A brilliant new way to print and display your photos

It seems today everyone is a photographer. The cameras, even cell phone cameras, take AMAZING photos so we all look like professionals. We post our best on Facebook or Instagram but then we move on. The images live in the cloud, on the computer or on the phone, but they are more or less forgotten. I am completely guilty of this as well. I rarely do anything with my photos once they are posted.

If you read this blog on a regular basis you know that last Spring I made the trip of a lifetime to Italy. I took some beautiful photos, posted them on social media and then I forgot about them. I kept thinking about my trip though and wanted to enlarge some of my favorite images so that I could have a daily reminder of my trip and be filled with that same joy I had while I was there.

I remembered I had seen a new product from one of the vendors at the Design Bloggers Conference. The company is Fracture and they print photos directly onto glass. It’s the picture frame and mount all in one and their photo display was gorgeous. They had an almost luminous quality and the rep asked me if I would like would try them out. Ummm, yes please! I chose the images I wanted to enlarge and sent them off.

The glass printed images arrived last week and I could not be happier. They came safely embedded in sturdy cardboard with a screw attached for the embedded mounting hole on the back. (They are very lightweight so I ended up using a simple nail rather than the screw).

fractured detail3

They easily pop out of the card board protector and are ready to hang. Below is a close up of the glass and the black backing.

fractured3

These blog photos do not convey how beautiful the images are but they appear to glow. I could not be happier. Below is a close up of two of my pictures.

Photos mounted on glass

Linda Holt

The photos are hung on a wall adjacent to my kitchen so I see them everyday and it brings me joy remembering my trip. The price point is also good so if I tire of looking at them I have no issue with replacing them with something else. The best part is that I didn’t have to frame them which as you know, is usually more expensive than enlarging them in the first place.

Photos printed on glass

Linda Holt Interiors

If you are interested in printing some of your photos with Fracture, here is the link. I chose to print my vacation photos but any image can be upload and printed. It could be your kids artwork, a cherished letter, a sheet of music, anything that can be photographed can be printed onto the glass. Fractured also sells ready made images on glass if you want to purchase something unique or you can choose something from one of their artists.

As you can tell, I am a fan. I have already told one of my clients about it as she was complaining about how expensive it was going to be to frame her images that she plans to enlarged.

My experience got me thinking though, do you print and display your photos or let them live in the cloud?

7 tips for getting more followers and “likes” on Instagram

We all like to see our followers and “likes” going up on Instagram. It’s not only validation that others like our feed but with IG’s new metrics, the amount of likes an image receives can also affect who and how many see your photo. Below are seven tips for getting more followers and likes on Instagram.

1.Post pretty photos. I know this sounds obvious but there are plenty of poorly composed and poorly lit photos on Instagram. Before you randomly point and shoot, take a moment to think about the angle and the composition. Take several different shots and then choose the best one. Instagram is your own personal art gallery, so before you post that blurry photo of your lunch, stop and ask yourself “would I like to see this photo in my feed”? If the answer is no, then don’t post it. Also, as much as it pains me to say it, cliche photos get lots of likes. It seems people just can’t get enough of sunsets, lighthouses, white sandy beaches, flowers, and any other pretty image even if it is cliche.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

2.Use the color Blue. Do you know that Blue is consistently chosen as the number one favorite color world wide? It’s also the preferred color on Instagram as well and photos with lots of blue receive more likes then any other color.

red buoy Nantucket harbor

Linda Holt Photo

3.Post bright images. Instagram metrics show that bright and light images receive many more likes then darker moodier images. I think this is primarily due to the fact that bright images are easier to see on a small phone screen. If your image isn’t inherently light there are plenty of camera apps with filters which will lighten it.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

4.Be consistent. Posting without any planning or thought will not easily increase followers or likes. People need to see your images and if you are only posting randomly and infrequently then you will have neither. The general rule is to post three times a day but once a day or even two to three times a week is fine as long as you are consistent.

5.Use good hashtags. There has been a lot of discussion about hashtags and a lot of conflicting opinions on how many is ideal and what the hashtags should be. Instagram “pros” say six hashtags is optimal but others believe the more the better. Personally, if I see a dozen plus hashtags I find it annoying and it looks like spam. I think a good rule of thumb is to keep the hashtags to under ten. As far as which hashtags to use, type in what is applicable to the image. Sometimes really common ones like #interiordesign, or #fashion are not all that helpful because there are millions of photos a day posted with those hashtags and your image will be lost in a sea of others. Try using hashtags that are more specific to your photo such as #paintedfurniture or #redshoes. Some hashtags have their own fan base and are a great way to get more followers such as #tiletuesday, #fashionfriday or #Ihavethisthingwithfloors. Do a Google search and see what hashtags are trending for your particular business. Lastly, if you search a hashtag and you are the only one using it then it is not going to be useful for gaining followers. So skip cleaver hashtags like #it’sagreatdaytogotothebeach and use ones that are more targeted and focused to what others will actually search for.

6.Be true to your brand. Spend some time thinking about your message and what your goal is for your IG account. If you are a business looking to attract more clients, post photos that are representative of your brand. For example, if you are an interior designer then post design related images. It could be beautiful rooms, travel inspiration, or a behind the scenes look at your job sites. It should not be a photo of you and your friends drinking margaritas or a video of your son learning how to ride a bike. Last year I attended a talk about Instagram given by the founders of the design firm Tilton Fenwick. They have 33K followers and an IG feed full of beautiful design related images. One of the founders said she would occasionally post a photo of something non design related and the response “was crickets”. So stick to images that reflect you and your brand and use your personal Facebook page to post the others.

7. Be an active member of Instagram. Take the time to reach out to others, make comments and give likes. You can’t expect others to interact with you if you don’t reciprocate. Like Facebook, Instagram is social media so join in and be social!

The photo below is my most “liked” image on my Instagram. In relating it to the seven tips; it’s pretty, it has blue in it, it’s bright, it has six hashtags, and it relates to my brand (designer/photographer). It also received 315 likes.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I hope these seven tips are helpful and if desired please share your IG account in the comments as I would love to follow you. To follow me on Instagram simply click HERE.

If you missed last weeks post about taking better photos for Instagram you can read it here.

Note* No matter how anxious you are to build up your numbers on Instagram, you should never buy followers or “likes”. They are worthless and although it might look impressive to have tens of thousands of followers there will be zero engagement and that will actually hurt you in the long term.

Friday’s Photo: Checking out to “make photos”

This past week has been rough. The young singer gunned down in cold blood, the horrific mass shooting, the little boy dragged off by an alligator, it was just one nightmare report after another. Add in all the hate filled rhetoric on the news and on social media and I felt like I was at the breaking point. I was unfocused, had difficulty sleeping and started to obsess over the future of our country and the future leaders of it.

When I get really stressed the one thing that calms and soothes me is getting to the ocean. Nothing fills me with peace, love and joy more than the water. I love the mountains too but the ocean is my deepest love.

Rockport MA

Rockport MA Linda Holt Photo

The timing therefore could not be better because next week I will be staying on the coast in northern Maine immersed in a week long photography class at the Maine Media Workshop.  I had originally taken a photography class there 34 years ago this Summer. I think it was either the first or second year they were open and it was one of the highlights of my photography schooling. I studied with a very famous (at the time) fashion photographer. I remember being absolutely star struck because he worked for Vogue and other top fashion magazines and was friends with all the super models of the day. I was young, impressionable and thought he was the coolest guy on the planet. I mimicked everything he did and wanted my photos to look just like his.

Sunday I return 34 years later a completely different person. I am not looking to copy another Photographer’s style. Instead I plan to dig deep and discover (or rediscover) the artist in me. The pretty photos that I post on Facebook and Instagram are fine but I want to express myself deeper.

Back in the 80’s when I was in photography school I had a teacher who was passionate that his students never photograph flowers, sunsets, puppies, or any image that he deemed “pretty”. God forbid if you did, because in front of the entire class he would dramatically rip up your photos and dump all your hard work onto the floor. He would bellow “any idiot with a camera can shoot a pretty picture. An amateur “takes a photo” and a professional “makes” a photo. I was so brain washed (and traumatized) by him that to this day I can’t shoot a sunset or a flower without hearing him shouting his outrage in my mind.

So next week I am going to spend a week “making photos”. I am also checking out of all social media. I need to clear my head, take a break from the upsetting news and just enjoy being with other like minded art loving individuals. I will continue to post “pretty” pictures (northern Maine is seriously beautiful) but you may also start to see something different…stay tuned!

Have a wonderful week everyone and I will reconnect in a week or so.

Friday’s Photo: Tip for the best time of the day for photos

Whenever I go on vacation I always make it a priority to get up extra early to photograph during the “golden hour”. The golden hour is just after sunrise when the light is low in the sky and often has a golden glow. It’s a great time to shoot before all the tourists and locals crowd the streets and the lighting gets harsh from the sun. Last weekend I talked my husband into playing tourist in Boston and we drove in not quite at sunrise but around 7am. We were rewarded with a glorious morning and streets void of people and parked cars in this otherwise crowded Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Beacon Hill: linda Holt Iphone Photo

Beacon Hill: Linda Holt iphone Photo

If getting up early is not your thing then the other time of the day to catch the golden hour is just before sunset. The crowds may still be around but the lighting will be the same soft glowing golden light.

Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to try out the “golden hour”.

 

 

Friday’s Photo: Colorful eye candy

Even though the calendar says Spring, this week has not been very Spring like. Here in Boston we had 4″ of snow on Monday, and every day since it has been cold, windy, rainy and gray. All week I have been craving some bright happy color so I chose this photo as colorful eye candy for today’s Friday’s Photo.

Screenshot Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

One of the reasons why this image is so attention grabbing is because the colors orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel. What that means is that each color causes the other to “read” even more vibrant. I spotted this orange life preserver way down from the end of the dock and obviously that is the intention. If someone has fallen into the harbor and needs rescuing it is imperative that someone can locate a life preserver ASAP. A casual passerby seeing this orange ring hanging in a blue box might not give it a second thought but I guarantee the color of that painted wood was thoughtfully chosen.

Have a great weekend everyone and fingers crossed Spring finds it’s way to Boston soon.

Quick update: One week from today I will be on a plane to High Point Market as one of ten High Point bloggers. Be sure to follow along by using the hash tag #DesignBloggersTour. All ten of us will be posting live on social media as we spot the latest trends, furniture, decor and accessories. So that you don’t miss any of my discoveries be sure to connect with me on Instagram by clicking HERE.

 

Friday’s Photo: nature inspired

Designers are often asked what inspires them the most. For me it has always been nature and I am especially drawn to trees. This is a close up of a tree trunk outside the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. I love everything about this. The pattern, the color palette and the texture.

textured treeRED

It reminds me of fish scales or maybe a super close up of a butterfly wing. I can just imagine this made into a wallpaper, fabric or carpet. What inspires you?

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday’s Photo: A moment in time

With all that has gone on in my life over the past month with being diagnosed with breast Cancer and trying to clear my plate as much as possible for what is to (has) come, my blog has sadly taken somewhat of a back seat.  I do intend at the very least to continue to share a design, color or just pretty image for my weekly Friday Photo. Today I thought I would share a peaceful meditative spot from our vacation in New Hampshire a couple weeks ago.

Franconia New Hampshire

Franconia New Hampshire

Nature for me is clearly what grounds me and fills my soul with joy. Just looking at this image my blood pressure lowers and I feel renewed.

Breath in the fresh air and have a great weekend everyone!

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