Photography For Bloggers Course

It started, as so many things in the life of a dentist do, with teeth. Back in May, when he was one week past the eighteen month mark, Thomas finally got his first tooth. A few weeks later, I wrote this post and a few weeks after that entered it in to a Twitter competition. Winning that competition was not only the best thing to come out of Thomas’s late teething, but also the best thing to come out of my blog so far. The prize was a place on Emily Quinton’s Makelight Photography For Bloggers Course.

The weekend before last saw me joining nine other bloggers at Emily’s husband’s studio space in Shoreditch for a day of talking photography and creating photographs. I tend to be quite nervous about meeting groups of people in general, and I’m especially nervous about blogging related events, I think mainly because my blog is so small and I frequently lack confidence in it! But the day was super relaxed and I felt at ease straight away. The other bloggers were friendly and easy to talk to, and Emily herself was every bit as lovely as her beautiful blog will have you believe. Her creative energy was apparent from the very start, with beautiful name badges and thoughtful goodie bags. Plus, in the afternoon, home made cake!

If I were to pick a single word to sum up the day, it may be predictable, but it would have to be inspiring. As we chatted early on in the morning, I admitted that I sometimes struggle to find inspiration for photographs for my blog – especially to accompany posts that focus on emotions or concepts, rather than on, say, days out or directly on Thomas himself. I also think I may have been in danger of becoming what Emily described as a technical bore – someone who knows quite a lot of the technical principles of photography – such as the elements of exposure and how to control them – but creates very boring images with little aesthetic appeal.

As a result of this weekend I think, or hope, that both of those things have changed. We talked a lot about the things that have been puzzling me, such as inspiration and also making time for photography amongst hectic schedules. We also covered lots of basics about composition, lighting, exposure and lenses. Whilst much of this information wasn’t new to me, it never hurts to have your knowledge refreshed. But the bulk of the day was devoted to practice using all the available space in the studio and a fantastic collection of props provided by Emily – everything from boxes and baskets to bottles, bunting, flowers and fruit.

As a result I’ve definitely developed a new found enthusiasm for still life photography. Most of my photography to date has been of places or of people. I’ve always been a bit intimidated by staging shots, or setting them up using props. But now I can’t wait to building my very own prop collection!

Here are some of my efforts from the day.

Flying saucers in paper cup

Autumn leaf and fruits

A hat and a squash... just because!

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...


Dahlias against blue background

Prop shot

Flowers on the piano


Gin & milk


Love Hearts



(Credit for the setup of this last shot must got to Ruth at I just snuck in and took a picture of her lovely scene. I would be quite happy to have her as my stylist!)


The name of this blog came about because I began writing it as a record of a diabetic pregnancy. It was a play on the old rhyme “Sugar and Spice” but given that I was pursuing the best control of my blood sugars possible, sweeteners were largely preferable to simple sugar! (And no, I didn’t know I was expecting a boy!) I’m hoping now, with my new found inspiration, that I may be able to add a little more of the “All Things Nice” to this blog. As I believe is common, I may have lost a little bit of my old self in the transition to parenthood. Things that were once important seem less so, and with more demands on my time more prioritising has had to happen. But I’d like to get back some time for more creative pursuits in my life. Doing more things for which the primary motivation is my happiness and enjoyment. Emily’s insights, as a mother of four, have been really helpful in setting my determination for this. I’m hoping eventually to add an “All Things Nice” category to this blog, with posts covering some of my creative and artistic pursuits. It’s probably a lofty goal, given that I already have a huge number of half-written and unpublished posts, and I can’t promise what I create and share will necessarily be worth waiting for, but I’m excited to put some new ideas into practice nonetheless.

And in conclusion, I would highly recommend Emily’s courses. If you’re just starting out with photography and want a good grounding in the basics, along with lots of practice, this ticks all the boxes. And if you’re more confident in using your camera, but looking for ways to refresh your approach or develop your style, she has this covered too. And whatever else, I can guarantee you’ll have a good day!


7 Replies to “Photography For Bloggers Course”

  1. Oh thank you so much for this beautiful review of the day. I am so pleased you won the prize and that you enjoyed the day. I love the images you have take. A lovely selection and that one of the flower on the piano is definitely one of my favourites from the day!
    Enjoy gathering props and being inspired. xx

    1. Thank you Emily! I really love the flower on the piano too. I’ve already had some fun setting up a bit of a photography corner on the top floor of our house where the light is definitely best at the moment. And I’m looking at all sorts of objects in a new way too!

  2. That sounds like an amazing day, and your pictures are gorgeous!
    I always find I get a little lost, and rather grumpy, if there isn’t enough time for some creativity in my day so I know exactly what you mean about needing to reclaim the you in all of the mix.

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