New Years Reminders

new years resolutions 1.jpg

I am a sucker for resolution season. Still on that Christmas high, I use all my time from the minute Boxing Day ends to the final hours of New Years Eve to scribble, review and write about the past year and my future plans.

This year, however, I've found it hard to pin down any major goals. 2017 felt like a massive year for growth (ugly growth sometimes, but still), and as much as I love fresh starts, I want a continuation of that year rather than a break from it. I'm just starting to find my rhythm with things.

I'm starting to finally keep up a blog, starting to find an audience for my work through Instagram and Youtube, starting to take better photographs, starting to travel more, starting to love and understand myself more. I want to keep that up.

So it's New Year, Same Me this time round. And most of my "resolutions" are a continuation of what I've started in 2017. So maybe they're more reminders, rather than resolutions. Here we are:

  1. Take more photographs (especially of myself)
  2. Get to 15K on my journal Instagram
  3. Travel to more places
  4. Try dance and yoga classes
  5. Write more
  6. Get more comfortable with reading tarot, for myself and then others
  7. Try to put myself out there without fear of rejection. In fact, just try to get rejected for something and see what happens.
  8. Reach 1000 Youtube subscribers
  9. Incorporate more magic into my life and spiritual practice
  10. Work with brands on Instagram
  11. Spend more time exploring

As always, the list of goals will morph as the year goes on. I look back on the list I made at the start of 2017 and, as per usual, my priorities have completely changed since then. I guess that means I'm growing? I'll keep you posted.

10 Instagram Resolutions for 2018

instagram resolutions.jpg

I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to up my social media game in the new year. And when I say social media, I pretty much just mean Instagram. There's definitely several things I want to work on this year to improve my feed and follower base, so here's my list of 10 Instagram Resolutions for 2018, ranging from feed planning to photography experiments.

Audit your Instagram

Yep, we’re going full nerd here with an Instagram audit. Take a look at your feed: what’s working and what’s not? Where are you falling short, and what are you doing really well? I love this Instagram Audit Checklist from Studio Bicyclette which you can download for free. Doing an audit might seem super business-y but it’s already really helped me streamline and improve my feed.

Interact with the community

It can be tempting once you reach a comfy few thousand followers to sit back and just reply to comments on your own photographs. But why should you expect people to comment on your pictures if you’re not reaching out to those in your own community or niche? Not only is it a way of upping your own engagement and bringing traffic back to your feed, but seeking out and commenting on others’ posts is a nice way of starting some interesting conversations with interesting people.

Experiment with photography more

In November I started to realise my journal feed was getting very samey-samey, which sometimes is a great recipe if you have a certain visual style that your following can’t get enough of, but sometimes it just means you’ve stopped trying. My photography has always been good enough, but this year I want to find a way to expand my skills and develop creatively. This is why I’m now running two accounts instead of one: my journal Instagram and my personal photography account. I’ve been learning through Skillshare and Youtube, been collecting inspiration in secret Pinterest boards, and I’ve got a lot of ideas to go out and try now.

Use a feed planner

I don’t know why I shied away from this for so long. Perhaps I hadn’t found the right app yet. I started using the feed planner Unum recently and it’s so simple and clean, I end up spending more time staring at my planned feed than my actual one! Planning your feed is a great way to create a more cohesive look, and it also ensures you’re not coming up short when you need to post something.

Keep hashtags relevant

I have recently been practising the bad habit of pasting the same 30 hashtags into my captions, day in, day out. On my Instagram To Do List for this year is definitely source out some new hashtags, and keep them fresh. I’ve often found some photos do way better with just a few carefully-chosen tags rather than an exhaustive list of anything and everything I could think of. Plus, if you keep using the same hashtags for every post, there’s a chance that Instagram will shadow ban you, meaning you’re not going to show up on those hashtags anywhere.

Captivate with captions

I am SO BAD sometimes at writing captions, which is kind of ironic considering I have a Literature degree. But when I'm browsing, the photos I will always engage with most are the ones with longer captions that tell personal stories, rather than inspirational one-liners. If you tell a story, you open up a dialogue for your followers and passers-by to comment. Share your day, share a memory, just make it personal and make it interesting.

Dedicate time to shooting

If you want to post a picture every day, you've got to make sure you’re taking pictures nearly every day. I keep saying to myself that I’d go out and take pictures more often if I lived somewhere more picturesque... but I live in London, so there’s really no excuse, what with the wealth of street corners, bookstores, gardens and views. Maybe I'm just lazy! This year I am definitely going to step out of the house more often with camera in hand, as well as bring my smaller camera along with me to any and every occasion.

Respond to comments quicker

Responding to comments on your photos is Instagram etiquette 101, but I have definitely been guilty of replying to comments about a week or two after they were posted! Show your followers you care, and respond enthusiastically and promptly!

Now, these two are bonus resolutions, because they don’t apply to every feed. Here are two of my own creative goals for 2018!

Instagram Resolutions for 2018.JPG

Take more self-portraits

I think I can count the number of photographs taken of me in 2017 with my fingers. Funnily enough, I don’t think this was a random occurrence. I’d been feeling quite low on self-esteem for most of the year, and the lack of “me” in social posts reflected that. This isn’t to say I now want to host a ME PARTY and post a selfie every day, but I do like who I am and how I look, and I want to celebrate that more this year. Plus, self-portrait photography is something I’ve always wanted to hack but couldn’t quite get the hang of it, so I’m going to try.

Incorporate more plants

People. Love. Plants.

I. Love. Plants.

I. Kill. Plants (sadly).

But maybe this year I won’t kill plants -- or at least, if I do, they’ll be immortalised on my Instagram feed. Fresh flowers and foliage is a great way to elevate any photograph, particularly lifestyle shots, and I want to bring a little more of that greenery into my life.

So, there we have it: 10 things to brush up on in 2018 when it comes to Instagram. What else are your social media goals for this year? Let me know!

2017 Favourites

2017 favourites.png

I know I'm dragging behind on the End Of Year round up posts, but I just wanted to quickly share some things that made my 2017 that little bit more magical.

1. KOTO candle, Skandinavisk // I got this for Christmas in 2016, actually! I didn't light it up until maybe a few months into 2017, but once I did I had to ration it because I was OBSESSED with the smell of it. Amber, vanilla, mandarin... heaven, basically.

2. Powershot G7x Mark ii, Canon// This was a big save-up for me, and has been worth it ten times over already. This camera is so small and nifty, it takes crystal clear pictures (I never have to shift it out of auto mode) and the best part? It uploads photos directly to your phone, for that ultimate Instagram convenience!

3. Special Edition Sisters Of The Moon Earrings in Gold, The Gypsy Fawn // If I could only wear one pair of earrings for the rest of my life, these would be it. Witchy vibes for days!

4. Cotman Water Colours Painting Plus 24 Half Pan Set, Winsor & Newton // I don't think I could have a bullet journal that couldn't take a good deal of watercolour on the pages. These paints are wonderful, and have opened up my journalling so much.

5. Allington 6 Ankle Boots in Black, Timberland // The perfect stomp-around boot.

6. Witch, Lisa Lister // I have to admit I started off a bit sceptical with this book after about twenty references to my "womb," but it's such a great combination of witchy reference and history, with real "whoa" moments.

7. Kanken Laptop 13", Fjallraven // The one thing on this list that betrays my goth tendencies! I was well aware of the "Kanken hype," but this bag stands up to it. The laptop edition comes with padded shoulder straps, which are a must for people like me who pack their bags to the brim.

8. Aquash Water Brush, Pentel // I use this for just about everything that involves paint or water when I'm bullet journalling. It is a tiny little bit of genius.

9. Bullet Journal, Leuchtturm 1917 // Bullet journal newbies, bullet journal oldbies (??), this is the real deal. I bought my first one last year and have picked up my second for 2018. Never looking back.