Meet our new blog contributor, Instagrammer Hannah Argyle
Over the next few months we’re going to be introducing a few new contributors to the Wex blog, who will be sharing their expertise on various topics. We’re really excited to present the first of our new writers, Hannah Argyle.
If you’re an Instagram addict, you may well already be familiar with Hannah. If not you’re in for a treat – take a skip over here to take a look through her wonderfully curated feed mixing colourful still-life compositions with intimate family moments set against the backdrop of the great outdoors.
“I like to work outdoors and use natural light,” Hannah says, “I like to get out in the golden hour in the morning. My work is quite light and fresh, and fairly minimal I would say.”
Though she’s only been in the game for a few years, Hannah has made a life and career out of being a photographic virtuoso. Professionally she photographs families and newborns, while in her spare time she blogs and of course curates her Instagram feed, which has been the key to her success.
“It all started with Instagram,” Hannah explains. “I started on Instagram shortly after my youngest was born. I didn’t really do anything with it for about a year, but then I started to scroll through more regularly and it just got me thinking. I started thinking more about the way I composed my pictures.”
Though at the time she was taking the pictures on a Blackberry (!) Hannah quickly realised she’d happened upon an immensely satisfying creative outlet.
“My background is in arts and drawing and painting, and that creative side which I hadn’t used in such a long time started to come out again. It really got me through the monotony of having young children, when you do spend an awful lot of time at home amusing them, and it gave me something creative to think about. So I picked up our point and shoot camera and learned how to use it.”
Curating the feed
These days Hannah shoots with a Nikon D610 and an iPhone, and her Instagram boasts 115,000 followers at the time of writing. Many of Hannah’s most popular images are painstakingly crafted still-life compositions making canny use of colour, texture and space.
“Those are about a sort of moment of peace to have to yourself again, a little bit of escapism I suppose,” she says. “My Instagram feed has gone more and more in that direction, which I actually am trying to haul it back from a little bit, because I like going out with my proper camera and taking pictures of my kids. That’s what really gets me going photographically.”
These images featuring Hannah’s two boys out in the wild world are the other big reason the feed is so popular. The key? Keep it natural.
“I tend to take [the boys] somewhere specifically with a little photography mission in mind,” Hannah says. “Over the years I’ve fine-tuned what I post on Instagram to such an extent that the local park or what-have-you isn’t good enough. So you know if I want to take some pictures of them, we head out with the camera and we go to some fields and to the forest and they love it! They have fun and they run around and they play – I’m not shouting at them to do this, that or the other, I just let them do what they would do.”
Most of us don’t have more than 100,000 people taking an interest every time we post a photo – the thought certainly puts Wex’s 5,000+ into perspective. We suggest, taking care to conceal our jealousy because we’re professionals, that it must feel a little strange and surreal.
“It does,” Hannah says. “I get a bit freaked out when people I know in the real world say ‘I saw your picture’ or ‘I read your blog post’. I live in a bit of a bubble and I feel like I’m just doing it for myself when I post a picture on Instagram or waffle on the blog. I don’t really think about all those people looking and reading.”
Hurry up Mummy! Clearly I need to up my strideby game 😆 we did have fun with my tripod at this gorgeous wall! My favourite jeans for the season are from @ukgap and they are giving you a chance to win a pair! Just upload a picture of you wearing your gap jeans and tag it to #gapukdemin #nothingbutdenim, and see the Facebook page for full t&c's! 💕😘
But how does it all start? How does one amass such a huge following (we ask, while pretending not to take notes)?
“I started off getting involved with the 365 Project and taking a photo a day,” Hannah explains. “That was what really challenged me to begin with, to get to grips with different sorts of photography. You also develop quite a community by doing that, and you start to meet people and it becomes more interactive. Because of that, I’ve had sort of a community on Instagram from early on, and then I was made a suggested user by Instagram, which gained me a big chunk. And it’s gone from there!”
For the future Hannah plans to get more into travel photography, taking her photographic style to European cities (she singles out Copenhagen as an area of interest). Of course, one does need to be adaptable in this game. The new, changing nature of the social media world means it’s hard to be sure exactly what tomorrow may bring, but for now Hannah is content to take things as they come.
“It’s interesting times,” she says. “We’ll see where it all goes…”