Our photography workshops with Olympus wrapped up yesterday with the most technical class so far. Sunday Times Style Fashion Editor Pandora Sykes was on hand to chat about shooting her outfits with photographer Jay McLaughlin, while Navaz Batliwalla (aka DisneyRollerGirl) discussed capturing product at home for her blog. From aperture to white balance, this was a chance for more experienced photographers to hone their talent. Here’s what we learnt!
SHOOTING STREET STYLE DETAILS
1. “My number 1 tip, would be to change your perspective. We’re all used to seeing things from eye level, so try shooting bags and accessories from different angles to make your photos really stand out.” Jay
2. “Take advantage of the Olympus PEN’s pop out screen and capture footwear from shoe level without killing your knees!” Jay
3. “Don’t just think of detail shots as an extra add-on. Really focus on that bag, cuff or hem and see it as the whole picture.” Pandora Sykes
SHOOTING PRODUCTS AT HOME
1. “If you don’t have access to a pristine white studio setup, place products in your bath. The white surface will wrap around the objects and help to give a high end look for free!” Jay
2. “If you’re struggling with shadows, a sheet of tin foil wrapped around a piece of cardboard, or even a baking tray can make a handy reflector.” Jay
3. ”Have a look for one area at home – perhaps a shelf or a window ledge – and try and practice on that until you perfect it, which will give you confidence to branch out to other things.” DisneyRollerGirl
Learn some new skills at Summer School? Share your pics with #TopshopSummerSchool
Feeling the need to declutter and de-stress? Us too. Luckily our new Capsule Living collection has all the essential pieces to help you streamline and simplify your wardrobe. And as for everything else? Sit back and take a Zen-like approach to city life with our guide to all things chilled:
THE BOOK: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Make like best-selling author and Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo and take tidying to a whole new level. Now with a three-month waiting list to see clients, Kondo’s KonKari Method urges the reader to only keep items in your house that ‘spark joy’ and do away with those that don’t. A tidy and happy house? We’re sold.
THE DESTINATION: The Sleep Retreat, Hampshire, UK
The newly-opened Sleep Retreat based in pretty, rural Hampshire promises to tackle anything from minor sleep disorders to Insomnia with a mix of clinical and holistic therapies. Designed to cultivate a relaxing atmosphere, all rooms are decked out with scented oils and ultra-cosy soft furnishings and guests can enjoy a range of activities from yoga to tennis to help unwind and bliss-out.
THE SOUNDTRACK: Understudy EP by Låpsley
Released earlier this year, Understudy is the debut EP from singer-songwriter Låpsley and it’s still at the top of our chill-out playlists. From the emotive ‘Falling Short’ to the sparse and melancholic ‘Station’, you can’t help but be taken in by Låpsley’s haunting vocals and stripped-back production. Look out for her London headline show to be announced later this year.
Shop Capsule Living
Get to know three girls who live to skate, captured by our favourite skateboarding photographer Charlotte Louise Thomas. Once a skater herself, Charlotte had to quit because of an injury. “I felt completely lost, but an old friend suggested I use my photography to keep skating part of my life,” she told us. “I picked up my camera and haven’t looked back. It’s such a positive, happy culture to be part of.” Three years later and she’s taking photos for everyone from Vogue to Copson, projects that led her to meet the girls in our shoot. “All three inspire me, because they push themselves to the limit, work hard and always have a laugh. They’re beautiful inside and out!” Read on as we chat skate idols, fashion and beating the boys…
RIANNE, 21, student, @Rianneskate
How did you get into skating?
I was 14 and a lot of my brothers’ mates skated so I jumped on the bandwagon. I ended up falling in love with it!
Who are your skate idols?
Lacey Baker who won Xgames last year is probably one of the most consistent and stylish female skateboarders out there at the moment. To be honest all the American female skateboarders are insanely good.
What do you love about Instagram?
Instagram has really helped me connect with girl skateboarders around the world. There are so many girls around the country that are absolutely sick at skating that I didn’t know existed until I saw them on the @girlskateuk Instagram page.
Shop Rianne’s bomber jacket and ripped jeans >
STEFANI, blogger at The Concrete Chameleon, @stefaninurdingxx
How would you describe your style?
It’s pretty eclectic. I love to dress super chic sometimes in all black, big sunnies and messy hair but I’m also a bit of a magpie for quirky accessories and handbags. I like to mix it up and post outfits on my fashion blog – all about my skate adventures and personal style.
What do you like wearing to skate?
I like to wear high waisted jeans like Topshop’s Joni jeans - they’re so comfy and have a good stretch for skating in. I’ve been loving flares lately too, much to my friends dismay!
Shop Stef’s Hawaiian tee and denim cut-offs >
DANNI, 27, Skate Camp Co-Ordinator, @danniglover
What advice would you give other girls wanting to get into skating?
Grab a board and get yourself to a quiet car park to practice your pushing and balance, then head to your local skate park. You can also check out girlskateuk.com for info on girls-only events around the country and get involved.
What do you think of skating often being associated with boys?
The notion of skateboarding being a boys sport is entirely socially constructed. Women have been skateboarding since the beginning and the iconic image of Pattie Mcgee doing a handstand on her board for the cover of Life Magazine in 1965 proves that. I think now is an important time for female skateboarding – participation is at an all-time high which is pretty exciting.
Love Charlotte’s photography? Check out the skate photographers that inspire her on Instagram.
@ryanallan / @badpuppa / @artofoto / @asmithphotos / @pablogarciarguez / @reeceleung / @cj_photo / @joshuazucker / @cameronstrand / @atibaphoto / @aacostaa / @nils
Packing your capsule holiday wardrobe is hard enough, let alone deciding what accessories you’ll pair with each of your carefully selected outfits. This summer, we’ve got the quintessential necklaces, rings and earrings for whatever holiday you’re headed on. So pick your destination, and let us provide your one stop holiday jewellery guide.
THE BEACH BREAK
When the only thing you need to accessorise is your bikini, you may as well go big. The latest collaboration between Freedom and jewellery designer Patricia Nicolás is seriously stand-out and appropriately seaside themed.
THE COUNTRY FESTIVAL
A backpack doesn’t leave much space for costume jewellery, so keep it simple and take a couple of pretty, delicate pieces that’ll look good layered up with all your outfits – think thin gold chains and colourful charms.
THE IBIZA WEEKEND
Dressing for an Ibiza holiday is basically the same as dressing for a girls night out. We recommend taking some bright coloured, simple dresses and teaming them with OTT earrings (the bigger and flashier the better) for a new take on statement jewels.
Still not found your perfect jewellery match? We’ve got plenty more options!
Now in its third week, our Olympus Summer School series has already taught us some great tips and tricks to help us shoot like a pro. We headed down yesterday for a masterclass in beauty still life photography from beauty blogger London Beauty Queen and fashion photographer Cleveland Aaron. And while everyone got down to business with their cameras, we grabbed some time with the experts to hear how to get the most out of your subject and nab the perfect shot.
1. DON’T THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT THE ACTUAL CAMERA
“Too many people get absorbed by the technology, but all you need is something that can record an image. Your phone is a great place to start.”
2. BE AS CURIOUS AS POSSIBLE
“You need to be curious about what you are taking a picture of. Curiosity will enable you to see things from a more interesting perspective, so question everything.”
3. HAVE A PASSION
“My passion is light” says Cleveland, “I don’t have an allegiance to any form of photography whatsoever, fashion or architecture – I am still working with light.”
4. ATMOSPHERE IS KEY
“Create an atmosphere with the textures you shoot your products on, the background you’re using or other props you place around the subject to set the scene – it just helps to bring the image to life.”
5. WATCH YOUR ANGLES
“Keep an eye on your angles so that you don’t get any distortion of the product for a clean, crisp and professional image.”
Head here to find out how you can get yourself an Olympus treat!