Life Through the Artist’s Lens

Photograph, used with permission, by Rosalind Atkinson Photography, @her_dark_materials on Instagram.

Having been pretty much out of the social media world for several years I came back to a changed landscape and found myself a little out of touch when it came to platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. I haven’t really explored the former and don’t have much curiosity for it but I’ve really taken to Instagram. However I quickly realised that users have really upped their game and the photographs I was scrolling through were in another league altogether. Looking back at my own Instagram feed I had a little sinking feeling as I realised that my iPhone snapshots, often with the unmistakeable yellow tinge from harsh indoor lighting, were not going to cut it if I wanted to reach a wider audience.

Luckily I have a professionally artistic and incredibly talented friend who just happens to be the man behind the beautiful design of my cookbook ‘A Slice of Cherry Pie’ when he was in the role of Art Director at the publisher Absolute Press. Matt Inwood is not only critically acclaimed in his field but also one of the nicest and most modest people you’ll ever have the fortune to meet. Scrolling through his Instagram feed is like turning the pages of a beautiful, treasured fairy tale book full of evocative, slightly dark and twisting stories that pull you in and leave you breathless. Matt’s photographs, predominantly of food, family life, nature shots and the odd portrait, are of a quality you’d find in the pages of glossy published works. His eye for a shot and talent for turning an ordinary every day moment or object into an extraordinary work of art is quite incredible. Even more so when you discover that every photograph on his feed is taken with just an iPhone, and until recently, a very old one at that. So when he asked if I would like to attend one of his Instagram masterclasses I jumped at the chance.

Matt chooses beautiful restaurants for his masterclasses and they include a sit down lunch. The class I attended was held at The Cinnamon Club in London and the private room we were in had an old world feel to it which was both inspiring and, with the low lighting so we could see the projector, a little like walking into one of Matt’s photographs.

Five minutes or so into Matt’s opening presentation and it became clear just how much knowledge he has, not only about the art of styling and photography, as I expected, but also the Instagram platform itself and how to use it to its full potential to engage with and build an audience and to polish your feed as you present it to the world. Matt is incredibly generous with his knowledge sharing and once you learn from him it’s actually quite simple to turn your snaps into something much more artistic and professional looking, albeit not perhaps to the quality of Matt’s.

The presentation was followed by practical work where we used Matt’s props and ingredients from the kitchen of The Cinnamon Club. Matt was on hand to offer advice and I came away from the day with several photographs of a quality that looked out of place on my amateur Instagram feed. But I’ve since been putting what I’ve learned into practice and in just a few weeks my feed is looking much more professional and I’m getting a significantly higher number of likes and followers than before.

You could perhaps argue that I’m a little biased as I’ve known Matt for a number of years and he worked on my book, but I can honestly say that I have genuine admiration for his work and talent and I’m sure that once you take a look at his Instagram feed you will share that admiration.

If you’re looking to improve your photography, to increase your Instagram followers, to learn how to make the most of the Instagram features and tools, and to create an Instagram feed you can be truly proud of, all with just a phone camera, then I highly recommend Matt’s Instagram Masterclass. You won’t be disappointed.

Photograph, used with permission, by Rosalind Atkinson Photography, @her_dark_materials on Instagram.

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