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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….

Travelling on the Trans-Mongolian Express

October 21, 2014
When keen travel photographer & writer, Ryan Gray, got in touch with us to share some photos of a recent trip on the Trans-Mongolian express, we got a serious case of travel envy – so much so that we asked him to share more photos of his adventures. Over to you, Ryan… Ryan on his travels ”Travel isn’t exclusively about reaching a destination. Sometimes the journey itself is half the excitement and I’m sure that anyone who has sat and watched the ever-changing backdrops of the Trans-Mongolian express go tumbling past their window will agree with that sentiment whole-heartedly. Starting in Beijing and culminating in Moscow, I saw the gathering hordes of some of the world’s busiest cities dissipate and be replaced by fresh green Mongolian plains; I saw Siberian villages and countrysides gradually build towards colossal Russian metropolises and I beheld Eastern and Western ideals intertwining with one another to create glorious cultural conglomerations, the likes of which cannot be witnessed anywhere else. The Trans-Mongolian express has a smorgasbord of stunning landscapes, amazing people and thrilling experiences laid out upon its tracks and the journey is as integral to the trip as the destinations.   As a self-confessed Sinophile, few places excite me as much as Beijing. The contrast of the old Chinese hutongs situated within the towering modernity of the newly built sky scrapers are a shining example of how China has transformed itself from humble beginnings into an economic super-power. These stark opposites can be seen throughout the city and offer an insightful glance into the worlds of those adapting with their developing landscapes. An overnight journey to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar gave me my first experience of life on the tracks and, as the hustle and bustle of Beijing gradually dispersed, a glowing orange sun began to set. Whilst we rolled through the stunning vacant plains of Inner Mongolia, passengers lined up against the windows of the carriages, staring in awe at the natural spectacle playing out in front of them before it slowly faded into darkness.   The daylight of the morning after brought with it a new country and another change of scenery. The plains of Mongolia, at first scattered with wild horses and nomadic gers, gradually built up into a city made from a combination of native shacks, historic temples and modern high-rise facilities, all nestled side by side.   An excited atmosphere filled the air. The annual Naadam sports festival was due to take place and the city was filled with extravagantly dressed natives, peacocking in anticipation of the festivities. Wrestling, horse racing, archery and ankle bone shooting (a unique Mongolian sport, similar to ten pin bowling, but played with sheep ankle bones instead of balls) were all set to be played out in front of the crowds of enthused locals, many of whom turned up on horse-back to gain a better vantage point of the competitions. The next leg of the journey delivered the town of Listvyanka; a town perched right on