“Bloom & Grow has helped me get out of a creative rut and think past some of my own limiting beliefs.”
Bloom & Grow
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 & Growteaches 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.
What you Get
Four self-paced modules jam-packed with all-new and exclusive lessons, interviews and inspiration, to help you re-envigorate your botanical photography
Tasks, challenges and journaling questions to get you thinking and creating in new and exciting ways
Professional advice and strategies to help maximise your posts’ exposure
Access to our member’s only group to chat with other course-members & be a part of the community
Wallpapers & printables to keep you on track
Year-long access to all the course materials, so you can stop and start whenever you like.
What You'll Learn
How to craft beautiful, unique and inspiring images for Instagram
How to identify your visual style, and stay true to your own floral aesthetic
Tips and tricks for better composition & styling
The clever apps and tools I use to make great photography easy
The secrets of click-appeal and viral Instagram photography
How to give your work depth and meaning
How to generate fresh ideas and inspiration
Strategies to maximise your reach and visibility on Instagram
How is this different to your main course, The Insta Retreat? This course complements but doesn’t replace The Insta Retreat. You don’t need to have done one to do the other – you can work through Bloom & Growas 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 Retreat offers 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, 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.
Why have I been charged VAT? Under UK law I have to charge VAT on digital products to everyone living within the UK. It’s frustrating, as I know many taking this course are not VAT-registered businesses and cannot claim this back. To compensate, I have deliberately kept the price low, to avoid passing unnecessary expense on to you.
Photos by Bloom & Grow students
Processed with VSCO with a9 preset
This week we get started by looking at curiosity, and how to spark it in our audience.
This week we explore styling, planned shots and adding a dash of the unexpected.
This week we'll be creating images with personality, and a human touch.
Digging into what meaning and significance can be woven into our photography, and how to harness this power.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Is it really still possible to grow an audience on Instagram in 2021? Without having to start dancing on Reels?
(Plus VAT where applicable)
If you’re struggling with Insta-overwhelm in your creative or business life, you’re most definitely not alone. The stakes feel so high, and without the right content and strategy, the rewards can be so low.
How are other people doing this? What do they know that you don’t? How are they making it work?
The truth is that there isn’t just one magic trick – which is why I’ve put together a whole brilliant box of them. Advice, ideas and insights that you won’t find elsewhere because they are my own, tried-and-tested, gleaned from years of practice, analysis, study, experience and growth. This course is what you really need to know about Instagram, with all the noise of the rest of the internet filtered out. It’s all that wish someone had told me at the beginning, to take the years of struggle away.
It doesn’t have to be a struggle, and you don't have to do it alone.
Whether you’re an artist, maker, service or product-based business owner, The Insta Retreat will guide you, step by step, to crafting an engaging, popular and profitable account that represents all that you have to offer. There are no one-size-fits-all cheap strategies here: we’ll be using your voice and your style to find the people who care about what you do. The Insta Retreat will bring you clarity and direction, and help you take your creative dreams to the next level.
The nights draw in, the days get short. You’re spending increasing amounts of time under a blanket on the sofa, or trying to remember what your house looks like in daylight. It’s cold, it’s rainy, and it seems cruelly ironic that just when you really need the mood-boosting goodness of creativity and photography the most, there’s nothing worth instagramming in your life.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: the best time to be on Instagram is in the winter months. People are online more, which makes it easier to connect. Without the flowers and sunsets of summertime, people’s home feeds grow quieter, while we all look and hope to be uplifted. Master winter photography on Instagram, and you’ll not only make yourself feel better – you’ll take a growing community of followers along for the glittering, snow-dusted ride!
Gloom & Glow is a four-week guided tour of all the very best bits of winter photography – how to do it, how to love it, and how to use it to grow your tribe.