When I got into the world of blogging, I had no idea what I was doing and so I did what anyone direction-less would do, I traveled over to the wonderful world of Google. I typed in popular blogs and landed on A Beautiful Mess. Filled with colourful images, DIY projects and a glimpse into the life of Elsie Larson; I was instantly captivated. I was so in awe of what Elsie had created, that I paid for the ‘Blog Love’ e-course, which almost four years later continues to be useful. In the year 2010, things seemed to get amped up on their website and after a quick investigation, readers of the site learned that regular contributor and Elsie’s sister, Emma Chapman was going to become a co-author of the blog. Together they created more e-courses, created handy (and do-able) DIY projects and posted almost twice a day.
Writing about their book, YES, you read that right, they wrote a book, seems surreal to me. I feel like as a regular reader of their blog, I’ve watched two woman take their passion(s) and turn it into a successful business. Their book A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself is mixed with helpful photography tips and tricks, but it also gives you a glimpse into the world of these two sisters. You see their dogs, their nails, their music collections. You’re getting a front stage pass to their world with the use of photography.
The book is broken up into different sections. The first part will teach you many tips about actual photography. That’s right friends, Instagram filters aren’t the only trick of the trade. Lighting, backdrops, shadow portraits are just some of the terms you’ll become familiar with in chapters 1, 2 and 3. The creative portion is next and as I mentioned, one look at their blog and you know that these women know a variety things about creativity. Take the time to really utilize this section if you’re interested in photography, because it’s filled with lots of innovative ways to photographs scenery, people or objects. One of the keys tips that they regularly mention is that taking an ordinary shot has its perks, but sometimes taking the time to shoot the details adds so much more charisma to the photo. Shoes, sunglasses, smiles, coffee mugs, food; all of these things are details that typically go un-photographed, but if you think about it, have the same capability to take you back to a time and place when you’re looking through pictures in the near off future.
After mastering their early advice about taking the right photograph, it’ll be time to challenge yourself. I don’t want to spoil too much, but there’s a whole section dedicated to ways in which you can participate in challenges that will help push you out of your comfort zone. One of my favourite challenges listed (and one of which is wrapping up on the A Beautiful Mess blog) is the thirty-day self-portrait challenge. If you’ve read the first half of the book correctly, you’ll know that a self-portrait doesn’t mean duck face posing in front of a mirror, it’s so much more than that. It’s called a challenge, because it’s an actual challenge to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new and creative ways to showcase who you are and what you’re all about in thirty days.
You might be thinking that you’re going to have some amazing photos, but where on Earth are you ever going to showcase them besides dusty photo albums and photo boxes… Did you forget who we were working with here? Elsie and Emma have got you covered! They provide fun and interesting ways to share your photos with your friends and family.
A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book is a great resource for people who have ever tried to take a really unique instagram photo. Forget the filters and create your own visual astethic. Their simple and inspiring ideas are going to change the way you take photographs forever more.
I also encourage each and every one of you to follow Elsie & Emma on their blog and social media accounts below for continued inspirational ideas.
This fantastic book goes on sale August 13th.