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Sydney
Australia

LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

Q&A with Trish and Ronnie (and we announce our ambassadors)

Ronnie

Q&A with Trish and Ronnie - A blog series by Rhonda Mason and Trish Chong for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc (The modern school of memory keeping)

| Written by Trish & Ronnie |

We're continuing our Q&A column here on the blog where you guys get to ask us anything you want, whether it's related to parenting, family life, business, photography, design, or anything in between.

What's the biggest lesson you've learnt from blogging?

Ronnie: Such a good question, and one that I haven't really reflected on in recent times. I guess the biggest lesson I've learnt from blogging is that change is okay and that change is hardIn August last year, I made the heart-wrenching decision to stop blogging at Pink Ronnie so that I could start afresh at The Shoemaker's Daughter and also invest time into the blog here at Life:Captured Inc. It was the biggest blogging decision I'd ever made, not least because I'd been blogging as Pink Ronnie for some twelve years. Even though I knew that some of my readers would be disappointed, I was also convicted that it was the right time to make the change. What I hadn't anticipated was how long I grieved after finishing up at Pink Ronnie. I remember lying awake at nights and wondering out loud to my husband whether or not I'd made the right decision and lamenting how much I missed my old blog. It took me a long time to adjust to the change. Almost a year on, I know with certainty that it was the right change to make. I guess the takeaway from this is that we need to give ourselves the permission to step away from our commitments, reassess the status quo, and if necessary, make the hard decision to stop and change direction. Change is hard, but new beginnings can be exciting.

How did you manage/convince people to recognise your work in the first stage?

Trish: I feel my beginnings in the photography world stemmed from a love of taking photos with no conscious attempt of trying to be recognised as it was merely a hobby and a creative outlet for me.  Over time, as I began having a place for my work to be recorded via an online blog, friends would be entirely supportive and spread the word on my behalf.  Ultimately, I feel that validation came through my best friend who asked me whether I’d like to be her bridesmaid or photographer and I chose the latter and her faith in me was such a big part of my journey. Another friend entrusted me with the same privilege (almost a year later), and I guess that’s where it all began.

Ronnie: When I was starting out in freelance graphic design, I created a portfolio from scratch to showcase what I could do, what my design style was, and the type of design work I wanted to do. This led to a number of freelancing gigs for other design studios, which gave me the confidence I needed to push myself further. I eventually set up my own commercial design business, taking out a regular ad spot in B&T and mailing out samples of my work to the marketing departments of the organisations that I wanted to take on as clients. This allowed me to build my initial client base, and from there, I relied primarily on word of mouth to grow my business. My biggest tips for everyone who wants to start their own graphic design business is to take yourself seriously, do everything with the utmost professionalism, avoid underpricing your work, and have a simple website that showcases your best work.   

As a blogger, I caught my break when Becky Higgins personally noticed my Project Life spreads on Instagram and I ended up on her Project Life Creative Team for 2013. This drove a lot of traffic to my Pink Ronnie blog, and my readership went up rather noticeably. It also gave me a degree of credibility in the world of memory keeping, which eventually led to my first workshop with Trish, which resulted in all this goodness.  

How did you manage to get to 10K? Organic growth? 

Trish: Instagram likes are a weird thing! The numbers have been part organic growth, and partly a result of connecting with others, as well as having a couple of high profile Instagrammers link back to my account which has been hugely appreciated and definitely contributed to the growth.

Do you have any recommendations on a camera?

Trish: Camera recommendations are quite a specific thing based on who’s asking and what they are hoping to use the camera for.  For a smaller compact camera the Fuji x100s is great (and is so pretty!), and for a great SLR I often recommend the Nikon D90 (which I think is now the D7100).

Ronnie: As most of you will know, I'm a huge fan of the Fuji x100s, which I personally own and use. It's not the fastest at auto-focusing and the 23mm means that it's not ideal for close-up portraits. However, if you know how to use a camera manually and you're looking for a good all-rounder camera with excellent image quality and that's nice and compact, then I would definitely recommend looking into the x100s. It's great for documenting the everyday, and I love using it to shoot events and still life photography. You can also use it to capture beautiful portraits, but you just need to do it differently than you would with a 50mm lens.

You can read the other posts in this series here.

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It is with great excitement that we announce our 2015 Community Ambassadors: Amanda Serrentino, Emily Jane, Heike, Jo, Steffie van den Nakker, Arylna Blanchard, Bethany Seymour, Charlotta, Rebecca Song, Diane Downs, Amy Yung, Amber Robson, and Sharon Toh. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful group of women, all of whom have the most amazing heart and kindness. We look forward to sharing more about them here on the blog in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you, ladies, for joining the team. It is so good to have you.

Ronnie & Trish xo

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