Makelight enthusiast Emma Kingston is using colourful and uplifiting photography to promote her inspiring passion project The Year of Yes.
The Year of Yes is a website and blog founded in memory of a vibrant and adventurous friend whose life and unexpected death had a profound and lasting impact on Emma.
Emma explains: 'A truly inspirational lady in our lives was taken from us far to soon. She was very much a yes person, and in the wake of losing her, we wanted to make a conscious effort to be the same in her honour. But we realised that her legacy could be much more powerful than just our circle of friends - so we are striving to create a yes revolution, with as many people as possible promising to say yes to doing more of the things they love with the people they love, pushing their comfort zones, taking on new challenges and truly making a conscious effort to live life to the full.'
Here at Makelight we love the sentiment behind The Year of Yes. So we're excited to share Emma's Makelight journey and a selection of her stunning images!
I understand you run The Year of Yes with another close friend. Can you tell me a bit about your role in particular?
I am the co-founder of Year of the Yes, a movement that encourages people to say yes more and really push themselves to live life to the full. As part of that I manage our creative direction and content - which includes editing our lifestyle blog and curating beautiful and inspirational content for our social media channels.
How are you using Instagram for this project?
Instagram is such an important part of Year of the Yes. Our aim is to spread the Yes word as far and wide as possible. Instagram hugely supports this mission because it allows us to produce a gallery of motivation to inspire our followers and fellow 'grammars on a daily basis.
How would you describe your photography style?
When it comes to the written word, I am rarely short of a sentence or two, but this question stumped me somewhat. Mainly because I think my photography style is still so much a work in progress that it is hard to pin down. I am not quite sure where I hang my hat (or my camera) just yet, but it's definitely somewhere in the authentic, feminine, light and bright area. But we will see how it develops as I continue to practice and learn!
What do you photograph for your personal feed versus The Year of Yes feed?
I have to confess that for a long time the distinction between the two was a bit blurry. I used to experiment a lot with the style I wanted to use for Year of the Yes on my personal feed.
Now I finally feel like we have hit our stride on the Year of the Yes Instagram. We share a myriad of yes inspiration which manifests in styled flat lays, quotes and wise words, behind the scenes blogging pics, travel snaps and food inspiration. The subjects can be wide ranging, so to make it cohesive we try to keep a light, bright and positive aesthetic running throughout.
My personal feed is now exclusively reserved for my own personal yes journey - with lots of candid snaps of me doing things I love with the people I love. It's less styled but reflects a snapshot of my world.
What does Makelight mean to you?
Makelight has been a massive part of the Year of the Yes journey over the last 12 months. I attended the beginners class in September and since then I have been totally hooked, making a return to the Makelight studio a mere six months later for the food photography and styling workshop. Unsurprisingly for a self-confessed addict, I am already planning my next Makelight workshop fix and have even wangled my way onto a Makelight photo walk later this month. It's almost bordering on obsession, isn't it?
Not only has Emily and the team helped me improve my photography skills vastly, but Makelight has also encouraged me to think a lot more about our brand style and approach. But perhaps most importantly, Makelight has welcomed me into a supportive community that constantly inspires and motivates me. So, I think that warrants at least a little bit of fan-girling.
What is one piece of advice you would give other photographers in the Makelight community?
My one piece of advice is actually inspired by the affirmation on my phone cover: live a passionately curious life.
Curiosity helps us learn and grow, and Instagram and Makelight have been the most incredible way for me to explore that personally.
Be sure to follow both The Year of Yes as well as Emma's personal Year of Yes journey on Instragram using the links below!