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A few new things in our home to add warmth & textures

A few new things in our home to add warmth & textures

If you watched my stories yesterday, you probably saw the amount of brown boxes in my lounge. It was a mess and it freaked me out a little but our home is being photographed on Monday (and I will use this opportunity to promote my portrait photography) and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finish styling the house properly.

I always find that when you go through major renovations, you tend to be on top of things for 90% of them and by the time, the heavy work is done, you have no energy left to finish the remaining 10%, which is in fact the fun part.

It was also a challenge to source everything in the UK when I was stuck in France but apart from a few things, it went pretty smoothly.

As I mentionned in this article about adding textures to your home, I moved this lovely Berber rug to our bedroom and put a much larger and beautiful rug from a company called Larusi.

They have an amazing selection of rugs and I also fell in love with these amazing papier maché bowls.

I also sourced this gorgeous new coffee table by Menu from Amara Living. 

Since they started working with Norm Architects, the Menu collection has completely changed and improved for the best and is now really very beautiful and organic.

Right I need to get on with things because I still have heaps to do but I’ve listed a few more things on bodieandfoupreloved if you want to help me out to clear the house while getting beautiful things for your home ;-)

Winter by sea inspired mood board © Karine Kong, All Rights Reserved

Winter by sea inspired mood board

I’m off to London this afternoon to finalise the styling of our home which is being photographed on Monday.
I will stay there until Friday I think, to attend a few press shows and catch up with friends.

However, on my return, I will need to kick off with a new project for The White Company which I’m really looking forward to doing and sharing with you.

I have been a long term customer of The White Co and a great admirer of Chrissie Rucker, who founded the business over 22 years ago (read their story). She was a major inspiration when I set up the BODIE and FOU concept store ten years ago.

Besides the business side, The White Company is always the first company I check online when I need to get new white cotton bedding and soft, high quality bathroom towels.

Looking at their collection to work on my concept, gather together a few props and create this lovely mood board, I came across some really beautiful and stylish Christmas gifts like these pale pink cashmere socks, this grey marl cashmere jumper and these fab scented candles.

Anyway, I leave you exploring their inspiring website, I need to finish packing.

See you on the other side ;-) xoxo

From left to right clockwise: 1 & 2. Pinterest (sorry!) | 3. Graceland Yogi |  4. Karine Kong Photography 

How to add textures and warmth to your home

How to add textures to your home

I’ve always loved the minimalist, relaxing look that exudes from our resin floor in our London home.
However, since I’ve painted this wall with Kalklitir paint before Summer, I have been drawn to more intimate, muted colours, wooden furniture and handmade objects and of course, stonewashed linen in the bedrooms.

I suspect this unpainted plaster wall is not going to get painted anytime soon and that’s ok…

I love it just the way it is, with its small imperfections and soothing atmosphere.

It’s also the start of Autumn and personally, I feel more inclined to stay at home where it’s warm and cosy rather than hitting the town on high heels in the cold, don’t you!?How to add textures and warmth to your homeThere are different ways of adding textures and warmth to your home but one that doesn’t fail is adding a rug, even a small one like this wool berber rug I got from Next a while ago but never got around to photograph.

You can see here how the lounge looked before the addition of this small rug (especially here!) …
I should have ordered a larger size but I was in a hurry and this berber rug wasn’t available at the time in bigger versions (it is now!)

Not to worry, I have since then sourced a much larger moroccan rug and this one will go up in our bedroom where it will look divine on white floorboards.How to add textures and warmth to your homeI’m also changing a lot of things in the house, things that have cherished and loved for a long time and I feel it’s now time to move on and let go.

The pallet table is one of these items. Sure, it’s not difficult to make your own but the large wheels are quite expensive and you will need to apply several coats of paint to your pallet so if you want to spare yourself a weekend doing DIY so you can enjoy your family and friends, you can grab mine here.

I’ve listed a lot of things on my bodieandfoupreloved instagram account and will add more over the weekend (I have a lot of prints, a gorgeous Liberty case bought in Merci for Mila and lots of styling props so watch this space!) How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home How to add textures and warmth to your home

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Kid jumping on bed © Karine Kong Photography, All Rights Reserved.jpg

How to use Lightroom (and not be scared of it)

Between projects, I’m slowly but surely uploading all my pictures into Lightroom, a software that allows you to edit your photos but most importantly to file them.

This is, for me, the biggest advantage of using Lightroom as it allows you to file all your pictures by keywords, rating (1* to 5*) and create folders and collections within your massive catalogue to find a specific picture quickly, even if you don’t remember what month or year you took it.

So for instance, if I tag this image of Mila above in Lightroom with keywords “Mila”, “tutu” and then create two mini collections with the same keywords, I will be able to see at a glance, all the pictures of Mila or tutus I’ve taken over the years.

I can even narrow down my search and have all the images in one folder with the keywords: “tutu”, “mila”, “happy vibes” rather than separate folders.

This is very useful when I’m looking for content for my 3 Instagram accounts (which you may want to follow ;-)

4 tips on How to use Lightroom (and not be scared of it)It is also a quick way to find specific images to feature in an article on the blog or to send to a client.

Another example here….

I tagged the image above with the keywords “Alice”, “Knitwear”, “Dune of Pyla”. So if I need images of jumpers for an article about knitwear, I can pull all my pictures featuring a jumper in a split second like this one which I took last year and posted last night on People from the sea.

LIGHTROOM TIP 1:

The important thing is to enter your keywords properly when you import your photos into Lightroom.

I have a set of generic keywords like “bedrooms”, “kitchens”, “interiors”, “fashion” ” portraits” then a set of keywords specific for my portrait photography: “women’s portrait”, “women 40+”, “faceless”, “closed eyes”, “corporate”, “kids” and a set of ‘mood’ keywords like “happy vibes”, “weekend”, “moody”, “autumn”.

Don’t forget to add cities and the name of your model.

For instance, if I take a picture of my sister Elodie on holidays in Hossegor, I will use the keywords “Elodie”, “portrait”, “family” and the city “Hossegor” as the main keywords and may add other keywords like “swimwear”, “happy vibes”, “portrait”, etc.
Since I take a lot of pictures from my sister, it will help to narrow down my search by entering “Hossegor” as a keyword. Then, within my collection, I can add other keywords like “happy vibes”, “portraits” and then Lightroom will only bring up the pictures of Elodie with these keywords,

LIGHTROOM TIP 2:

If photography is becoming your passion and you may even consider becoming pro, I strongly recommend you start using Lightroom early on to avoid going through the backload of pictures you’ve taken over the years.

So far, I have uploaded over 30,000 pictures and that only covers the last 18 months. My first goal is to upload, tag, rate and sort out all the photos I’ve taken since 2015.

Once this mammoth task is done, I will tackle the previous years.

LIGHTROOM TIP 3:

Don’t be scared of using Lightroom.
As humans, we are generally afraid of change or trying new things and that’s ok and that’s also when we need to give ourselves a kick in the butt to move forward…

I’m a perfectionist and I like my work to be thorough so when I decided to go pro this year, for me it meant doing things properly and making sure, I knew the basics: how to use my digital camera on manual mode (last time I really did photography I was a teen and digital didn’t even exist), understanding the light, ISO, aperture, knowing the basics on Photoshop, learning to edit my portrait the most natural way etc…

In times of doubts and lack of confidence, I find reassuring to know that I have the basics covered. It’s a bit like a Writer who will tidy up her desk before sitting down and facing the blank page. It is a way of binding time but it also helps with the nerves and the stress :-) 

So when I started looking at Lightroom, it completely freaked me out.
I spent hours reading about pros & cons, Lightroom Vs Photoshop (which is a false debate since both are complimentary) and finding excuses for not using it.

Most of my excuses were time, cost and whether I could I call myself a proper Photographer to justify investing in this new software (that inner negative voice again…). However, I kept focusing on the cost.

I had purchased Photoshop two years ago, which you may know, is not exactly cheap and I kept telling myself that I couldn’t invest in Lightroom…until I realised that money was just an excuse. I was just too scare of the unknown. Once I realised that, I decided to take the plunge and start using Lightroom.

Within 4 weeks of using it, I couldn’t believe how this software had improved my life. It was a major time-saver on selecting the images after a photoshoot.

Before using Lightroom, I used to download my 300 pictures or so into iPhotos and select them one by one. A process which was tedious and hugely time consuming as it would take me a good 2 or 3 hours!
Post Lightroom use and I now download them onto an external hard drive, then upload them into Lightroom with keywords and then go through the selection in 30 minutes top.

LIGHTROOM TIP 4:

To make your selection even quicker, here are a few tips I learnt recently.
Click the touch “F” for your photos to appear full screen, which will allow you to see quickly if they are in or out of focus. Then click the touch “X” to mark the ones you want to delete later and then “F” for those you want to keep.

Double check the pictures you’ve rejected and if you still don’t find them good enough, delete them from Lightroom and your hard drive to free space. Then focus on the ones you mark to keep and start giving 1* to the ones that really love. I’m really stingy with my stars. I give 1* to my pre-selection, 2** to my client’s selection and then 3*** if they are really my Best Of. You can also rate with colours.

Conclusion

10 months down the line, I can’t see myself NOT using Lightroom. It has improved my way of working by 300% and now I’m getting into learning how to use the editing part, using Presets and even creating my own presets which is fun and help me to achieve a visual coherence on my photos and have my own style.

So I realised that this article is not going to be of interest to everyone, especially if you’re not into photography, but I came across this old picture of Mila in her tutu I took in 2015, while importing some old pictures into Lightroom and it was such a joy to see this shot again that I felt this would be useful to some of you. xoxxo

THINGS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IF YOU ARE INTO PHOTOGRAPHY

Parisian inspiration

Parisian inspiration

I’m in Paris for a couple of days with a program including editing recent shoots, catching up with friends and working in my PJs from the comfort of my sister’s beautiful flat.

Elodie is having a new kitchen fitted in a couple of weeks and even the space is filled with Ikea brown boxes, it still feels very peaceful.

I’m currently working on revamp project for our home in London which is being photographed on the 20th November. Not much time left to do everything but I’ve never backed down in front of a challenge.

I’m leaning towards softening the look of our lounge with natural materials, texture and handmade things. If you know a few great Ceramists in the UK or ceramic retailers, please let me know.

Also, if you’re coming to Paris soon, know that the Salon de la Photo is on. Sadly, I will miss it because I’m flying to Switzerland on a press trip on Thursday to visit Vitra and given how many vintage Vitra pieces I own, it is one visit I’m very much looking forward to.

Please, feel free to follow me on Instagram and watch my stories while there, I will do my best to share the experience with you.

From left to right clockwise: 1. Est Living | 2 & 3. Karine Kong Photography | 4. Amanda Rodriguez

Golden hour with Alice © Karine Kong Photography, All Rights Reserved

Golden Hour

Finally the weekend and a little blog post.
I feel I haven’t written for ages but in fact, my last article was only five days ago.
To be honest, last week, when Mila was competing in the French Championships, I was fighting a nasty bug, and this week, my energy level was so low that I didn’t have the strength to write long blog posts.

However, I’ve started a cure of something with Ginseng, royal jelly and acerola (don’t ask me what it is, I have no clue). It’s the most disgusting thing to swallow first thing in the morning but it does seem to do the trick.

While in Hossegor, I also did a photoshoot with a beautiful woman, mother of two. This has inspired me to finish editing a few other shoots I had done over Summer, like these behind-the-scenes shots for an Australian fashion label, and upload them onto my photography website.
I also made a little video for my Facebook page if you care to follow it.

I always feel guilty when I spend more time on my photography than my blog. It’s like two small children that both require my attention and once in a while I have to spend more time with one than the other.

When I decided to launch myself this year as a Portrait Photographer, I never anticipated how difficult and time consuming, it would be to manage both my job as a Blogger and as a Photographer. Things may have been easier if I had chosen to specialise in interiors photography, but of course, why makes things easier when you can make them a bit more time consuming.

I can do interiors photography but to be honest, the thing that fires me the most is photographing women, emotions, life and showing all these women I’m photographing how beautiful they are in, inside out.

The other thing I hadn’t anticipated, was the emotional, challenging journey it would be. Each photoshoot I’m proud of, is followed by a few days of self-flagellation telling myself how bad it is and how much more I need to progress.
It’s exhausting (even more when you’re fighting a bug) but I’m working on a little strategy to change my way of thinking and I religiously collect all the lovely messages I receive about my photography like this heartfelt one, Julie posted on her instagram.

On the blog side, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the Blog has moved back to the Mother ship and can now be found at www.bodieandfou.com so if you have it bookmarked, now is the time to change it.
I will move the www.karinecandicekong.com url to my photography website in a few months.

And that’s about it for now, I shot this image earlier today at the bottom of the Dune of Pyla during golden hour and it was magical.

I’ll be in Paris next week and available for photoshoots on 7 & 8th November and in London the week of 20th November. Have a great weekend xoxo

weekend: let's go surfing in VW beetle

weekend

I’ve always longed to own a vintage VW bettle, about you!?

Well it has been a busy and tiring week going back & forth between home & Hossegor, while fighting a nasty bug that left me really tired and feverish.

For those who follow me on Instagram and stories, nothing I had planned when according to plan but that’s OK.

Mila was in Hossegor this week to take part in the surfing French Championships and to cut a long story short, she got 4th place on the podium which makes me hugely proud!

I have to say she was disappointed with her second series which wasn’t as good as the first one but given she has only two months of bodyboard under her belt, I think it’s pretty cool and I will need to share with her, a few of my tips to focus on the positive ;-)

So this wekeend, will be all about recharging our batteries, eating healthily (that part went out of the window when I got ill) and go for a long walk to get some fresh air.

If you’ve missed, I strongly encourage you to check this beautiful home in the south of Sweden , this week’s fashion edit and this article about 15 gorgeous chunky knits for a cosy fall.

If you haven’t done it yet, I invite you to follow my Portrait Photography page on Instagram and Facebook where I mention my whereabouts, castings & shootings.

What are you up to this weekend!?

Photography: Karine Kong Photography

#Weeklyfashionedit | Cream coat & cashmere jumper

#weekly fashion edit

After fighting a sore throat and the beginning of a flu, I’m finally on the mend and off to Hossegor for a few days to see Mila who is taking part in the bodyboard French championships.
Quite a big thing since she has only recently starting bodyboarding.
A part of me is super proud and the other part is a bit freaked out. Last time she took part in a competition (her first), she came 4th which was fantastic but the waves were 1.5m high and the ocean was pretty agitated and this week looks like it’s gonna be the same if not worse so will see.

Anyway…I had started my board with this navy coat which is very similar to the one I’m wearing here but then, I came across this beautiful cream coat (2) currently in the Mango sale.
Cream coats always look very chic and this one is perfect to wear over a pair of freyed jeans or a wool trousers if you want to go for the cream on cream look.

Given the weather and our needs for warmth, cosy things, I would go for this little cashmere jumper (1) under £100. In wintertime, I don’t think there is a better feeling then wearing a cashmere jumper on bare skin, don’t you!?
It’s the little things that make us feel good.

I would pair it with these narrow raw hem jeans (3) from Australian label Ksubi and these very affordable black heels (4) at £35.99.

No room for a handbag on my board but if you need some inspo, have a look at this leopard bag which is a little gem!

And if you missed them, check out my article about these 15 chunky knits to wear for fall and this really beautiful home in the south of Sweden.

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THINGS TO WEAR IN AUTUMN