January 18, 2016

Creatives in the Spotlight - Sarah Inkson Photography

Remember last week's post about full time blogging? Well, as promised I am sharing Sarah's story here today in an episode of Creatives in the Spotlight. Sarah is a blogger that I have been following from the time she just started out her lifestyle blog Daydreams of Summertime. I watched her grow as a blogger, but certainly as a photographer. And when she announced last Summer that she had quit her job to spend more time on her photography skills and her blog, I knew we bloggers could all learn from her journey.

Besides her blogging journey, I loved to interview her a little about her photography. Photography is a part that is really important in the blogging world. Good images attract readers, there's no doubt about it. I'm not a good photographer myself, and fortunately, with the kind of blog I have, I can rely on stock photography. But if you can't it's always nice to get some tips from someone that knows what she's talking about (and that ain't me when it comes to photography ;-). So let's dive into the interview I had with the lovely Sarah!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself ?

Hi, I am Sarah and I write a blog called Daydreams of Summertime where I write about what I get up to and share my photography. I live in England with my boyfriend Carl and dog Leo, in a town called Doncaster which is in Yorkshire.  A few months ago I took the massive step of quitting my office job to try and develop my photography skills a little further.

2. When did you start out with your blog Daydreams of Summertime?

I started it almost two years ago, I had recently moved to Yorkshire to be with my boyfriend and didn't know anyone, so I started it as a way to connect with other like-minded people. It was definitely the best decision I have ever made and I have made so many real life friends through blogging. I love the how supportive everyone is in the blogging community!

3. Along the way you got more and more interested in the photography part of blogging. Have you always had an interest in photography? Or was it something you discovered as a blogger?

I have always been interested in photography but I bought my first DSLR a couple of years ago and it tied in nicely with my blog. I use my blog as a way of showing off my photography and it gives me an opportunity to push myself harder and motivates me to try new things with my photography and ultimately improve my skills. I actually never thought I would become so passionate about something like I am with photography but it has been the only thing I have ever stuck at. 

4. Have you followed any photography courses (in person or online) or did you learn by trial and error?

Initially I took a ten week evening course at my local college, but apart from that I have used a lot of books and YouTube tutorials to help me learn. It is always an ongoing process and I constantly feel like I am improving. Recently I subscribed to LYNDA which has some excellent tutorials for Photoshop. Most of what I have learned has come from taking photos all the time and just figuring out what my camera can do. 

creatives in the spotlight sarah inkson

5. When did you decide to invest in a camera? And what kind of camera and accessories are you using right now?

I invested in my first DSLR a couple of years ago which was a Pentax K30, and about nine months ago I upgraded to my Pentax K3 which I love. I have a few lenses but the one I use most is my 50mm prime lens - it is so sharp especially when doing portraits. I also use my kit lens which is 18-150mm and for my landscape photography I use my Sigma 10-20 wide angled lens. Other bits and pieces I regularly use are my tripod (I have a regular one and a travel one) and a remote timer. I hope to invest in a good all round zoom lens soon, but I need to save some money first!  

6. You recently quit your job and are now figuring out which direction to take professionally. Can you tell us a little more about what led you to that decision, how you experienced those first months without a job and if you have decided yet to focus on photography as a possible next career.

For years I have gone from one office job to the next, never feeling fulfilled or motivated, and my last job also involved a massive commute which was really getting me down. So when I received a little bit of inheritance money I decided to quite my job for a few months and focus on improving my photography and taking it to the next level. It was very scary and I can't deny it has been a lot harder to stay motivated than I anticipated but I am glad I did it.
I have done things like create my portfolio and open an online shop and I have been able to take the time to get to grips with Photoshop properly - things I didn’t have the time to do before. I will have to go back to work very soon as I still need to pay the bills but I feel like I am on the right path with my photography now and the only way is up! 

creatives in the spotlight sarah inkson

7. I have seen your blog grow over the last years and I have seen your photography getting better and better. Can you give our readers some tips for improving their own blog photography and tell us more on which actions you took to grow your blog?

When it comes to improving your blog photography, I would say practice is key! Good lighting is also essential and take a hundred photos from all different angles until you find the perfect shot!
With regards to growing your blog, I think interacting with other bloggers is always a good idea, leave lots of comments on other blog and try and connect in a meaningful way. However my number one advice is to be passionate about your content, people will be drawn to your blog then!

Thanks so much Sarah for sharing your story with us! What I love about Sarah's journey is that it is a realistic one. It shows us to have hopes and dreams for our blogs and creative lives, yet at the same time to be real about it. It takes a LOT of hard work to grow a blog or a business. And not all success comes overnight. But if blogging or a creative business is something that makes your heart sing, don't give up on the dream that one day it might pay the bills for you and you will be able to spend your days doing what you love.

Witnessing the growth that Sarah has been making in blogging and photography and the time and effort she is putting into it, I am sure that the day will come for her that she won't need an office job on the side anymore to pay the bills. Like she said, being passionate about what you do is the most important, because that will eventually draw the right people towards you!

If you want to follow along with Sarah's blogging and photography journey, you can find her over here:

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