We challenge anyone to scroll through today’s Instagrammer of the Week feed and not feel instantly uplifted by her abundance of joyful snapshots. London blogger, Kristabel, has a knack for capturing a bright pop of colour whether it be in a pretty facade, her outfit of the day, a delectable dish or a stylishly arranged flat lay. Add to that her honest, upbeat and tongue-in-cheek captions and you have the daily dose of cheer that is @iamkristabel
Kristabel, let’s start off with a little bit about you…
Hi! Well, I’m a Londoner through and through and have always been obsessed with all things Internet. I started blogging over eight years ago whilst studying knitwear design and I started off with the dodgy outfits and strange poses. It’s since evolved into a distinct mix of fashion, travel and lifestyle. The aim is to inspire my readers to be the best version of themselves, whilst accepting that there may be some hiccups along the way (and that’s perfectly fine).
As you can probably tell, we absolutely love your feed for your vibrant pictures and upbeat captions. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Thanks! Visually I’m always on the look out for bright colours, symmetry and movement when posing. I try to be myself and keep things relatable, so if I’m doing something glamorous, I’ll be honest in the caption and say that I tripped up on the way there! I also love @creativekipi’s feed for inspiration; I need to find similar colourful walls in London!
Tell us about your experience with Instagram…
As a blogger, I constantly have to be aware of the latest social platforms and Instagram was one of the first to make a real impact. I was locked into a Blackberry contract at the time, so heard people talking about the app but had no way of accessing it. It seemed a bit exclusive and I actually broke my contract early in mid-2012 so I could get an iPhone and see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t have a plan at first but now it’s like a project and forces me to get creative within certain parameters. There are always new formats to explore, such as Live and Stories, and it’s great to get more people interacting with me through direct messages. Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet with some of my followers in NYC!
What is your approach to posting images?
Instagram is like a portfolio, so I will usually have multiple options per photo. I like to have a mixture of outfit shots, styled flat lays, snippets of London and food. I shoot most pictures on a DSLR and send them via wifi as the quality is better (I still have an iPhone 6). Anything observational would go onto Instagram Stories or Twitter. I use UNUM to plan things out and check that I have a nice balance of light and dark images. I’m not as strict as some other ‘grammers though. Sometimes things don’t always work out and I will have similar things next to or on top of each other. I don’t have a consistent colour theme like all white and I quite like that things will naturally change throughout the year; I think it comes from having a design background and creating patterns that weren’t always perfect. I know that there’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect grid, but the most important thing is to just be yourself. It’s not about changing to what you think people want, but about finding the people who already want what you have.
Who do you most admire?
I tend to follow a mixture of feeds, some will have a strict theme and others will just go with the flow. I think that @me_and_orla has been really great at cultivating a community. Her podcast Hashtag Authentic has a more holistic approach to Instagram and reinforces the slow and steady approach. I also love @bubblyacquarius for style, she wears a lot of High Street and it saves me a lot of time shopping!
Last but not least, tell us about your relationship with flowers, foliage and plants…
Like most Instagrammers, I’m partial to a #fwis (from where I stand) by a flower stall, however, I’ve been really bad at looking after my own until fairly recently. I picked up some conditioning tips at an event – it’s been really interesting to understand why trimming the stems is so important – now my bunches don’t die after a few days! I tend to post them on my feed as they always look so uplifting and the colours tend to work well. I definitely like some of the more rustic arrangements with branches, as well as really bold colour contrasts. It’s given me a new found appreciation for the different seasons, I loved wisteria hunting last month and discovering new corners of London. At the moment I rent, so I only have a few succulents, but I know flowers will be a big part of any future home I have.