I have always enjoyed taking photographs. I find capturing a moment in time to relive later, is something, really rather special. Now, just because I love taking photographs, doesn’t mean to say that I am actually any good at it! I’m not too bad at taking photos of people and scenery, but anything else? Nope!
I’m always looking for something new to learn, so I was really excited when I was invited to a photo styling workshop at The Willow Tree, Cheltenham.
What is The Willow Tree?
(Image by The Willow Tree, Cheltenham)
The Willow Tree is a bright, quirky and welcoming gift and homeware shop/cafe, nestled in the centre of Cheltenham. The lovely Amber Turnbull founded the Willow Tree in early 2017, and the philosophy for her thriving enterprise is simple. She believes in three things: Loving local, Shopping small and Supporting talented artisans and makers.
The workshops that the Willow Tree hosts, are an important element in building a community rooted in Amber’s philosophy. The workshops she organises allow people to get crafty, learn a new skill and meet new people, in a creative and open space.
This particular workshop was for ‘beginners’ looking to learn more about how they can ‘set up and style’ photos for a variety of purposes. For example: Blogging, Social Media, Etsy, Ebay…
So, this workshop was perfect for me as a ‘new blogger’, because it would help me develop a skill that I can use to improve my blog and use of social media. (Winning!)
A significant part of any post that I write are the images I choose to illustrate it with, they’re important because they provide a visual of what I’m writing about. Often, creating or finding the right image is something I find really difficult. I literally do not have a clue where to start and I also have no imagination. This is most definitely, not a winning combination for creative photography!
So What did I Learn?
In single word… Loads. I was introduced to a whole new world of flatlays, colour palettes, backdrops, props, photo composition, photo editing, filters and apps and the importance of lighting!
Amber had set up a really informal workshop. There were some examples of photo compositions already set up for us so we could get some ideas. Amber had also provided a table full of props, as well as lots of products for us to play around with as we practiced ‘styling’ our photos.
As we had a go at putting some photos together, Amber was on hand to provide advice, ideas and suggestions for how some simple tweaks would result in a much more engaging and effective photograph. Amber had also enlisted the help of Hayley who blogs at LoveHayleyBeth to share her hints and tips for taking great photos for social media.
I spent so much time snapping away, talking, and taking notes, that I didn’t actually take many photos of The Willow Tree space itself, which was a shame because it really is an awesome space.
As a total beginner this was a great workshop. Amber provided a wealth of information, advice and inspiration. But I also think that if you had more experience, Amber would make a great sounding board for exploring new ideas and concepts.
Fancy trying something new?
Then the Willow Tree will have something for you! Amber has put together a really exciting and comprehensive line-up of workshops. For information about what’s already planned please check out The Willow Tree’s What’s On page here.(Images by The Willow Tree, Cheltenham)
Alternatively, The Willow Tree goes on tour and can bring a workshop to you! I think this could make a great hen do or birthday activity with a difference!
What I love about The Willow Tree is that is really is a multi-functional space. In addition to being a gift shop, cafe and workshop venue they also host regular networking events for local small businesses and makers.
Not only that but they also host a bi-annual handmade, vintage and craft fair at Cheltenham’s famous Pittville Pump Rooms, which features 50+ stalls of local artists and crafters, food, activities for children and live music. Epitomising The Willow Tree’s philosophy of ‘Loving local, Shopping small and Supporting talented artisans and makers.’
To see more of The Willow Tree check out www.shopthewillowtree.com