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Stylist Aurélie Lecuyer + Stories With Photos

Let’s talk about telling stories with photos for your blog posts and how to approach it. I shared the Le Dans La blog with you in 2011 (here), but today I thought we could again visit French stylist, Aurélie Lecuyer, who is the lady behind Le Dans La. It is so fascinating to look into her life mostly because her photography is so captivating — her images draw me in. I like how she leaves her home “as is” and shoots scenes that feel very natural and soothing. I’m sure she styles these photos to look imperfectly perfect, she is a stylist with over 8 years of freelance experience after all, but the overall impression is that she is not looking to portray her life as perfect. She is truly comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t need to be anything more than herself and she does this through the art of visual storytelling which really is that – an ART.

Le Dans La Blog

Le Dans La Blog

I think we will start to see more and more blogs perfecting this art of what I call portraying imperfection in an elegant, artistic way. This could be a new blogging trend – maybe even for books? Wouldn’t that be nice? I think too many blogs are trying to mimic magazine photography and create flawless magazine-perfect blog posts (and stress themselves out if they are not as good) but I think we should chill out a little. It’s best to find your own style and then work to make it the best that you can. Really become skilled in your craft. You don’t need to be Martha Stewart, Sweet Paul or that blogger who takes photographs for a living and who makes her life seem perfect – you can be YOU and do YOUR personal best. You just may find a really lovely response to your body of work by being natural because honestly, our individuality is the only thing we’ve got when it comes to separating us from the pack. Only you can be the best YOU. No one else. Who can copy you then? Look at the world’s top trend setters and even the trend setters in the blogging world. Aren’t they really just being themselves in the end and that is drawing in their crowds of fans? Being yourself after you have worked diligently to make yourself a really good person with talents others admire, is a very HARD thing to rip off or repackage. Trust me.

Okay so let’s talk more about photo stories. I love Aurélie’s blog because she doesn’t worry about perfectly placing objects but concentrates more on showing naturalness in her home life. She focuses on her angles and capturing light to lend a more storytelling quality to her photos. Light is a really good story teller because shadows and streams of sunlight and even the fading of light to dark can evoke emotions that stimulate the imagination. Think about this for a moment. Angles, in addition to light, are important too. Try taking photos on your stomach, at eye level, overhead, slightly above eye level, slightly below, laying on your back looking up… There are so many angles that can make a photo come alive. Try this: You are in a grassy field on a sunny day with huge puffy clouds floating above in a deep blue sky. Pull out your imaginary camera. Tell me how you would compose this shot? The first reaction for most people is to stand straight, bring their camera up to their eye, look through the viewfinder and compose the shot in landscape with the line of horizon separating sky from field. But how about kneeling down or lay down and shoot diagonally towards the sky? It is easy to forget how to tell stories when our focus is just on being magazine-perfect. I’ve been on professional photo shoots – a magazine can spend an entire afternoon and walk away with 5 good photos for publication. How many of us who are blogging have time for that? Why not work more on telling stories with photos?

Le Dans La Blog
Le Dans La Blog

Think of what you want to say in a blog post and then challenge yourself to say it visually instead. Maybe you want to talk about typography and old-fashioned signage. Challenge yourself to go out for a day either on foot or in your car and stop to photograph ONLY store signs that have a retro vibe that you love. Such photos require little text to support their “story”, they are doing all of the talking for you and require no styling or super amazing photography skills. Just shoot them in ways that are interesting, consider your angles, and then when you are pulling together your blog post, you will see your story coming together very simply and casually thanks to your photos. Little text to support your story is really needed.

Le Dans La Blog
Le Dans La Blog

I’m learning more and more about storytelling through imagery in my film making classes and through all of the reading I’ve been doing about moving pictures. I’ve been applying this knowledge to other things in my life, such as my photography and I find it a great challenge. I really encourage you to find your photo style and give yourself a good push to try new things and to be a storyteller, too. MAKE A LITTLE MAGIC.

Le Dans La Blog
Le Dans La Blog

Let Aurélie inspire you through her blog, Le Dans La and her gorgeous website where you can find her portfolio. It’s all such an inspiration to me, I hope it fills you with good feelings today, too.

(photography: Aurélie Lecuyer)

Posted in blogs on February 26, 2013

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Hello everyone! It’s Tuesday so you know what that means, yes – Etsy time! Okay so let’s look at what I found for you this week. I’ve collected a nice mix of things so there is a little something for everyone. Enjoy!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

How about we begin with a little fashion this week! I love these CORIUMI handmade Bags with tribal screen-printed motifs, metallic leathers, soft suedes… It’s all so beautiful. I had to order one for myself. Which style do you love?

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Sarah & Bendrix – Mainly prints but you can also spot some cards and garlands that you’ll love. Print colors can be found in pretty pink, soothing mint and sophisticated black and white with French quotes – I love the gold lettering!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Looking to give your blog a facelift for only €49.00? Natalie is the lady to talk to over at La Designerie, a creative studio for blog & identity design. She sells blog themes in limited editions so once they are gone – they’re gone for good. What a great little gift to yourself this year – to revamp your blog template! Note: You can even work with her on personalized templates, too.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Laetitia from the very pretty Vert Cerise shop lives in Paris and loves to design patterns for her paper collections. I think her stuff is gorgeous – happy, modern and colorful. She also has a blog under the same name that is equally inspiring.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

If you love quotes and ceramics, here is the best of both worlds from mb art studios. I love the clock, because isn’t the time always now? Watch for their new line of porcelain dinnerware in ocean tones set to launch in March!

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on February 26, 2013

Blog Boss e-course Winners!

Hello everyone! I promised to announce the three winners for our Blog Boss contest but first, I want to thank all who entered our flash giveaway! I read each entry and clicked on all of the blog links so I met many new online neighbors. It was a treat to see new faces so again, thank you for entering. Here are the three winners selected via Random.org.

WINNERS

Our winners are:
#30 Scarlett from Fork & Flower
#48 Natalie from Awkward and Beautiful
#350 Celine from Boheme Circus

CONGRATULATIONS to our winners! Note to winners: I will contact you via email or Facebook today – if I do not hear a response from you by March 1st to claim this prize, I will randomly select another winner to take your place since class begins in March 1st.

THANK YOU all so much for entering and sharing news about Blog Boss. I really, really appreciate it and the buzz generated – it made me and my teachers very happy.

(image: holly becker)

Posted in contests on February 25, 2013

Monday: What’s On My Mind

Okay so here we are, a new week, how are you feeling about that? Energized? Not motivated? I’m a little of both because the lingering gray weather has made January and February super duper depressing. Blizzards, ice, tons of snow – totally fine by me – but wow, gray dark days with no sunlight for weeks and weeks?! How can the sun be so naughty? Why is he playing mean games? Not nice, sun! I will stop complaining now. It serves no good purpose but it is sometimes a little fun, right?

For Haus Maus

Let’s talk about me first, then you. I know, I know, me first. :) Yes so what I am doing? I ask myself this a lot lately because I am always doing so many little things and sometimes I wonder if all of the little projects add up and then I pause and say, Yes they do because well, they really do. Each little number is contributing to a combined total – the goal. For instance, today I am writing two articles, one for the beautiful Sweet Paul magazine (on decorating) and another for the inspirational new business magazine, Where Women Creates Business (on blogging). I’m also writing out my course materials for the upcoming Blog Boss e-class that kicks off March 1st! We have an amazing group of students and teachers for this class so I’m even more eager to get started with teaching. I always get nervous before school starts because I want to be the super cool teacher that all of the students love but I get a bit of stage fright! You’d think that after teaching for so many years both on and offline that I’d be super chill about it but nope, I’m shaky at my knees before the first day. As soon as day one begins though, I shoot off like a rocket and am absolutely comfortable.

I often wish this stage fright would disappear as I get older but it likes to stick around. I think it comes from always wanted to do my best and make people feel happy. I like to create Tiggers. Do you know who Tigger is? The fictional tiger in Winnie The Pooh? I want my students to have invisible springs on their feet for the four weeks that they spend in our virtual classroom – bouncy, smiling, happy, energized and full of absolute glee because they are doing something great for themselves.

Mollie Makes

On top of work stuff there is also play stuff. I’m enjoying a new crochet class that I’ve just started (next I will learn knitting) at Stricklounge, so now everything in magazines like Mollie Makes is finally starting to make sense to me. I sew already, but when it comes to needlepoint, crochet, knitting, etc. I’m helpless yet determined to change that, so it is time to learn new stuff. I want to learn how to make the pretty project from Emma Lamb (she is so talented) in the most recent issue, have you seen it yet? I am calling 2013 my Learning Year because I will take a ton of classes and throw myself into really deep water because I have this craving to learn. I am also learning more about making videos and considering how I will apply this newfound hobby to my business. Hmmmm.I do not want to allow myself to have this comfort career. I need challenge.

Now it’s your turn. What are YOU doing?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

 

Posted in uncategorized on February 25, 2013

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Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
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Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)