So here goes, we’re setting out on a new adventure Sienna!

I get so excited thinking about creating new things. I’m one of those people who loves to change her living room decor around at least 312 times a year! I get excited walking into a shop to find a one of a kind little treasure, that I know will transform my book shelves (I’ll not tell you how many times a year I change those around).

When it comes to photography I love the whole creative process, thinking of ideas, sourcing props, styling, editing and of course sharing on my instagram.

I’m regularly asked about how I edit, what apps I use and so many questions about growth and how to engage followers.  So I’ve decided to start this blog as it’s an ideal place to share my tips with you, and an ideal excuse for me to procrastinate a little more over Instagram (rather than tackling my mammoth laundry pile). So hopefully I’ll provide you with a lovely place to procrastinate with me!

One question I’m asked on a daily basis is about how I’ve been editing my recent photos and most importantly what apps I use. So as the title suggests my first post is about adding a flash of magic to your posts. Here’s how I do it…

1. Styling


Before I even think about what extra touches I might add later with clever apps, I think about whether the content is aesthetically pleasing. There’s no point editing a photo that doesn’t look very good and trying to dress it up with lights (mutton dressed as lamb springs to mind).Whether you photograph your children, flatlays or lifestyle shots, you need to make sure that what your seeing before any edits is pretty.

We all know the devil is in the detail.
So before you shoot, pause and look at what your photographing, can you make it more pleasing to the eye? Take a few shots with your props in different positions and decide which looks the best. Faff with your flowers (i’m forever faffing) until they look just right. If your using books, have the book open. Consider if you have enough white space in your photo. Ask yourself are the tones singing harmoniously? Is there a sense of whimsy? Are you adhering to the rule of thirds?

Top Tip: if you have food or drink in your photo make sure it’s facing the way the viewer would pick it up (it’s proven to be more visually pleasing that way). 

2. Get creative with seasonal props


Props help to create a mood or a moment. We all know that Instagram loves the seasons, so I always try to keep my posts relevant by having seasonal props. Although I do have my insta-staples, such as a cup of tea/coffee, books and of course blooms! Although I keep my blooms seasonal, so you won’t see any tulips in my feed again until at least spring time.

I keep a box filled with lots of different props in my room. My favourite autumn props are leaves, autumn blooms such as roses, socks (preferably twinning ones with Sienna), LED lights, candles, cosy knits and blankets. I find having these to hand when I photograph and having them all in one place, helps with my creative process.

3. Add some sparkle


My favourite editing technique at the moment is Bokeh, which is essentially blurred or out of focus light. After I saw a post by the incredible @sarah_louise_ferg using Bokeh, I just had to try it.

I use Bokeh Cam FX. This app adds Bokeh lighting allowing you to adjust the colour, size and opacity of the lights. I tend to use the white or warmer tones, staying away from the blues and greens, as I want to create a cosy feel. Also as a general rule, the larger the Bokeh size the lower opacity setting I use.

My advice to you is to play around with all the settings until you find what works for you and mix it up for each photo, that way you can discover your own unique style.

4. Bring your posts to life


Animating your photos bring yours posts to life. Lately I’ve noticed more videos on the explore page and they’re bigger, this means you have more chance of someone looking at your video than your regular posts.  As fewer people post videos, this could mean more exposure for you! So why not give it a go?

You can make a Cinemagraph which essentially masks parts of your video leaving only one part of  it moving, or you can make a Plotagraph which animates a still image. The end result is very similar, although the quality of your image is compromised with a Plotagraph.

Animating your photos is a fantastic way to make your posts more creative and to add a touch of whimsy. These days it isn’t enough to just post a beautiful photo, as everyone is posting beautiful photos, you need to make your post stand out.

I like to animate things that would naturally flow in the wind such as hair or clothing. I also like to animate the words on books pages. What you decide to animate is up to you. You can exercise your creative genius, the options are limitless!

5. Make magic happen

My last tip is to add step 4 and 5 together. Once you’ve finished editing and adding your Bokeh, turn it into a Plotagraph. to add a whole new dimension to your posts.