FREE Christmas social posts!

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It’s that time of year again when time is short and your to-do list is as long as your arm! Yes, we’ve all been there, and that’s why here at thortful we want to give you a helping hand to make it as simple as possible to promote your cards!

These stylish flat lay assets are the perfect thing to pop your cards into to make them look as trendy and festive as possible when you’re strapped for time. Read on for the low-down on how to make them work for you:

    1. Choose the image you want to add your cards to.
    2. Open the file in the editing programme of your choice.
    3. Drop in your design image and place it as a layer below the main image, then adjust to position correctly.
    4. Check your card looks great and then save the final asset, ready to share!

But what to write to introduce your cards? We’ve come up with some handy copy-and-paste captions to give you some inspo!

Find my cards on thortful this Christmas! If you’re on the Nice List then you can even get 10 cards for £20…

If you’re looking for that perfect card for a friend, family member or your other half, then check out my cards exclusively on thortful! You can even get 10 for £20!

’Tis the season for giving, and our friends at thortful are feeling extra generous and offering you 10 cards for £20! Get my designs at [insert profile link].

Remember to post it at an optimum time (when your audience are online!) and use lots of hashtags where applicable.

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7 inspirational photographers you should be following on Instagram

A picture can speak a thousand words and evoke so much emotion, so with that in mind, we wanted to celebrate all things photography here at thortful this month.

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Aside from our talented photography creators who capture beautiful moments from behind the lens, Instagram is an exceptional platform to seek photography inspiration.

Search a host of popular hashtags such as, ‘#photography, #photographer, #photooftheday, #photographylovers’ etc. and you’ll discover a treasure trove of imagery waiting to be devoured.

Here’s some of the best photographers we uncovered on Instagram who left us wanting to brush up on our photography skills…

1. Simone Bramante: @brahmino

Simon Bramante

2. Victoria Siemer: @witchoria

Victoria Siemer

3. Sarah Palmer: @heysp

Sarah Palmer

4. Theron Humphrey: @thiswildidea

Theron Humphrey

5. Annonymous: @sejkko

Sejkko

6. Will Burrard-Lucas: @willbl

Will Burrard-Lucas

7. Dirk Bakker: @Macenzo

Dirk Bakker

Check out our photography collection on thortful here.

If you have stunning images you would like to share with the world in the form of a greeting card, we’d love to see them in our catalogue. Size them perfectly using our downloadable template and guides and upload away!

6 Ways To Capture A Stunning Photograph

Is your camera just gathering dust because you don’t really know ‘where to start’ when it comes to taking a brilliant photograph?

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We spoke to Dave Peck, who knows how to take a fantastic photograph or two, and he shared his six top tips for achieving a magical picture.

Here’s what he had to say:

As a landscape/seascape photographer who has featured on the site, thortful asked me to compile a ‘6 top tips’ to help you capture that perfect scene. I am aiming this at beginners and those of you who want to quickly improve their imagery. Here we go then…

1. Use ‘A’ or ‘Aperture Priority’

Most landscapes should feature interest from the foreground to the background and usually you want all of those features sharply in focus. The Aperture of your camera’s lens controls how much is in focus and you ideally need this to be as small as possible. On a DSLR you should ideally aim for an f-stop of f16 upwards. If you focus on a point in the mid ground, this should make sure everything is acceptably sharp. Of course, rules are there to be broken, so do not be afraid to experiment! The best way to learn about ‘Depth of Field’, which is the term photographers use to describe this, is to photograph a fence or wall at an angle of around 45 degrees and change the aperture for each shot. Then look at the results. Portraits, conversely benefit from using a wider aperture to throw the background out of focus

2. Use a tripod

One of the downsides of using a small f-stop will be a slower shutter speed. This can result in blurred photographs. There is little point in having everything in focus if the whole photograph is blurred. My photograph of Bamburgh Castle was taken an hour before sunrise and needed an exposure of one-minute to properly expose it. Therefore, use a tripod or other support to help. There are cheap tripods for sale from many online auction sites that, although they may not last forever, will help you experiment with your photography. If you cannot afford one, or do not want to buy a tripod, look for somewhere to balance the camera. For a long time I have carried a small beanbag in my camera bag to put onto rocks, posts or the floor, which enabled me to get that shot that would otherwise be ruined through camera shake. You can also use jumpers, coats etc. or just put your camera down on anything solid and then use some imagery software to crop your photograph to make it straight.
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3. Hold your breath as you squeeze the shutter button

The most common mistake beginners make is pressing the shutter button too hard when taking an image. If your camera is on a tripod this should not really apply, although I have seen it happen! With the camera on a tripod use a ‘cable release’ or use the ‘self-timer’ setting on your camera to allow camera shake to disappear before the shutter fires. If you are shooting without a tripod, briefly hold your breath as you gently squeeze the shutter to make sure everything you think you are capturing remains in shot. The familiar portraits with the top of peoples heads missing is usually caused by an over excited shutter button press. Gently does it.

4. Shoot from higher for lower viewpoints

We are used to viewing the world from the height at which we stand. To give your images more impact think about climbing higher if possible or, get down on your knees. Sometimes a good image can be turned into a brilliant image just by shooting from an unusual angle.
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5. Composition

Landscape photographers usually pay some regards to the ‘rule of thirds’ in their compositions. This rule involves dividing the frame of your image into equal thirds and, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect (at four points), using one to place your main point of interest in the photograph. This could be someone’s face in a portrait, a castle in a landscape or a motorbike or car in a sports shot. Usually, with action images you would give more space in front of the subject for it to move into. Following the rule of thirds also means keeping your horizons either a third of the way down from the top of the frame or a third of the way up from the bottom if you want to include a dramatic sky. Using this simple compositional tip will improve your photographs straight away.

6. Look at photographs

If you love photography then this seems obvious, but I have learnt almost all that I have learned in my 35-year career by looking at loads of images, some I liked, some I didn’t and working out why they had this affect on me. The next stage is to try and work out how it was achieved and try and recreate it with your own twist. It may be a particular lighting technique takes your eye, or a particular way of composing an image, but either way look at good images with a quizzical eye to improve.

See more of Dave Peck’s cards on thortful here.

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Interview with Paul Hamilton

Interview with Paul Hamilton

Who inspires you?

I could quite easily say many of the world’s famous photographers but I am more inspired by my Wife, Children and Family, because they are around me on a daily basis and have to put up with my endless photography process, they are my true inspiration.

Do you remember your first photo?

Yes I do, I was fourteen years old and it was a photograph of a fishing village n Portugal’s Algarve region of Albufeira taken with a compact camera during a family holiday. On returning people commented and asked where was the postcard from, I replied it’s actually one of my holiday photographs. Read more

Street Photography with Cris Rose

Street Photography with Cris Rose
According to Elliott Erwitt, “photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place” and this certainly applies to the art of street photography.

Today we are featuring the black and white street photography of Cris Rose, a freelance photographer and artist based in London who never misses an opportunity to observe people and take another shot. Read more

Wanderlust and typography with Adam Vicarel

If you’re struggling to get through the day, it may be a good idea to have a look at the creative typography of Adam Vicarel, an artist, designer and traveler who created an ideal Instagram feed for anyone looking for an adventurous boost. His work gives you the right motivation to seize the day and he might even inspire you to plan a trip during the weekend!

1) When did you start as a designer?

I started in 2011 right after I graduated college. I got a job in southern Ohio designing t-shirts for a company called Rokkitwear, and I was ultimately hired by their mother company, Touchstone, and I did everything from branding, apparel design, and product design to web, UI and marketing campaigns. I was pretty mediocre at all of it, but I had a strong work ethic and an even stronger drive to improve.

2) How do you find inspiration?

I try to find my inspiration from as many places as possible. Namely, not inspiration sites. I most often find myself getting inspired or having ideas when I’m just talking to people; I’m very extroverted–I thrive on human interaction, and I often connect the dots between obscure references, conversations and quotes. I also constantly find myself coming up with some of my best ideas when I’m in the midst of a long hike in the mountains, or while I’m climbing, skating or snowboarding. Read more

Photography and Typography Combined by Eva Winters

Photography and Typography Combined by Eva Winters

Mondays are ideal for inspiring projects, as they provide you with the right motivation to work harder, until you achieve the desired results. Eva Winters certainly knows how to be creatively consistent, combining photography with the right typography, turning her Instagram feed into a piece of art.

And if you need a bigger motivational boost, make sure you check Eva’s Daily Type Challenge, a yearly project that is all about artistic consistency, proving that creativity is never lost!

How do you find inspiration for your next design?

I know this may sound cliché however I find inspiration everywhere. I have a note in my phone where I write down bits and pieces of inspiration. Some sparks come mostly from music, films, Scripture, world events, or just daily encounters with friends and family. Some of those sparks of creativity have been marinating in there for awhile while some barely spend a day or two in creative limbo. Read more

Food photography by Jessica Leibowitz

Food photography by Jessica Leibowitz

Food is always a favourite topic of discussion at Thortful HQ and we love discovering new tastes all over the world. Food photography may turn out very impressive, especially when you feel like you’re ready to actually enjoy the depicted food.

Jessica Leibowitz is a freelance photographer & videographer living, working and eating throughout New York, Boston, and beyond, with her food photography being vivid and realistic. Read more

Animal photography by Stefane Berube

Animal photography by Stefane BerubeAnimal photography by Stefane Berube

Animal photography may turn out really impressive, especially when a photo is so realistic that you feel close to each animal. There are many types of photography that may take your breath away, but animal photography is certainly unique. According to Martin Buber,

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”

and that’s exactly how we felt with the photography of Stefane Berube.

Read more

The beauty of autumn with @neivy

neivy-thortful3 neivy-thortfulNothing better on a rainy Wednesday than enjoying great photography, especially when it lifts your spirits about the wonderful autumn season and the colours it offers.

According to Stanley Horowitz, ‘winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.’

Today we are featuring the work of Janeivy Hilario, or else @neivy, the photographer that perfectly captures the beauty of autumn on his Instagram account. Read more