3 breakfast spots to try in London

During summer I always go back to London for a few weeks, where my days are filled with exploring new quaint stores and restaurants. One of my favourite things to do during summer is to wake up early and go out for breakfast. In case you didn’t know, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I’m always down to try new places. London is home to some of my favourite breakfast spots in the world, and in this blog post, I’m going to share 3 that I think you should try.

Granger & Co

Granger & Co have a few locations around London, but I’ve only ever visited the Notting Hill one. It’s one of the most popular breakfast spots in Notting Hill, so be sure to get there early if you don’t want to wait in line! All of the items on their menu are so fresh, and they have a lot of imaginative options. My all-time favourite, is their ricotta hotcakes, I’m drooling just thinking about them right now.

DSC_0136DSC_0124Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_6468DSC_0126

Andina Bakery

My family and I discovered Andina this summer, and we fell in love. Andina is also located in Notting Hill (although they do have other locations). It’s filled with the smell of freshly baked bread, and they display all of their baked goods on the counter, they look so inviting, you can’t help but try one. What I like about Andina is that their food is different from your regular breakfast options; they have a Peruvian inspired menu, and some of my favourite options are their corn cake and their artichoke and swiss chard pie, they’re so good! Whatever you order off the menu at Andina, you can see it being baked right in front of your eyes.

DSC_0412.jpg

DSC_0402.jpgDSC_0413.jpgDSC_0410.jpgDSC_0426.jpgDSC_0422.jpg

Farm Girl Cafe

Farm Girl Cafe is one of my go-to breakfast spots. Their light and fresh breakfast menu is perfect for the summer, but their wide array of lattes, such as the matcha latte, rose latte, charcoal latte etc… are the perfect fix for a cold autumn day. I’m slowly making my way through their drinks menu (my goal is to one day try them all!) and I would strongly recommend the charcoal and matcha lattes! I’ve visited their cafes in Notting Hill and on Carnaby street and I love them both. Be sure to try one of their smoothie bowls, or their avocado toast topped with strawberries!

IMG_6577.jpgIMG_6599.jpg

Those are three of my favourite breakfast cafes in London! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, and what your recommendations are!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post


Becoming more independent

Two weeks, in a new place, where I didn’t know anyone, studying in a college class, was definitely a huge step leap out of my comfort zone.

I am someone who lives by their planner, I write out every hour of my day and how I’m going to spend it; my day starts with my morning routine and ends with my night routine. I’m not a boring person! Trust me, I keep busy, but I like to know what’s coming next, I like to know what’s happening in my life. So maybe you’ll understand why spending two weeks in a completely different continent to the one I live on, knowing no one, and being truly independent for the first time was really daunting for me! Maybe, this is normal for other people, but for me, this was my summer of becoming more independent, and I want to share it with you guys.

For those two weeks, the only thing I needed to make sure I did every day was to attend my classes and lectures. It was so different from being at home where there’s always someone there, where there are always a few things I have to do in a day. I could wake up when I wanted, get breakfast where I wanted, I had to walk everywhere myself or take the train into the city, I could go wherever I wanted: Basically, I could do whatever I wanted (within reason). While all these possibilities sound amazing, believe it or not, it was kind of daunting! Yes, I suddenly could spend my day the way I wanted, but at the same time every day was completely different for me, I could never plan out exactly what I was going to do.

I think it also made me realise how much of a people person I am, but also how much of an introvert I am. I love being around people, I like chatting and laughing, but then at the end of the day sometimes I need that 30 mins or hour to read or watch TV by myself, that’s my way of recharging. And with being so independent, it was hard to balance these two things. Everyone was sticking by their own flexible schedule, and you weren’t going to be with someone every second of every day. For me, being so far out of my comfort zone already this was hard, and sometimes I felt very lonely. You see, I’m fine with spending time by myself at home, I’m doing it right now writing this blog post. But when I was already in a place with so much independence, and no one checking in on me, it was so weird to be by myself! And I feel like this taught me an important lesson.

You can take some you-time! You don’t need to live by someone else’s’ schedule. Sometimes I think people, especially people my age, think they have to do the exact same thing as someone else! And if you’re not with someone for every second of every day you’re not doing it right. But that’s not true. Sometimes you need to just do what you want, and that doesn’t always mean doing it with someone else. For example, if one of my friends wanted to go shopping in the college town, and I wanted to go to the library and finish my homework, it’s okay to do what I wanted, even if it’s not the same as them! But I found that concept so weird at the beginning! Because I was by myself in this new country I was kind of scared to be by myself and to be alone, but slowly I got used to this and I was more comfortable being by myself and doing what I wanted. I’m really happy that I learned that because I feel like it’s an important life lesson.

While it was really hard at first, and something completely new for me. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone this summer and become more independent. What about you? What was your first experience being more independent?

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post

 


The Newport Detox

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now, and I finally got round to it this week. As you might now, for about a month during summer I traveled all across the East Coast of the United States with my family, and I had a really great time. We visited Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. – all the large cities – but one of my favourite parts of the summer was stepping outside of these big, bustling cities, and spending a weekend in the peaceful, coastal city of Newport.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_4830IMG_0536

For my whole life, I’ve grown up surrounded by the ‘city buzz’. Even though I lived in a small town in London, we spent most of our free time in central London, and Dubai is one of the busiest and most happening cities in the world. So it’s fair to say that I’ve never really had much experience living a ‘rural life.’ In fact, I’m so used to living in cities now, being able to go anywhere at any time I want, and expecting it to be open, that when we go on vacation to a smaller city or rural area, I find it really hard to stay busy.

IMG_4922IMG_4481IMG_5254

But this summer, a weekend trip to Newport was exactly what I needed. In case you didn’t know I just started my Junior year of High School, apparently, the hardest and most stressful of the four years, or so everyone keeps telling me. And this summer I was busy with lots of extra homework, SAT prep, new blog posts, and just other bits of work, that there were some times where I felt like it wasn’t even summer. So taking a weekend away from all of this stress, in a really beautiful place, what precisely what I had been longing for… and Newport did not disappoint.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_5147

We spent the weekend staying in an adorable beach hut, with the ocean on one side, and beautiful greenery on the other. The sunsets were amazing to watch, as the light reflected off the ocean and sparkled, it was really magical. We traveled by boat to the mainland every day where there were lots of small boutique style stores, but there was something so unique and quirky about this town, it’s not your average shopping street. I think what I enjoyed the most was just being so detached from my busy life. Spending a weekend in Newport allowed me to just enjoy what I was doing and be in the moment, I didn’t have my phone with me, and I didn’t worry about doing any homework the whole weekend, I just let myself enjoy where I was.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_4942IMG_4457

IMG_4918IMG_4884Something else I really enjoyed while we were there was going hiking. Well I say ‘hiking’ but really the hike we went on was more like a scenic walk. Nevertheless, I loved it.  I’ve never really had the opportunity to do this, because as I said I’ve always lived in cities, but now these beautiful trails were right on my doorstep. My family and I did the famous Newport Cliff Walk together one day, which is around 3.5 miles. It was breathtaking. On one side of you there’s the ocean, and on the other side are the exquisite Newport mansions. There’s something about being so close to the ocean that just clears your mind and lets you forget about all your worries and stress. I would 100% recommend it for anyone visiting Newport.

IMG_4744IMG_4660

I’ve uploaded some of the photos I got while we were in Newport throughout this post, but they only show a tiny fraction of how beautiful it actually is! Have you ever been to Newport? And where’s your favourite place to go, to ‘clear your mind’?

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post

cropped-screen-shot-2018-08-09-at-19-18-57.png


Thoughts on Self-Confidence

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! This past week was my first full week back at school, and it was quite tiring, but it also feels good to be back. As you guys will know, I always try to be completely real on my blog and share what’s going on in my life with you guys. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, and here it finally is. Today I want to share my thoughts on self-confidence with you.

For anyone, it’s inevitable to sometimes feel unsure of yourself and self-conscious at some points. But why? I hate how we are all held to these high expectations, and at times, it can really crush your confidence.

I decided a long time ago, that I wouldn’t let anyone change who I was. I was going to be the person I am, stay true to myself, and do the things I love. But… it isn’t always that simple. This past year more than ever, have I felt the pressure to change and fit into this stereotype. To go to parties, to look ‘perfect’ all the time, and to always be smiley and happy. I’m human, just like everyone else, sometimes we all need our downtime, sometimes we just need to do the things we love, and all the time we should just be ourselves.

We shouldn’t feel embarrassed to do the things that make us happy, even if it’s not the same as everyone else, but somehow this is what society has taught us. I feel as though we’re all pushed towards being this ‘perfect human’ which is totally unrealistic anyway. Who even is this ‘perfect human’ that we’re always comparing ourselves to? When we say that we’re not enough, who are we comparing ourselves to? Every single person living on this earth is different. That’s what makes us special. So it would be unfair to compare ourselves to each other because we’re all unique.

I want you all to know that you can be who you want. You can do what you want. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed by it. ever. You should do the things that make you happy, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. At the end of the day, you know that you’re happy being yourself, rather than pretending or changing to fit in.

We shouldn’t live our lives for other people, we should live them for ourselves. If we’re constantly worrying about what people will think of us, and what will look better to them, than what are we doing with ourselves?

Have confidence in who you are, and what makes you happy.

Let me know what you thought about this post, and comment your thoughts down below as I think we could all contribute to this discussion!

Lots of love,

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post

cropped-screen-shot-2018-08-09-at-19-18-57.png


Back To School Advice You Need To Hear!

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing summer, wherever you spent it! And I really hope you enjoyed reading about my summer adventures and reading all the content I created for you guys! With it being back to school season, I wanted to share some important pieces of advice for going into this school year. But… I thought it might be interesting to hear what other people have to say as well! I asked a few other bloggers/Instagrammers what their number one piece of advice for going back to school is, and I compiled them into one huge back to school advice guide! They all had great advice to share, and even as I was putting this guide together I found myself thinking, wow… I should do that this year! So I hope you find this guide as useful as I do!

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

Ellen (Elle For Life Blog) – ‘My number one back to school tip is this: no matter what, understand that in the end, everything will be okay! I used to suffer from anxiety and would often have panic attacks in school on a weekly basis. However, nowadays, whenever I feel panicked, upset, or just stressed in general, I try to remind myself that in the end — regardless of whether that’s the end of a big project, the last day of the summer, or heck, even my future graduation from college — I will be okay. That B you got on that one paper isn’t going to singlehandedly determine whether or not you get into college, nor will that ~one~ time you fell down the stairs during the first period make or break your reputation at school. So take a deep breath, keep your head up, and persevere on.’

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

Peyton (Patience and Pajamas Blog) – ‘When it comes to back to school, and education in general, the best tip I can give to anyone is that if you want an education, there is always a way. Maybe things don’t work out the way you planned, maybe traditional schooling doesn’t work for you, maybe you can’t physically attend school, maybe you need accommodations; there are so many maybes! But at the end of the day, no matter what level of education you’re talking about, whether your goal is to make it to high school, graduate high school, get into college, or beyond, there is always a way. It may not be an easy way, and it may not be a traditional way, but if you are passionate about education and receiving the best education possible, there are three things to remember. Remember to advocate for yourself and your needs, use your resources, and that there is always a way. I’ve been in hard positions, and I’ve had my struggles with education. My passion for learning fuels me to continue to pursue my education, but without advocacy, knowing and using my resources, and fully believing that there is always a way, I would not be where I am today.’

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

 

Natalie (Capturing Life On Camera Blog) – Plan out your outfits the night before! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late because I had been having a full-on fashion show in my closet. I think the most times I have changed outfits in the morning is at least 5. Save yourself the hassle and choose your outfits and backup outfits the night before. Choose a backup outfit that you know looks good on you and is comfortable just in case your first outfit doesn’t work out

 

 

 

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

 

Liddy (@itsliddystyle) – I would say my number one tip for back to school is definitely don’t be afraid. This can mean not being afraid of branching out, meeting new people, or even taking new classes. And even if you are afraid, my favorite saying is ‘fake it till you make it!’ I say this to myself all the time to push me to get out of my comfort zone.

 

 

 

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

Elina (Just So Elina Blog) – Homeschool, Public School, Online School and Private. They may all be different, but the one thing they all have in common is the need for self-motivation. Yes at school your fortunate enough to have teachers, to help keep you accountable. But at the end of the day, your education is just that: YOUR’S. So it’s up to you to make it a priority no matter what type of schooling you do. Now don’t get me wrong I am definitely guilty of getting distracted on my phone or daydreaming in class (apologies to all my primary school teachers!) So I find having a vision of what I want to achieve from my education, like becoming a journalist; very helpful. As that way, I have something I love to focus and keep me motivated. While doing something I may not love so much *cough maths*.

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

 

Taiya (Taiya Maddison) – My biggest tip for back to school would have to be… just simply be yourself. It’s cliche but it’s so true. When you are truly being yourself you will be the happiest and you will attract the right people for you! School can be super intimidating at times, but as long as you stay strong in your beliefs and values and be yourself, you will be just fine.

 

 

 

 

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

Olivia (Absolutely Olivia) – Go into the new school year being completely yourself.  This sounds so daunting, but a new school year is more of a fresh start than some think, so use it as a time to build on yourself and how the summer might of changed you.  No longer want to wear the same outfits you always have? Dress how you want!  Have your interests changed? Take the classes and join the clubs you want!  Want to meet new people or be more social?  Go to sporting and other fun events!  Being uniquely you and embracing who you are can lead to an exciting and fulfilling school year.  Obviously, there are always gonna be haters out there, but try not to let them get to ya!  Being yourself is the best way to live, and just remember: people don’t care nearly as much as you think.

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

And of course, a piece of advice from me! My number one tip for going back to school would be to go in with a positive attitude and an open mind! If you go back to school with a positive attitude you’ll be more likely to learn more, have a good time, and enjoy yourself, even though you might still wish you were on summer vacation. Go back to school with a positive attitude, taking everything as it comes, and making the most of every situation.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading some back to school advice from lots of different people! And that you found the advice we shared useful and interesting. What’s your top tip for going back to school? Comment it down below!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post

cropped-screen-shot-2018-08-09-at-19-18-57.png


16 things I’ve learned in 16 years

Hi everyone,

Today is my sixteenth Birthday!! FINALLY! I’m a summer baby, so most of my friends are already 16, and today I’ve finally caught up. Most people say that your sixteenth birthday is definitely one to remember, so I decided to do something special for this one. For this Birthday I wanted to do something meaningful, I didn’t want to receive lots of fancy gifts. I asked anyone who was going to get me a gift, to donate what they would have spent on me to UNICEF on my fundraising site instead, because that’s something that really makes a difference to people that need it. Along with the fundraising, I also wanted to write this post, and share 16 of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in 16 years of being alive, so here they are:

  1. Always be kind, whatever the situation. Even if someones hurting you, stand up for your self, but in the wise words of Selena Gomez ‘Kill Em With Kindness’.
  2. Everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. Life’s path twists and turns, sometimes you don’t realise it, but what may seem terrible now, can lead you to the best place.
  3. Live in the moment and savor it. You’ll regret missing out on it later on. Don’t get too caught up in the small details of life, don’t stress and worry instead of enjoying. Opportunity and experiences only happen once, so put your all into them.
  4. Don’t do things to make others happy, do them because they make YOU happy. You don’t have to be a specific person, or do things to make others happy if you don’t like them, because in the end where does that take you? Your first loyalty is to yourself.
  5. However bad today is, it won’t seem as bad tomorrow. I like to think of it as ‘there’s always calm after the storm’ after the heat of the moment it always calms down, and sometimes there’s even a rainbow.
  6. Don’t do things to ‘fit in’ just be you. This needs no explanation.
  7. Find your ‘happy thing’ something that you love to do, and keep doing that.
  8. Look for the silver lining in a bad situation.
  9. Don’t forget to be happy, smile, laugh, life is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t stress out all the time, don’t worry all day, remember to just enjoy yourself sometimes.
  10. It’s okay to let go of things if they don’t bring you joy. You don’t have to hold onto things forever, especially if they hurt you or don’t make you happy, it’s okay to let them go.
  11. Always be the bigger person. This can be so hard, but in the end, the bigger person always comes out less harmed. Take pride in your maturity and be the bigger person.
  12. Don’t hold grudges, it takes so much effort. By giving someone that space in your mind, you’re already giving them power over you.
  13. You can’t fix everything and everyone. You can’t do it, and it’s not your responsibility, sometimes there are things that can’t be helped.
  14. Be creative. While I always live by my planner, it’s good to have a creative outlet as well, it makes you grow.
  15. Do things that are out of your comfort zone once in a while. No one’s destined to live a boring life, go on an adventure and be spontaneous.
  16. Watch sunsets, eat good food, read books, talk to people, do the things that make you happy. There’s no point doing things that don’t.

I hope you enjoyed reading 16 of the most important things I’ve learned in 16 years. Let me know down below if you would add anything to this list, or which ones your favourite.

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post


The Ultimate Bloggers Photography Guide

Hi Everyone!

Today I am so happy to share my most requested blog post with you guys. I’ve had people asking me for this post for a long time, and I finally had time to write a super long and in-depth post that will hopefully be worth the wait! This post is all about my blogging photography, and some of my tips and tricks.

I’ve always loved photography, I find it so interesting how you can snap a moment, and have that photo to look back and remember that exact point in time. For a long time before starting my blog I had been taking photos, but I just didn’t have anywhere to put them. That’s why when I started my blog, one of the things I was the most excited about, was finally being able to take photos and have somewhere to share them.

To be completely honest, I am no expert in photography, I don’t take lessons. But I think my photos speak for themselves. Most of the tips and techniques I use, I have pretty much taught or worked out myself. I would love to learn more about photography in the future, so if you have any good recommendations for photography blogs or online classes be sure to leave them in the comments!

3EC2BBE7-62D6-4B55-B3D8-D9BB17ED9DE3

This photography guide will include all of the tips I’ve been using in my 1 year of blogging, and I will go through each style of photo that I take, and how I take them. However, if there’s something that I don’t cover in this post, feel free to leave it in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

What Equipment Do I Use?

Okay, so first up, the most important thing before I get into all of my tips and tricks. What kind of equipment do I use? Like I said, I’m not a full-time photographer, so I don’t have all the fancy equipment. I think for a blogger it depends on what kind of photos you take, and then you can decide on what equipment you’ll need. Honestly, I think you realise what you need as you go along and see what you’re missing. For me, I started out with a DSLR camera that I had from before I started my blog, the Nikon DX VR. And I assumed that this is what I would use to take my photos. But really as I started getting into blogging I realised that it was much more practical for me to use my phone to take photos if they were on the go, and I only really used my DSLR camera when I scheduled in a ‘photoshoot’ which I’ll talk a bit about later.

When I’m taking photos for a specific blog post, or I have some products I need to get in a shot, for example in a flat lay, then I will use my camera. But, for most of the photos, you see on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) they are things I see as I’m walking around, or restaurants that I’ve eaten at, and I don’t really take my camera with me when I go out, so they’re taken on my phone. I do have some tips for getting good photos on my phone, which maybe I can write another blog post about if you like this one?

Recently I got a tripod, and that’s something that I’ve found really useful when I’m taking flat lay photos or product shots. My tripod is a Rollei tripod, and it’s super handy because I can pack it up to be really compact so I can take it with me when I’m traveling if I need to. But to be honest, for a beginner photographer, or a blogger who’s still working out their niche, I wouldn’t say that having a tripod is essential. If you find yourself doing a lot more food photography or product photography, then I would invest in one.

AF81E23A-129E-4A5C-94FE-24D419D571BB

One example of me using my tripod to take photos for my Travel Essentials post.

Planning My Photos

So something that I usually do, if I know that I’ll need a photo for a specific post, or some general ‘blogging b-roll’ (which I’ll explain later) is set up a photoshoot for myself. I’ll usually sketch out what I want the photo to look like in a notebook where I keep all my blog post ideas, and I’ll look on Pinterest for some inspiration. I also keep a folder of photos on my Instagram that I save as I see them, for inspiration later on. If it’s a photo with myself in it, I’ll decide on the ‘vibe’ for the photo, and pick out an outfit that I think will compliment it. I usually get one of my sisters to take the photo if I’m in it, and I either get them to stand in the shot first, so I can show them want it to look like, and after they take a photo we keep looking back and adjusting it to get the photo to look like the one I planned. I also pick out a few props for photoshoots, I don’t have a set collection of props, the things I use in my photos are usually things I have lying around, such as books, plants, flowers, glasses etc… But one thing to remember is that these photos that I get from a scheduled photo shoot, are usually specific to one blog post, and not really the ones you’ll see on my Instagram. Here are some examples of photos I’ve taken from planned photoshoots.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset1B5FF522-CF1E-4156-B1D7-3B4E6FA00D7573407D8D-5F08-4C26-A7C2-A5ABC444AE3A808573A1-5D31-4168-8955-30650D40587C

65B411FE-D3C7-44E9-8704-693A4EFCDF1D

What’s ‘Blogging B-roll’

Okay so this is actually something I made up myself, I’m not sure if other people call it this. But when you shoot b-roll for a video, it’s the supplementary clips that are extra, that’s why my ‘blogging B-roll’ is extra photos that I have stashed, readily available. I post on my Instagram every day, which, let me tell you, is not easy. And 5 out of 7 days a week I’m at school, so I’m not really going to take photos of my life that day to share on my Instagram. That’s why when I am out, I use the opportunity to take lots of photos of the things that I’m doing, and maybe I won’t necessarily use them that day, but I have them as extra photos if I need to post them one day. Things such as views, outfits, places I visit, and food, are all examples of my blogging b-roll. Here are some examples of photos I use as blogging B-roll.

A26057FB-5693-4C1D-A424-E4B0292833BD74A8EB6A-008C-464F-AEE5-9D7B13A25B8396BC0983-7472-4997-B36A-F3370C7F9A31C7C6859E-8F45-4D11-8617-A80EAB557FB1

How To Up Your Instagram Photography Game

First off, having ‘insta-worthy’ photos should not be a thing you worry about. Post what you want to, and photos you love. But if you’re looking to up your Instagram game, there are some things that I would recommend you do. Firstly, take good quality photos (which I’ll give my tips on later) but no amount of editing can make up for a bad quality photo. Secondly, editing is key, but don’t overdo it (I’ll let you in on some of my editing tricks later), and if you’re trying to build a feed for your photos, I would recommend using an app like UNUM. I’ve tried lots of Instagramming apps, and in my opinion, UNUM is the best, I can plan out my Instagram feed to see how it looks, and the app also collects data from my account to see when the best times for me to post are. As a blogger who’s always looking to increase my following, knowing when to post, and when my audience will be the most engaged, is vital. I use the predicted times from UNUM, and I compare them against times from ‘WhenToPost’ and ‘Prime’, and then decide on the best time for the day.

2B1006AB-3F56-4F66-92AA-25A8FAB4BD3E

Onto The Tips…

Lighting is key. I can not stress this enough! In my opinion, lighting is the most important part of taking a good photo. I have no idea how to use professional studio lights or anything like that, but natural light does the trick. I’ll never take an Instagram photo at night, or in a room without any windows, because the photo just comes out grainy, or with shadows all over it. If you’re scheduling a photo shoot, or you know you need to take a photo, be sure to do it during a time where the sun is still out.

92F04FAE-435E-46DC-8C82-61F93F8D4E45

In these photos, the lighting was just not right, and I could not get them to look better when I edited them, so I never ended up using them.

6ED34E4E-F7F0-4C44-9019-1E7AC9913521

DO NOT overdo the editing! The number of times I’ve been scrolling through my Instagram feed and seen perfectly good photos, over-edited and completely ruined is countless. With editing, less is more. I usually put my photos onto VSCO, and add a subtle filter to them, then I up the exposure and contrast a bit, and sometimes put in a colored tone. If the photo doesn’t look to promising when it’s raw, I won’t push the editing, because no amount of editing will make up for a bad photo. Editing is not a changer, it’s an enhancer, and it should be used like that.

0B01DE0F-8840-494A-BB01-1EF5F614AFFD

Learn how your camera works. When I went into starting this blog, I basically just knew how to take a photo on my camera, I had no idea how to do any kind of cool effects. Only recently did I read up on my camera, and learn how to change the aperture to blur out the background, and use the macro setting to take close-ups of wildlife.

B5612F67-B70A-4752-865E-D1E51A31985F

I used the macro setting to get this really detailed shot of a bee. 

EFD7A210-9DC2-4866-929D-14754A820A84

I changed the aperture to blur the background in this photo.

Follow the lines of the photo. So this may sound a bit weird, but one thing to consider when taking photos that you want to look visually appealing is to make the photo look simple in the eye of the beholder. So if things are lopsided and skewed, the photo just isn’t going to look appealing to the audience because, at least for me, it doesn’t look organized in my brain. If you’re taking a photo of a building, make sure your photo lines up with the straight edges, instead of looking messy and unclean.

A26057FB-5693-4C1D-A424-E4B0292833BD

There’s so much going on in this photo, that if all the lines were lopsided it just wouldn’t look clean.

X-Skew and Y-Skew are your new best friends. Some of my most useful editing tools are the X-Skew, and Y-Skew buttons on VSCO. Let me explain to you the magic of these two buttons. If I’m taking a flay lay, and my phone wasn’t exactly right over the table, or my angle of a building is taken from lower down and the proportions look a bit off, I can just whip out these tools and fix it up. The X-Skew and Y-Skew buttons tilt the photos up, down, and side to side, basically it’s an instant proportion fixer. I’ll put some before and after photos below to show you exactly what I mean by this.

ED30A598-B5E0-416F-8D2E-2C6A615D6EDF

Before

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

After

If all fails, just try again. Your photos are not going to turn out perfect every time you take them, that’s just a fact. Sometimes I put a lot of effort into a photo, but I just can’t get it right, maybe my pose is weird, or the background is off, but there’s just something that’s not right with the photo. Don’t be discouraged, pick out specifically what you don’t like about the photo, and next time you can make sure you change that. Some of the first photos I took for my blog, I can not believe that I uploaded. If I look at the progression of my photos on this blog, I can see how much they’ve changed by picking out the small details I wanted to change as I went along.

5E68140E-FEB4-4FF9-98C1-B5493AAAE605

I wanted to take a photo for my New Years blog post, but these just didn’t turn out how I wanted them. So….

808573A1-5D31-4168-8955-30650D40587C

I went home and tried again, and got these great photos.

Capture the moment. As I said, photos are something special, you’re capturing a moment in a shot. And these moments don’t come around all the time. If you see something interesting, or a shot that looks really cool, don’t count on it being there tomorrow. Just take the opportunity today, go out and take the photo, because you never know if it will turn out the same tomorrow.

CD6DD1EB-55C9-448D-98D4-FD28B6A00FA8

Tomorrow this may not be there. It’s better that I captured that shot when I saw it, rather than waiting. 

1E343E8D-6A63-4FAB-A600-07516EBDE131

Take the photo as your eyes see it. Okay so this one seems pretty obvious, but this has to be the most useful tip I’ve worked out. How many times have you seen something, and thought, wow that would be a great photo, only to take it and realise it doesn’t really look that good? One of the things I do to remedy this is put my camera where eyes are, because if I’m looking at something and it looks great in my eyes, surely if I place the camera where I was looking from, I’ll be able to get that shot. And it really works! Sometimes all you have to do is step back and reassess your perspective to get a nice photo.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

I wanted to get a photo of this really cute restaurant, but it just wasn’t turning out the way I wanted it to. So I went back and reassessed my perspective and got this!

Know where to place your subject. So this question was asked on my Instagram, and I think it’s actually a very interesting one. Most of us tend to put the subject of our photo in the center, but there are other ways to do it. I would say if you’re standing in an alleyway where your eye is naturally being drawn to the center because of the lines, place your subject there. But for other photos, if you’ve ever heard of the rule of thirds, that could be something cool to try. It basically means that if you placed a 3×3  grid over your photo, the subject would be in either the left or the right third, not the center one. This can be good to use if there’s a view behind you that you want to show in the picture, or if you want to mix things up a bit.

IMG_3048

In this photo, the archway draws the eye to the center of the photo, so that’s where I placed the subject here. 

Go out and search for the magic. In the end, if you use all these tips and you just take the same photos over and over again, there’s no point. Chanel your creativity into your photos, and open your eyes. I think one of the reasons I’ve been so successful with my photos, is because I can see the potential things.  I’ll see something when I’m out, and it may look like the most insignificant object, but I think, wow that would look great in a photo, and those end up being some of the best photos I’ve taken.

1A6D62A7-7298-49BB-AA76-3C63272C6BD0

Okay, so this has probably been the longest post I’ve ever written! But I had so many tips I wanted to share with you guys, as you’ve been asking how I take my photos for a really long time. If you want to see more of my photos you can take a look at my Instagram account (@Little.Miss.Expat). I will for sure do more posts like this, as I still want to share tips on how to take flat lay photos, and photos of yourself. But please let me know if you found this useful! And how about we all leave our best photography tip in the comments section so this can be a collaborative guide for anyone to use?

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

Follow my Instagram – Little.Miss.Expat

Follow this blog – Click the button on the homepage

Like me on Facebook – Little Miss Expat Blog

Like this post – Click the button underneath this post