FocusOn Instagramers 1.27: @MarianneHope

FocusOn Instagramers 1.27: @MarianneHope

FocusOn Instagramers 1.27: @MarianneHope

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Each week, Instagramers.com discovers new people. People addicted to Instagram, revealing their lives, passions, tips in Instagram. This week we meet Marianne, a Norwegian girl living in the Netherlands.

I met her few months ago. She was planning to launch a new Instagramers Holland local group with some friends. I asked her to share some information about her future projects and about her own Instagram Life. She kindly accepted to be our guest this week.

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My nick is @Marianne Hope…

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I am a language challenged, chocolate loving, sometimes irritatingly perfectionistic Norwegian Queen, married to a German king, living in the Netherlands, CEO for two pirates and a little princess and last but not least a self-taught freelance lifestyle photographer.

Language challenged because I’m switching between Norwegian, Dutch, English and German on a regular basis, all day long, every day. When I am not kept busy multitasking and holding our household and family activities organized (or trying to figure out what language I’m currently using), I am either working out, reading a book or most likely taking or editing pictures or instagraming. You will NOT find me in front of the TV, but there’s a big chance you’ll find me in front of my imac or with my iphone in hand.

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I was born and bread in a little place called Baerum just outside Oslo in Norway. When I was 19 years old I decided to go to Zurich in Switzerland to be an au pair for one year. I liked being abroad so much that I decided to move on to Germany and study Economy at the university of Mannheim. After one year of fun and partying with my fellow viking students, speaking and learning very little German, I met my soul mate, a German prince named Till. How we ended up in Blaricum, in the Netherlands (30 min. outside Amsterdam) 10 years later, is a too long story to tell here, but we did and we love it.

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I got my first camera when I was 14 years old.

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It was called “Splash” and it was very solid and could take both a fall and a water splash, which was good as I was a bit careless back then. I think I still have it actually. Needless to say, this was the beginning of my fascination with photography. I have taken many photos through the years and have always had the ability to spot interesting motives most people don’t even notice. I’m always on the lookout for a motive; always scanning my surroundings and asking myself how it would look if I cropped it like “that” or angled the camera like “this”.

I guess I have what some people call “the photographic eye”. As for the technical skills, I have spent hours and hours practicing, studying, googling and practicing some more until I got it right and felt secure the quality of my photos were up to my perfectionistic requirements. I think I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. In 2009 I bought the canon 5d mark II, with professional lenses (24-70mm f2.8L and 70-200mm f2.8L) and with this in hand I finally felt ready to take the step into professionalism. I started taking assignments for friends and family, put up a blog to show case my photos and I never looked back.

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And then came iphone and Instagram…

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It’s actually hard to put into words just how much the acquiring of my first iphone has meant for me and my photography. As you all know, the technical ability of an iphone is very limited when compared to a DSLR, but I find these limits are what really brings out my creativity in both figuring out how to compose the picture, but also in how to edit it. And the fact that the iphone is so small and easy to use, and that I always have it at hand or at least close by, is a huge plus. And so is the possibility to edit the pictures there and then. I never miss out on motives any more, and knowing I can always take a picture, makes me look for motives ALWAYS. I can’t help it!

I see interesting lines or perspectives, beautiful flowers, trees and leaves, I see fascinating architecture or people, light play, shadows, reflections, textures, umbrellas, bikes, power lines, birds and the list goes on and on. I have discovered the joy of street photography and journalistic photography through Instagram.

The fact that I can capture real life and people without them noticing and without putting a big lens in front of their noses is just fantastic and I love it. I love the fact that I can capture the energy and essence of a city like Amsterdam or London and create beautiful, meaningful and sometimes artistic photography just at the hand of a thing called iphone4.

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You can see Marianne´s Instagram Gallery here.

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Thank you, Marianne for graciously accepting to answer our weekly interview. .

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When did you first join IG?

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I joined in Dec. 2010, because of the cool filters and frames. I started using Instagram regularly and in a serious way end March/begin April 2011.

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Why are you so addicted to IG? And how would you define your style?

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How did you know I am addicted? Haha. I find it’s a wonderful, inspiring, friendly and educative place to be. It’s like going to an art gallery 24/7, and you are invited to see inspirational and creative photography from all over the world. It has made me try new styles, find new motives and it pushes me to re-invent myself and improve my photography. I dare say that I have learned more about creative photography in the 7 months I have been instagramming then I have in my whole adult life. I have found and made new friends from all parts of this world that all share my love of photography, and some I have the pleasure of meeting in real life. How could I NOT be addicted☺?

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Defining my style is a complex and complicated thing. I can’t say that I have one style, but I can say that I always try to find the right style for the right motive/photo. I like simplicity a lot and try to follow the less is more principle as much as I can. I like both b&w and color photography, I like travel photography, I like street photography, I like flowers and trees, I like kids, bikes and umbrellas and much much more. What I don’t do a lot of are cats, dogs and selfies. I’m a perfectionist and I hope that shows in my pictures. I try to find beauty in the little things and I think most of my photos have and give happy vibes. I’m generally a happy smiley person and I think that shows in my photography. lol.

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Were you already fond of photography before you started instagramming?

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I most definitely was. I’ve been a photo-addict since I was 14 years old, always noticing things and motives that most people don’t even see or recognize. I see the world in rectangles, or now after IG in squares:) My photographic journey from photographing with my first analogue camera at 14, to where I am today has been a long and interesting one. I am 100% self taught and many many hours have been spent figuring things out, learning about the technical stuff, learning about composition, light, communication with my subjects and how to best enhance the pictures in Photoshop. I now work as a freelance lifestyle photographer (and have been for 2 years), photographing families, children, and babies in their natural surroundings, capturing real life moments. I also teach photography and host workshops in both general photography and iphoneography.

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For you, which are the 3 best photo apps?

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I use camera+ and filterstorm to enhance my pictures and I always use quickpix to take the pictures (it allows me to take pictures fast)

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How much time do you spend on IG on an average day? And what do you do?

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1 to 2 hours per day I think, but it used to be more. At the moment I am so busy with work and family that I don’t have time for much else then uploading a picture now and again and checking the comments that are given when I have a minute. I used to answer all comments given, but that is not possible any more. Every time I upload a picture I try to check my feed and leave comments on the pictures that I like.

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Which is your favourite picture?

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Just one?? I have many, but if I have to pick just one it would have to be the one of me and my daughters feet and toes with new, pink pedicure standing in the freshly cut grass, because of what it symbolizes. It symbolizes how lucky I am to be a mom and how happy I am to have a daughter to do girly stuff with, it symbolizes an hour of well spent quality time doing pedicure with dd (dear daughter), it symbolizes our love, it symbolizes creativity, it symbolizes summer and warm weather, it symbolizes freedom and happy times and it symbolizes how these are the things that matter most in life, the “little things” that really are the “big things”

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What was your first reaction when you had your first Pop? And do you still like the picture?

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My first popular picture was back in April when I had less than 200 followers and I was very surprised at noticing I suddenly had over 100 likes on my last picture (normally I had about 10 maybe 15 likes). I didn’t know the picture had been on popular, and it wasn’t until someone left a comment about seeing my pic there, that I realized that was the case. Anyway it was fun, and it felt like an achievement, that I finally got some acknowledgment for my work. And I still LOVE the picture, it’s of a dandelion with parachute seeds flying away.

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Are your “non Instagramming” friends and family members bothered by your IG addiction?

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They most definitely have been at times, yes. They couldn’t quite fathom the infatuation, thinking I was just fooling and playing around and was being unsocial, when in fact I was learning, working and networking. I think they see it differently now though, seeing it has paid off and seeing how it has changed my photography and opened up opportunities I would never have had otherwise. Having success has helped them to understand why I’m doing it and why I like it☺

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Tell us a little bit about the activities of your new local group @igersHolland?

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Our Holland team is a group of very nice, motivated and talented instagramers, @dutchie68, @croyable, @mark_as_seen, @sfennema, @joshee and finally @evedeville beside myself, all living in different areas of Holland. We have just started the group, but already have monthly challenges running where we feature one winner every Sunday and throughout October we are cooperating with bmibaby and their #myholland challenge where the winner gets a pair of flights. Once a month we feature one of our Dutch followers, who we find deserves more attention and put him or her in the spotlight both on our Igfeed and on our FB page. We are hosting our first official IgwalkHolland in Eindhoven on Nov. 12th, and are already cooperating and helping out other Dutch igers when they want to arrange a meet up by advertising it on our feed.

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A funny anecdote in your short Instagram life?

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Well, there are several, but especially one springs to mind. I once took and posted a picture of a wall sticker that I liked, writing in the caption that it was a wall sticker and also crediting the company. It was the first pick I ever received 1000 likes on, which is kind of bittersweet, as it doesn’t feel like my picture really. A short while later I was approached by e-mail by a company who had seen the picture on IG and liked it so much they asked me if they could buy the rights to it. They wanted to make and produce wall stickers with it…

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A trick you would recommend?

To be honest, I’m not sure I know any specific tricks, but I would recommend spending some time learning how to use your editing apps. Find out which ones you like most, concentrate on them and get to know them very well. See what kind of filters and editing works best with what kind of picture, play around with both b&w and color edits to learn and widen your horizon and knowledge.

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Something you would say to a new user?

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First of all I would say, don’t worry about the number of followers you have. That’s not what the IG experience is about.

Easy for me to say, you might think, already having over 14k followers, but honestly, as much as I appreciate every person that follows me, I appreciate much more the way smaller percentage of them that are genuinely interested in my photography and who continues to like my pictures, who leaves nice comments and who follows me because of my pictures and not just to be followed back.

I consider many of them my friends also outside of IG and this social aspect is one of the many positive perks of this app. So many newbie’s go around liking and commenting just to get followers, but totally forget to actually put some effort into their own photos. My advise is to put your energy into taking the best pictures you can, learn how to enhance them optimally and only publish pictures you are 100% happy with (try looking at them with a critical eye before publishing them), find some instagramers whose style you like, follow them (even if they don’t follow back) and learn from them. And last but not least, interact with other igers, comment on their pictures, but be genuine, don’t ask to be followed back (that’s a pretty sure way to get your comments deleted or ignored and maybe yourself even blocked). If your pictures are good enough, people will follow you without you having to beg or ask for it.

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Thanks Marianne once again!

See all her pics here!

@philgonzalez

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for this wonderful interview. @MarianneHope has a fantastic feed. I really enjoy her work.

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    • Thank you very much Stephen!! And thank you Phil for having me:):):) Hugs from little Holland!!

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  2. Nice interview and good tips … Thanks for share your knowledge 🙂

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    • Thank you very much and it was a pleasure!!!:)

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      • Your answer lifts the intellingece of the debate.

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  3. Nice to discover your interview, and your beautiful stream 🙂

    Reply
  4. Greta interview! Congrats Phil and Marianne!

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    • Gracias! Thank you very much Luis!!! And likewise of course! 🙂

      Reply

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