TOLAROIDS: Welcome back


Regardless of whether you were here last year or whether it’s your first day at arts, ink., I wanted to (re)introduce myself. My name is  Tola and since last fall I have been a photography content creator for Arts at Michigan. I love traveling, good coffee, dogs, and bad puns (as you have figured by now). I have exciting things planned for this year: everything from the weekly photo series through photography tutorials to collaborations with other creators and photographers! For my first post, I decided to put some of my favorite images up from different photo series to show you what kind of stuff I usually do – and although travel photography definitely dominates on my hard drive, I also do a lot of portraits, studio work, reportage, and macro photography.

I will post every Tuesday (probably) afternoon, so stay tuned for more content from Tolaroids. Regardless of whether you want to learn something new about photography or maybe just look at some pretty pictures, I will make sure to keep this blog interesting and exciting for you all! That’s why don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns, or just to say hi (or send me a photography pun).

See you next week!



Instagram: @akilian.jpg

TOLAROIDS: Finale & summer goodbye

The semester has finally come to an end so I wanted to thank you all for following what was my first photography blog of this kind. Maybe you learned something new, whether you’re new to photography or not, or maybe at least you enjoyed some of the photos. I am happy I could share my work and (hopefully useful) tips and I am excited for what the future content brings us. I don’t know yet about the next steps of Tolaroids but I will make sure to announce them. As always, I am happy to just chat or answer any questions, so catch me at @akilian.jpg or


As a farewell photo series, I am sending you all the times you caught me with a camera in my hands 🙂

Have a great summer,

– Tola.




I took the idea from last week and decided to post photos of cities. Some of them will be obvious choices but some will be ones that are more intriguing or less common. I definitely have more I wanted to post but these ones happened to catch my attention today.

Happy finals!

TOLAROIDS: Last snapshots of London

My idea for this week was actually something else – I wanted to post within the theme of “cities,” but I found some photos I took of London when I was last there before I left my university, and due to the pandemic wasn’t really allowed back. Since I haven’t shared them anywhere yet I thought I’d start here and go back to my planned theme some other time.


I do feel a bit of nostalgia for London since I love the city, maybe it’s because I just miss cities in general, maybe because I miss home, or maybe because the new season of “You” on Netflix is filmed in my old university (Royal Holloway, University of London) and I am a bit mad about missing it.

TOLAROIDS: Black & White (part 2)

If you’ve read last week’s post you now know my take on B&W photography and how in my opinion a lot of times it is used to cover up mistakes made in the original photograph before the edit. I argued that the best B&W photos are the ones that are intended to be B&W photos from the start, yet, I think you can absolutely discover that your photo is “eligible” for B&W photography in the editing phase. I’d strongly encourage you to try it, just for the sake of it, but while doing so keep in mind that it is supposed to add something to the photo, not rescue it. That’s why in this post I will try to explain some things to avoid if you try B&W filters.


Now, I chose photos that in my opinion do better in color but could look good in B&W too.

The first photo is one of my worst nightmares and it’s using way too much contrast, detail, and texture. It just looks burnt for some reason. People do that kind of editing often in color too, but I think it’s easier to commit this crime when shooting in B&W. Just please don’t.

The second image is way too faded on the other hand. I believe for this I used a Lightroom present (these can be helpful sometimes but 1. not every preset fits every photo and 2. not all of them are good). It is supposed to look misty but instead, you have a complete loss of texture. It’s not as bad as the first one but it definitely flattens the image. The third photo (while not ideal), balances the contrast with texture and brings out the figure out of the black background without making it feel like it’s cut out.

Many times we decide to edit in B&W it’s actually when working on portraits so we can add some “mystery” to it. Well, the first one makes the figure look like a ghost. It’s simply way too enhanced on highlights with cold tones. My mom who actually used to be a photographer (hi mom) always says that for some reason photos like this make her think of obituaries. Please don’t overexpose and don’t cool down the image too much.

The second image is a very very popular edit people use in social media. It’s a faded preset that flattens the image while also lightening the shadows and increasing the brightness (not necessarily exposure) of the picture. Is it terrible? No, it can be cute sometimes. Is it professional? Absolutely not.
In the last picture, again, you see there is a balance between the shadows and whites. You want the person to be coming out of the background but not blend with it. I actually increased the texture here by a few points to make that distinction, increased contrast, turned down highlights, and increased shadows by a tiny tiny bit.

Let me know if you like this new format of posts so I can think of more opinion pieces/tutorials. See you next week!