It’s time for another dose of Instagram inspiration, and this month I’m delighted to introduce Michelle (@michellelouise__) of lovely blog Blend & Bloom. I’m a huge fan of Michelle’s beautifully calming images, which capture peaceful moments, little treats and the mighty landscapes around her home in northern England. It’s wonderfully soothing stuff – and, like all my favourite feeds, it features regular appearances from a cat!
Over to Michelle to explain more…
Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog?
“I’m mostly a stay-at-home mum to my three-year-old boy, Noah, but for the last couple of years my husband and I have also run a hospitality business. I started my blog as a way to help me switch off, to share my favourite recipes, and to gather together my interests – travel, interiors, healthy living and photography.”
How long have you been using Instagram, and how did you get started?
“I’ve been using Instagram properly for the last couple of years. For me it’s a way to collect those quiet moments during the day that have become so precious, and to record the places I love being the most.”
What do you like about Instagram?
“Instagram has the most amazing community; it’s so supportive, and people go out of their way to like a photo or compliment it. I love being able log on during my tea break and see what someone half way around the world is up to. Through Instagram you can connect with so many people via something as simple as a shared love of pictures.”
What inspires your photos?
“Lots of tea, and flowers! I take pictures of things that make me happy, and the landscapes that I find calming and refreshing. I try to keep things as simple as possible – I think that light and shadows, the mountains in the distance or the colours of flower petals are far more beautiful than anything I could create, so I just leave it to them. When life gets a bit hectic it’s nice to look back over the pictures and be reminded of the quiet times!”
How do you take and edit your images?
“I use an iPhone 5s, and either our white dining table or the marble counter in the kitchen as a backdrop. I edit photos with VSCO Cam – usually with one of the filters from the ‘Bright & Clean’ package to enhance the whites. Recently I’ve started layering a small about of the HB1 filter over the top, too, to desaturate the image and turn the temperate down a little. I like how it enhances both the light and the shadows but is still quite subtle.”
What catches your eye on other people’s Instagram feeds?
“Firstly, flowers! And I adore feeds that are full of light and table scenes. I love finding healthy food ideas or some home décor inspiration, too – I have some serious house envy from Instagram! I also enjoy seeing stunning outdoor landscapes and parts of the world that I’ve never been to.”
Finally, what’s your top Instagram tip?
“Take pictures of the things you care about and the things that make you happy. It’s supposed to be fun, after all. Also, natural light is always best!”
I’ll be chatting to another talented Instagrammer next month, but in the meantime do follow Michelle to see more of her beautiful photography.
All images by @michellelouise__