Last week I started feeling a creeping sense of Instagram fatigue, so I decided to see whether it was possible to capture the same Makelight spirit as on our group photo walks, in the space of an office lunch hour.
I was inspired to reach out to a photographer whom I love following and interacting with on Instagram but actually didn't know too well in real life. (Perfect afternoon: photos plus the potential for a new friend - which can be really hard to make in your 30's and beyond!)
The result was a captivating 60 minute mini-adventure in an enchanting part of London that I had previously overlooked. By the end, we both felt our walk had opened up a colourful and creative oasis (loads of flowers and Hogwarts-style architecture!) in the middle of the work day.
I hope you can follow my three steps below and plan your own dazzling lunch break Instagram walk by reaching out to someone in the Makelight community. If that's geographically impossible, maybe consider seeking out a work colleague with a similar passion for creating beautiful images. And if all else fails, you can use our walk as inspiration for a solo creative mid-day break: I enjoy plenty of those too!
Identify Someone Who Enjoys Taking Photos as Much as You Do
The first time I met Louise Hales was during a Makelight Level Two class and then again a few months later on our pastel-filled Primrose Hill walk in March. Both times I admired her warmth and enthusiasm for photography, which immediately made me feel really comfortable and as though I'd already known her for ages.
More recently, I noticed Lou was sharing sunny morning images of central London. So one evening I sent her a direct message through Instagram and asked if she would like to meet up to take some photos together. I'm normally not this outgoing but I sensed - through the power of Instagram! - that we would have fun.
Have A Plan
I met Lou at her office in Midtown during her lunch break. Even though we only had an hour, in retrospect I'm amazed by both how much we saw and the fascinating variety. Lou had already explored the area beforehand and created a charming plan which combined breathtaking buildings steeped in history with swoon-worthy flowers. Could there be a more winning combo?
Our dreamy 60 minute route took in the Inns of Court (there are a few!) and the Royal Courts of Justice, along with several of the gorgeous garden squares. These have a historic connection with the law courts but are open to the public and currently blooming with flowering trees, tulips, bluebells, daffodils and a jaw-dropping magnolia tree that has to be seen to be believed!
If you happen to be based in Midtown, I've plotted our route on a map at the end of this post, which includes the location of this breathtaking tree.
Rain Or Shine, Don't Delay
It can be so easy to reschedule special meetings or events until the perfect moment. In the taxi on the way to meet Lou, I noticed the skies darkening as it began to rain! By the time I met her on the steps of her office, the wind was whipping and both Lou and I were becoming soaked by a violent downpour.
But when I look back over the images from our walk, the stormy start is completely out shined by glorious moments in the Spring light.
Let us know if you're inspired to take your own lunch break Instagram walk by tagging us in your images so we can see where you're exploring. And if you live locally (or you're planning a visit) please check out these links so you can enjoy Lou's beautiful walk too.