by Helen Rowan Photography
A New Lockdown Creative Community
I had the idea to start a creative community on Instagram just before lockdown where families could document their time at home with their families.
Five years ago, just before I became a professional photographer, I took part in an Instagram 365 day challenge where I took a photo every day throughout the year. Not only did my photography skills improve dramatically, it was also an incredible photo diary of time spent with my family.
It also gave me the opportunity to make some friends on Instagram which I still have today.
So just over 6 weeks ago I created a brand new page with a new brand new community of people who love to take photos. Some professionals, some hobbyists and some enthusiastic phone photographers.
I’m so glad that I did it. It fulfils the need in me to create for a purpose and I absolutely love seeing everyone else’s interpretation of the daily theme. It’s very inspiring.
The page is called @HRP_challenge, the sister page to my main business @helenrowanphotography
Monday 23rd March – Day One
On the first day, Monday 23rd, we already had 100 people following the page and it’s gone from strength to strength, with almost 300 followers and at least 25 people who have joined in every day.
Some days there are a lot more, some days less. It’s a stressful time for people and I want them to dip in and out as they please.
This is how it works
No matter what your skill level your photos will be better, with more meaning if you have a purpose for taking them.
Each Sunday I post the themes for the whole of the week. Each theme is chosen to give everyone joining in room to interpret it to fit in with their own situation.
Each morning at 8am I post a daily prompt with the theme of the day, an image and a couple of ideas for what people might take photos of that day.
Throughout the day families post their images on their own Instagram account, adding the hashtag of the day so that I can see them. I then choose 3 or 4 of favourites to Feature on the group page as we go through the day.
Everyone in the group is wonderful. There’s a lovely culture of congratulating each other on their featured image. It’s a really upbeat, supportive and positive place to be.
My very favourite bit is seeing everyone’s images in the grid which I put together early the next morning.
Each Friday I collaborate with a like minded local business. They kindly offer a prize for their favourite image of the day, which becomes our ‘Image of the Week’.
There is a wonderful network of small local businesses on Instagram. More than ever, businesses are working together to help support one another. Colaborations through Instagram are a fantastic way to grow audiences. I’ve been working with like-minded, local businesses who I know my group will love.
The Full Picture – The First 6 Weeks
Week 1 (starting on the Tuesday for the first week)
Week 3 (including Good Friday)
Week 4 (Including Easter Monday)
Reviews from the group
– It’s been an enjoyable, creative focus every day. I love seeing all the pics and friendly comments.
– I do the challenge with my daughter and we always talk about the next theme
– I really appreciate what you are doing and helping us. Keeping us busy and creative at the same time
– I love the creativity and kindness of the group. The new themes challenge you to explore new ideas.
– I love having something fun to focus on during these uncertain times.
– Love the daily challenges. It gets me thinking and encourages me to get creative.
– I love the challenges, it’s given me something else to focus on other than school/work.
– I’ve loved doing each day’s challenge! It gives me something to think about each day
– I love having a reason to be creative and it’s nice to escape when I find the time.
– I’ve not managed to take part as much as I’d hoped/planned but I always look at the daily theme and enjoy seeing everyone else’s pics. Some fab shots! The group is a great idea.
– I love the daily theme and how we all interpret them.
– I’m loving it! Pushing the boundaries and learning new skills. Getting creative.
Come and Join Us
Do you like to take photos and would you like to document your time at home? I’d love you to join us on Instagram.
A little bit about Helen Rowan Photography
I’d love you to take a little look around my website while you’re here.
I’m a Chesterfield based photographer, specialising in Newborns, Families, Small Businesses and Photography Training for Beginners.
Hopefully you’ve seen the pop-up where you can sign up for my mailing list and download a free guide to taking photos of your kids. If not, refresh the browser and it’ll pop up again.
Thanks so much for reading my blog post.