Instagrammer of the Month: Becca of Lume & Penna
Today I am so excited to introduce a new feature on the Spiffy Eats blog. Each month I will be highliting an Instagrammer that is doing something unique with their profile. My goal with these interviews is to provide encouragement and inspiration for you on your Insta journey. I will be asking questions aimed at helping you use Instagram as a means to build your brand awareness, community, and technical skills.
Our January featured Instagram account is Lume & Penna, a beautiful account created and run by Becca Paul of Birmingham, Alabama.
Becca has been one of my favorite Instagrammers for a while and I am so honored to have her share some of her story and helpful tips with you. She is a photographer (digital+film) and hand-letterer who loves creating, traveling, cats, & coffee! She is currently in graduate school to become a therapist with a focus in art and expressive therapy. Her words and photos inspire me every single day, and I know they will do the same for you!
What first inspired you to get into lettering and photography?
I first got into photography after I graduated from college in 2011. I asked for an entry level DSLR camera for my graduation present and just really loved it. I started reading blogs and talking to friends of mine who were into photography about how to shoot my camera on manual instead of auto setting. I took A LOT of pictures of my cats to practice getting lighting right. Eventually I started second shooting with Spindle Photography and Kelly taught me a lot about photography and being a wedding photographer. It was really great to have someone so willing to be a mentor to me when I was just starting out. As for lettering, I’m not really sure what sparked that exactly. I remember in high school always writing song lyrics in cursive all over my notes. I kind of picked up using the nib and ink well as a hobby and then when my grandfather died in 2013, I used lettering as a big coping mechanism to deal with my grief. Whenever I have gone through a hard time in my life since then, I have turned to lettering to help me cope. People noticed and started asking me to letter things for them, which was honestly an unexpected thing that came out of me trying to deal with my emotions.
What are your favorite types of photos to take?
I’ve taken all kinds of photos from weddings, to engagement, to newborns, to families, to commercial. It’s kind of hard for me to pin down what is my favorite. I really like taking engagement photos, especially if the couple is willing to do things a little outside the box. I also love doing family session in the family’s home, capturing them doing an activity or going about a normal day. There’s something special about being let into someone’s routine and capturing the small moments that they will end up treasuring immeasurably more than traditional posed photos.
What would you say to others who are unsure how to create a cohesive look on their Instagram page?
Honestly, this is something I struggle with sometimes! I usually try to do alternating photography and lettering every other post, but it doesn’t always work. I tend to pick color schemes based on the time of year, so in the summer and spring there are a lot of greens and blues, fall would be fall colors, around Christmas I pick red and green themed photos and lettering, and then in winter after Christmas I tend to go more black and white. I try to make them all flow into each with transitioning posts that mix the color schemes a bit. Sometimes I stray from my themes, though! Ultimately what I’m more concerned with as far as cohesiveness is the intention behind my posts. I want them to mean something, so I’ll put thought into what I want to say about each picture. My captions can get pretty personal and honestly people seem to respond more to the more personal posts. I don’t shy away from giving my views and I have found that being consistent in that way attracts followers who are like me and support me. So sometimes I will go a while without posting because there is nothing I want to post and I don’t want to post just for the sake of it. I would give that advice to anyone! It makes posting less of a chore for you and more enjoyable for your followers.
What advice would you give other photographers when it comes to using Instagram stories?
I will admit that I was very resistant to Instagram stories at first, mainly because I felt like they were ripping off Snapchat. Over time, though, I have come to like them for my photography and lettering account. I mainly use them to give my followers insight into what my daily life is like, so there are a lot of photos of my cats, my coffee, screenshots of a song I came across on Spotify that I liked, and travel photos if I’m somewhere cool. I like this use of the feature because it gives an even more personal look of my life to my followers. People like to see that kind of stuff from small businesses and brands. I also like to use it to sneak peek photos I’m editing or lettering I’m working on, but I don’t do that very often. I know a lot of people use them to alert their followers to a new post to try to combat the algorithm, but I haven’t tried that yet. I would say use your stories to give your followers a little sneak peak at your behind the scenes since mainly what they see on Instagram posts is a highlight reel.
What, in your opinion, is the most important thing to remember as a creative when using any social media platform?
Ok, this is big one - don’t play the comparison game. It is SO EASY to fall into that and I do it much more often that I would care to admit. It does us no good as creatives to beat ourselves up over someone else’s work. It’s much healthier to support other creatives and form a community than it is to constantly compare ourselves to others. Something I constantly have to remember is that someone else’s success does not make me a failure.
A huge thank you to Becca for these amazing words of encouragement for all of us using Instagram to make the world a more welcoming and joyful place. Keep your eyes peeled for our February featured Instagram account! Know somone you think may be encouraging and helpful for the Spiffy Eats community? Nominate them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! Self nominations welcome!