It’s April, and it’s finally time to come out of winter hibernation! With that in mind, here’s what I’ve been crushing on recently.
Instagram Stories. They’re not new, but they’re definitely where all the good stuff on Instagram is these days. Instagram obviously paid to attention to my last post (obviously) and has changed its feed so it’s closer to reverse-chronological order again, so I’ve been spending a little more time over there recently. And Stories is where it’s at. There is so much creativity, so much fun, so much authentic. And I love the ability to save previous stories as an edited highlight that is pinned to your profile (our recent trip to India is pinned to mine if you’re interested). Try checking out Conde Nast Traveller for some serious adventuring tips ( I love their tips for Italy), or maybe the Economist for interesting takes on global news.
As for food and travel, try Andrea Gentl and Alice Gao for some beautiful recent posts on their trips to India. Or Lucy Laucht for some beautiful images as she travels. It makes me want the summer holidays to come sooner.
Sneaky 365. One of the reasons I have been spending more time on Instagram is because I’ve started a sneaky 365. It’s all digital to try to encourage me to share on a daily basis. I’m doing the whole thing in black and white so far but I’m not excluding colour as the days and weeks go on. So far, I’ve been using the Pan-F filter on Filmborn, which is my favourite monochrome filter for getting just the right amount of dark black and contrast. I’ve also been playing with the Slow Shutter app when I’ve been out and about. I highly recommend it; have a play and see what you come up with.
And for some black and white inspiration, try looking at Rodrigo on Instagram who posts beautiful film shots and is based on Paris. For those also trying a daily shot, I’ve been delving into this book which has lots of fabulous ideas and inspiration for instagram and in general.
All things French. And while we’re on the subject of France, have you seen these cute french stickers? (best to open this link on your mobile phone). I’ve been watching Alice in Paris (completely adorable) and Black Spot (a cross between Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks) for my latest dose of French. I’ve also been listening to the very lovely Geraldine for tips on speaking French. I love her. And to get that perfect Parisian chic look, why not try one of these in a bright colour while keeping the rest of your makeup low key. I have one in Hot and another in Control which I slip into my new black favourite camera bag by Ona. Genial!
New Polaroid camera. But it’s not all France. I’ve been shooting with my new Polaroid camera as the days are now finally light enough. I had to remember to charge it before the first use, which was definitely an improvement on previous Polaroid cameras with their weird battery/film packs. I’ve yet to figure out how to get the best out of the film (at least I managed how to switch the flash off!), but I’m up for the challenge.
Call Me By Your Name. Talking of using old cameras and film, have you seen this movie yet? Probably my favourite film EVER on falling in love. It’s set in the 80s, in the Summer, in Italy (did I mention there’s also some French spoken in the dialogue too?). I am seriously in love with falling in love so it’s been on repeat ever since it came out on Amazon Prime. The very lovely Cindy, who I met up with a few days ago, also pointed out that it was all shot on film using one lens, which makes me love it even more than I did before, if that’s possible. And while we’re talking about shooting film, one of my favourite musicians at the moment, Bruno Major, has recently been on tour in the USA and has been shooting some 35mm black and white. His latest video is also a treat; I do love a murmuration.
The Russian Vivian Maier. If you love Vivian Maier, you might find this woman’s work interesting, although it’s such a heartbreakingly sad story about the way mental illness was treated in communist Russia.
Documentary inspiration. There have been so many good documentaries recently, like Icarus, or this one which I’m looking forward to. But the Ugly Delicious series on food (on Netflix) is the one I’ve been relishing the most. The first episode had some excellent tips on new things to try when you’re making pizzas.
Poetry. I’ve been trying to spend less time on my iPhone, especially on those in between moments when we all tend to take our phones out to keep us entertained. And my answer for those moments is to crack open a book of poetry. Current faves are Falling Awake by Alice Oswald, Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore, Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong and Useful Verses by Richard Osmond which has me wanting to spend more time gardening this year.
Camera-friendly clothes. And finally, as it’s summer, how’s about thinking of some new clothes? I’m already on the prowl for simple, flattering dresses with large pockets (to carry the light meter and film). Toast and the White Company are my current favourites as they make clothes with suitably big pockets. For some French mood, how’s about checking out this book on the art of stripes. Meanwhile, Jigsaw has teamed up with Kodak and has brought out some fabulous film-related clothing. I might have bought just a few items; it would have been rude not to!
Well I think that’s enough from me. I hope you find something here that interests you. If not, why not try checking out Audrey’s post on the second a day app, Alison’s post on Instax or what Lucy’s been up to recently.