Makelight Magic: Louise Thornton & Hello Party

We're relaunching Makelight Magic! This time we're featuring students who have used the Makelight approach to improve their business or blog's visual social media.

First up is Louise Thornton who runs Hello Party in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. We're excited to share Louise's gorgeous images and let you in on how Makelight has helped her grow her personalised party decoration business.

Can you tell me a bit about your business?

I have been running my own graphic design business along with my business partner, Gerry, for 11 years. After many a party (mainly for Gerry’s four children) creating posters featuring the guest of honour’s face to decorate the room, we decided to set up a website so others can create their own.

We developed a website that offers templates for posters and banners where you can upload your photos and drop them in and add text to create your own personalised party decorations. To top it off you can order bunting flags to spell out a special message too. Thus HelloParty.com was born. We launched in April 2015 and have many exciting plans to expand our range this year.

How are you using Instagram in your business?

As our products are very visual Instagram is a special place for us as it enables us to share photos and inspiration on how to decorate your party. We use Instagram to show our products in action, offer sneak peeks of work in progress, snippets of behind the scenes and other party inspiration.

What do you take pictures of in your personal feed versus your business feed?

Due to the nature of Hello Party’s business our Instagram feed is a bright, fun place to party so I like to keep @hellopartyinsta focused on that, which is why I use a separate account for my personal photos. And as Hello Party is a joint venture my own photos wouldn’t always fit.

My personal feed usually consists of pretty flowers, fun things I spot, experimental flat lays and the odd photo of my beloved dog, Poppy! I love buying props too and I look at things completely differently since my Makelight courses. My prop collection is growing rapidly as now I wonder how everything I see would work in a photo!

How would you describe your photography style?

This is a tricky question as I don’t think I really have a photography style or if I do it’s definitely a work in progress!  My 2 accounts are quite different, but I love that as it gives me a chance to explore different styles.

Hello Party is definitely focused on colour - I like to use bright backgrounds and have loved experimenting with this. I started my own mini project that I have called #HelloColourParty where I create a flat lay based on a single colour just using props and our bunting flags. I’ve had so much fun with it I may even open up this hashtag to get people to share their own.

My personal style also includes pops of colour but with a dusky, tranquil feel and I’m always experimenting with the editing of my photos.

What does Makelight mean to you?

Makelight has a very special place in my heart. I did the beginners course in September last year and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could achieve.

Unfortunately life and work took over and I got completely out of the habit of taking photos and my Instagram lapsed back into posting any old photos without any real intention or purpose. So, in January I thought it would be the perfect time to boost my creativity for the year and take the Beautify your Instagram course which was so fantastic at getting me back on track and back to thinking about what I am shooting and posting.

I was also lucky enough to attend the level 2 workshop at Makelight’s beautiful studio (before you moved) which really gave my year a kick start! Since then both my accounts have more than doubled their following and are still growing, and I owe that to Emily and her wonderful insight and inspirational teaching and also to the wonderful community that she has created.

I have made some lovely friends through the community and not a day goes by that I don’t communicate via Instagram with someone from the Makelight world! I’ve even arranged to meet up with a lovely lady who I met via Instagram on the Beautify your Instagram course who I found out lives not too far and we’re off on our own little photowalk in a couple of weeks.

Where is your dream location to take photos?

I absolutely adored being part of the Makelight Walk in Primrose Hill the other week with all the pretty pastel houses and magnolia so I think I would have to say London. I know it’s a big place but it is so diverse and there’s so much to see every time you go back you see something different - I love it!

You can find links to follow Louise's personal and business Instagram accounts here:

Ooh I love a hot cross bun for breakfast! Happy Tuesday ✨💕🐰

A photo posted by Lou Lou (@designangel) on