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Photographer Derek Johnston explains his selfie with a difference…

March 19, 2015
Whilst browsing Twitter over our morning coffee, we spotted a photo & knew we had to find out more about it. We’ve seen some impressive selfies in the past year, but this one takes the biscuit… Taken by alternative portrait photographer, Derek Johnston, in his kitchen – this is definitely a selfie we approve of! Derek, who specialises in fun alternative portraits, and music & band photography, explains how he captured the shot with minimal broken cups & plates…. __________________________________________ ”So I recently had this crazy idea in my head and some free time. The idea was to have myself falling over in the kitchen with tea and biscuits flying everywhere. Below, I’ll explain how I achieved the shot… Firstly I photographed our kitchen using a 10mm fisheye:   Mimicking the light coming through the window I setup a single flash with a 32” shoot through umbrella in the front room. To capture myself mid-air was loads of fun! Jumping onto a huge beanbag, I had a helpful hand from my other half who luckily works from home. We took a handful of shots of me diving onto the beanbag in our living room. To capture the plate and biscuits was simple enough. Just hand help the plate in position and stuck a hair grip in the creamy bit of the biscuits and took a load of shots of those. Moving into the bathroom, I photographed the mug of tea in the same way as everything else. One light. Tipping it into the bath and capturing some movement: With all shots captured we move into Photoshop. It was a matter of cutting all the bit’s out and placing them in the picture. I wanted the image to have that arty look so I used dodge and burn to exaggerate the contrast and also inverted high pass technique to cleanup the skin. This technique I feel looks fake but that’s what I was going for. Here are some detail crops that offer a closer look at the final image: Here’s the final shot (you can see it in high-res here): It was a fun but different take on a selfie. I encourage you to try it!”  Derek Johnston is an alternative portrait photographer based in Southampton, United Kingdom. You can find more of his work on his website and blog. This article originally appeared here.  You can also tweet Derek – @DJohnstonPhoto 

Mother’s Day Blogger Challenge – #MyMumAndMe

March 15, 2015
After our Valentine’s Day Blogger challenge proved popular, we decided that Mother’s Day would be another perfect opportunity to challenge a set of bloggers to get creative with a PhotoBox product. This time around, we’ve split the challenge into two different parts – Mum Advice & #MyMumAndMe. To get the bloggers in the competitive spirit, we also offered a special prize for the bloggers to share with their Mum – who says treating your Mum can only be one day a year?? All of the bloggers have done a fantastic job – we love seeing our products used in different ways! Mum Advice First up, we teamed up with some lifestyle bloggers, and challenged them to tell us the best advice their Mum had given them, using a PhotoBox product. This could be anything from ‘make sure you wear a coat!’ to ‘dull women have immaculate homes’ –  let’s see what they came up with… Alice-Megan Alice chose a collage canvas to tell us the best advice her Mum ever gave her – ‘Time spent with family is worth every second’. We couldn’t agree more! Alice also shared some of her other favourite advice from her mum in her blog post, including ‘put money aside for a rainy day’, ‘laugh often’ and ‘if I were doing it…’ – particularly when Alice is cooking! A Much Prettier Puzzle Charlotte from ‘A Much Prettier Puzzle’ chose one of our ‘Mum’ photo books, and created an ode to her lovely Mum! From perfect lipstick application to turning the house into an actual grotto at Christmas time, Charlotte created a fantastic A-Z to say thanks to her Mum for all the tear-wiping and belly laughs. We’re sure Charlotte’s Mum loved this special gift – we even heard her Dad was a little bit jealous! You can see more of Charlotte’s blog here. #MyMumAndMe For our second challenge, we asked a selection of bloggers who have children to show them with their Mum, alongside them with their children, on a PhotoBox product. The bloggers had the choice of everything from photo cushions, to a collage canvas. We had some great creations, with some fantastic photos…let’s take a look! Snaffles Mummy First up, we have the lovely Snaffles Mummy (Denise), who chose 2 collage canvases to show off her #MyMumAndMePhotos. What we really loved about these canvas was the use of the B&W photos of Denise with her Mum – these were a photo of a photo, taken on a smartphone & the quality is still great! Denise said she was ‘in love with the finished products’ and that they are a ‘beautiful idea that [she] wouldn’t have considered until this challenge’. High praise indeed! You can see more of Denise’s blog here. You Baby, Me Mummy Next up, we have Aby from ‘You Baby, Me Mummy’ who chose our acrylic blocks to show off two beautiful photos. We love that both images feature the beach as a theme, and that both she & her daughter

International Women’s Day – Instagrammers

March 7, 2015
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we thought we’d share some of our absolute favourite  UK based women on Instagram. These 5 ladies are quirky, fun and simply fantastic we think you’ll agree! Firstly, meet Charlotte, if you think that you recognise her work, then you’re probably right. We worked with her over Christmas to create some lovely stop motion videos for Instagram. Here’s one that you may have seen: Charlotte has an incredible and very unique style that we really do adore. Here are just a couple of our favourites, you can always find more on her Instagram account @CharlotteLovely   Having a romantic day shooting for @bryonyf with @alexedwards88 happy v day y'all A photo posted by Charlotte Love (@charlottelovely) on Feb 14, 2015 at 9:02am PST   whaaaaat?! It's Monday…already! Really? A photo posted by Charlotte Love (@charlottelovely) on Feb 2, 2015 at 12:15am PST Next up is Rachael AKA @Londongrll an artist to say the very least. Rachel manages to make the mundane magical with photos that will really leave you wondering how she managed to do it. If you love portraits and city shots, then Rachel is your woman.   #killtheunderground #lom_kong #igerslondon A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀R A C H E L (@londongrrl) on Jan 15, 2015 at 12:03pm PST   Who can stop the rain? A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀R A C H E L (@londongrrl) on Jan 3, 2015 at 12:24am PST Jess (@miss_jess) has a beautifully soft and vintage feel to most of her photos. Seeing her in your feed is sure to brighten your day, neat, organised and just plain beautiful. Here are some of our favourites:   I can't wait to wear these on Saturday. I love them @UpperStreetShoe! x A photo posted by Jess. London. (@miss_jess) on Feb 17, 2015 at 1:13pm PST   Kitchen tools. Kitchen light. A photo posted by Jess. London. (@miss_jess) on Mar 3, 2015 at 4:53am PST Elanor (@gelfinor) is one of those people that will inspire you to get up, get out and go and find those shots for yourself. She’s here, there and everywhere making every scene look spectacular. From foggy mornings to beautiful beaches, Elanor’s shots will give you itchy feet!   Late sun on Porthcurno Beach. A photo posted by Elanor (@gelfinor) on Dec 29, 2014 at 7:47am PST   Hello lovely people. Here is my offering… Sorry to have been so quiet. The sunlight Rays hitting the earth never cease to fill me with joy. Amazing this happens in London parks 😊 #iphoneonly A photo posted by Elanor (@gelfinor) on Feb 14, 2015 at 12:54pm PST Sandra Ahn Mode (@sandra.mode) is a master of muted colours. Her photos are clean and crisp and Sandra is seemingly able to turn her hand to any style and any situation and still make it look like her speciality.   Hope you don't mind a few latergrams from Iceland. This is Svartifoss or Black Waterfall, and the name comes from the dark lava columns. Taken

Thinking outside of the box this Mother’s Day

March 6, 2015
As we reminded you yesterday (and probably the day before, and the day before that), Mother’s Day is creeping up on us. But what do you get the Mum that has it all? Never fear – here at PhotoBox, we’ve come up with another extra-personalised gift idea that doubles up as a Mother’s Day card as well! We guarantee this will pull at your favourite lady’s heart strings this Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day Canvas Message   Featuring some of the PhotoBox team with their lovely Mum’s   What you’ll need: A print of you with your Mum A camera Scrabble tiles / labels / a stamp kit / ink to write a message – you could even try magnetic letters, or cut them from a newspaper or magazine Scarves or material to use as a background Other decorations – we’ve used twine, mini pegs and fairy lights, but you could use flower petals, confetti, sequins – whatever you like Optional: A tripod Start by choosing your background – this could be absolutely anything you want. We’ve chosen fabrics that compliment the colours of the print, so for darker (or black & white prints) we’ve chosen a fairly dark background, and for a bright print we’ve gone for a polka dot patterned pastel blue. Lovely!   Next, you’ll want to position your print on the material. Play around with the composition until you’re happy. It is worth positioning the camera now, so you know how much space you have in the frame to fit your special message. You will also need to allow for around 1 inch of extra material in the photo, to account for the wrap around the edge of the canvas Decide what you want to say in your message – do you want to tell her she’s amazing, or let her know how much you love her? Remember to keep it short & sweet 🙂 When your message is in place, you can begin to add in any decorations you’d like. We’re big fans of the mini pegs & string, which make the photo look like it’s hanging on the canvas. This is a great chance for you to get really creative! Once you’re happy with the layout, it’s time to get snapping. We found the easiest way to take these shots was to position a tripod (on it’s shortest setting) on the table, looking down on our set-up. Finally, it’s time to start creating your canvas. Our pictures were perfect for our square 16’’ x 16’’ Classic Canvas. Simply upload the photo, position to your liking & remember to check that you have a green ‘good quality’ smiley face above your creation. It’s as simple as that, and can easily be recreated with bits and bobs that you already have in your house. Now all you have to do is sit back, wait for your order and watch the smile on your Mum’s face when she opens it on Mother’s Day! No need to thank us… Now that

Magnetic Mother’s Day Inspiration

March 5, 2015
You know that Mother’s Day comes around at pretty much the same time every year, but there’s always the eternal struggle of knowing what to buy her, especially if you want to stand out against your other siblings! We’ve come up with a few quick and very easy photo gifts that will leave her feeling special, and ensure that you stay her favourite until next year, at least. First up – photo magnets. ‘Mum’ Photo Magnets   To make these photo magnets, all you’ll need is a photo of you and your Mum, and some photos of letters, which is easier than it sounds… You can get as creative as you like with the letters – we took photos of a bedroom light and a sign in a cafe for the two ‘M’ magnets, and used a photo we found on Pinterest for the U. You could always draw the letters yourself and then take photos, use flowers to create letters, try scrabble tiles, street signs or even make the letters out of your Mum’s favourite food (pancakes for breakfast, anyone?). You’ll then just need to upload the photos to your PhotoBox account, and choose the best photo magnet size for you. We’ve gone with the square 8cm x 8cm, which fit our Instagram pics perfectly. Music credit: Now that you’ve got an idea for a gift, head on over to our Mother’s Day Shop page – there’s even a chance to win an iPhone 6 in our #MyMumAndMe competition!