We're so excited to share with you a Makelight student who is involved in a remarkable project. Julie King authors the blog Peonoies and Posies in which she writes about life within her romantic Suffolk garden.
Julie explains it best: I am very lucky to live in an old Victorian rectory with a large garden that is partly walled and partly enclosed with a beautiful seasonal hedgerow. The garden is filled with old, large trees, dreamy seasonal blossom, lots of fruit and my favourite roses, peonies, delphiniums, lilac and lavender.
Julie's blog is a place where she chronicles her passion and knowledge about gardening as well as her stunning floral photography.
Almost every image on her blog or Instagram feed is of a flower Julie has actually grown herself - how truly inspiring!
Keep scrolling to learn more about Julie and for a peak behind the scenes at Penoies and Posies.
Can we please start with you telling me a bit more about your lovely blog Peonies and Posies?
I love to garden and have a dedicated Cutting Garden where I grow all the flowers that I love.
Every year I get asked to grow and arrange flowers for a few events (usually weddings), which I really love to do.
However I love to photograph and write about flowers more than I love the floristry work and that is where Peonies & Posies comes in. My blog is the place where I can share my love of flowers with the world and help others learn to grow their own flowers and tend their gardens.
One day I hope to extend this to magazine work and possibly even a book. I am also considering the possibility of running short residential courses in my garden and also online courses.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I am very lucky to have such a large and beautiful garden to care for, but gardening can be quite a lonely hobby when you do it as much as I need to in order to keep on top of everything.
A few years ago I came across an American gardener called Carolyn Roehm who writes beautiful books about her garden and the flower arrangements she makes and has a blog that I started to follow. Her books were the inspiration for Peonies & Posies which was a way of sharing my love of gardening with the world and finding like minded flowery people.
Since starting my blog three years ago I have become more passionate about developing my Cutting Garden (which I started from scratch in an old paddock) and improving my flower photography.
In turn this has influenced the look of my blog and social media sites which now focus very much more on the beauty of flowers than the mechanics of gardening. I do still include lots of tips about how to grow flowers and the basics of flower arranging.
I almost always photograph flowers that I have grown myself - I only buy flowers in the lean winter months.
How are you using Instagram for your blog?
I use Instagram on an almost daily basis to share my favourite flowers of the moment and to publicise my blog posts as they are published.
I am slowly growing my following and love the daily interaction with people from all over the world who are becoming friends.
What does Makelight mean to you?
Emily is just pure inspiration and having a community of like minded photographers to connect with is a real boast to creativity.
I have attended the Makelight Level 1 & Level 2 courses and taken 2 online courses - the Instagram course and Photographing Flowers. They have all been game changers - helping me to improve my technical skills, to become more focused on developing my personal style and to find simple ways to keep inspired and shoot more regularly.
Seeing the monthly newsletter in my inbox always brings a smile to my face - an excuse to grab a cup of tea and take a few minutes out to share in what is inspiring Emily.
Can you share any advice with us on blogging?
Writing a blog and keeping up to date on social media is very time consuming and sometimes exhausting.
I often fall behind on it all and sometimes feel disheartened, but whenever I do make an effort to keep on top and post things regularly I am always delighted with the results: the lovely comments on my Instagram and blog are always uplifting and sometimes other opportunities pop up.
I have been asked to write on bigger blogs, photograph products and go on courses and to events - which is not bad for someone who three years ago had barely used a camera.
My advice to all the Makelight community is to keep photographing and sharing on social media - you never know where it will lead you.