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Introducing…Ask Kerry

November 10, 2014
One of the most important things we pride ourselves on here at PhotoBox is our customer service. There’s no question too big or too small…providing it’s PhotoBox related of course. We can’t help you out with train times or what takeaway to order tonight, sorry! We thought it was about time we introduced you to one of the longest serving members of the PhotoBox team. So, say a big hello to our social media customer service extraordinaire, Kerry. With 10 years of PhotoBox knowledge under her belt, Kerry will be helping us with a series of blog posts, which we’ve catchily named ‘Ask Kerry’. From Christmas card queries, to photo calendar questions – Kerry will be here to help you out. To help you get to know Kerry a little better, we’ve asked her a few burning questions… Hi Kerry, Tell us a bit about your PhotoBox background… I moved to London from South Africa in 2000, and have been working at PhotoBox for most of my time living here. I studied photography at college, so when I first moved over here I began working at Joe’s Basement, a print lab in Soho. I think I started at PhotoBox in 2004, where I was hired to run the second printer – we now have a whole lot more than that in our London printing lab! You’ve been at PhotoBox for an impressive 10 years now. How has your role changed since you started? I moved into customer services after a year of working in production and from there my role changed quite a lot. As times have changed our contact platforms have expanded. At first we only received contacts through email and phone, but then in 2007 we introduced a live chat function. We still offer live chat on the site, and it is very useful to be able to assist customer in real time. It also gives us the option of sharing their screens so that we can better understand where their user journey may be going wrong and offer the best support for them. As social media has taken off over the past years, we’ve found that customers are now more comfortable using Facebook and Twitter to contact us so I am now working to build on and improve the support we offer there. Last year, we won the ‘Best Social Media’ category in the ‘Top 50 Companies for Customer Service’, which I was really happy about. What’s the best part of your role? And the worst? The best part of my role is hearing all the positive feedback from our customers, its amazing that people are so happy with their products they get in touch just to say thank you. The worst part is the rare times when we let people down. We do always try our very best to make up for any mistakes or delays but unfortunately they can happen. You mentioned that you studied photography at college – tell us a bit more… I

How to style your sofa with photo cushions by Jen from Love Chic Living

November 7, 2014
Cushions are one of life’s little home décor pleasures; you can never have too many, right? These brand new photo cushions are just perfect for adding that personal touch to your home, and allow you to create a space that reflects you and your personality. ‘Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a reflection of what you love’ – Nate Berkhaus Telling your own personal story through home décor and accessories has never been easier, with items like these on-trend cushions allowing you to do just that. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration on how to use them to style up a sofa, then look no further. I’ve put together some top tips on the best ways to make the most of the cushions and of your sofa. Simple Symmetry If you like simple displays, then go for co-ordinating patterns like these contemporary chevron cushions that look stunning coupled with black and white photographs. I’ve chosen a pastel theme for many of my cushions which helps bring the look together, and with lots of colour choice on offer, you are bound to find something to suit your décor. Once you’ve started to dress the sofa, you may like to build on the look by adding a complementary style in a smaller size. This smaller cushion, using an edited photograph from my own home décor, helps to pull the chevron colours together and add an extra dimension to the display. Enhanced Symmetry Instead of just one extra cushion, why not add one to each corner to increase the overall effect. Here, a smaller cushion, showcasing a colourful holiday photograph, combines beautifully with the chevrons and brings further interest to this end of the sofa. Repeat the effect at the other end of the sofa to complete the display. As you can see I’ve used similar colours with each pairing to give the look a coordinated feel. Corner Display Remember that not all of your cushions need to show images of loved ones. For a more eclectic display, consider using photos that you’ve taken whilst on holiday, at a wedding or a family outing. Scenery and landscapes can work just as well, and the photo effects and editing facilities on the website allow you to create some really special finishes. Here, I’ve built up a small corner display using cushions of different sizes and colours, but with one bonding theme: The Coast. A colourful seaside restaurant, a view over the ocean and a family reflection in the harbour water all made interesting images, each one telling their own story. Together they brighten the sofa adding an element of fun and frivolity. Made for Comfort Sometimes less is more, of course, so combine your photo cushions with other styles, shapes and designs. As I’ve used the more contemporary styles on my sofa, pairing them with the graphic black and white print below works well, and adds depth to the pastel colours. Bringing photo cushions together with other

Where it all began

November 7, 2014
As we’re sure you can imagine, we love photography. It’s not hard to see why, and we’re always trying to help everyone take better photos. We’ve covered everything from portrait tips and landscape photography guides all the way to bokeh. What we’ve never done before, is look at how we ended up where we are today. How did it all begin? What makes us so obsessed? We thought it was time to right that wrong. In the beginning Capturing the moment is something that we’ve been fascinated with since the beginning of our existence. It all began with cave paintings, the oldest of which has been estimated to be 35,000 years old and was found in Indonesia. Instead of stories, the focus turned towards vanity, the elite of the civilised world were obsessed with sitting for grand and expensive portraits. But let’s be honest, who wants to sit for hours on end in a wig? It just wasn’t cutting it, and so began the era of the photograph… The first known photograph was taken in either 1826 or 1827 and is called “The view from the window” That was it, the world was hooked and photography was born. The first commercially available camera became a reality not long after in 1839 and was a magnificent piece of kit called the Daguerre-Giroux (catchy, we know!). Photography wasn’t widely practiced, as even commercially available cameras were still extremely expensive, that was until the wonderful Kodak Brownie costing $1, it made photography available to the masses. It’s safe to say that from this point forward, photography has captivated the world. We are obsessed, and let’s be honest, we’re not exactly shy about admitting it. Since the advent of the digital camera, we have gone snap mad. In 2014 alone it is estimated that we’re going to take a whopping 880 billion photos…roughly worked out, that is a mighty 125 photos for every living person this year alone. That’s 10 times more than the number of photos taken in the year 2000! Photography has taken drastic twists and turns along the way and has gone so much further than the pioneers could have ever imagined. It’s not something that we can cover in a single blog post, but what we have done is put together the definitive guide to the evolution of photography. It will take you on an immersive journey all the way from “The view from the window” to the Google Glass. It’s been a crazy journey, but we’re sure it’s only just getting started…

Happy Halloween from PhotoBox!

October 30, 2014
With Halloween almost upon us, we decided it was time for things to get a little scary around here…all tricks, no treats! First up – what better way to surprise someone than when they are just about to sit down & enjoy a nice cup of team? Our Magic Mugs are the most spook-tacular way to do just that. These mischievous mugs look like any other plain black mug as they sit innocently in the cupboard, but as soon as hot water touches them, they begin to reveal the horrifying images below… Credit: Suzanne Harger We’ve chosen a rather scary zombie & a slightly sweeter Sugar Skull to surprise our unsuspecting family & friends. You could choose to use anything from a pumpkin to your favourite fancy dress outfit! If you’re not in the mood to terrify those around you, spell it out with our Mug Collection – like we did above. And If you happen to be more of a Halloween traditionalist, check out the PhotoBox team’s pumpkin carving efforts below. Pretty impressive! If you think you can top our efforts, head over to our Facebook page for a chance to win £30 of PhotoBox credit!

Creating a Photo Challenge Calendar

October 27, 2014
2014 has seen many a short-lived social trend – from the ice bucket challenge to the ‘no make up’ selfie. Monthly challenges seem to be one of the few trends that have managed to stick it out for the whole year, with people testing themselves on everything from cooking, to cutting out caffeine to *gulp*, going internet free for a month! We decided it was about time we got on board with a monthly challenge. Photography is such an important part of what we do, so we’re going to test our creativity for the foreseeable future by creating a photo calendar full of different challenges, changing every month. For each challenge, we’ve chosen a mixture of seasonal events – like Winter & Christmas (December) and Love (February), as well as some subjects we’ve been eager to try – like through a window (November). The topics you choose are completely up to you – go for something you’ve wanted to try for ages, or put a selection of words in a hat and go from there. To create our photo challenge calendars, we decided to use A3 Wall Calendars to make the most of the photos we already have, but there are so many versions you could use to create yours. Top tip: Haven’t got much space to hang a calendar? Our slim calendars and desktop versions can fit just about anywhere! Creating a calendar is easy, promise. Once you’ve uploaded your photos and picked your theme (we’ve gone with bold & colourful), all you need to do is drag the photos into your chosen layout and add in any text you’d like. Our favourite extra on the photo calendars has to be the ‘personalised day’ feature, where you can add a specific photo to a certain date, along with text. To mix up our challenges even more – we’ve put individual photos related to the month’s theme on particular days. Let’s hope we manage to stick to them! Do you always have a calendar on your wall to keep you organised? If you were to try a photo challenge, what themes would you choose? Let us know in the comments below….