Creating The Dream Workspace.

 

You know what they say, tidy space, tidy mind... or something like that. Having my desk / office clear of clutter and surrounded by inspiring and comforting staples is so important to me, of course it has to look pretty too, we are all about the aesthetic after all. Here is a step by step guide of how to create your dream desk space no matter where it is.

 


 

The Desk Necessities.

My desk essentials are a mixture of 'pretty things' and 'actual work needs.' We all wan't the minimal, Mari-Kondo style life but sometimes this isn't feasible, especially when you have actual business items that you need everyday. Some of my desk essentials are below:

Macbook Air / Mac Desktop / Notebook & Pens / Camera's / A multitude of random chargers / Inspiration material  / Candles / Business receipts / Printed material

Shop some of my favourite desk must haves below.

 

Surrounded by Inspo.

A must have for me is having inspirational material, whether that's images taken from my favourite magazines, post cards or logos picked up from parcels, free lookbooks etc.. I always keep anything physical that I love the branding of! Even if its a sweet wrapper (hahah yes!) I have a pin board, or you can use a mesh board, even just simply stick them to your wall with tape! I like to change it up every so often, sometimes I use it to create bespoke mood boards for brands and upcoming projects, it is so useful having it in front of me, while I am busy working on my computer.

 

#Minimalism Always.

I love my desk to always look nice and tidy as well as pretty, so here are some tips for hiding the mess that you don't want to keep out in sight:

 

  1. Put it in a draw. If you are able to have some sort of draw system (head to Ikea) under your desk or next to, definitely jump at the chance. It is the perfect way to hide away all the old receipts, books, letters etc that you don't want out in sight.
  2. If a draw isn't an option get a pretty box. I keep an Acne Studios shoe box on my desk full of leaflets, business cards, polaroids, and printed material that I have made but don't want to throw away. It is such a pretty colour but keeps everything hidden. But if you aren't looking to get any shoes anytime soon check out Paperchase or Hobbycraft for cute coloured boxes. You can also check out Ebay or Depop for people selling designer boxes for very cheap, an affordable way to get the look without buying the £300 shoes!
  3. I also keep a nice shopping bag under my desk. It houses all the new in products I need to shoot for clients, this way they all stay together and it looks really pretty in a nice bag. * Same rules apply to the above situation with the box!

I would love to see your workspace set up! Tag @mondaythestudio in your Instagram stories if you have been inspired from our post!

Break The Mould.

 

Good Morning! Happy Monday and welcome back to another blog post. This week I am talking about breaking away from negativity coming from the people closest to you. We divulge into why this topic was chosen, my own story and a few tips from experience on how to break the mould. For some reason, as a society we are always determining our own hopes and dreams on others reactions. Why do we do this. I recently met up with a close friend who has been modelling for some of my Monday The Studio client shoots, she isn’t a ‘qualified’ model just a beautiful girl that is very good at taking directions with her movements. We got talking about how she felt when I first reached out to her with the “I would love you to model” direct message.

She mentioned the comments, from her close friends when she told them about her modelling for our shoots, consisted of ‘why are you doing that’ ‘you’re not a real model though’ ‘oh here comes the model’ - when she told me this I couldn’t get my head around why they felt the need to say that. Yes of course, as all of our mums, would say “they are just jealous” but as a friend I wouldn’t think to put someone down and bring negativity to an exciting opportunity they are telling me about. I asked her if the comments made her change her mind in wanting to do the modelling and she said she did second guess it, but she knew it’s what she really wanted to do. But I know of so many others that I have spoken to that would love to start an Instagram page, a hobby they have a business idea, but they never go through with it out of fear of what others will say. But that needs to stop.

below are some old images from when I first started taking Instagram more seriously.

IT’S EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

Yes, of course it is, it’s easier to talk about things, but doing them is a different story. Here are some of my best tips to block out the negative noise and focus on achieving your dreams and goals without fear of what people will say.

  1. Think to the future  - Focus on the end goal, while enjoying the journey to get there. Whether you want to take up a new hobby, start a business, become a photographer or even maybe a YouTuber. Staying focused and knowing that yes you will get there will help you to block out the negativity, you won’t care about what anyone has to say, because you know you will smash it and you are focusing on a different entity.
  2. Work in silence - This is a hard one if the comments are coming from people very close to you, but just don’t tell people. If you don’t want people to see you starting something that isn’t a ‘thing’ yet (I hear this a lot) then don’t show what you are working on until you are happy with it. You aren’t entitled to tell anyone what you are up to, so don’t ever feel like you have to. I often hear from influencers that they started a blog or YouTube channel under a secret name so it couldn’t be searched or traced back to them.
  3. You’re the only one that is going to get you there - You may have goals and dreams of things you want to complete, but how are you going to get there if you don’t start? You are not alone everyone started something small look at huge brands and where they began, this will give you the hope to know that actually if you want to do it you are the only one that is stopping yourself from starting.
  4. Ask yourself why and how much you want it? - When you ask yourself these two questions it will put everything in to perspective, but if you don’t want it that much, maybe you’re not ready.

MY STORY.

I have always been the girl that loved taking photos, I remember having all the girls to my house for sleepovers or before parties while being at secondary school and setting up my old digital camera on self timer, I made designated time slots to take photos before we left, because I loved looking back at the memories. I had so many albums on Facebook for each party or sleepover.  I remember one time I actually took a huge camera to a party, looking back that is crazy. I uploaded on Instagram everyday, everything that I was doing, the food I was eating and the people I was with, I didn’t think anything of it. So as my love of photography and fashion grew they merged and my page became more directed at my outfits. I then left school and the comfort blanket of my huge group of girl friends and dived into the empty world of College. I didn’t know any one and I was my own person! Now that is the key, I didn’t have those people making comments or judging any movements that I made which looking back on it made it so much easier to start a blog when I was 16 when doing something different is frowned upon and slated. Of course this isn’t feasible for all of you and you may be reading this still at school or university maybe even in a job and still feeling the same, but that is just what happened with me. My Instagram and love for creating content grew and took an organic path until I ended up where I am now.

I hope this post has helped just one of you to ignore the negativity and feel inspired and motivated to get your ideas flowing and work on something new. If you would like to chat please drop me an Instagram DM I would love to offer more advice or hear your own stories!

 

Monday’s Secret To The Mood board

Another Happy Monday! We recently put a question tag on our Instagram stories asking you what you would like to read on our new blog. How to make a mood board and our tips for mood boards was the biggest and most asked question so of course here we are with all the answers.

Digital.

Q. What programmes do you use?

I personally use Photoshop and In-Design to create the mood board. I use VSCO my favourite editing app for adding filters, adjusting the lighting and contrast and to sharpen the image.

Q. How do you cut out a background of a picture?

This is such a small skill that makes the mood board look so much more professional and concise. The easiest way to do this is to Insert an image > Layers > Unlock the background (if it is locked there will be a lock sign next to it, click this to unlock) > using the ‘Quick Selection Tool’ > select the item that you want to be cut out, this will then be highlighted with a dotted flashing border > Click ‘Select’ > ‘Inverse’ > The border will then be transferred to around the image and your item will be left plain > Hit the backspace key on your keypad > The background will now be grey and white squares and your item will be left alone > Save as a PDF.

Q. Apps for creating a mood board?

Sometimes I really want to just put together a quick few images to send to a client or create an Insta story. I love the app ‘Montage’ to just add different images and layer then very simply. I also use VSCO to add filters.

Q. How do you create a moving mood board?

The best way to do this is putting the mood board into Premiere Pro / iMovie. You have the basic mood board with one image missing that you want to move, you will add this as a separate layer and then save it as a GIF.

 

The Combo.

Q. Which order does print and digital go in to use both?

Always take the photos of the physical mood board first and then put it in to the digital programme whether thats to adjust the filter or adding extras.

Q. How do you combine them?

The reasoning for combining them will be different for each one, you might want to have a print board but have it moving so insert it to Premiere Pro. You might want to add text so adding the picture into Photoshop or In-Design will allow me to do that. I sometimes like to add graphics like paint strokes, tape and decorative lines.

Q. Can you give us an example of a combination mood board and how you did that?

Happy mood boarding! Please tag us @mondaythestudio in any of your mood boards when you post them to Instagram, we would love to see!

Print.

Q. Where do you get the images from?

When doing a printed mood board I sometimes print out images from Pinterest or Instagram to refer to, often Pantone colours. I take images from magazines and newspapers. Also I always collect items from wherever I am, whether its look books, logos, branding etc…Anything!

Q. How do you make it look cohesive?

The best way to do this is think about the colours first, if you are using just one colour or even a mixture of two you can then centre the mood board around that. Use a variety of textures and different styles of images as well.

Q. How do you choose the aesthetic?

Pick a niche, what is the mood board for? We often do them for events, specific clients like jewellery brands or skincare, even for trips and specific shoot locations. Make sure you have an overall subject to the board. Then follow the idea of planning the colours etc..

Q. What can you use to display a mood board?

You can use a cork board, a metal frame board or even just tape images to your wall. I always do this because it is so much easier. Just mind the paint on the wall!

 

#LaurenGraceTravels to Marbella.

Last month we found ourselves, slightly spontaneously, jumping on an airplane and heading to the slightly warmer temperatures in our old home town Marbella. A five day trip exercising our best attempt at balancing the work and relaxation sides to a vacay when you are self employed. I have spent my entire life growing up in Marbella and nothing gets me more excited than the blue sea and familiar feeling of being home. Here is the first segment of the series #LaurenGraceTravels an abundance of photographs that don’t make the Instagram feed.

Stay tuned for more #LaurenGraceTravels there are more trips coming up this summer! Check out the hashtag on Instagram to see all of my travel photos in one place.

Life Of A Freelancer.

Oh to be a freelancer. The term "freelance" for many that may not know, essentially means you work for yourself under a variety of businesses. Instead of just working in one role for one brand it allows you to be lets say a journalist for tons of publications instead of just one. Whether it's writing, visuals, buying or designing there is a freelance role for anything. But it's not all lie ins and lunch dates, believe me. This post is going to be the real truth behind being a freelancer / working for yourself, bursting the Instagram highlights reel and bringing us all back to reality.

Advice.

For me personally the good definitely out weighs the bad, I know there will be people reading this thinking "God, freelance life is not for me!" But there may be one of you contemplating starting. My top three pieces of advice to you are:

  • Stay organised, always. Everyone is human and mistakes will inevitably be made along the way but the more you stay on top of your schedule, timings, to do lists etc the easier your life will be. Trust me.
  • Keep connected. Whatever the industry you are looking to freelance in, make sure you are always looking and researching for new things that may pop up in the news, social media. Always chatting new people, collaborating with different individuals. Keep yourself current.
  • Confidence. Have the confidence within your self to know that YES you are capable of doing that job, but not too much confidence that you are cocky about it.
  • Be True To Yourself. As a freelancer you have to be very aware of who you are, your branding and what you want to achieve. Make sure you are staying true to that and not copying others, keep your own ideas flowing and be inspired, but never duplicate!

If you would like me to answer anymore questions or queries about starting a career as a freelancer please don't hesitate to send an email or a direct message on Instagram (I am always on there)

The Highs.

I don't want this to be a negative space harbouring my woes of working in the freelance world so let's begin lightly. Here are some of the things I find are amazing about working for myself / freelancing.

  • Life Management. I am an absolute control freak when it comes to my own schedule, I like to know what I am doing each day at what time, there is a list for everything. For me I love being able to control my week and tailor make it to how I like to work.
  • Everywhere Is My Office. Although I now have a designated office in my home (another part I love is working from home) if I fancy popping to London for the day or maybe even a trip to Spain, I will always be able to work on the go.
  • Boredom? What's That. One thing I realised recently is I am never bored of what I am doing, as someone that tends to fall out of love with things very quickly it's essential that I have a career that means I am always on to new things and delving into unknown areas to challenge myself.
  • Feeling Fulfilled. Being able to work with many clients and produce work for them that is up to their standards is such a huge sense of achievement, I love being able to help people and when I am using my knowledge to do this it is even better.
  • Balancing Work & Play. My life is so flexible, if I want to take the afternoon off on a Wednesday to go for lunch I can, but it just means the next day I will wake up a few hours earlier or go to bed a few hours later to catch up. Being able to balance my work and social life and almost combine them is amazing for me.

One of the main highs for me being a freelancer is that I can manage a lot of projects at once, because you have all the time. I work from home so I don't need to travel and a lot of my work, although is in different areas it all merges really well. This meant that while I was at University I could manage my freelance work with starting a business, my influencer work over on @laurengracelifestyle and my final major project.

The Lows.

  • Subconscious Stress. I am a seriously organised person with constant time plans and lists so I stay on track with everything at once, but it doesn't mean this doesn't get overwhelming. I recently have been suffering with subconscious stress, I call it this because I don't physically or even mentally feel stressed, I am falling asleep really easily, I don't have a lot on my mind but my body is becoming effected, my eyelashes actually started falling out a month or so ago when I was in peak final degree and starting my new business phase while still working for my previous freelance clients. It was a lot and I didn't take many breaks, trips away were for work and I don't think I actually stopped once. Something I need to learn to do is balance my stress levels, just because I don't feel it doesn't mean it's not happening.
  • Signing Your Life Away. This statement is pretty bold (I just thought it had a good ring to it) but it is fairly true in some aspects of my job it is 24/7. Managing social media accounts means you must be uploading posts at certain times of the day, engaging with content, staying present on email, it never really stops.
  • No Digital Detox Round Here. Recently there has been nothing more I would love than a digital detox for the day, but it just isn't plausible, when you have multiple Instagram accounts to manage for clients at various times of the day, you have to be with your phone constantly. I find this a little draining sometimes so I try to take breaks from my phone and when I eat lunch / dinner I never work at the same time.
  • Instability. Another quite major factor of working freelance / for yourself is the instability, you don't have a set wage coming in every month to pay your outgoings so you need to make sure you are set up in a way that means you won't run low on money one month. Whether this is by having a bread and butter income on the side of your main career or setting up a savings account and ensuring you pay into this.

 

 

 

 

HOW TO: Nail The Perfect Candid Shot.

You know how it is, it's 3pm on a Monday afternoon, the slump has kicked in and you're taking a(nother) break on Instagram. You find yourself asking, how has she nailed that smiling, hair flicking picture with so much movement, and what about her, how did she get that of guard, 'paparazzi' style photo. We all love a candid shot, the natural and honest connection from the model to the camera but also the "I-didn't-spend-100-shots-trying-to-get-this-pic" kinda look. That is why we are here to give you the low down on our tips for nailing the off guard pose.

Posing

Keep It Moving. My best advice to get a candid shot is to keep changing your poses, don't just stay static in one place. Walk around, move your hair, change positions - that is the only way you are going to create movement in your photo which equals off guard.

Mix It Up. While you are mixing up your poses, change up your locations, angles, sit down, stand up, take sunglasses off and on. The more variety the better.

Check Your Pictures. Don't forget to stop after a while and check the images your delightful photographer has captured so you can check that you like them and that you are happy with the outcome.

Behind The Lens.

Click Click & Click. You are in charge of capturing, so just keep clicking. The more images you capture the more you have to sift through, this is the best way to get a candid shot.

If All Else Fails Click Record. If you can't get the right shot through taking photos, why not try videoing, this is a great tip that I often use to capture off guard poses. Click record and get your model to continue posing as they would for an image, then in post you can pause and screen grab the video to get an image (the quality won't be great but is okay for an IG upload)

HOW TO: Edit Like Monday From Your Mobile.

Happy Monday! To kick start our brand spanking new blog #MondayMemoirs we are discussing all things editing. Our most asked question on our Instagram page is 'how do you edit your photos?' a question that is almost too in depth to answer on a quick DM. So here we are, all of our tips and tricks for beautiful photos in one place.

 

Instagram Stories.

Do you design your own templates? I do sometimes yes, it depends what it is for. I use Indesign to do this.

What are your favourite apps for stories? Currently loving Unfold, Storyluxe and Instories, obsessed with this one. (all paid premium)

How do you get the polaroid effect on your story? Storyluxe have my favourite polaroid and film effects.


 

Images.

What apps do we love? VSCO X (paid version £18 approx a month) Afterlight, Facetune.

Which app is best for grain? I always use VSCO however Afterlight has a great grain tool which allows you to edit the grain lighter or darker, to suit the image.

What filters do you use on VSCO X? My favourites are DOG1 V2 G9 E2 E4

How can you achieve dust on your pictures? Afterlight is perfect for this you can add an overlay effect of many different dust styles.

Is it worth paying for premium on editing apps? I think so yes, I always do when I really like the app and use it a lot, for me it is great to be able to have access to such variety but at a really little cost. If this isn't something you are looking into, I really don't think it is necessary to create beautiful imagery at all! 

Do you have a set filter you use on @laurengracelifestyle? For my personal imagery it changes depending on the style of photo and the colours on the feed at the time. I am mixing between DOG1 and V2 at the moment on VSCO.


Videos.

Top video editing apps? VSCO X and Filmm are firm favourites at the moment. VSCO allows you to add filters and Filmm (when upgraded to the premium option) allows access to tons of filters, dust, vintage, camcorder effects as well as light flares.

How do you edit video? I love nostalgic, film camera style of video. Up until my recent discovery of Filmm I have always used Premiere Pro and downloaded free cam corder and dust overlays from Youtube to manual place on my videos. But Filmm is the easiest tool for all my favourite effects!

Do you use the same filter on your videos as your images? Yes! I like to keep things consistent.

How can you add music to a video? There are probably tons of apps to do this. But I just always use Premiere Pro for things like this.

Best editing apps that don't lower the quality of a video? Personally I would say Filmm is really good for me and doesn't lower the quality at all. But if you are looking for professional edits I would just go back to manual and use a programme like imovie, premiere pro or final cut.


 

Happy Editing! Feel free to tag @mondaythestudio in any of your edits created from our tips, we would love to repost them!