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Guest Blogger: Cozy indoor activities & photography tips for Instagram with Anges Plans!

Yay!!! We're so excited for another guest blog post with planner babe, Anges Plans! This blog post fits so perfectly with our Cozy at Home #MyWashiGangJulySpread and Hygge challenge! Take notes, WashiGang crew! 
Ange has also used our new FREEBIE 'Cozy at Home' washi tape for these spreads. If you order over $75 worth of goods for the month of July (before shipping and after discounts), you'll get one of these cozy tapes with your order! 
Read the full blog for Ange's ideas on staying occupied indoors, self care and photography tips for Instagram!

Hey Washigang Crew! 

Thanks for coming back to read another one of my blogs! I hope you're all keeping safe and well! Today's blog, we are chatting about keeping ourselves occupied indoors and photography tips for Instagram! 

Let’s get stuck into it!

Cozy at Home

Well, isn’t this theme fitting with Winter here now, and the recent outbreaks and lockdowns from the-virus-that-shall-not-be-named? (we’re all tired of talking about it right? Ugh!). This month, I want to encourage some self care and ideas to keep us busy indoors. Here, I used my wellness planner monthly view, to note down ideas of things to do inside your own home. Take the time to sit down and think about things that bring you happiness that you can do at home.

A fun idea is to make this into an Indoor Bingo! Tick off an activity or two and see if you can finish it by the end of the month. Or even a book bingo – but writing down books that have been sitting on your to-be-read list and try and hit a monthly reading goal. Creating one of these spreads was an activity in itself – to come up with ideas, doodle or dig for stickersthat match the activity. This easily took me an hour or two; but with my cuppa and audiobook, it didn’t really feel like it!

Stay Cozy Blog Anges Plans WashiGang
Cozy vibes planner spread

This month I tied in my first spread to this theme – and the bookshelf washi is my jam! You might not know this about me, but I am book obsessed – give me some romance or paranormal novels, and you’ve lost my attention span until the final chapter! 

In this spread, I have opted for washi, drawn in lines and plain box stickers. For the icons of the plants, and candles, and books, and all things comfy and cozy, I used the used the home comforts washi tape and cut it down to make mini stickers. 

I challenge you to find something you're passionate about or currently loving and make a spread about it!

Cozy at home WashiGang Anges Plans Guest Blogger

How To Improve Your Planner Pictures for Instagram!

Now, I am no expert at this, and I am truly learning all the time! About what looks good to me and fits my aesthetic.

However, I have been at this long enough to give hopefully give you some tips to improve your photos. You need 5 things:

  1. Your phone camera - That’s right! You don’t need to have super fancy equipment to take a good shot! I use my phone camera in 1:1 mode (you can change this in your camera settings). I find I prefer to take my photos from directly above the flatlay (flatlay is when you lay down and style what your are photographing), but you can take them at all different angles – have fun with it and see what works for you!
  1.  Good lighting – This is so important for when you're editing later, so you don’t need to try and edit out shadows. Try to set your picture taking up where there is even, natural lighting. I actually take my stuff to my front porch (like a crazy person lol), where I get the best light and to take photos. Yes, you can take them in artificial light, but its difficult to take shots without casting shadows. 
Anges Plans Instagram Photo Tips WashiGang
  1. An editing app – You can edit your photos directly in Instagram, but editing apps give you a better range of filters generally. I personally use PicTapGo – it is 3 steps, pick your photo, edit it, save it. I generally like to use 5 main filters in this app – lights on (to lighten the photo), contrast, auto colour (to brighten colours), and crispity (to make the black sharper.) As you select each filter, you can alter how much it effects the photo, as you can do in Instagram. Other apps you could use are photoshop & facetune. As you can see in my example pictures – editing makes a huge difference in the end result. TIP: don’t over brighten the picture, this washes out your picture and isn’t very easy on the eye.
  1. Props – This will depend on your aesthetic, my style is generally flatlays. For this, I use large cardboard sheets you can pick up for a dollar or two at Big W, a dollar store or craft store. Alternatively, I have been buying a $3 roll of vinyl covering from Kmart and contacting a white cardboard or foamboard sheet. This way, I have different textured backgrounds. This is where some styling comes in! Here’s some ideas for things you can put next to your planner: 
  • Sticker books
  • Stationery (washi tape, pens, markers, scissors, tweezers etc)
  • Plants
  • Candles
  • Clothing/blankets/pillows
  • Tea/coffee
  • Books
  • Discs
  • Anything relating to the theme (workout spread – gym equipment, food journal – an apple) However, you could take pictures outside at the park, snuggled in bed, down on the grass, holding it up at the beach, writing at your office desk – and your location becomes the point of interest and there’s no need for props.
  • Your planner – the most obvious necessity for a planner pic! 

Anges Plans Instagram Photo Tips WashiGang

An alternative method is to get a photography light box. This isn’t a method I have used myself, but have seen used by others.

Anyway, I hope that gives you some direction on how to improve your pictures. Share with your community and let us know below in the comments section, what things you do to take pictures, if you have tried any of these techniques or if these helped your photography skills – I’d love to know!

I have so much fun creating this blog for you! Please say hi or ask me any questions you might have - I’m always hanging out in the Washigang Crew FB group or on insta at Instagram.com/angesplans 

Peace out planner babes! 

xx

As usual, Ange has created the most beautiful and inspiring Happy Planner spreads! Ange has used the 'Beauty in Florals', 'Colourful Boxes' and Cozy at Home washi tape collection. We've also made a new collection on our website filled with Cozy at Home stationery for you to shop, (all in the theme of Hygge). Don't forget to tag @washigang and @angesplans on Instagram with your styled planner spreads and Cozy at Home activities. We can't wait to see what you get up to! 

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