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We’re actually having a wave of wonderful summer weather here in London… sunshine, blue skies and good times…

This weekend looked like this… plus lots of sitting around in the shade and being with friends & family – much needed!

As you may know… these weekend films are pretty special to me. It’s my longest running and favourite project!

Look how different last weekend was -

And the weekend before that -

The first film project on the MAKE FILMS course is to shoot your weekend, as it’s a great opportunity to experiment with all the shooting tips and try out the shots & angles I share with you.

It’s also a wonderful film to look back on and lots of people who start making weekend films as part of the course, continue to do so because they love them so much.

You can see all the films made as part of previous course, here - #makefilmscourse… They make me smile! over 2700 films full of life and creativity. Also, take a look at these blogposts sharing some of the amazing testimonials (and this one) the course has received.

Let me tell you more about the course -


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 27th June. Hope you’ll join us!

Alongside the Scenes From The Weekend films… you can also create these -










Written by xanthe

June 19th, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Posted in MAKE FILMS,my films


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So here we are… at the end of a playful month of May.

The little side project #HurrayForPlay sparked from the conversation about my love of personal projects, on Sara’s podcast, has given me a few opportunities to create photos, films and stories I might not have made.

It’s been fun!

Even when there have been deadlines and other important projects to complete, I made time to play… experiment… and shoot just because. It’s important. I know that already, but I sometimes put it off… this time I made small pockets of time.

And it felt good.

Here are a few of my favourite creations…

I guess Sara & I might host another month long challenge towards the end of the year… will keep you posted.

And feel free to go back over Week One, Week TwoWeek Three & Week Four if you need a spark or a prompt to PLAY!





Written by xanthe

May 28th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in HurrayForPlay


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Lately I been filling my frames full of flowers…

And I thought I’d share them here, coz it’s been ages since I shared a few fav fives!

Dandelions are everywhere…

I took part in a beautiful floral workshop

The Cow’s Parsley makes me so happy biking in the park…

Playing with fading peonies…

And the buttercups have sprung up over the weekend!

See more FFF posts here.


Written by xanthe

May 23rd, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Posted in five frames,flowers


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Three weeks of #hurrayforplay have whizzed by! Nothing like a creative project to speed up time.

Did you try creating a cinemagraph or boomerang last week? I struggled with the cinemagraph if I’m honest… a little too subtle for me but maybe it has a time and place, and it’s certainly fun to play with…  I do prefer a boomerangor two!

We’re moving into our final week (for this round) of #hurrayforplay – Let’s go out with a bang and create lots of amazing work this week, through play!

WEEK FOUR – 22nd – 29th May – Play with capturing a story that’s imaginary &/or from real life.

Your imaginary scenes can give you a chance to let your imagination run away with you… and set something up you’ve only dreamed of creating.

Your real life scenes are happening all around you, look at the everyday (and sometimes mundane) details in a new light and elevate them by capturing it a beautiful way.

Each weekly prompt so far, has had focuses and ideas that have crossed over slightly, so feel free to incorporate any of them into this week’s prompt… For example, last week we explored shooting video clips in the shape of cinemagraphs & boomerangs, or the weeks before we took photos that shared light or colour, so you could play with those again, as you shoot ‘make believe’ or everyday beauty stories.

An additional focus for you if you choose… Shooting with a mobile device &/or DSLR. We tend to have our go-to cameras… it could be a mix of phone or DSLR… but we stick to our favourite set up and often forget about those cameras collecting dust (or maybe that’s just Sara & I?!)

Use this week to pick up your camera (or lens or piece of equipment) that’s been neglected and remember why you loved it. Step out of your usual creative set up and see what happens.

Enjoy this last week together… and as ever, just experiment and play… focus more on the process than the result. But if you do create something you love, share it with Sara & I on the hashtag #hurrayforplay on Instagram or Twitter.

Written by xanthe

May 22nd, 2017 at 7:00 am

Posted in HurrayForPlay


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The next round of MAKE FILMS starts this week… I’m always excited to see who’s joining in and looking forward to seeing what they’ll create…

It’s been way too long since I shared some testimonials, so I thought I’d share a few of the kind words that have been said about my MAKE FILMS course. I’m so grateful that people make the time to share how the experience has been for them… their words make me extremely proud that they’ve gained so much from taking part.

Please take a read…

“I had no particular goal or expectation when I started the MAKE FILMS course. All I knew was that watching your films on instagram always brought about that nice and fluffy feeling of happiness to me. So I guess I wanted to experience even more of this great ‘mood lifter’ of a feeling. If some of your tips and tricks could rub off, even better, but to be honest, I was doubtful of my own ability to figure out how to get my DSLR to produce something worth showing, let alone sharing on IG. Now that the 10 weeks have passed I am the first one to be surprised at what I achieved. It is just the beginning of my journey, clearly. Nevertheless you put me on the right path from the beginning. What resonated the most is that you encouraged us learners to just do it, no matter what camera gear we have – or don’t have. That it is more about encapsulating a moment, an emotion for the future than about reaching award-winning-hollywood-feature-film levels. This doesn’t mean that you skipped on the technical part during this course, quite the opposite. You gave us the tools, the tips and the confidence and this, in the most casual and amicable way. Allowing us to see your earlier films was another highlight because it shows not only how you progressed (giving us complete beginners hope) but also says a lot about your lovely personality. It felt like a big sister taking me by the hand and encouraging me to take the next step, complimenting my attempts even. On second thought you are more like a really kind friend than a sister and I know I will miss your weekly messages in my inbox.”

- Anouchka  

“It’s all your fault. You fed my love for making movies and now I just can’t stop! It’s fantastic!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for creating the Make Films course and sharing your gifts with all of us. I’ve loved film for as long as I can remember but I just didn’t think I had the time to dedicate to it that it needed. You not only helped me to see how I could find the time in my daily life but your filming guidance helped me to discover new storytelling ideas and ways of capturing my world through a medium I absolutely adore. Thank you especially for the reminder to play. It’s something I encourage others in my life to do but often forget when it comes to my own life. Playing has opened doors and windows inside of me. There is no doubt that I will continue to play, explore and create films both personally and professionally from this point forward. Thanks for sharing your passion with the world. You are a true inspiration! “

- Natasha

“Let me share with you what your course has meant for me. Before I took your class I tried to figure iMovie out on my own and got so overwhelmed/angry at myself and the process, I quit. I’ve always taken lifestyle shots and could picture how they would look as movie, but was stuck. I didn’t know how to get the image from my head onto the screen. 

Then along came your course. The only online course I’ve ever finished and dreaded the end of. In fact, I’m still sad it’s over! From your authenticity to your creativity and in-depth lessons I truly felt like I’d been handed a gift with your course. I am now able to record film of my precious family as well as my photography clients. Just this week a client said “You made my mom and dad (the grandparents) BOTH cry with your film” and she meant the good tears, not the bad! (lol).

I don’t know how I could ever thank you enough for your easy to follow tutorials and creative spark. Because the creative spark is what sets you apart. You are an artist in the truest sense. I’ve seen plenty of “how-to” tutorials other places but none feel as if I’m watching an artist at work. Your course is the embodiment of that. Pure artwork.”

- Sara

There’s still time to register for this session of MAKE FILMS… Check out this blog post for more details.



Written by xanthe

May 17th, 2017 at 9:50 am

Posted in MAKE FILMS,my films

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Halfway through the month of #hurrayforplay – a little fun project I’m hosting with Sara

Have you been enjoying the experience of creating through play? I know I have! Even the small pockets of time I’ve had this past week, have made me happy – I’ve been looking at light in playful way.

SO on to this week…

WEEK THREE – 15th – 21st May – Play by capturing scenes that are still &/or moving.

For this week there are a few directions you can take. As we’ve suggested each week, try something new or create in the way that feels comfortable – it’s up to you how you PLAY.

The focus is “capturing a scene” – these could be quiet moments or fun playful moments. They could be scenes you’ve set up and styled yourself or real life situations.

We wanted to add a new element this week, by adding the option to play with making something that moves and shooting some video. (But feel free to stick with photography as well).

Explore Cinemagraphs & Boomerangs or short clips of video to see your scenes in a new way… for tips for how to use these, check out – Xanthe’s post about Boomerangs & Sara’s post about Cinemagraphs.

Here are the apps & some tags to help get you started -

Cinemagraphs – MaskArt is free and simple to use. Check out #cinemagraphs for the magic in action.

Boomerang – iPhone & Android - These Boomerang tags have tons of inspiration – #boomerangoftheweek  #boomerangbangbang #boomerangforinstagram

As ever… experiment, play and have fun. If you create anything you love, share it over on Instagram or Twitter with #hurrayforplay for Sara & I to see.







Written by xanthe

May 15th, 2017 at 7:00 am

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Yesterday I joined my dear friend Kim Klassen for her webinar series “Lunch & Learn” if you missed it and would like to watch again… head over to her online studio and sign up for free to check it out, plus you can watch her previous (and future) sessions which are full of so much information.

It was such a fun conversation… sharing tips and answering questions about making films to share on Instagram and beyond… I loved chatting with Kim – hopefully she’ll invite me back soon!

A couple of questions came up during the session… ones I often get asked… so I thought I would share some details here…

We talked about Instagram Stories and Laura hadn’t used it yet, so mentioned I made a tutorial back when it first came out… but then I realised it would be out of date now… So here’s an updated version, that I made recently for some clients, in case you’ve not started using Stories yet either.

I share some of the features you can use to get creative on Instagram Stories… For example, adding photos & videos, using the text & paint tool, adding stickers and locations and watching back your stories.

Hope you find it useful!

I also shared my favourite place to find music at the moment – I feel Soundstripe read my mind by creating a library full of great instrumentals, in all sorts of genres, at a great price. The monthly subscription allows you to download as many tracks as you like. I’ve been a member since the beginning of the year and each week I’ve found something new for Scenes From The Weekend films and recently on my Day In The Life films. I can’t praise it enough!

Check out Soundstripe and if you’d like a 10% off a subscription… use the code xantheb

(FYI I do get a small commission for each sign up, but I genuinely love this company, so would share it regardless)

Do let me know if you’ve got any other questions that I can answer here… pop them in the comments or let me know over on Instagram.




Written by xanthe

May 12th, 2017 at 1:49 pm


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From what I’ve seen on Instagram and Twitter lots of you have been playing and creating so beautifully… you’ve jumped head first into the #HurrayForPlay project that Sara and I started last week.

For the past week I’ve played with neutrals and found a little colour, you can see some of my pics and films on Instagram (I’ll do a round up post at some point)… and we’re sharing some of our favs from the hashtag over on the newsletter – You’re welcome to join up to HERE.

Onto this week’s prompt…

WEEK TWO – 8th – 14th May – Playing & creating inside &/or outside.

We’re often drawn to create in an environment that inspires and is familiar to us. Use this week to shoot where you are comfortable but also try something new…

Inside might be your preferred location – this could be in your home where you know the best spots to frame a shot or inside a favourite place.

Or it could be outside in your neighbourhood, perhaps you live in the city or countryside.

You could encourage yourself to shoot where you’re not familiar and it offers a little challenge – perhaps you never take your camera outside? or you struggle to find the best light in your home.

Mix it up this week by shooting both indoors and outdoors.

Let this week’s focus be looking for different types of light. Whether inside or outside… look for the light.

Inside – this could subtle window light or shadows created by the sun beaming in. You can make your scenes bright or moody. Outside – look for sun flare, shadows & silhouettes, if the sun comes out… or if it’s overcast or rainy, play with that flat even light or create something a little moody.

Whatever direction you go in… have fun and play! – Make time for experimenting… No worries about the result. It’s about the journey not the destination. Let’s see what this week brings…

Hurray for PLAY!

Written by xanthe

May 8th, 2017 at 9:37 am

Posted in HurrayForPlay


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The Day In The Life project is one of my favourite Time Capsule films to create… (closely followed by my Scenes From The Weekend films.)

But it’s been a while since I’ve made the mini daily versions - May 2016 & March 2016 & Sept 2015 & May 2015

Last year flew by so quickly… I’d planned to do one week in the autumn, but ended up doing 30 days of films instead.

So here we are in spring 2017 and I knew I needed to get on it!

We are in a different house now and the boys are growing up faster than I can imagine. My work life is so varied from week to week… I’d like this some of this to be documented. But it was finding the energy to get going.

You see, this project takes commitment and extra time.

But I know, I’ve just got to start… because once I’m in the zone of creating… the benefits shine and the momentum of finishing each film keeps me going.

So my week is complete… seven days, seven films full of little snippets from the day. I love them. I love seeing the differences and the similarities to last year and the year before – it’s such a gift. Even though I had to stay up late editing and annoy my family by filming every day… and find different ways of documenting, yet another cup of tea being made.

I think it was worth it.

Now this is over, I can get on with #hurrayforplay!

Perhaps these mini films have inspired you to have a go at creating your own Day In The Life film…

If you’d like any help, inspiration or guidance… consider taking one of my online courses – My MAKE FILMS course starts on May 16th and we spend a whole week dedicated to this project.

All the details are HERE.

All films shot on a mix of Canon 5d4, iPhone 6s and Canon G7x




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Recently I was invited by the lovely Sara Tasker to chat on her podcast #hashtagauthentic - If you haven’t listened to my episode yet… please check it out -The Power of Personal Projects.

I shared some of my favourite personal projects… the things I learnt from them, why I love them and how important they’ve been for the work I do now.

During the conversation, Sara and I toy with the idea of doing a project together, because collaborations or working in a group can be very motivating and keep us accountable… so something has been bubbling and we’ve decided that the month of May is all about PLAY… and we’d LOVE you to join us.

Each week there will be two opposite directions to focus your creative play and a suggestion to explore something, like a technique or subject. You can use the prompt literally or make it your own. This is just the starting point and something to get you excited about creating through which ever medium you prefer… there are no rules, it’s just about play… and creating something just to create.

Hurray for PLAY! Make time for experimenting… No worries about the result. It’s about the journey not the destination. Who knows what we’ll create.

WEEK ONE – 1st – 7th May – Playing with Colour &/or Neutrals.

We’re often drawn to a particular colour palette in our work. Use this week to play with colours you love or dip your toes into a different spectrum of tones.

Try playing with some props when representing your chosen palette – colourful ones or muted tones… there are so many possibilities!

With each weekly project you’re welcome to explore one of the topics or both… you can stick to one if it’s familiar to you and you’d like to dive into deeper into that theme or you can go with the opposite one, where you can experiment in a different area and perhaps discover a different way of creating. You can even try both!! The kind of work or amount of it you produce, is up to you…

Just a reminder – This project is primarily about creating while playing… just for the sake of creating, rather than sharing it. As we can often get caught up on making something because of how it will be received by an audience, rather than because we love it. So there’s no pressure to share what you’re creating, but if you do make something you LOVE and want to put it out there… It would be great to see it – Use the hashtag #HurrayForPlay (we used the English spelling) you could share it on Instagram or in your Instagram Stories or make a blogpost with your creations or give us a sneak peek on Twitter or wherever you choose to share.

I’m looking forward to having this little project motivate me this month. Sara and I hope you’ll join us in this playtime – visit our blogs on a Monday for the weekly prompts & more tips and inspiration can be sent direct to your inbox… please sign up over HERE.

Are you in? LET’S PLAY IN MAY!






Written by xanthe

May 1st, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in HurrayForPlay