I love Summer. It’s without any doubt at all my favourite time of the year and for months I’ve looked forward to a slower August. Maybe it’s because I have a Summer birthday (does that follow?) I don’t know.. life just always seem simpler to me in Summer. I love leaving the house without having to think about coats, and hats and scarfs for the kids. I love only needing to wear one layer most days. Summer clothes, Summer food, Summer flowers, the countryside and the colours… the long evenings and many more hours spent outside. All the fresh air and all the light, these are the things that make me happy.
The Summer holidays were always a magical time for me as a child, and I’ve really looked forward to them each year since my eldest son has started school. It’s lovely having him around more, and the boys quickly become completely joined at the hip with each other again. However, it doesn’t come without it’s challenges. I’m sure anyone who is self-employed knows the work never really stops coming in. Maternity leave never really happened, emails need to be dealt with even whilst away on holiday, and the fact that the kids are around more isn’t any excuse for production to cease.
I did my best to “take August off” and I turned down a lot of work, but I still had picture framing to be done and a few lovely opportunities cropped up with photography that I didn’t want to pass up on! So despite getting to spend some really quality time with the children, it has of course in fact been the usual juggling act. I recently did my first webinar with The Photographer Academy and some of the questions that kept popping up were to do with how I manage Instagram, do I post myself or have someone to do it for me (!), how long do I spend there each day, how do I keep up with interacting with other accounts and replying to comments etc?
The Summer holidays and having reduced childcare has made me think on this even more, so I thought I would give you a few insights here as to my Instagram “workflow”, and how I have found a way to manage something which can easily become a black hole of time! I do of course do everything there myself, I would never give anyone else access to it even if that were possible. I tend to spend half an hour to an hour there each morning before everyone else in the house is up – I post my picture for the day, catch up with my feed and reply to comments. I don’t manage to reply to every comment like I used to, but I’m sure people understand why that’s the case. If I don’t get a chance in the morning (and I actually just want to keep my eyes closed until they are forced open by hungry little faces!) then I’ll take a day off, or post when I get a chance later on in the day. If engagement is a bit lower because of it then that’s ok.
One of my biggest saviours with my Instagram workflow is “batch” photography. I have actually not had much time to take photos over the Summer, but there have been several very photogenic occasions when I have stocked up my camera roll and they have served me well over the month! A day out in London with two very old Instagram friends @katherinedorrington and @humpreheyandgrace was one. All the photos above were taken whilst strolling together that day, and there may well be more lurking about on my camera roll yet to be edited! I have dribbled these out into my feed over the last few weeks and they provide the perfect, colourful interludes to my other shots.
A lovely weekend on a south coast was another such occasion, where I had lots of opportunities to photograph the kids, and some beautiful locations as well. I may well be posting images from this trip for weeks to come yet.
I also stock pile images in this way with still lives. I simply don’t have time to arrange and photograph stills every day, so if I have some beautiful flowers, some time, and some inspiration, I will try and photograph them in several different ways in order to give myself hopefully three or four shots that I will be happy to post on Instagram over the coming weeks. The images below were all taken on the same day, and you may also notice in my feed a certain pale pink hydrangea has actually popped up now four times. I still have two more images I took on that productive day which I may post yet!
Having a few images in the bank so to speak, gives me the opportunity to plan my feed in advance. Several apps have been developed recently to help do this, and I’ve used quite a few of them. My current favourite is UNUM, you can drag images around to see how they look nice, and even temporarily hide ones that may be deleted. I don’t actually post from the app, I prefer to be on Instagram when I post, to add hashtags, like other pictures and reply to some comments while I’m there.
So despite August being such a wonderfully photogenic month in the English countryside, I have actually picked up my camera precious few times. A slower month no doubt, blissfully lacking in routine, but a month with a different set of challenges. Thanks to my camera roll, a few moments of inspiration and faffing and a couple of nice jaunts, I’ve managed to keep posting for another month! Obviously maintaining (and hopefully growing!) an Instagram account can be a time consuming business, but it can also be done in a way that doesn’t consume too much of life and too much headspace. I love being around on Instagram and getting my daily hit of inspiration, but I also try to climb back out of the rabbit role before getting too lost in it!
As Summer draws to a close, Autumn of course brings new opportunities, and new challenges. My eldest is going in to year 2 at school and my youngest is starting his year at preschool. They are both so looking forward to getting going, which makes me excited for them. As much as I love Summer, I am looking forward to some foggy mornings, some photoshoots in the Autumn leaves, and all the magic the new season brings.
I have hopefully a trip abroad coming up next month, and some exciting collaborations too – including a very special giveaway which I can’t wait to tell you more about! I’m also very thrilled to be involved with a weekend workshop in Notting Hill from the 16th-18th September. Alongside some very talented photographers, stylists and Instagrammers we will be holding a weekend packed full of workshops and tuition, as well as plenty of great food and an enviable goody bag for each participant. There are still a couple of spaces remaining, so if this tickles your fancy all the details are here.
So I wish you all a very happy final fling with Summer, and I look forward to sharing the next chapter with you both here and on Instagram!
I use to take a lot of pictures to plan my feed too ! It can be useful to see all the different colors 🙂
Yours are so brilliant, as usual 🙂
Hope September will not be sad for you, think about next August, it’s only in.. 11 months :p
Thank you so much! Happy new month to you too, i hope it will be a lovely one!
Just gorgeous, I love these photos and the story behind them. Summer has been so much more relaxed here too! But I’m excited for all that September has to offer and for a little more routine too xx
Thanks so much Julia, same here, as wonderful as Summer is we all need a little more routine and life goes on doesn’t it! I hope it’ll be a great month xx
Your images are always so full of brightness and positivity! Summer was indeed perfect, so ready for Autumn now! I’m sure the change for your two little ones going to school is going to be exciting 🙂
Thank you so much Corina! I’ve loved seeing your Summer adventures, it’s looked amazing! I hope Autumn will be fabulous for you as well! xx
Fab post, thanks for sharing, I would love to focus more of my time on Instagram but can never find the time, it’s lovely to get an insight into how you manage your time, beautiful images, as always. Summer is undoubtedly my favourite time of year too, I do like the changing seasons but always long for summer. Xx
Thanks so much for reading Jennifer! I use to find Instagram consumed far too much of my head space and my family time. I’ve had to find a balance in order to be able to continue! I think I’ve streamlined it quite well now 🙂
I’m exactly the same, always dreaming of Summer! Maybe a winter holiday somewhere warm would be just the job! Have a lovely one xx
Hi Hannah, I really enjoy your articles. Can you tell me how you know your level of engagement on Instagram? Many thanks. X
Hi Marine, thank you so much for reading! Basically there are peak times for engagement on Instagram, which tend to be between 6-8am and 6-8pm. If I miss those times I don’t worry too much any more, the likes may be a little lower but it’s not the end of the world! xx
Thanks for sharing. I used to think that everything I posted to IG had to be real time but I’ve slowly learning that in order to keep engagement and inspo going having a back log isn’t a bad idea. Also, thanks for the tip on UNUM – I was using Planoly, which has a monthy cost.
Hi Emily, thanks so much for reading! Yes I was exactly the same! And my daily photo used to nag away at me all day long until I’d achieved one I was happy with. I used to feel embarrassed or guilty about a “later gram”! I started with Plainly too but I thought the monthly fee was way too steep. I hope UNUM will do the trick for you too! xx
Thank you for sharing that, Hannah. Very helpful!
Thank you so much Anne! I’m really glad it was helpful. Thanks for reading! x
I love these Summery pictures Hannah, I can’t wait now for our Spring/Summer. Thank you for your tips, I’m hoping to feel more inspired as the days get lighter & warmer – our Winter seems to be dragging on & on! Love Kim xx
Thanks so much Kim! Summer has been good to us here this year, so lovely to see so much sunshine and blue sky. I hope your summer will be fabulous and give you lots of inspiration, it’s definitely harder in Winter with so much less light. I’m going to have to be even more organised to get through it! xx
Such a lovely post Hannah, thanks so much for the awesome tips, great idea to have images saved in the “bank”. What a exciting year you have coming up with both your boys in school, and a trip abroad (maybe somewhere close to Fl?) 💙🌴🐚
Thank you so much Michelle! I wouldn’t manage to keep posting if it weren’t for my later grams! Haha!!
Ah no plans to come stateside at the moment, but you know I really really would love to one day, your beach is just a dream for me!
Have a lovely September xx
Hannah, what a beautiful post filled with love and treasured moments. The pictures you took are spectacular and your styling is always so clean and all around beautiful. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips especially Re UNUM. And i admire that you are so disciplined about the time you spend on IG (sometimes it takes me hours!). So looking forward to a bit more routine in September and hope to learn to manage my time better. Thanks for sharing
Thank you so much Olena!! You’re very kind. Feed planning has been so useful for me and has saved me from deleting so many pictures because I didn’t feel like they fitted in!
It’s hard to keep up with sometimes, but the great connections and opportunities it brings me makes it worthwhile!
I hope September is great for you and the girls settle well back at school xx
So much I could write about this, your photos always warm and tender… Just the way I perceive you. I’ve been struggling a lot recently with choosing a theme and editing style for my insta gallery, and stick with it as I know that makes a huge difference. Plus I’m working on building my little online Design Shop and I since I can tell I’m not going to be able to spend so much time on the platform. I don’t know why I can’t make my self post several photos of the same photoshoot, specially still life… I feel like people is going to think is the same photo, it’s like I have this need of making each ‘unique’. Urgh! Hate that about me. I need to be more practical about things. Thank you Hannah, for always sharing about you! – also, UNUM is my fav too 😉
Thank you always Susan! You’re always so kind to comment here. Honestly your gallery always look so fabulous, I do really think you worry too much! It’s all just gorgeous! Try posting another from the same shoot, I dare you! I don’t think anyone minds at all seeing a similar thing again, if they enjoyed it the first time!
This is very exciting news about your online Design Shop, I can’t wait to see more!
Have a lovely new month xx
Such a lovely blog hannah…you’ve captured the summer beautifully as always, I absolutely love the pics from the South Downs, feeling very inspired to take a visit there myself. Thanks for sharing such beauty. Looking forward to what Autumn has install xxxx
Thank you so much Della! The Summer flew past so quickly it feels like we didn’t cram enough in, but we have these lovely memories! It’s a beautiful stretch of coastline down there, so varied and lots of different places to visit. I think I’ll try and go again in the winter! xx
Beautiful photos. One of the things on my ‘to photograph’ list is to find a lavender field to photograph my children in. Love it.
Thank you Heather! It was one of my favourite experiences this summer, the kids absolutely loved it! They still talk about it now xx