Last year, post the Great British Bake Off, I realised I needed to up my game on social media. Whilst I had dipped my toe into social media before GBBO, I so learnt how engaging the medium could be, especially as I like to share my trials and tribulations of baking. I have always been a keen amateur photographer but felt I needed some fresh inspiration.
I came across a class that looked right up my street. Run by Matt Inwood at the Cinnamon Club in Westminster, a stunning Indian restaurant that I had not been to in years. So I jumped at the chance of a morning improving skills in Instagram and photography, in a beautiful building with a delicious lunch thrown in.
Matt is the first to humbly acknowledge he is not a photographer, he is an art director and designer and every shot he takes is on an IPhone and edited using (what I would soon find out is a very powerful tool) Instagram’s photo editing capabilities.
Don’t let Matt’s comments around not being a photographer fool you. He takes a mean photo that I can only aspire to. Check out his Instagram feed. He has designed many beautiful cook books along with all of the Cinnamon Club’s cook books. Hence access to a great venue and lots of food props.
The course starts in a lovely room with a group of like minded individuals who I throughly enjoyed chatting with over lunch later. In the first part of the course, Matt focuses on Instagram as a tool and social media platform as well as the editing suite. He walks through how to get the most out of Instagram and engage your audience. How to curate a great feed and, for the pictures you want to share but not necessarily keep in your main feed, how to use the story mode. A function I had previously ignored.
One of the biggest lessons I learnt (apart from that natural light is king) is that when you take photos it is better to be under exposed than over exposed. This is because you can pull the detail out very easily from an under exposed shot. Matt also showed us quick ways to create a light reflector to bounce lights into the shadow. It’s all the little tips and tricks that fascinated me. I had spent my last 6 months flooding my shots with too much light.
Matt took a photo that was very under exposed and walked us through the key editing functions to pull back the photo into a stunning picture.
His skill with managing light was something I have always struggled with but has improved greatly since the course.
Also Matt challenged us to think about the layout of our photos and plan this ahead of constructing the picture.
After coffee we got to play ourselves with lots of lovely produce and spices from the kitchen and Matt’s seemingly endless supply of photo props. I have never been so proud of the photos I had taken.
Matt was a lovely person to spend time with and is a great teacher. He is a warm, friendly and very generous with his time and advice. I would throughly recommend this course to anyone wanting to improve their Instagram photos and photography skills.
Follow Matt on instagram @Matt_Inwood
Talking of like minded individuals, by chance Urvashi Roe, the Botanical Baker and a previous GBBO contestant was also there at the same time. It was lovely sharing tent stories with one of the GBBO Alumni.