Back in Feb 2015… I created a 15 second film of Scenes From The Weekend to share on Instagram. It was a way using footage I’d gathered for a longer film I was making… (before Instagram allowed up to 60 seconds of video) I was interested in seeing if it was possible to make a mini story in just a few seconds…
It was… and then the bug of creating these little stories took hold and I carried on making them for a whole year and then went on to complete another year, as I love these little pockets of moments… so much.
It’s been my favourite personal project and never feels like a chore. I don’t even have to shoot everything I’ve done that weekend. It’s about picking the details or moments that represent that time.
Some weekends are busy… full of adventures and some are pretty lazy. But there’s always something to shoot… even if I’ve shot a sequence before, like making pancakes, I push myself to capture it in a different way somehow.
Scenes From The Weekend films are a simple project to get you into making films, as you don’t have to do anything special, just capture what’s already happening around you.
If you’re feeling inspired to create one, here are some…
Just start…dive in and start filming something. You don’t have to make a commitment to shoot every weekend. But once you’ve made one, you may do another… and another.
Generally you need between 5 to 20 clips depending on the length of them (and how long you’d like your film to be)… so don’t feel you have to document every part of your weekend. Remember you just need a few seconds of footage for each scene.
Preparation is key – Charge your batteries & clear your memory cards. Or if you’re using a mobile device, make sure there’s storage available… Then have your camera with you, so you’re ready to shoot whatever moment arises.
You can use any camera or even a variety of cameras. I mostly shoot on my DSLR, but I also add in additional clips shot on my iPhone or compact camera. Use whatever camera is with you. Don’t get caught up on having to have the best camera.
Seek out the details or moments that represent this particular weekend. Look for your unique story. I always like to include signs of the season that make me remember what time of year it was – autumn leaves, blossoming trees and golden summer light.
Shoot a variety of framing and compositions… for example wide shots and close ups. It will make your film more visually interesting. You could also include a time lapse or something in slow mo… I like to think of my films as a collage of clips, all pasted together as a moving memory.
Make time to edit. I put my films together on a Sunday evening, so they’re ready to share on Monday morning as part of my hashtag #minimondaymovies – the more times you edit and complete a film, the quicker you get.
If you’re looking to add music… my new favourite place to use is Soundstripe Music – feel free to use the code “xantheb” for 10% off your subscription.
When putting your edit together, look for the best bits of footage that tell the story of your weekend. Cut out anything that doesn’t fit or clips that are too similar to others. Fill your film with your “best of the best” bits.
But also remember it doesn’t have to be perfect or Oscar worthy! It’s about creating something that will be a wonderful memory to look back on. You won’t notice a little wobbly clip here and there, or the odd selection that’s out of focus – it’s about gathering your memories and locking them up tightly in a film to be viewed in years to come.
If you’d like more guidance and inspiration to create your own films like these and many more!
Check out my online course MAKE FILMS which is packed with tips, inspiration, project ideas and step by step guides to making a whole collection of films.
The next course starts March 14th – all the details are HERE
I hope you’ll join us!
Thoughts of summer have been on my mind, especially as a few plans are beginning to come together.
One exciting adventure will be teaching at FRANCE with the Flo Show & friends. It’s a photography, filmmaking and styling retreat taking place in the wine making region of Burgundy. In a beautiful old house, which was the childhood home of Flore Vallery-Radot, the visionary behind this event.
It will be 5 days and 4 nights: from August 11th to 15th 2017 of Photography, Film making and styling workshops, alongside delicious meals, plus visits to local markets and towns.
I’ll be there with a group of amazing teachers -
It’s going to be pretty special… “FRANCE with the Flo Show & friends.” is actually many retreats or workshops in one. We will not talk about 1 style, 1 method, 1 type of photography. It will be a very thorough and intense series of ateliers where you’ll be given a really solid and artistic base by incredible people, each one with very different views, techniques and styles. We chose to create small groups of 3 people so you can properly access your teacher, take a real part of each course and project. You won’t queue to take a photo… You will get to know these wonderful people who will be your teachers for these five days but also the other passionate attendants who could, who knows, collaborate with in the future.
For more details, the schedule and where to sign up – visit here FRANCE with the Flo Show & friends.
This is the house – isn’t it amazing?!
#colorcolourlovers is in full SWING!
Here are some of the colours found so far…
Here’s the list if you’d like to join in for the rest of the month -
Monday – purple
Tuesday – yellow
Wednesday – blue
Thursday – red
Friday – green
Sat – pink
Sun – orange
We’re back for a fourth winter! It’s my favourite way to start the year.
Hosted by myself and the brilliant Andrea Jenkins – a fellow lover of all things colourful. This simple project really is uplifting and brings a vibrant focus to what’s normally a tough time of year, but seems even more needed this year, with current world events.
It’s a colour prescription that works.
Taking part is simple… find & make colour happen.
Photograph colour // Make films containing colour // Wear colour // Play with colourful props // Go on colour hunts // Make bouquets of colourful flowers // Find colourful doors // Paint my nails // Look in my archives for colour.
This year we thought we’d mix it up little and do things a little differently….
Focusing on daily colours throughout February.
Monday – purple
Tuesday – yellow
Wednesday – blue
Thursday – red
Friday – green
Sat – pink
Sun – orange
I’ll be sharing my colours each day on Instagram using #colorcolourlovers… and here on my blog (probably weekly) and then both Andrea (@hulaseventy) & I will add photos to our shared collection (eventually) - It’s quite the rainbow! I love it.
Please feel free to join in with us – the more colour the better!
MAKE FILMS - The online course starts on Tues 17th Jan… I’m so excited to offer it again.
Check out all the films made as part of previous courses - #makefilmscourse… These films blow my mind! over 2000 films bursting with creativity. Also, take a look at this blogpost sharing some of the amazing testimonials the course has received.
Let me tell you more about the course -
TEN WEEKS OF MAKING FILMS
With weekly prompts and inspiration, this 10 week course will look at different shooting & editing techniques, and the various stories you can tell through making mini films for Instagram or to share online. MAKE FILMS is packed with tips and tricks of how to make all my favourite films! We’ll focus on making a different type of film each week – see some of the examples below…
This course isn’t just about family or personal films. You can use the films to promote your business or brand e.g. make stop motions of your stationery products or time lapses of your surroundings or mini films of your events. There is so much scope for telling stories through film.
All the details are HERE. The course starts Tuesday 17th Jan. Hope you’ll join us!
Here are some one of the films you can make -
SCENES FROM THE WEEKEND
DAY IN THE LIFE
SLOW MO DETAILS
ONE MORE STOP MOTION (Coz I love this one!)
I’ve created more films this year than ever before.
Lots of work projects. 52 weekend films… short & sweet but packed with memories. 12 films as part of The Sixty Second Photograph. A summer film. Some Day In The Life films. A Marrakech memories film. Stop motions & slow mo tea time, a plenty.
This is my final film of 2016…
The left overs… the details… the places, the light and the smiles I want to remember. (No bike shots! as there are plenty in other films.)
The one second project is a well established one. I remember first seeing it and being blown away about how much could be conveyed in a second. I created a random happenings film in response, using two second clips. And then my love of short snippets was born. Now there’s an app that helps you collate your seconds. Jeanine’s film is amazing and Francesca Russell uses her DSLR for her films in such an inspiring way. In fact Francesca has written a wonderful post all about creating your own one second films, with some brilliant tips.
My film doesn’t have a second from every day, as some of my days really aren’t that interesting and I think it’s easier when you have younger children, as they’re around more. My days are spend at my computer, shooting content and making tea.
So here are my one second glimpses… the clips hiding on my iPhone or scenes that didn’t make it into other films, plus a few clips that I just love and give me all the feelings from this year.
As it’s all about the FEELINGS. That’s why I started making Time Capsule films years ago… this one second film is a collection of memory postcards. Literally transporting me back to that second.
This is last years film. Boom! I’m right back there. Haven’t the boys changed SO much?! Blows my mind. Thank goodness for these films.
Have a go at making your own one second film. Either with footage from 2016… it’s such a relief to put all those clips lying around into something worth watching back and not have them fade away on some hard drive. They are archived properly.
If you can’t bear to go back. How about move forward? 2017 could be your year to start. Shoot one sec a day, use the app or like me, just pick up your camera regularly and capture the details of your life. Your faces, smiles, places, light and moments. Anything! You just need a short clip here and there, it’s not too demanding. And the editing is easy, it’s like putting a scrap book together. Find the clip, drag it in. Add music. Keep adding clips till done. Hey presto!
One last thing. Put yourself in your films. Please. Arms length, “selfie” style is enough. But do it. Be part of the story. Pass the camera to a family member, or set up a tripod, find a reflection… even pull a funny face. Whatever it takes, do it. It’s uncomfortable but it’s necessary… how can it be a Time Capsule of your story or your life, if you’re not in there.
If these films have inspired you to tell your own family stories and you’d like to learn to make your own Time Capsule films - The next round of Creating Time Capsules starts Fri 13th Jan and MAKE FILMS starts on Tuesday 17th Jan.
You flashed by in a blink of my eye. It felt like my fastest year ever… I feel like I always say that, (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011,) but each year gathers momentum and I’m taken along for a speedy ride.
I heard something recently that made me feel a little better about how this quickly this year has disappeared. Liz Gilbert was chatting on Emma Gannon’s podcast (I’m a little late to discovering this, having just met Emma at a recent event.)
Liz says if life is going by quickly and you’re doing what you love, then that’s pretty good… it’s happiness. There I was thinking, the whizzing by meant I was missing something. But this positive look at another year flying by, has given me a lot of comfort.
This year has had it challenges and difficulties… it’s not all been easy. Raising teenage boys is a new experience. Moving house for the third time in four years was an emotional roller coaster. Living in a rental is pretty tough, as you never quite no how long you can stay and the astronomical rental costs are like throwing money away! Sadly I don’t think we’ll ever get back on the housing ladder.
But creatively and in terms of my business, 2016 has been pretty amazing. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities to work with people and brands I truly love, doing the work I love. I’ve worked the hardest I’ve ever done, had things go well and made a few mistakes.
I’m so grateful to have a created a job & a business that truly reflects all of me.
I’ve put together my work & personal highlights here in this one post, but there’s more from this year with my photography and personal family films and summer scenes… as I couldn’t fit it all in here.
Then working on my online courses… with a second round of A Year of Creating Time Capsules and creation of my brand new course MAKE FILMS. This course and Creating Time Capsules ran multiple times throughout the year, guiding hundreds of people through the process of making your own films. Watching my students create magical films regularly is such a buzz… I feel so honoured to share the joy of film making with them.
Attended London Fashion week with Canon UK.
Lots of fun had on a photo walk in Shoreditch…
I was interviewed on the Blogtacular podcast with Kat.
Created this for Cath Kidston… love a table setting project!
It was a dream to work with Etsy UK on their first Etsy Awards campaign. Creating stop motions with products from their sellers.
Played pretty picnics for Cath Kidston…
And goodbye to my sister’s bake-a-boo… Still makes me well up when I watch her turn the CLOSED sign.
Wish I’d been packing for a real weekend away!
And captured so much pretty for Clare at Achillea Flowers.
I created colourful breakfasts for Alpen…. for their Start Colourful campaign… what a dream job!
Went to Margate for the day.
Created something pretty for Betty Magazine…
Attended Instagram’s first video workshop… the Facebook office was as cool as you would imagine.
Created photos and video content at the Cath Kidston Disney launch.
Got a sneak peek of Instagram’s stories feature before it was released and was asked to host a meet up at The Roundhouse for it’s launch and give people a chance to play and create their own stories. Then we had drinks on the rooftop beach.
Took some time off to go camping…. Then a few days away in Wales, first to the vibrant Aberaeron, with colourful houses EVERYWHERE. Then the windiest and rainy holiday ever. Good friends and good food made it bearable.
Created another series of photos and films for Sipsmith.
And a couple of films for Twinings tea. The most perfect brief for me… drinking tea and sharing the little details that set up my day…
Shot a fun stop motion for Etsy UK… showing my new desk in the new house…
Taught a mini stop motion workshop at Etsy Lunch & Learn.
And spent the day with Lauren Lavern for Boden. A real delight!
The next day I had the opportunity to hangout with Erica Davies and capture her in four winter coats for Boden.
To recover from August & September’s full-on-ness, I took a little time out to visit my dearest friend and fellow creative Kim. For the past five years we’ve run or taught at retreats together, but this year we felt the pull to be just us and allow some time to create together. It was bliss.
Then had a restful half term with the family.
So many events attended or working at, including press days for Boden & Cath Kidston. The most gorgeous dinner organised by Etsy, where every detail was thought of… we created our own goodie bags by picking items from Etsy sellers, the menu was based around our personal tastes and the pianist even played our favourite song.
An evening visiting an exhibition of talented creatives on Instagram…
Created some festive films for Sipsmith…
My favourite weekend… as we kicked off our family tradition of taking one of us out for the day… Cosmo picked a bike ride for me… we spent all day in East London riding along the canal.
I then took Ky for an adventure as we climbed the 02 at sunset one evening.
Then it was time for our real Christmas…
And goodbye to 2016… hello 2017…
Wow. It’s been an incredible year… Time for a cup of tea to reflect. So grateful and humbled by the fabulous projects I’ve worked on and people I’ve met. Huge thanks to all.
I hope 2017 brings as much joy & goodness…
I love LOOKING BACK posts… a chance to put all my memories, films and photos from that year, in one place on this blog of mine. The virtual album of my life.
And I couldn’t miss 2016. (Although I’ve just pulled at my heart strings watching old films and soaking up photos from the past… life has passed by in a blink.)
Let’s start with my personal “Time Capsule” films this year… I set the same goals as previous years for at least one a film a month. In the end I created way more than one a month… These are my favourites…
And VIDEO PORTRAITS… of us all.
WEEKEND MEMORIES – A YEAR LATER
FEBRUARY – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
A Week In The Life mini Time Capsules…
MARCH – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
APRIL – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
Another Week In The Life mini Time Capsules…
MAY MEMORY POSTCARDS
JUNE – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – SUNSHINE, STRIPES & CLEANING
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – GOODBYE HOUSE, HELLO NEW HOME
JULY – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
MAX & NICK’S 40TH PARTY WEEKEND
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – WET & WINDY WALES
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – FAMILY CAMP UP 2016
AUGUST – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
SCENES FROM THE SUMMER – 2016
SEPTEMBER – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – TRAVELLING ON TRAINS
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – IN KIM’S STUDIO AND HOME TOWN
OCTOBER – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
There were so many films as part of my 30 day challenge… a couple of my personal favs -
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – THE SUN WAS SHINING
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – SISTER TIME & DONUTS
NOVEMBER – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
MINI MONDAY MOVIE – FOOD, FAMILY AND FESTIVE FUN
DECEMBER – THE SIXTY SECOND PHOTOGRAPH
If you’d like to make 2017 the year, you start to create stories through making your own films – check out my online courses where I share everything you need to get started and be inspired through the whole process.
I had the pleasure of photographing some wonderful people this year…
From loving families to a variety of portraits & commercial projects. Whist I can’t share everything I’ve photographed this year, this a selection of my favourite projects.
SO very grateful to work with such amazing people and produce a wide variety of images for social media content and the gift of memories for families to enjoy for years to come.
2016 has given me such incredible opportunities to do the creative work I love…
Long may this continue in 2017.