One summer I grew sweet peas from seed.
They shot out from the earth like fairytale beanstalks. Two foot, three – outgrowing their netting until they flopped over the fence into next door’s garden.
Turns out you have to pinch out the ‘growing tip’; if you don’t reign them in, they keep on spiralling up and don’t get around to making flowers.
It’s a pretty good analogy for Instagram, I think, especially when we get our focus wrong. Sometimes we put so much energy into growth that we forget to let ourselves bloom.
This course is an antidote to that.
‘Your most engaging photo ever’
That’s your challenge during this course – to get the most likes, comments and views you’ve ever had on a post.
Simply because your content deserves it – because your photos are wonderful, unique and inspiring. Because you’re in bloom, and the community is drawn to you like bees in the sun.
Oh, & nature.
Ever noticed the magic appeal of flowers on Instagram? Whether in flat-lays or as just as a small part of a wider scene, floral photography brings in clicks, comments, likes and followers.
Bloom & Grow teaches you how to harness that power, and make it your own. You don’t need to be a flatlay photographer with a flowery feed; whether you’re all-white and minimal, moody and journalistic, entirely travel-based or anything else, we’ll look at ways to weave a little floral magic into your photographs.
Not that ‘flowery’ a person? No, me either, to be honest, but they’re really just a hook to get things started. The lessons I’ll be sharing extend way beyond the floral, into all areas of your instagram photography.
“As the weeks went on and more ‘homework’ was issued I found that with each module subject I was pushing myself further and further. Far beyond
my comfort zone, far beyond anything I had ever created before. I’m dreaming in Instagram squares, I look for inspiration and different concepts everywhere. I take mental notes of fields about to bloom with crops or flowers, knowing they’ll make a good photo sometime soon. I’ve started a hashtag, along with a beautiful like minded friend, Patricia. Who doesn’t even live in this country, but the tag it’s going from strength to strength and is about to be featured in a real printed magazine, with my photo in it.
Would this have happened if I hadn’t started Sara’s course? No it wouldn’t.”
“Instagram is a visual platform (obvs) so I always thought images for here needed to be ‘pretty’, I hadn’t really thought about them being unexpected. Unusual. Creative even.
Giving myself room to think creatively and actually come up with ideas for something a bit different on Instagram during this course made me feel amazing.”
“Sara’s teaching style and engaging material taps into a creativity and inspirational spark I didn’t know I had. The weekly challenges pushed me to want to try something new and look at the floral world on many levels. All of which I’ve begun applying to other photography subjects and look forward to revisiting as the seasons change.
My following and engagement transformed from stagnant to steady growth and my love for creating content and having fun with Instagram has returned.
The community formed surrounding everyone’s love and curiosity for botanical creativity is invaluable.”
“I just finished up your wonderful Bloom and Grow course and I wanted to say it was amazing creative journey for me.
The information in your course was extremely helpful and insightful. I have seen real growth in followers on my Instagram account and have made some lovely connections in return. Bloom & Grow has helped me get out of a creative rut and think past some of my own limiting beliefs.
I would highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to stretch their creative abilities in new and profound ways.
Sara you are a real gem to this creative community.”
How is this different to your main course, The Insta Retreat? This course compliments but doesn’t replace The Insta Retreat. You don’t need to have done one to do the other – you can work through Bloom & Grow as a stand alone initiative, or before or after taking the longer, more in-depth course. Bloom & Grow is designed to refresh and inspire your photography to kick-start growth and creativity on your account through practical exercises. The Insta Retreatoffers more in-depth analysis, tools and understanding for Instagram, including a full overhaul of your visual style and photography and detailed strategy planning.
Who is this course designed for? I wrote this course with my usual client base in mind – bloggers, creatives, makers and small businesses, but it’s suitable for anyone who enjoys using Instagram, wants to improve their creative photography and thinks their target audience will respond well to photographs that involve flowers.
The course and advice is for personal use on Instagram accounts you run or manage.
How long does the course last? There are 4 modules – meaning if you tackle one module per week, this will be a 4-week course. However the course is entirely self-paced, so you can work through at whatever pace best suits you. Each module requires you to go away and think and take action, so to see real results, it’s best not to try and rush it all in one go.
When can I take this course? When does it start & finish? This course is open now, and will be available year-round. In Spring and summer I promote it at regular intervals, so this is the best time to join if you’d like to work alongside a class of fellow creatives in the community. The community is open all year round though, and you can access support from us there as you need it. Bloom and Grow is designed with Spring and Summertime in mind, and many of the tasks and challenges require you to be in a climate that has access to flowers while taking the course.
How much time will I need to spend on it? How long you spend on each module’s tasks is entirely up to you. To see real results, expect to spend around 30-60 minutes digesting each module and completing the written prompts, and then an hour or two at a minimum exploring the photographic themes.
Why flowers? Flowers are like catnip to Instagrammers – we love to play with them, and we love to click on them too. And why not? Bright, cheerful and summery, a floral photography is the distillation of why most people open the app.
The problem is, it can get a bit repetitive. What starts as one person’s garden passion project gets adopted by the whole community, and gradually diluted and dulled. So, we’re going to dig into the mechanics of floral photography; why it works, what it means, and how we can make it our own, whilst still employing that petal power.
Is this all about floral flatlays? Emphatically not! This course is about taking a fresh approach to floral photography, examining the conventions and creating something all-new and all-you.
What equipment do I need? Whatever you like to take photographs with – a smartphone or a camera – and a smartphone to edit and post to Instagram from. Flowers and greenery can be foraged or purchased for each weekly task – there’s no requirement to spend any extra on floristry supplies etc.
Where there are PDF worksheets to fill in, these can be completed via a PDF editor or printed out.
How long do I have to work through the course? You get (at least) a full year’s access to all the materials, via the log in assigned to you at launch, so you can stop and start as needed. You’re also allowed to save copies of any of the recourses for your own personal use in future.
Hi! I’m Sara, and I’m not one of those corporate social media types.
I’m a photographer and creative with an (overly-) analytical mind and a love for communication. I’m passionate about the internet as a gateway to human connection: that’s how I grew my Instagram following past 200k, built a blog readership of over 40k a month and was able to quit my job to follow my dreams full time. I’ve been featured in Stylist magazine, The Guardian, Buzzfeed and more, as well as talking about Instagram at events and conferences worldwide, and on BBC Radio.
I’ve been teaching Instagram and online magic for four years, and have helped more than 2k clients grow followings in the thousands, launch successful online businesses and make their creative dreams come true. You can read more of my testimonials here.
Whenever you work with me you will learn not only the how but also the why. We’ll focus as much on the creative process and producing beautiful, emotive, expressive content as any snazzy tips and tricks. Because it takes both of these things – it takes your heart and your mind. That’s when the magic really starts to unfold.