bath bombs

If you started your DofE Skills course a while ago...here's 3 tips to help you along

If you signed up to our course a while back and haven’t yet finsished, don’t despair.

It doesn’t matter when you started your DofE Skills course, or whether it’s for your Bronze DofE or your Silver DofE - all that matters is that you finish it! If you have taken a break because life got in the way of all those extra curricular activities then here’s some tips to get you back on track.

  1. Schedule some time to read through what you have completed already, it will put you in the right frame of mind.

  2. Don’t despair if your products don’t look like everyone elses. One of the main positives about the DofE award is that it is yours alone - you work hard to achieve it and should never compare yourself to others. Soaps and bath bombs come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some people have a creative flair, some don’t. The products still work exactly the same!

  3. If you are struggling to find time to fit everything in - schedule an hour the week after next. There is no immediate need to make something. If you have lots of homework or activities, try to find a day where you have very little. If you find a whole weekend free, schedule in to do a couple of hours. The benefit of our course is that it is completely flexible and you get to choose when to do it.

If you really find you are stuck with something - get in touch. We will always do our best to help anyone looking for support. Sometimes it can be overwheling with so much to juggle outside of school - but just take a step back. Your DofE award will look fantastic on your CV - you may not appreciate now, but believe us, it really will!

5 Ways to take excellent photos for your DofE portfolio

If you are taking Duke of Edinburgh Skills course, you will need to take some photos for your DofE portfolio. When you complete your award, you will have a portfolio of evidence from all of the sections - and our course will give you many opportunities to take stunning shots.

You don’t need any expensive equipment to do this, although if you have a camera, you will often get better resolution photos. So here are a few tips to help you get the best results;

  • Bath bombs are VERY photogenic, especially the dual colour ones or any with additions such as floral buds or glitter. Try taking photos of them from an angleto where they look the smoothest.

  • Soaps tend not to look as exciting, but if you have made more than one bar, you can stack them on top of each other. The soap with embeds can look good if you stand them on end or photograph from above.

  • Scrubs and steamers are possibly the least exciting of all the products. For best results, concentrate your photography on the making phase.

Whatever you do, take lots of photos each week and then you will have some stunning shots to choose from. In terms of improving the shots, here are five easy ways to get great results.

  1. Angles - don’t always go for the obvious angle. Whilst bath bombs are spherical, you can stack them, or turn them so that the saturn ring (around the middle) isn’t horizontal. Stack soaps or steamers at odd angles.

Simply stacking a couple of bars of soap, gives a much better photo than if you lay them flat

Simply stacking a couple of bars of soap, gives a much better photo than if you lay them flat

2. Action shots rock! The best thing about bath bombs, is when they hit the water. We often video ours, to show to customers at fairs/markets - but you will need photos for your portfolio. If you want to get a good photo of your bath bombs activating, use a sink and place the bomb in it gently (alwyas make sure the taps have stopped running and the water is still). Take the photos from directly above - and take a succession of them. You never know how the bath bomb is going to react or what patterns it’s going to make.

This is a pink & blue bath bomb which has been in the water for about a minute. The shot was taken from directly above the water

This is a pink & blue bath bomb which has been in the water for about a minute. The shot was taken from directly above the water

3. Fill the frame! This is really simple. Avoid having lots of space around your products. You can take a shot with space around your products, but use an editing tool to crop it - removing unwanted empty space always improves a photo!

This photo was a tray on a table - it looks much better without the table!

This photo was a tray on a table - it looks much better without the table!

4. Lighting - always try to take photos during the day, in a well lit area. Near to a window is perfect! The more natural light you can use, the better your photo will be. Avoid taking shots in a poorly lit area and using the flash. It will light up your products but cast shadows.

This shot is dark & a flash was used so you can see shadows

This shot is dark & a flash was used so you can see shadows

This shot was taken in front of a window during the day - you can see the difference such a simple step makes

This shot was taken in front of a window during the day - you can see the difference such a simple step makes

5. Not every photo has to be of the finished product! To add variety, take photos as you go. Sometimes it is as important to document the process as well as the end result. Well taken pictures of ingredients being measured out, mixed in bowls, or photos of pans with melting oils - they all have potential to look great!

This is just a simple bath bomb, resting in the mixing bowl. it’s being tapped with a spoon to release the bomb - but it demonstrates the method used to good effect.

This is just a simple bath bomb, resting in the mixing bowl. it’s being tapped with a spoon to release the bomb - but it demonstrates the method used to good effect.

Don’t forget - we love to feature photos on our social media feeds - so if you are happy for us to feature yours you can either tag us, give us a mention or just simply email a copy to us. If you have good video footage of your bath bombs in action, we sometimes use these as promotional posts to demonstrate what can be learnt on our course. Again - get in touch if you are happy for us to feature you. We don’t put names on the posts, but if you are happy for us to do so, we will!

Happy clicking :)


4 reasons why our DofE skills course could be right for you...

If you are embarking on either your Bronze or Silver DofE award, then you will need to give careful consideration to the choices you make. Learning a new skill should not only be about educating yourself, it should be fun as well. If you are still procrastinating, consider the following;

1. Soakster is an Approved Activity Provider - we have full accreditation from the DofE and are authorised not only to deliver content but to write assessors reports too. This means that although you should always update your local DofE leader with details of what you are doing for each section, there is no need to seek their approval for our course. The DofE have already done this - so you can get started straight away.

2. The photo opportunities are fantastic! For your DofE portfolio you need to provide photographs which will be incorporated into your portfolio. Our course provides an array of photographic opportunities - preparing, making, moulding, using and of course the final products. How colourful they are is up to you, the limit is your imagination.

3. Our course is unique - we can guarantee you will not find anything quite like it, anywhere else. We like to think that almost everyone who completes this course, will never have made their own soap or a multi coloured bath bomb and yet they are products that we all use regularly. Your DofE award should be a personal journey of adventure and education. Our course fits the bill perfectly. 

4. Once you start, you won't want to stop - a little learning is a dangerous thing. Once you have a few products under your belt, your mind will start thinking about what else you can make and who you are going to gift it to. The likelihood is you won't just complete the course and stop. The possibilities are endless.

Full details of our DofE Skills course are available here

If you have any questions before signing up, please get in touch - we are more than happy to answer them.