Welcome to The Everyday Project! A community of phone photographers, working together to grow our camera skills one week at a time. We have all made a commitment to not make excuses, but use what we have, with where we are, and search for the beauty in our everyday. And capture it. All photos in these posts are shot with my iPhone 4.
I have a love affair brewing with typography and hand writing fonts. I never, in a million years, thought I would say this, but I’ve told my husband that someday when the kids are older I’m going to go take some graphic design classes. Designing is such a beautiful art form…to be able to view the world like pieces and layer them all together.
That’s kind of how I view adding fonts on my Instagram photos. Like layers. Pieces of the puzzle to tell a story. Your story.
I use the app Over for all my fonts and added artwork, unless it’s a photo I’ve pulled from the blog and put on Instagram (those are done in Photoshop CS5), then Over it is. All of the photos in the post have been done with the app so you can catch a glimpse of what a beautiful job Aaron has done in designing it. I have tried a few other apps, but nothing has even come close to this one. Nothing. The $1.99 cost is completely worth every penny, and although you get a whole lot with that, may I suggest also purchasing The Fresh Exchange Pack, by Megan Gilger? Her typography artwork is simple and beautiful and what I use for most of my photos. None of this is sponsored, I just fully believe in this app and the creatives behind it.
Now that we’ve gotten the techy stuff out of the way, let’s get started on how to creatively implement fonts!
DEAD SPACE: I figured out in photography (through a lot of trial and error) that there is a specific way to take photos for specific end goals. When your end goal is to add text or artwork, you need to think about your shot as finding the dead space. Sometimes that can be open sky, as shown above, sometimes that can be filling in the patterned space of tomatoes sprawled out on the kitchen table. After almost 2 years of practicing, I’ve gotten adept at this, so I naturally see photos with dead space. I say that to you because I think this is a skill that truly is “practice makes perfect”. As you snap photos, think of it as leaving room to work with for later – room to add text or artwork. It’s a learned skill and I truly believe anybody can do it!
BE CREATIVE: Don’t feel like you need to be traditional. This is my motto in life, period. (Just ask our parents when we told them we wanted our groomsmen to wear linen shirts and no jackets at our wedding.) Play around with fonts and make them all capitalized, or all lowercase. Sometimes I like to add a period with a word, even if it’s not a sentence. Sometimes I like to add those dash things on the sides of my word. Be your own trendsetter. Be inspired by other people, but give yourself the liberty to create your own work. Some of my favorite Instagram “designs” have come from just playing around with a photo for 15 minutes….this drives Steven crazy! So tread carefully.
THINK BIG: Now that you know to look for the dead space of opportunity in your photos, add your font. Sometimes it’s appropriate to add a big banner like the one I did above. There was a lot of dead space to work with and the lines of the stairs match the expanse of the city title. Everyone commented that they thought it looked like a magazine spread, and I guess that makes sense since I love all things editorial and my brain probably goes that direction without me even realizing it. Don’t be afraid to make a statement with your text, but do be careful and realize that less is more. If you go big with your font, than no need to add much else to the photo, if anything. It will stand alone and look amazing just as it is.
THINK LITTLE: Minimalism is the epitome of beauty to me. A little goes a long way in my world! This photo had striking lines and lighting, in and of itself, and I didn’t want the text to take away from the photo, but rather add to it. I knew I wanted to add something about autumn because I love butternut squash and it’s the first one I was cracking open this season, so I chose a small, curvy font and it suited the curvy lines of the fruit really well. I added simple dashes on the side and voila! One of my favorite captures yet.
FIT IT IN: Although there are the shots I plan for, I don’t think I could take photos on purpose with kids and say, “I will for sure fit some artwork into this one!” It is just not predictable like that around here. There are too many variables with their movements to guarantee a certain outcome, but I do set up an overall framework that works well for adding text or artwork later. Let me encourage you fellow mums, don’t stress yourself out much with this. I know how it is. I focus on taking photos using the principles we’ve talked about previously in the series…switching up my perspectives, working with good lighting, and getting dark, silhouette shots. And then, if I can fit in artwork or text, I will. I look for dead space, or a common pattern, or a story I want to tell, and add in text from there. The fitted artwork above happened on complete accident. I took the photo with the “DOWN perspective” and captured good lighting while we were vacationing in Michigan, but I wasn’t thinking, “This is the perfect space in the sand to add a compass.” Later when we got home, I was playing around with the photo and found I could resize the compass to fit perfectly in the rocks…like she was looking down at it and headed to her next adventure. This photo will always hold a special place in my heart…for Northport was one of our most favorite adventures yet.
FIND YOUR NICHE: I think we all begin somewhere and then find our own stride, figuring out who we are and what we like. And that’ll evolve over time if we’re willing to see the world and be changed by it. When I began Instagram, I thought I had to mix it up all the time and not do white text every. single. time. Or use the same kinds of fonts that I was drawn to every. single. time. Because that was boring, right?! People weren’t going to like me, right?! But what I’ve discovered is that by staying true to what I like – and being secure in that – draws a crowd of people who like the same thing and follow me because they love white text and simple fonts too! Get to know what you like by looking at photos that inspire you and figure out what it is you love about it. Then go and do great things yourself!
A couple notes: You can find really inspiring creatives under the hashtag #bestofover, Instagrammers who love to experiment with fonts and artwork and who are very talented! I always walk away so encouraged and motivated to try new things and think outside of the box more. My favorite fonts on Over are…Windsong, Didot, Quaver Serif, Adobe Garamonds, American Typewriter, Baskerville, Bodoni 72, Courier New, Governor, Linden Hill and Quaver Serif.
This week’s photo challenge is to take photos and add text to them. I highly recommend Over, but Apartment Therapy has rounded up 6 Apps To Add Text To Your Photos in a great article HERE. (Over is included in there!) Look for dead space, or a common pattern and work with it! CanNOT wait to see what you come up with. I heart typography. Hashtag your photos #theeverydayproject on instagram, facebook, and twitter.
As always, if you love these posts and feel like you are learning, please spread the word and share! I do these posts as long as I get positive feedback from you all and you tell me it is worth your time. If you’re new here and want to follow along with this ongoing series, you can do so on any of these places….