Why your phone's photo grid feature is the plug

If you're just starting out creating content with your phone, first impressions are everything. Now of course you can always delete or simply not post the images that don't make the cut, but you still want a lot of options to choose from, am I right? 

What I am about to say, you can certainly take with a grain of salt. When you're beginning you're a mobile photography journey, it's best to follow the Rule of Thirds to maintain balance and structure in your imagery.

At the same time, rules are eventually meant to be broken, but you still want to start somewhere!

The easiest way to make sure your images are following the rule of thirds is the Grid feature on your phone. Some people despise using the feature, but manufacturers saw beyond the selfie and knew you can use your mobile phone to create stunning images. 

For starters, the rule of thirds refers to the balance & flow of the human eye as it is viewing an image. If an image had 3 lines going horizontally & vertically, there should be even balance throughout the image. See below for an example. 

Shot with an iPhone

Shot with an iPhone

Shot with an iPhone  

Shot with an iPhone  

To enable the Grid feature on an iPhone, simply go to Settings - Camera - Grid. Swipe to enable. 

Now go on be fruitful and shoot!

 

 

One-on-One Mobile Photography Coaching Sessions!

Hey Guys!

I recently hosted a Free Flat Lay Styling Webinar and announced two new launches happening in October! 

The first is 21 Day Flat Lay Challenge. Think 21 dresses, but instead lots of props & color. It starts on Monday, October 3rd. For more information, simply visit the 21 Flat Lays Blog Post

The second launch is One-on-One Mobile Photography Coaching Sessions! I'm excited about launching this program because a lot of you out there use your phone to capture moments and even product images used for your business. And you deserve to let your products/message truly shine with some amazing photography.

You're probably saying to yourself, that's silly but the statistics are clear: 67% of consumers say a photo quality image influences them to buy over a long description, customer review or product info (linkedin.com). So you owe it to yourself to know the basics of how to create amazing imagery. 

Plus, I love doing webinars because I get to connect with you lovely folks worldwide! But actually, it helps big time to see what goes behind creating great images & flat lays in real life.

So now there's probably questions and rightfully so! 

Who is the One-on-One Mobile Photography Coaching Session For?

This is great for bloggers, product based business owners or content creators. Bloggers because maybe you need stock images for your blog posts? Or you're looking for a great image to then overlay text in Canva? This would be great for you. Product based business owners because you are constantly creating content for your brand: product photography, flat lays, people wearing your product. You know your brand better than anyone, so why not take images that reflect your brand! Taking it a step further, you may be in the beginning stages of your brand and looking for cost effective options before taking the leap to invest in a company like Darden Creative. This would be fantastic for you! Content Creators because you're probably a personality or building a personal brand for your business. Like bloggers & business owners, you know your brand better than anyone else. 

What does the coaching session cover?

The 2 hour coaching session covers: Basic Lighting Setup, Various Flat Lay Layout Ideas, Common Photography Terminology and Mobile Editing Apps. You'll get hands on training in a personal studio and more importantly, insight based on your business. 

How many slots are available per month? 

There are only 4 slots available per month. Once you book your coaching session, you will be directed to a calendar to select the time & date that works best for you! Once they're gone they're gone! 

Are the coaching sessions nationwide?

Currently the coaching sessions are only available for those in the New York Metropolitan + Northern Jersey (Jersey City, Hoboken) Area. Updates will be provided when it is extended to other cities. 

What is the Investment?

The investment is $199. But for a limited time it is only $99! The special promo is only through Friday 10/7. 

I'm ready to reserve my spot! 

***Throws confetti*** YASSS! To book your coaching session & reserve your date/time, visit this link! 

I'm so excited to share this information with you guys! Hope to see some of you in October!

xoxo,

Tamera

Find Your Light Creative Workshop: Recap

This past Saturday was the inaugural Find Your Light Creative Workshop and it was the BOMB.COM! From Registration to Final Remarks it was everything I could have imagined and then some and I'm so so happy to share a few of the takeaways!

A little reminder, the Find Your Light Creative Workshop is a one-day workshop for creatives & business owners focusing on flat lay styling & social media brand building. 

The event was held at Harlem Collective, a premier co-work space in Harlem New York. It was the perfect place to host Saturday's workshop, with two floors, enough space to host the lovely ladies (and our equipment). Thank you Harlem Collective!!! 

 

Topics include how to create captivating content with Photography 101 and Intro to Flat Lay Styling and then how to capitalize on that content, with the Build Your Brand with Social Media Panel. 

The first session was Photography 101, taught by Photographer & Creative Director, Alexia Lewis.

She covered important topics including Rule of Thirds, White Balance and Negative Space (there's a difference). She also covered the recommended type of gear & equipment as well as a brief tutorial on how use a DSLR & Mobile Phone Camera when taking photos. A lot of amazing tips were shared & notes were seriously taken!

Alexia Lewis of Krafted La sharing amazing photography tips!

Alexia Lewis of Krafted La sharing amazing photography tips!

Attendees taking notes during the Workshop 

Attendees taking notes during the Workshop 

The second session was Intro to Flat Lay Styling & Mobile Editing Apps, taught my me!

It was really fun to share all of the fun statistics on why visual content is important and the future of visual content in media. Moreover, it was great to share all the tips & tricks behind creating flat lays. 

A flat lay created by one of the attendees 

A flat lay created by one of the attendees 

The ladies creating their own flat lays, using the information we shared during the first half of the workshop 

The ladies creating their own flat lays, using the information we shared during the first half of the workshop 

What made it especially exciting was having the ladies being able to create their own flat lays using the knowledge they receiving during the first two sessions!

An attendee creating an amazing flat lay with her goodies! 

An attendee creating an amazing flat lay with her goodies! 

It was great to see them flexing their creative muscles. It was a great time to walk around and offer encouragement, while stepping back and letting them flow. Certainly a high point for me without a doubt!

The early morning sessions were fantastic and we headed downstairs for lunch & get ready for our panel discussion: Build Your Brand On Social Media. The panel featured style influencers Kéla Walker & Victoria Sanders and Social Media Manager, Bernadette Pichardo

Lunch was sponsored by Manhattanville Coffee & Qyera of Cinta Soul, Moringa Infused Beverages which were the bomb.com. 

Cinta's Beverage Station! 

Cinta's Beverage Station! 

From Far Left: Victoria Sanders, Bernadette Pichardo, Kéla Walker & Tamera Darden (see nametag, wink)

From Far Left: Victoria Sanders, Bernadette Pichardo, Kéla Walker & Tamera Darden (see nametag, wink)

The panel focused on how to develop & maintain your brand identity on social media, techniques for building your following across platforms: including hashtags & collaborations and dealing with social media overwhelm. 

It was full of laughs and A LOT of Information! There were so many amazing takeaways and everyone walked away with inspiration to put what they learned into practice. Such an amazing experience. 

From left to right: Kéla Walker, Bernadette Pichardo, Tamera Darden, Victoria Sanders and Alexia Lewis

From left to right: Kéla Walker, Bernadette Pichardo, Tamera Darden, Victoria Sanders and Alexia Lewis

After the panel discussion, people broke away to have one-on-one coaching sessions with a few of the panelists. The sessions were 15 minutes long and gave the attendees the opportunity to socialize & network with the panelists & other dream catchers in the building. 

After the coaching sessions, I said final remarks, while holding back tears. Then it was a celebration! We took tons of photos, utilizing the DIY Flower Wall me and Victoria worked so hard on two nights before (lol). Tons of boomerang images. Tons of love. Tons of Black Girl Magic. It was a truly magical experience.

From Left to Right: Ariel & Qyera of Cinta

From Left to Right: Ariel & Qyera of Cinta

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I have so many thank you's and so I created a post, specifically for that. But this was an experience that will go down in the books. And of course, this workshop will happen again!!!

Definitely sign up for the newsletter for updates on the workshop, as well as access to free tutorials & goodies! Click here Don't experience FOMO again! 

Love & Light

Tamera

All images by Sirnoahbility

 

Find Your Light Creative Workshop Thank You's!

My first thought is "Wow." The second thought is, "when is the next one?" This weekend was the inaugural Find Your Light Creative Workshop and I have to say it went without a hitch!

First, thank you to my amazing team who helped bring my vision to life, Tiffanee Thompson & Chacine McCoy, the tag team that is The Culture Bazaar. If you need any help putting your event together, They're your girls!! Thank you to my fake photographer boyfriend, Jelani or @sirnoahbility. You've always been a ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for the love & support since Day 1. 

Thank you to my sponsors for your support & belief in this project from the beginning, The Curly Chicks, Shop Nilu, The Style Theory, Olloclip, ArtifactUprising, The Created Co, Lorraine West, Cinta, Soma Water, Quick Brown Fox Letter Press, May Designs, Twiggs Bindery and Manhattanville Coffee. Thank you to Harlem Collective for allowing us to use your space to bring my vision to life. It was the perfect size & I'm so so happy! 

To even say I had this many brands responsible in bringing my vision to life is astounding even for me. Thank you so much.

Thank you to my amazing co-stars and panelists: Alexia Lewis, Bernadette Pichardo, Kéla Walker and Victoria Sanders. I can't thank you enough for being the amazing tribe of women you are. I'm so happy we are on this earth at the same time. Thank you for taking time out of your time-packed schedules to help me dream out loud.

As Victoria said on IG, "friends don't let friends dream alone." Thank you so much for your support. You're all A-1's in my book. 

To the attendees, thank you so so much for your enthusiasm and attentiveness during the event! It was created with you in mind and I'm so happy we met your expectations. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

And to those out there watching who have supported my journey for the past several years, thank you so much for your support. From tweets to fb posts to likes you're support doesn't go unnoticed and I am truly appreciative of your support. Thank you so much!!

In my eyes, I started living life once I left my corporate job a little less than 3 years ago.

I've fought hard to keep my dream of living a creative life alive. Amidst the breakdowns, tears and disappointments. But through it came finding my purpose. And for that I am forever blessed.

Thank You,

Love & Light

Tamera

 

 

Death to Filters

Let me explain. There are so many resources available sharing amazing ways to create quality visual content using your mobile phone.

Therefore you shouldn't have to use a filter to compensate for an image. You can make dazzling content before using a filter for added depth. 

Of course filters can be great to add more depth or color, but not to the point where you're completely dousing your image with 3 filters to make it work. 

Here are three ways to create visual content that amazes before adding the filter. 

1. Clean your lens. it's a simple step that gets overlooked. I know because it happened earlier today. Your lens naturally has build up from use, so make sure to gently wipe the lens before taking a pic. 

2. Lighting. There are different types of white as mentioned during the Flat Lay Styling Webinar. It is referred to as White Balance. White Balance refers to the lighting source in relation to the real life color intensity of the subject (s). Daylight or natural is the optimal source of light because it picks up the true intensity of color. Keep that in mind when your shooting so you're not having to lay filters on everything to make it look amazing. It should already be stunning prior to editing. 

3. Choose wisely. Deciding your brand's filters are important. All filters are not created equal. Some cast a shadow while others add grain or a border, etc. make sure your filters properly represent your brand's image. For instance, my old images on IG used to have the Mayfair filter. But I've sense stepped away from filters because I want to show the true color intensity. I seldomly use filters and if I do, it's usually a filter via iPhone editing app or A Color Story from their Essentials pack. 

 

 

Edited Using A Color Story Essentials Pack

Edited Using A Color Story Essentials Pack

Edited using iPhone edits

Edited using iPhone edits