In each edition of this brand new feature: Team Spotlight, we will be introducing one of our colleagues and showcasing their current projects.
As the festive season swings into full bloom, you may have noticed the themes on our site roll on smoothly from an awe-inspiring autumn into a warm and wonderful wintery feel. With this transition, comes new inspiration and of course, new designs!
So first up, meet Joline Huijer, one of our super designers responsible for the visuals of our brand new greeting cards! Her focus for this project was to create a series of minimal and beautiful pre-designed cards that were easy for you to personalise. The eight new designs vary in style, size and shape so there is something for everyone. Here’s a look at one of Joline’s new cards:
We caught up with Joline for quick Q&A to learn a bit more about her world.
What is your role in the team and how long have you worked here?
I’ve worked here for 3.5 years as a product designer. In a nutshell, I’m taking care of most of the pre-designed products like cards, calendars and pre-designed photo books. A part from that I do most of the product photography for the website, campaigns, social media, etc.
What superpower would you choose if you could?
Usually if you do the things you love and you do it on a regular basis, you become good at it. For me that’s illustration. I’m lucky to be able to apply this ‘superpower’ in my work here when I’m creating pre-designed products. In my spare time I draw as well. Most of the time I get inspiration from the daily things in life.
What design blogs or publications do you read?
It changes every now and then. There’s a lot I like to visit/read/follow, but here’s some of my favourites: Creativeboom.com – An art, design, lifestyle blog and a medium for all kinds of creatives worldwide Abduzeedo – A broad orientated collection of inspiration and information. Apart from that, they offer tutorials which are very handy to keep up my skills.
I also look a lot on Pinterest, it can keep me busy for hours and I love it.
Ready to transform one of Joline’s beautiful card designs into your own personalised cards? Grab you favourite photos and select your design!
As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop away, we do what comes naturally to us – we get all snuggled up indoors! This leads to some great photographic moments, from cuddling beside the fire to cooking up a hot and toasty dinner for family and friends to enjoy.
So to help you capture these cosy moments in the best possible light, we thought we’d put together a selection of useful tips to help you with low light photography. Now, if you’re sitting comfortably but the fire, we’ll begin.
Take control in manual mode
Whether it’s your phone or digital camera, turn off your flash as this can bleach out all the warmth. If you’re using a camera, decrease your shutter speed and lens aperture to the lowest number. And whilst you’re there, increase the camera ISO. Doing all this will let in more light in your photo.
Get up close and personal
To help your camera pick up the all-important light, stand closer to the light source. Whether it’s a hearth burning brightly, a living room window or a cosy lamp take advantage of that light for brighter, clearer photo.
Don’t move a muscle
Because you’ve decreased your shutter speed, your camera will be especially sensitive to motion blur, so either try using a tripod or steady your arm on something when you take the photo. It’s also important your subject doesn’t move, so try your best to keep them still!
These photo tips are so easy to follow but will make such a difference to your indoor photography. Once you’ve got these basics mastered, check out our other photography tips for different types of light and our expert tips on night-time photography.
As the days get even colder we’re sure you’ll be able to capture loads of warm moments in your photos. Why not turn them into wall art that will help to make your home feel cosy all year long?
Dig out your bobble hat, grab your cosy mittens and put on another pair of socks – winter is coming! And with it comes some amazing opportunities for photographic magic – yep, it’s time to head out in to the frosty landscapes with our trusty cameras.
To help inspire you we’ve created a winter photo challenge! All you need to do is choose one of the words from the list below, put on your extra warm thinking cap and head outside to snap an amazing image that represents that word.
Challenge yourself to take a picture for as many words as you can and share your images with us on Facebook or Instagram to inspire others too.
Are you up to the challenge?
There’s so much to play around with this season such as late sunrises and sunsets, chilly frost, star trails, winter birds and more – so there’s no need to hibernate, grab your camera and start snapping!
Winter photo challenge
Once you have a photo you love, why not do something truly memorable and personal with it – like create Christmas cards for loved ones. Take it from us, there’s nothing like receiving an original card.
Have you ever seen a plate of food go by and your stomach lets out a growl of longing for it? Yes, we really do eat with our eyes. And to help you take photos that get everyone’s tummy ready for food, we’ve put together a few great food photography tips for you.
In fact, we’ve gone one step further and found a rather delicious Autumnal recipe you could use for your photo. Of course, you could just as easily use one of your own favourites – but the team here can definitely recommend this Shepherd’s Pie recipe!
RECIPE for a really great time:
Ingredients (Serves 6)
• 1 red onion
• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• 2 cloves of garlic
• a small bunch of fresh rosemary
• olive oil
• 500g good-quality minced lamb
• 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
• 250ml lamb or vegetable stock, preferably organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1.5kg Desiree potatoes
• 100ml semi-skimmed milk
• a large knob of butter
Now, how do you make your food look great in your photos? Here’s our quick fire guide:
1. Take photos using natural light
There’s nothing like a flash or artificial light bearing down on food to make it look flat and dull. It’ll also dispel any delicate natural shadows that give your food its natural allure. So try to use natural light.
2. Choose your props with care
Make sure everything in the frame justifies its existence. Think about tablecloths, spoons, knives, dishes etc. They all add to the mood and feel of your photo (Get your cellphones and mail out of shot).
3. Find the best angle
Get creative and try different angles as certain recipes look far more striking when pictured from above, whilst others often look tastier when shot from lower down.
So, don your chef’s hat, grab the Shepherd’s Pie recipe above and enjoy! Using our tips we’re sure you’ll ‘cook’ up some exquisite images. You could even use them to create your very own photo cook book!
We’d love to see your final photos! Don’t be shy, share your food photographs with us on Instagram and Facebook and enjoy the adoration of all. #AlbelliFoodPhotos
Wall art is such a simple way to add flavour and a highly personal touch to any space in your home. It may seem surprising but there are actually lots of great ways to approach wall art. From collages to storytelling, or just getting creative with where you hang them – it all makes a difference to the final effect.
To help you out, the Albelli experts have put together some great tips and tricks. Have a read through and get inspired about how you can apply them to your home!
Feel your creative juices flowing!? After reading that, we’re sure you have lots of ideas of how you can decorate your home with wall art. So why not grab your favourite photos and start creating your wall art? It’s so easy to do, you’ll have your wall art created in no time.
For the last few months we’ve had some amazing entries into our Picture Your Summer photo competition. Using the themes of Sun, Landscapes, Motion and Night, there’s been a flurry of activity on social media as everyone voted for their favourites.
And the winner is… well, before we announce the winner, we’d first like to thank every single person who sent in an entry! We’ve really enjoyed looking at all of them and we’re in awe of your creativity.
Ok, (drum roll) after loads of entries from across the country, we have a winner… congratulations to Dougie Grey!
We caught up with Dougie to find out more about his winning photo.
What was the inspiration for your photo? I love the Maldives and I wanted to take a photo that captured the island’s beauty at night time. I am inspired by nature, there is just so much beauty around us, even in the smallest of things. It was a very still but balmy evening. Every day over there seems like summer.
What made you pick this photo? I chose this photo because I love the reflections on the water, I love the stillness and calmness of the place. I chose to do a long exposure to bring out these elements in the photo.
What do you love about photography? What I love about photography is being able to capture love and friendship and also nature – flower, animal or a landscape scene. I also love taking aerial view photos out of the airplane window, there is so much beauty in this world. I like being in that moment and holding on to it for ever.
What type of camera do you have? I own a Nikon D7000 and do my “serious” photography with that but I also have a Canon G16 that is also great at making beautiful photos but it more compact and lightweight to carry around. It’s great for someone like me who has rheumatoid arthritis when some days are a bit limited.
What do you do with your favourite photos? With my favourite photos, I like to put them onto mugs, canvas prints and also have them printed up into photo books. Albeli photo books are fantastic as the quality of the print is excellent and I have always been pleased with the results. I have had a canvas made out from my winning photo, it looks lovely on the wall. With my other photos, I showcase them in my Instagram account @grainesdy
We love meeting people like Dougie who enjoy photography just as much as we do. With autumn just around the corner, we’re excited about the opportunities to capture even more perfect moments.
So, when autumn does settle in, do you already have an idea of the sorts of photos you’d like to take?
Hi everyone! I’m Megan Alter, the Albelli summer photographer. Well, we’ve reached the end of summer and that means you should have tons of eye-catching photos ready to turn into something amazing – a photo series!
But here’s the catch – in the age of digital photography, we have so many photos to choose from! Picking the right ones can be challenging, so I’ve put together this simple guide to help you.
1. Unite the images with a common theme. Look over your images and work out which ones go well together. Perhaps they’re from the same location, show the same people or similar colours? Try and find a connection.
2. Kill your darlings. Let me explain what I mean by this! Start by throwing out all the blurry pics, then find the ones that illustrate your summer experience the best – they may not be your favourites (your darlings) but they often become a great series! The best stand-alone images don’t always work well in a series; pick the ones that best tell your story.
3. Emphasise the theme. Crop images, increase colours, or turn them black and white. Pick adjustments that help your focal point stand out and emphasise your theme.
4. Create art. Choose images that get the viewer to use their imagination. You could choose three images as a canvas series and the viewer will fill in the missing details of the story for themselves.
5. Arrange your story. I love this part! Sort everything into chapters giving titles to each and add details such as the location, names or ages of people and places.
Once you’ve finished these simple steps, you’re in the perfect place to create something truly memorable with your photos. I love photo books as they really help me to tell my story from start to finish. But there are so many other options – it’s time to get creative!
Check out my behind the scenes video of the Albelli summer photo shoot. See how I capture my shots and the end result brought to life in a photo book and some fantastic wall art.
Hi everyone! I’m Megan Alter, the Albelli summer photographer. I’ve been taking photographs for a long time and one thing I’ve learnt is that night-time photography can be tricky. But not impossible. Here are my pro tips to get the most from your nocturnal adventures.
1. Negative space and darkness. Get creative and place your subject under or near a light, with a large amount of darkness behind them. They’ll really stand out in the shot and it will form interesting shapes in the negative space (the darkness).
2. Create depth. When there’s a lack of light, night photos can lose their sense of depth. By placing something in front or behind your subject, it creates a clear foreground, middle ground and background. In other words – depth!
3. Twilight hour/blue hour. Blue hour isn’t when you feel sad! It’s the time immediately after the sun sets and sky appears very blue. This gives the images a lovely mood and great depth.
4. Stabilisation and blur motion. When it’s dark the camera uses a slower shutter speed, so the images can sometimes be blurry. Using a tripod, or resting your camera on something stable, will ensure your image is sharp whilst anything moving will appear blurry. For the results in the photos use a 1-10 second shutter speed. This technique will require a camera with manual functions so it’s not possible with your camera phone.
5. Use a flashlight. Grab a flashlight and shine it on your subject. It creates creative and dramatic effects! Put your camera on a tripod and write words or draw pictures with the flashlight while the photo’s being taken. It’s called light writing and needs a slow shutterspeed of 1-10 seconds on a manual camera.
These tips will lead you to more creative night images so give it a go! It means once the sun has retired for the day, you can keep on going into the night. I really love seeing my photos as a canvas, but it’s totally personal choice. What will you create with yours?
I’ll be posting lots of hints and tips on Albelli’s social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instgram over the coming months so stay tuned!
There’s nothing like a good fact to make your day and so we’ve collected a few juicy summer fun facts we’re sure you’ll love. Some you might know, but it’s unlikely you’ll know them all! We have our favourite, but what’s yours?
Want more? Here’s a few bonus facts:
• It takes around 50 licks to finish a scoop of ice cream.
• The Frisbee originally started life as a tin pie plate in the 1870s.
• In 1905 a boy named Frank Epperson accidently created ice pops when he left a cup of homemade soda outside all winter.
For some more useful facts, read our other blogs with tips from our summer pro photographer Megan Alter. She’s giving us a few photo facts to help you shoot some amazing pics this summer, so you can win great prizes in our summer photo contest and turn your most beautiful pics into photo books and wall art!
Hi everyone! I’m Megan Alter, the Albelli summer photographer. The tricky thing about motion is that it’s, well, moving! I’ve come to love freezing motion. You’re seeing something you could never see with your own eyes, like something suspended in mid-air. Here’s how it’s done.
1. Pick a location and time with a lot of light: Before we begin with the functional tips, here’s my first piece of advice: bright sunlight is a key ingredient to capturing great motion pictures. Indoor photos just don’t really have enough light. So, let’s head outside into the sun and get started!
2. Freeze a moment: Bright sunlight allows for a fast shutter speed and enables us to freeze a moment, like photographing your friends diving into a pool, skipping on a rope or a bird in flight. Count 1,2,3 with your subject so you’re ready to go together. 1,2,3 shoot!
3. Capture moments that anticipate speed: Let the viewer use their imagination to envision the motion that has happened before or after a photo. Like seeing someone about to throw a ball, or a skateboarder who’s about to roll off the edge. Get close to your subject, I find this makes for more impressive photos.
4. It’s all about flowing hair: Let your hair down and let it blow in the wind, see if you can take it without your hand in the picture. You’ve got to be quick! For me, flowing hair perfectly expresses the freedom of summer in an image.
5. Use props: Go on, go crazy. Throw things in the air. Use fabrics, flowers, the pages of a book. You name it, get creative and make the most of your environment.
Capturing motion is great fun and once you get it right, you’ll have some wonderfully original photographs to decorate your wall. I’ll be posting loads more tricks on the Albelli social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so stay tuned!