Matt: I’m in Sydney today meeting Colour By Design. She is not what you think. Definitely not what I thought.
Meeting Colour By Design
Matt: Donna and I met via Instagram, I was coming down Sydney.
Donna: We should catch up for a beer or coffee. At that stage, I knew who you were. But, you didn’t know who I was, I was anonymous.
Matt: I was sitting down in the smoko shed (lunchroom), and I get this photo from Donna. I just about fell off my chair as I was expecting some 40-year-old bald guy.
Why cranes and building on Instagram?
Donna: I am self-motivated, I do it because I love it. I’m not getting paid for my Instagram page, it’s just I love what I do, and it’s not for anybody else. But I have a lot of followers, so someone else is liking my work as well. Which is nice.
Matt: So what tweaked your interests initially?
Donna: A few years ago I took an amazing photo on Cockatoo Island. And since then it has always been a challenge to photograph cranes and buildings.
Matt: Really? Are you sure? There is a crane right here.
Donna: It is hard to get a good photo.
Matt: Yeah right, I get it.
How many followers does Colour By Design have on Instagram?
Matt: So how many followers do you have on Instagram?
Donna: Well I have over 3000 followers presently. Which is very exciting being a micro influencer, as one of my friends has pointed out.
Matt: You learn something new every day.
What are your family’s thoughts?
Matt: What are your family’s thoughts on all this?
Donna: So when I first started, everyone thought that it was bizarre and weird. They thought it was probably like a fad.
Matt: What do you look for when you’re taking photos?
Donna: So, I’m looking for reflections and contrast. Over there is an interesting building that has the colour blue, good contrasts and lines.
Matt: So Colour By Design is very much into keeping the colour blue as a part of the theme.
Donna: Yes I have a rule that I like to keep too, an overall look and style. I would like to transition into night time photos, but I need to consider the overall look of the page. Some people might think that’s weird and a bit obsessive, but I think it is OK.
Colour By Design’s Instagram homepage layout
Matt: What Donna is talking about, on someone’s Instagram homepage viewing in the grid format. Donna is talking about how she wants that to look interesting, not just the individual photos themselves.
Donna: Yes, the overall look is important to me. That’s why I started Colour By Design. A couple of years ago friends and I were sitting around talking about Instagram, and I was saying how much I enjoy looking at different pages that have an overall theme, design or where a page has a colour consistency. From that point, I set myself the challenge to do that with the colour blue on my page.
And if you look at my page you can see that a theme is showing through. I have brought in other things like reflections and cranes as well.
Matt: So how much grief do you cop from your family if you are walking around the streets? Do they get upset with the photo taking?
Donna: Well my children do. If I stop the car and walk in somewhere to take a photo of a crane or something, they get very cross. They don’t want me to.
Matt: So, you just randomly stop, pull out the camera and take a photo? Similar to fishing? Have you ever been fishing?
Matt: Oh right, I was going to ask if taking photos is like fishing, where you don’t know what you’re going to capture.
Donna: Yes. Sometimes you can see amazing things that just don’t work out when you are taking photos. But then other times, you think things are not very interesting, and you end up with something that’s quite amazing.
Taking the photo
Matt: You want to just walk into that construction site over there?
Donna: Yeah I would like to walk in to take photos.
Matt: So Donna is very brazen. She’s quite happy to walk into a construction site. Have you been caught?
Donna: I haven’t been caught. I’ve had some weird looks as I think a lot of people believe I’m from a union.
Mostly because I walk up and take photos of cranes and things and then walk off. I am very calm, and I think they feel I am doing a health and safety check.
I should wear a hard hat.
Matt: And boots and a high visibility vest.
Matt: All right, thanks, Donna, look after yourself, and I will see you around.
Donna: Thanks TTB