance of chi within your living room and the rest of your home. The key to successful Feng Shui is attaining a balance of yin and yang. For those less familiar with the concept of yin and yang, the dark swirl is ying, and is associated with femininity, shadows, and the trough of a wave. The light swirl is the yang and represents brightness, passion, and growth.

3. Aligning colours to the elements of your artwork

Of course, you probably don’t want all of the artwork in your living room to be in black and white. Thankfully, you can align the elements from Feng Shui with particular colours to help give the room more dimension.

  • Fire – use red, orange, or purple to reflect joy, vibrancy, passion, and warmth
  • Earth – brown, beige, yellow, and earth tones reflect stability, grounding, nurturing, and receptivity
  • Metal – brown, black, white, grey, and metallics reflect energy moving inward, productivity, rational thinking, and intellectualism
  • Water – blue or aqua reflect tranquillity and peace
  • Wood – brown or green reflect prosperity and spur renewal

Paintings with these colours can help tone down areas where you have too much of a certain energy, especially when using the Feng Shui cycle of destruction with fire weakening metal, earth weakening water, metal weakening wood, water weakening fire, and wood weakening earth.

Feng Shui Interior

4. Depicting the seasons

If your paintings reflect a particular season, or if you wish to change out the artwork throughout the year based on the season, you should align your colours based on the Bagua chart.

  • Fire – Early summer
  • Earth – Late summer
  • Metal – Autumn
  • Water – Winter
  • Wood – Spring
Feng Shui Watercolour painting

You could also put your framed art on sideboards, chests of drawers or any other flat surface. It’s also super popular to use picture ledges in Scandinavian homes to display a set of prints above the sofa for example. This is good for those of you who like to swap things around and redecorate every 2-3 months as you can easily change the prints and the vibe of your room without having to drill or re-measure distances, etc. You’ll fix up your ledges just once and then get creative!

If you’re going for a more formal look or have small children and want to play safe hanging your prints on the wall is probably your best bet. For big and heavy stuff I would go for drilling and proper hanging solutions suitable for the type of wall, but for photo collages and matching print collections that are framed using acrylic, you could use picture hanging products that just stick to the wall and are easy to remove without damage. If you’re not experienced in measuring frame heights and distances, this is also the easiest way to get it right, because you can change it as many times as you want, plus it’s a “see what you get” kind of technique – unlike drilling holes and then guessing how the prints will hang.

If you move along the compass, you can associate directions to the element as follows:

  • North: Water
  • Northeast: Water and metal
  • East: Wood
  • Southeast: Wood and fire
  • South: Fire
  • Southwest: Fire and metal
  • West: Metal
  • Northwest: Metal and water

pink flower with petals on white background

All of this doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist. But, when you incorporate Feng Shui into your design, it’s best to do so in moderation. And keep in mind that size is relevant.

Larger paintings will bring a greater sense of energy than smaller paintings. On a similar note, a watercolour will create a softer energy due to the less vibrant colours. When framing your artwork, you should also consider the element that it depicts as this too will help maximise energy but maintain a proper balance.

No matter what you select, when using Feng Shui, keep in mind that the goal is to circulate the energy. But also, be sure you select artwork that you love. By following the above recommendations, you will be sure to create a well-balanced room that is functional, beautiful, and properly energising.

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Transform Your Walls The Scandi Way https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/style/transform-your-walls-the-scandi-way/ Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:44:57 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=630 We all know that feeling when a giant empty wall is staring at us in the face and a question pops into our head – what should I put up here? How do I decorate this? Where do I even start?

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Scandinavian design is all about white walls and decorating them effortlessly with prints and wall art, yet, if you tried to recreate that well-known calm but stylish vibe in your home you may have found it more challenging than it seemed initially.

There are a few tips and tricks worth knowing before you start! We’re sharing the basics today on the blog hoping to make your life easier. Take these tips into consideration, follow your instincts and success is (almost) guaranteed.

Scandi Living Room

However, with some clear, easy to follow steps, it’s simpler than you think to tackle a restyle of your home. Anyone can do it and do it well! So, let’s dig in and discuss the key considerations you can make when you renovate your home.

1. Inspiration

Seriously, you need inspiration. Whether you find it on social media, in a magazine or a friends home… it’s ok to copy something you see elsewhere! You could start by looking through our own scandi themed ideas. Pick a few wall arrangements, prints or photo collages that you like and then start to apply the ideas to your own home. You can print off images or print samples and stick them to the wall, live with it for a few days, see how it feels – it’s useful to do this before you order in the high-resolution versions & frames, just to make sure you’re choosing wall décor you’ll truly love & enjoy.

Scandi Bedroom Design

2. Proportions

If you’re a minimalist, you may want to use one big print rather than many small ones. You can use a combination of matching prints or a photo collage if you prefer a “busier” look. If you are lucky enough to live in a place with giant spaces and tall ceilings, then big pieces of artwork will work much better as they will match the proportions of the room. In a small home on the other hand, with a low ceiling height, you may want to carefully consider the size of your art – one oversized item may add some edginess to the look, but overall just pay attention and keep the proportions in line with the architectural characteristics of your home.

Scandi Living Room Ideas

3. Less is More

A statement piece of art, a colourful abstract print or a powerful quote will need its space to breathe. We call this a focus point and you want these pieces to steal the attention. If you squash too many interesting things next to each other in a relatively small space they will “fight for attention” (designer talk! I know…), but it will look too busy and out of balance.

Scandi Lounge Ideas

4. High or Low

In Scandinavian design, there are no strict rules about where you put your prints. All this freedom can lead to choice paralysis, but there’s a few simple best practices that can help with picture placement.

You can keep your giant framed prints on the floor. This is especially good news for those in rented flats. You can put an iconic Scandi print next to a standalone green plant on the floor, maybe spice it with a large paper bag storage with a cool quote and you’re done – the Scandi vibe just moved into your home!

Before you hang, STOP. The tendency for many is to hang artwork too high. If you’re positioning your artwork, experts usually recommend centering the vertical middle of your picture to be 57 inches from the ground.

Scandi Room Inspiration

You could also put your framed art on sideboards, chests of drawers or any other flat surface. It’s also super popular to use picture ledges in Scandinavian homes to display a set of prints above the sofa for example. This is good for those of you who like to swap things around and redecorate every 2-3 months as you can easily change the prints and the vibe of your room without having to drill or re-measure distances, etc. You’ll fix up your ledges just once and then get creative!

If you’re going for a more formal look or have small children and want to play safe hanging your prints on the wall is probably your best bet. For big and heavy stuff I would go for drilling and proper hanging solutions suitable for the type of wall, but for photo collages and matching print collections that are framed using acrylic, you could use picture hanging products that just stick to the wall and are easy to remove without damage. If you’re not experienced in measuring frame heights and distances, this is also the easiest way to get it right, because you can change it as many times as you want, plus it’s a “see what you get” kind of technique – unlike drilling holes and then guessing how the prints will hang.

Scandi Style Picture Frames

5. Colour, Thickness, Style

On white walls, I love to create contrast so I am most likely to use black frames or natural wood, especially in living areas. Children’s bedrooms are a bit different as I would strive to create a very calm space to help children rest, therefore I may use white frames on white walls with prints that have a white background and soft, pastel colours.

In terms of style and the thickness of the frames, just go with what you like! Scandinavian is the kind of style that “tolerates” a lot and will easily absorb eclectic accessories. I’d start with eFrame’s Scandi collection – frames designed to fit with Scandinavian design interiors.

Scandi Room Inspiration

6. Pull it all together

Wall art is an amazing opportunity to create flow in your home. It can be used in so many different ways, but consider it as the bridge between the different colours and styles that you use. Here are a few examples of how you can pull the room together with wall décor:

  • Monochrome, keeping a simple black and white theme with spots of colour (think a colourful abstract art) can create a really bold and contrasting space. For more ideas on framing black and white pictures, click here.
  • Well planned use of colour with complementing accessories, like throws and cushions is an effective way to bring life to your room. Go for pastel tones, not saturated. A series of matching prints is a great option.
  • Eclectic spaces, a giant collection of all sorts of things – add some black & white art, keep the proportions of the room and the layout you adopted in the room when you’re choosing the size of your art.
  • When there isn’t much in the spaces you can add lots of small prints on your walls and it will balance that feeling of emptiness. Displaying family photos always helps to make you feel more at home.

Hopefully, you got inspired by now and have a draft vision of how you’d like to decorate your walls! Thanks for reading and happy art & frame hunting!

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7 Key Considerations When Renovating Your Home https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/style/7-key-considerations-when-renovating-your-home/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 09:45:47 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=593 I’m very keen that our family homes should be practical and inviting, yet still look stunning. Your home doesn’t need to be boring...

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Many of us have few ideas when it comes to renovating or redesigning our homes. We don’t know where to start, procrastinate for months and ultimately, never even begin to redecorate, let alone take on a major renovation project.

Jen Stanbrook - Loft Conversion

However, with some clear, easy to follow steps, it’s simpler than you think to tackle a restyle of your home. Anyone can do it and do it well! So, let’s dig in and discuss the key considerations you can make when you renovate your home.

My main aim is to always showcase inspirational yet achievable home interiors. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated by creating a beautiful home, I want you to go away from here feeling enthusiastic and motivated to create the home of your dreams.

1. Enjoy The Space…

Before you start doing any kind of renovation or decorating to your home, it’s always a good idea to live in the space as it is. This is a particularly good approach if you’ve just moved into a new home.

Understanding how you use a room or space in your home is vital to ensuring you renovate it according to how you live. Don’t forget, it won’t just be you either. If you live with family or friends, you need to consider how the wider household utilises a room and deliver a renovation that meets their needs too.

Jen Stanbrook - Bedroom Design

2. Colour Consideration…

Whilst there are many colour ‘rules’ out there which help us decorate our homes in the right way, I’m a big believer in just doing what feels right. Use colours which speak to you, colours which make your home come alive and that make you feel great.

It’s true that some colours look better than others depending on the levels of natural light, the size of a room and the way it is used, but it’s not worth fretting over. If you love a colour, use it!

3. Storage Solutions…

I can’t stress this enough. No matter how much storage you have, you will always need more so factor this into your designs.

Invest in multi-purpose furniture such as storage footstools, which work hard and offer real value for money. Work in storage into underutilised spaces, making the most of your home, particularly if it’s slightly smaller and be creative. Add rows of cupboards on bedroom walls for book, shoe and toiletry storage. Bookshelves make great display units and the space underneath beds should never be ignored.

Use your imagination and allow your home to be more organised and clutter-free.

Jen Stanbrook - Scandi Kitchen

4. Visualise the Change…

Are you a visual person? Do you find it easy to visualise the result of a redesigned room?

If you find this tricky, or want help pulling your ideas together then consider creating a moodboard before you begin. There are many ways you can do this, either by using physical magazine cuttings or using online tools such as Pinterest and of course, blogs for inspiration.

All these methods allow you to research and plan your design, use it to gain agreement from others and help you source and buy your products before beginning your project.

5. Adopt the look…

Identifying the look you want to use is a stumbling block for many when you begin to redesign your home. Perhaps you feel that you don’t really have a ‘style or theme which you love and lack confidence to try something new.

My main tip here is to be brave. Close your eyes and go for a design you love – don’t worry too much if it will work or look good. None of us are interior designers so we need to remember to design our homes in a way that makes them a joy in which to spend time. Ensure they reflect us and our personality. Let them be an extension of who we are.

Jen Stanbrook - Hallway 2

6. Finishing Touches…

It’s certainly the case that a room is never quite complete until you’ve added all your finishing touches.

From cushions and candlesticks to rugs, throws and of course, your selection of artwork on the walls, all these pieces bring your room to life and help the design feel warm and homely.

Adding framed photographs, either in-wall collages or alone on the mantlepiece is a great way to help you feel connected to your home too. Evoking a memorable moment, they give you a sense of belonging and happiness which many other homewares can’t.

Jen Stanbrook - Hallway

7. Regularly Restyle…

One of my main tips when it comes to redesigning and renovating your home is to restyle a finished room from time to time to help it feel fresh.

I’m not advocating a full redecoration, but simply recommend a shake-up with regards to the way you display your possessions, and possibly the textures you use in your soft furnishings.

The change in the seasons is the obvious time for such a restyle and moving from faux fur to silk cushions in the summer and adding more plants to the space when the weather improves is an easy way to invigorate a room.

Renovating and redesigning your home doesn’t have to feel overwhelming if you follow these key considerations. Do you do anything else to help you prepare for a renovation or decoration project? We would love to know if there’s anything else we can add to the list.

Jen Stanbrook - Living Room

For more inspiration…

For more amazing ideas and tips you can find a wealth of information on the following links of mine.

Blog
Instagram
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube

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Photographer Tim Wallace – Expert Tips https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/photographer-tim-wallace-expert-tips/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:08:50 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=520 We managed to catch up with esteemed automotive photographer Tim Wallace to discuss his key tips for making it in the world of photography.

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The following text is taken from the podcast interview we recently recorded with the award-winning automotive photographer Tim Wallace. The below will provide an overview of some key points to consider, picked up from his extensive experience in photography, they will prove invaluable to photographers of all levels. Meanwhile, if you wish to listen to the full interview and discover a little more about his life and professional career, we have included the links at the end of this article.

McLaren - Tim Wallace

Camera Kit

I use a Nikon for all editorial work, I have always shot on a Nikon and I use the Hasselblad medium format for my commercial work. With regards to the camera I would recommend, there is nothing I would recommend, I don’t do recommendations because it would be wrong for me to do that. Generally, you need to pick whichever camera works best for you and is perfect for what you need it to do. I wouldn’t be the type of person to say you need to use the Nikon or need to use a Hasselblad, they just work for me, so that’s what I use…

I’ve been asked whether I have tried a mirrorless lens before, yeah I have had a look at it, it doesn’t work for me in the work and environment I’m in. There are all sorts of issues with batteries and other things and it’s just not the way I want to operate. For a lot of people it will be fine, but for me it’s not really suitable.

McLaren - Tim Wallace

Composition

In commercial work, always allow room, remember the banner scenario! A lot of people try to get stuff together to promote themselves and get more commercial work, but they go in far too tight, they fail to remember that imagery may have to go across a double-page spread (DPS). Or even worse what I call the “18700 scenario” which is 1800 pixels by 700 deep which is your standard commercial banner on a website, if your image can’t fit into that banner it’s no use to your client.

They may not have decided whether it’s going into a banner until months after you’ve shot it, so always be aware of that. If it can’t fit in there it’s a bad sign, furthermore if you go in for a DPS and you fill the frame you’ll find that you’ve left no room for the text or branding, therefore always allow room in your image. Shoot over the space you need because commercially, you always need to do that. One of the perks of shooting on a medium format is that you can crop in, for example if I shoot a metre each way wider than I need to then the client has room to manoeuvre.

Always remember that you’re not shooting this for you, you’re shooting it for them, a paying client, so don’t shoot it how you would like it to be shot. In the early days remember that the client is paying you to do this the way they want it done. Later down the line you might get to the point where I got to a couple of years ago, where I ask how would you like it shot and they turn around and say just do it your way, what do you think, and they will give you that freedom to do it.

When I did the McLaren MSO shoot we did it that way, because it’s the way I said it would look the best, so there is a bit of freedom, but also an immense amount of pressure there because if you mess it up they are going to be coming back at you and saying “You said this would be really good and it’s not!” It’s never happened to me yet, and touch wood it never will because I’m careful, but yeah early days remember you are shooting it for them, not you.

When it comes to composition keep it simple, ask yourself what am I trying to say here…

McLaren MSO - Tim Wallace

Lighting

Start with one light, learn how it changes with direction and the time of day, then when you have mastered that, add another light and start to build it up slowly. It’s a bit of a learning curve, one thing poignant to say is that photography is a journey, it’s not a destination. You’ve got to evolve and push yourself and keep learning, don’t be in a rush to get to the endpoint, because there really isn’t one.

Peugeot Concept Car - Tim Wallace

Environmental factors

Weather, subscribe to the best weather apps you can get, make sure you get to know what those apps and websites are because if you have to work on location in the UK or worldwide you need to be prepared. Use them and if it’s important to you, then pay for them because you can’t beat being able to shift a shoot day because of the weather. Also learn to shoot in all conditions because you can’t trot up to a shoot on location and say to a brand “Sorry it’s not 62% cloud cover so I can’t really do it”.

You have got to learn to shoot in bright sunshine and also in rain, I’ve shot in rain three times, it doesn’t happen often, usually rain doesn’t last all day, but on three instances it has lasted all day. It is a pain and the only way around it is to shoot down at something like an eighth a second so the rain blurs out and isn’t visible, but you have got to learn to do all these things. In any situation you’re expected to produce the results no matter what, so get familiar with all types of weather conditions.

Tim-Wallace-Photography-Porsche-Wheel

Networking Advice

Social platforms use them, build them up, in the first few years when you’re building up your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram start uploading your work and only put up work of the niche you want to be in, don’t cloud it with other stuff. When you’ve built a name for yourself and a bit of a following, I think we have 120k across the social platforms now, that’s when you can put pictures of your dog upside down asleep. Because it’s a bit of humour and allows people to see behind the scenes of your life, but in the early days keep it absolutely to your niche, you have to make it clear what you do. Use LinkedIn properly, and if you don’t know how to use it properly, book yourself in for a course. Because many people are using it the wrong way and it’s a very powerful tool.

Get yourself an all-star profile on there, understand how to do that and learn how to use LinkedIn. Not only is it important for linking to people, but if I do a shoot for somebody and I wanted to know who their marketing Director was, LinkedIn is where I would go to find out, It’s a good research tool. With regards to your portfolio, remember you’re not selling the images, you’re trying to demonstrate your ability and style, the quality and the range of circumstances you can work within and also show consistency.

Aston Martin - Tim Wallace

Kit I can’t live without

Everything is backed up in modern places, cameras can be replaced, if something happened to my camera’s today I know I can phone the people I work with at the camera manufacturer and they would deliver a couple overnight as I have a good working relationship with people like that. So, the only thing I couldn’t live without is my phone.

I did a job two weeks ago and I got off the plane, and when I’m on the plane I have a pair of Bose sound headphones, which can reverse the sound making it absolutely quiet, sometimes I listen to music or watch a film, or just have it silent in order to sleep. So I was listening to music and I had my phone in the pocket in front of me and I stepped off the plane going through security and I thought I’d text the wife to let her know I had arrived ok, reach into my pocket and cannot find it. Damn I’m thinking. It was 40 minutes ago, I’m sure they have turned around and on the next flight already. And for a split second I had this very real fear, my phone has all my emails, my calendar and my schedule…. Thankfully it was in my jacket pocket. But yes, my phone is crucial to so many aspects of my personal and professional life.

Tim Wallace - Photographic Studio

The full Tim Wallace podcast is available on SoundCloud and Spotify

For more information on Tim Wallace visit www.ambientlife.co.uk
Tim has a wealth of in-depth online courses available at members.kelbyone.com/author/twallace/

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Expert Landscape Photography Tips https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/expert-landscape-photography-tips/ Thu, 30 May 2019 12:51:59 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=443 It's easy to see why photography has surged in popularity; quality cameras are becoming more affordable and social networks offer us a platform to share our snaps to the masses. So we've asked James Bell, one of the UK's leading photographers, to walk us through his best landscape photography tips. You won't want to leave home without these.

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Whilst photography of all genres has seen huge hikes in popularity thanks to smartphones, landscape photography remains one of the most technically challenging areas of photography. Timing is what separates landscape photography from other forms of photography such as wedding, street and documentary. Landscape Photography is the slowest paced activity of all. After all, mountains, rivers, lakes and trees don’t move and avoid the camera as people do.

As more of us take up photography and have access to instant feedback from a digital camera and an engaging social network you’d be forgiven for thinking Landscape Photography is easy. After all, so many people are creating so many amazing and truly inspiring images.

Buttermere Lake Photograph - James Bell

Equipment

What separates a truly amazing landscape photo from the rest of images we are bombarded with on a daily basis? What ultimately inspires us to take to a photo and bring it to life as a physical item or share it online?

First of all, it has little to do with equipment. Most photographers believe the more expensive the equipment the better their images will be. While this is true to a degree, this is not what makes a good photograph. Having the latest and greatest megapixel camera and expensive lens won’t capture the mood or atmosphere and it certainly won’t make a composition that lets our eye wander around inside the elements of the frame.

Most photographers believe the more expensive the equipment the better their images will be. While this is true to one extent only this is not what makes a good photography.

Capture Emotion

In my experience what makes a good photograph is the ability to communicate emotion, to instill a positive emotional response to the photograph, it is that which people connect and engage with.

I have been fortunate enough to sell my own landscape prints for over a decade and what sells most aren’t images captured with the biggest and best cameras I’ve owned. In fact, two of my most popular photographic prints aren’t technically perfect shots in terms of composition. What they do well, however, is convey a mood and a feeling that people connect with. This is something you cannot buy and have in your camera bag.

Ullswater Calm Lake shot by James Bell

Other Tips

  1. Don’t worry about equipment and assume a cheap or old camera won’t cut it. That is nonsense, just look at pinhole photography. In essence a wooden box with a small pinhole that allows light to enter the box and expose the film. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. I suspect if you have a digital camera, even one on your phone you’re already technologically better equipped.
  2. Ask yourself what is it about this scene that is driving you to pick up the camera? This is a really important point and one that can help you to understand what it is you have an emotional connection to. Is it a huge view, amazing light, a glowing sunset, the detail of a shadow. Whatever it is, ask yourself what is inspiring you. On this note, you can also review yours or other peoples shots.
  3. Practice. Get outside and take images. This is so important and obvious, you will learn more from practicing and doing than you will from trying to understand theory in a classroom or on the internet. It is really only with practice and constant review that you will develop and see results you are proud of. Landscape photography is a deeply personal journey and it is extremely rewarding when we capture that special moment.
  4. Appreciate composition, put simply this is the arrangement of subjects within the image. One of the main differentiators between beginners and experienced landscape photographers is the successful use of composition. You could both be seeing the same scene but how you compose it is critical.
  5. Choose your timing well. Every day there are two key periods of time when the light that brings the landscape to life is at its best, sunrise and sunset. The good news is that these briefest of moments also provide a window of opportunity before and after the sun has risen or set. Blue Hour and Golden Hour. This light can be used to add real atmosphere your shot.
  6. Be open-minded to the opinions of others but most of all search out self-satisfaction. Make images you connect with, images you like and images that both remind you of good times and inspire you to keep looking.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the process of printing your images and presenting them as framed masterpieces of your efforts. It completes the circle and provides you with something tangible, something to be proud of and no matter how many likes, shares or thumbs ups you receive on a screen, nothing compares to holding a print in your hand, seeing that print framed on your wall and being appreciated.

Stockgyhll - Shot By James Bell

For more information visit www.jamesbellphotography.co.uk

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Introducing: Atlas & I https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/stories/introducing-atlas-i/ Fri, 03 May 2019 08:48:49 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=377 As part of our continued eFrame introducing series we had the pleasure of visiting Wimbledon to meet Sophie Kirkpatrick, the founder of bespoke gifting company Atlas and I. Listen to the podcast below to discover more about them, their story, and how we play a part in making things possible.

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The idea for a bespoke gifting company based on vintage maps

Over the last ten years I’ve collected loads of different maps that I amassed from places I’ve lived or countries I’ve been fortunate to visit so I had this draw full of classic maps. When it all began I had a full time job working the standard 9-5 for an events company where I wasn’t using my creativity. Therefore, I used to get home and start using my hands and create artworks using old maps.

I put together a number of artworks which I sold at a local fair and I started making money, I soon realised that people wanted to buy these pictures and discovered this could actually be a realistic business opportunity.

The majority of the maps I collected were from places I visited, whilst some of them were from wrapping paper I gathered from paper chase and Liberty London. They were just really beautiful old maps which had been reproduced onto sheets of paper, this made it very easy to cut them into different shapes! I then started linking up the shapes I was cutting with hobbies and activities people could relate to.

Framed Deer Print - Black
Sophie gets some of her best ideas close to home

There was a lot of deer where my mum lives back home so I began cutting out the shapes of a stags head using maps of home and linking up that interest, this really gave it sentimental value. She loved the gift and it’s still on the wall today. We actually have a collection of images which we have kept, for instance a very simple sailing boat over a map of the Isle of Wight remains one of our best sellers today. All be it we have refined the design over the last six years or so.

The transition to full time

I lived with two friends of mine, and one of them arranged this fair in central London called spirit of summer. At the last minute one of the exhibitors dropped out and she knew I had this artwork of prints I had collected. She said I would be doing her a huge favour if I took the spot for the four-day fair. I was absolutely terrified, I did not know how I was going to do it, or how it was going to look, but I said yes because you never say no when you are just starting up in business, you have to say yes to every opportunity. I worked 24 hours a day and got very little sleep, I made a slightly bigger collection which would work well for that location and people in central London because a lot of my maps were outside of the Capital.

I received plenty of orders and got spotted by Not On The Highstreet who we still sell with today. The lesson I learnt was simple, say yes to everything… Even if you don’t have a clue what you’re going to do.

I continued with my full-time job after the fair and did the business part time for two years before one of my prints got spotted by Ikea! They decided to produce a range of posters which I received royalties for, and this enabled me to quit my job. My first royalty cheque from Ikea meant I could pay my rent and be comfortable for a couple of months, even if I didn’t sell anything from Atlas and I! In my mind I still had this kind of back up from Ikea and this enabled me to go for it on my own. I have now been full time for four and a half years. I have no idea where the time goes…

Unexpected Expansion

The one thing that really surprised me when I could dedicate more time to the business was how quickly it grew naturally. I thought that fairs were a really good way of getting out there to new customers so I signed up to quite a few and saved up the money I made in order to purchase a new stand for my collection! By doing this and spreading the word via business cards and fairs it just grew organically. Again it comes to back to that key bit of advice, say yes to everything, even if you don’t know where its going to lead you that’s kind of scary but also kind of exciting and I’ve definitely had quite a few amazing opportunities arise from taking such chances when they come along.

Challenges faced in modern business

Because of the personalised aspect of the business and the fact that everything is made to order. We haven’t quite been able to crack the wholesale and trade side of things yet. When people see these vintage maps they really want it to be specific and personal to where they live. It’s definitely valuable to speak with the consumers about what they want as we wouldn’t have half the products we sell today without being able to talk to people about what they want.

We also do a lot of online feedback as well, so if somebody receives their order they will receive an email asking whether there is anything else they would like from our range which we don’t currently offer. For instance, the trays we provide are one of the products which have developed through customer feedback and just asking loads of questions. If we get asked to create a new product we will look into how it can be done and how we can fulfill this request one at a time.

This is definitely one of the hurdles eFrame helped us overcome… finding products which can be manufactured one at a time and remain bespoke to each individual. For example, it’s not a product like cushions where there is a minimum order of 200, our customers don’t need 200 maps printed of their postcode, so this is something we were continually finding quite tricky.

That’s one of the things we’ve had to overcome and we make a couple of things in house as it’s the only way we can make that one off special product. We have a lot of repeat customers and I think that’s because we offer a service specifically for someone in mind which you can’t find anywhere else. People realise they have found something really great and occasionally we will do 4-5 orders for a customer a year because they might meet us at fair or see the whole range and look to tick off their entire gift list. We find they keep coming back to us because we provide that real customer service and a highly personalised gift.

Scaling a personalised business is difficult, as stated its not the case of being able to order 200 units at once and sell a static product online. Its about creating each and every gift one at a time, and with it being a gift the amount of orders fluctuate throughout the year, so we can be quite quiet through some quarters, but come Christmas we scale up ten times the numbers we get at other times of the year!

Atlas & I Frame Colours
Atlas & I use a range of frames that reflect the vintage look of their prints

This presents a challenge on how to manage the business and questions about how we grow the team around these busy times. I also think the new website has made a huge difference to the business; you can now go online and view all of our map archives online, whereas before every customer would have to email us to see a preview of their map. There would typically be 3-4 emails between us and the customer, this took a lot of time before an individual even orders and there was always the chance they might not want it, but our conversion rate was very high because of this extra level of customer service we offered. Consumers appreciated that we had gone the extra mile for them. But now with the website going live it’s much easier to have that flexibility for them to preview their map at any time of the day. You can always pick up a phone and speak to us though, we are happy to talk with any interested party, but the website gives people that extra flexibility.

This was especially important on Black Friday last year where we took a quantity of orders we could never have taken without that automation on the website. Its good because people know the lead time will be slightly more during these busy times, but with eFrame and the amazing service they offer we can turn a print around within 5-6 days. Around Christmas time it tends to take a little more time, but as long as you let the customer know its normally ok. Most people prefer the product to be ready once it’s perfect, and we will only send a product out once it achieves perfection. The customer should always be updated, its why customer service and communication is so important.

Making it in business

When you run a small business the one thing you need to be is resilient, if you take every speed bump personally you won’t get very far. You will always have third parties you rely on and sometimes they can let you down… As a small business you cannot do absolutely everything. For instance, if there is a problem with a package being delivered by Royal Mail and we do everything to get the delivery there on time, there is nothing we can do, it’s an external fault and something out of our control.

This is why its important to have a valuable partner like eFrame. it means our brand and business isn’t sacrificed through expanding and growing. That’s the hardest thing, this reliance on others to ensure your business isn’t let down and hoping they don’t let you down.

Heroes growing up

I’ve always been creative and always made stuff, I’ve always been fascinated by artists and designers. One of my main heroes is Thomas Heatherwick, he’s a designer who created the Olympic Torch in 2012 amongst other things, and he always thinks outside the box. One of the most valuable things I learnt was the following “just because it is, doesn’t mean it has to be.” This comes down to creatives challenging the norms and they are disrupting an industry or changing something. For instance, some people think that personalisation entails just initials on the cover of a book. This is not true, you can make the book from scratch along with a cover which is a map of your choice.

This kind of thing hasn’t been seen before. That’s what we are great at, it’s about disrupting the personal gifting industry. This is why people like Thomas Heatherwick are so important, they look at something like the Olympic Torch and actually create this special piece, he just looks at something very normal and makes beautiful, functional pieces where the thought behind it is so complex, yet they seem so simple.

Away from Atlas and I

My personal and business life are really entwined, the great thing about owning a company is being able to enjoy flexibility, sometimes I can be at my desk from 7:30am, but if I decide I want to go on a bike ride or a run I can leave at 3, having that freedom is amazing. For me my switch off time is exercise, I love a bit of cycling and I use my bike a lot to get to the office. I’m not an indoor girl, I love being outside and at the countryside.

During the weekends I love long walks and actually quite a lot of our products are reflected in that. Not really on purpose, but I can see the connection between being outside on walks, and the connection of looking at a map to work out where we are going, whether this be with an old school map, or google maps. It’s important to always find inspiration, you can sit at your desk all day but inspiration mostly arrives when you aren’t in the office.

Most recently a friend asked on social media does anyone want to go and talk at my kids’ school to talk about careers. I thought that could be fun and a little different so I went to give a talk and I loved it! It was so rewarding, and the kids were really engaging. The first group were 5-8 years old and the second group was 8-11 and they were so receptive. As soon as I held my phone up with the map on the back they were like WOW!

The children came up to me afterwards asking if they could work for us and it sparked the idea that we should offer some kind of work experience in the future, obviously a little older than 8 years old!. A lot of our customers will have children that age and as a supporter of our brand it would be great to let them come in and see how a small business works. They could come in for a week to get involved with packaging, the marketing and general admin. It was this talk that gave me the idea of work experience, and had I been sitting at my desk doing normal emails that morning it would never have occurred, that’s why getting out of the office is so important.

Whilst I do get inspired riding my bike around Wimbledon, a lot of the time it’s when I visit central London and see what the different type of brands are doing. For example, I recently saw an advert on the tube which was an organisation reducing their plastic consumption, which is something we are also keen to do. I took a picture of the ad and we now have an upcoming collaboration with this brand.

A typical day in the office

I love waking up, having a cup of tea and laying in bed looking at my emails. It’s actually quite sad but it’s a pleasure! It just eases me into to the day and by the time I get to the studio I know exactly what I need to do for that particular day. I do that for about 40 minutes and then head down here fresh faced where Ella joins me at 9 to chat about what we are going to do for the day and discuss what’s due to go out.

We will see if anything has to go to different manufacturers and we have a lot of customer enquires which Ella looks after. Ella oversees the customer happiness channels and helps them find the product or map they are looking for. Ella will process the days orders, whilst I’m mainly involved with the marketing, thinking about what kind of new collaborations we can have. We do paid social campaigns which I plan whilst you always have to look a couple of months in advance, we are currently looking at Father’s Day which is weeks away but we need to plan whether we do a collab with another brand and what products we are going to offer.

A lot of our customers are women buying for their partners, Weddings are obviously quite popular as well. As our offering is personalised, the buyer has to consider all kinds of elements such as the location they love. Because it’s a personalised price point it’s not a product you can just pay a tenner for, it is something where a lot of thought goes into it, so siblings may club together or couples will buy together for loved ones.

eFrame and Atlas

We are a personalised gift brand and we have over 85 different products so trying to do all 85 well is an impossible task without growing the team hugely and having a huge amount of space. We did use to frame in house but then we got to certain point where the quality of the framing wasn’t up to scratch or the standard I wanted. Furthermore, if things got broken in the post it was our fault, the quality of the service also wasn’t up to scratch.

When I discovered eFrame we spoke about the service they could offer. During the quieter times they are on hand to fulfil our orders but for me it’s during the busier times of year they prove invaluable! We wouldn’t be able to fulfil 80 odd orders a week if we did it in house without having to buy the machinery and invest hugely in that side of the company. We would also need a framing expert who might not have as much to do during the quiet quarters. With eFrame taking this stress away and fulfilling the orders on our behalf we have that level of quality we need and it’s not something we could fulfil in-house now.

It gives us a lot more flexibility, if we did the frames in-house we wouldn’t be able to offer as many options, or do all the sizes our consumers require. We couldn’t offer the same quality, we have actually just developed box frame prints, I went to visit eFrame to discuss the different options and the different price points and how that would match our prints to ensure we have something really amazing, if we did that in house we would probably be years behind.

What to expect in the future

For us it’s all about offering a product which hasn’t been seen before, we are constantly working on new products to offer a different choice and experience for customers. We are always working on our online presence to ensure its as smooth as possible. We want to offer a lot more choice to our customers, particularly those based in international locations. We are always looking for maps of New York, Amsterdam and other iconic places and this is the direction Atlas will be going in. On a vintage map everywhere looks great. With vintage maps part of the beauty is that they were hand-drawn back in the day, the typography is amazing, the fonts are unique, and the colours look incredible.

Advice for aspiring business owners

I think my main strength is being so inquisitive and asking so many questions and always saying yes. I also make sure I attend any professional talks, if you only take one bit of info from a talk that can be useful later down the lie, you just never know. At school and university I did so much work experience, these skills are now helping me on a quarterly basis.

Sophie Kirkpatrick at the eFrame Offices
Sophie talks to Graham, our Marketing Manager, at the eFrame Offices

Learning is one thing that you will never stop doing as a business owner, you will be finding new things to learn all the time. Always be inquisitive and find out about every type of business out there. Its great to share business space, you can see things which can be applied to your business in a different way. Always share that knowledge as well allowing others to grow.

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Organise Your Digital Photos https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/how-to/organise-digital-photos/ Tue, 09 Apr 2019 13:18:06 +0000 https://www.eframe.co.uk/blog/?p=303 If you're anything like us, your camera roll is in some need of some attention. Follow these simple steps though and you'll be well on your way to a more organised photo library.

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Chances are that you’ve encountered the dreaded message that “your phone storage is full”! Que frantic deleting of shots that are deemed no longer important. Everybody loves to be snap happy when they are away on holiday or seeing friends, but keeping your favourite images hidden away on your phone is a crying shame. Your memories deserve a space away from the confines of your camera roll, and that’s where we come in!

Use Albums

Automatic Albums

On iPhone and iPad there are a number of photo albums already set up and ready to store your precious images. Take a look through your iPhone and you will notice albums for Panoramas, Selfies, Slo-mo, and Time Lapse. You can even look at your photos arranged on a world map in the Places album, or browse your photos based on who’s in them in the People album. Super easy and done without having to move any of your images around.

Create New Albums

Automatic albums not cutting it? A really simple way to ensure you don’t lose your favourite pictures within an exodus of photos on your camera roll is to create custom albums. This means that the images are quick and easy to find, even if years have passed, you won’t need to scroll through your entire camera roll to find those special shots from that particular occasion. You could also make albums categorised by the year rather than event, setting up these albums is a quick and simple solution to optimum camera roll organisation. Some of our favourite ways to categories your photos are:

  • Trips & Holidays
  • Events, like Weddings & Parties
  • Occasions, like Christmas & Easter
  • Todo / Yet to Organise

Creating Albums – iOS

On iPhone and iPad there are a number of photo albums already set up and ready to store your precious images. Take a look through your iPhone and you will notice albums for Panoramas, Selfies, Slo-mo, and Time Lapse. You can even look at your photos arranged on a world map in the Places album, or browse your photos based on who’s in them in the People album. Speaking of the People album, there’s no better way to easily find your friends and family. This album will automatically detect your friends and group them together so that all you have to do is go in and approve the set of photos it has categorised. Super easy and done without having to move any of your images around.

Creating Albums – Android

If you are using an Android device, simply touch the Create Album button and type a name for the album. Press the OK button to confirm the title and then start adding your images into the folder.

For You

In this little-known section of your iPhone you can view shared album activity, and receive ideas for adding filters and effects to certain photos. The For You section also works alongside Memories to present you with photos and videos which focus on previous events, trips away, people and other landmarks from your collection. This helps you rediscover those special moments you have saved on your camera roll.

Search

It is relatively easy to search for a person or landmark on your mobile device. Tap the Search tab, then enter a term in the search bar.

  • Places – The map brings up all of the places you have been where you have taken an image. Simple type in a location name and al the images from that place in the world you have visited will show up.
  • Things – The camera roll is clever enough to recognise places and objects. Search for a term like “river” and then select a category result to see all of your photos that match.
  • Events – The search function allows to search for an event you have attended… For instance, you could find images form a concert you attended a few months ago, or pictures from a holiday.

Hit Delete

Perhaps you’ve taken a live photo accidentally, or the lighting is really bad, maybe your shot is just plain blurry, always review your snaps following a holiday and cull the ones that aren’t up to standard. This will save ample phone memory and leave you with the special shots you really appreciate which could be suitable for framing.

Select Favourites

Quite simply, hit the star button below the photo, and it will be placed into the favourites folder which is already present on your phone. This is the quickest and easiest way to store your favourite pictures.

Use a Computer

If you do have access to a PC or Mac, it is much easier to arrange your images via a USB cable. When working on a desktop it is simple to drag and drop imagery files into their relevant folders. We have created a full guide on the differences between image organisation on a Mac and PC.

Use Photo Organiser Apps

Google Photos (Android, iOS)

Google photos arrives standard on android devices, but it’s also available for IOS users. The great thing about Google Photos is that it boasts unlimited cloud storage across multiple devices. The app can be set to automatically back up and sync your photos so you can remain safe in the knowledge that your snaps are safe. With google often adding fresh updates to the app, its likely to prove useful for many years to come.

Flickr

Again, Flickr is available on both android and IOS, Flickr has been around for quite some time and offers a good deal in the online photo storage business, this photo management app will hold 1,000 photos online for free. At the same time, should you wish to go premium, Flickr offers perks such as unlimited storage at full resolution, and support for videos at up to 10 minutes in length. Flickr includes automatic uploading, as well as smart search features. That means that organisation isn’t as dependent on users manually tagging each photo.

Facebook Moments

Did you know that Facebook has its very own Moments photo sharing app for both IOS and Android? Although this app is less about the storage and management, it provides an easier platform to share your images with both friends and family. The software can use facial recognition technology to identify which friends are appearing in your album, this is particularly useful when creating shared albums which everyone can access. Even better, it does have unlimited storage for photos so what’s not to love.

Amazon

Amazon tend to be able to offer consumers all sorts of perks and it’s not a surprise to hear they can help with photo management for both IOS and Android. Originally only available to those using Prime, nowadays Prime members are entitled to unlimited cloud storage on digital photos, whilst they receive 5GB for video and document storage. Meanwhile, if you don’t have Prime you can still get 5GB for photo and video storage as a free member! The app automatically syncs so your photos can be accessed from any device with an internet or bluetooth connection. Those on Prime can also open a shared drive with fellow family members.

Back it Up

Whether you use Android or iPhone, be sure to utilise the cloud for your snaps, this not only protects your precious memories should your device go missing or breaking, but will also free up memory on the phone. An external hard drive can be useful too… But we don’t want those special memories to sit on an electronic device forever do we?

Share

The shared albums folder is an extremely useful addition to your phone, say for instance you have a big birthday party, everyone who came to the party can add images to the folder and view the pictures taken from the event. Should you have an image or video you wish to share, simply tap the share icon and place it in the appropriate shared folder. Up to 100 people can access a shared folder, they can like and comment on the images within.

Frame Them

Anything that gives us an excuse to print out and frame shouldn’t be left on a phone for the rest of time, they deserve to be proudly showcased in the home. Using your mobile, upload an image to our design studio, pick your preferred frame and we will craft your bespoke frame and high-quality print in no time!

The frame designer couldn’t be any simpler to use. We would advise visiting the website on your mobile phone, hit the upload button when prompted which will then access the camera roll of your phone, pick an image and you’re done, from phone to frame in just a matter of minutes. There are numerous advanced settings you can tweak as well to create the perfect picture frame. The freedom of choice is yours.

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