Friday, January 28, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc...)

I use a basic point-n-shoot camera. Not even sure what type, to be honest! I want to say it's a Canon, but I might be lying. I originally started my blog with a different camera, propped up on whatever was available, but it took a little tumble and the shutter took a bad hit. Got myself a new little buy, and now I've got a collapsible tripod as well. I also have a gorilla-pod, but I don't use that so much.

2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..)

I'm almost embarrassed to answer this, since it seems like so many bloggers have all of these amazing tools at hand. I load my photos onto my computer, and I crop them in Paint. I use Fotonea to create my collages, and I host my images on Flickr. My blog is run via blogger.
I know some bloggers take this hobby super-seriously, and for them, it's worth investing money into certain technologies. For me, starting this blog was really just a toe dipped into the blogging waters. I'm always willing to learn about new tips, tricks, and technologies, but at this point in my blog, I'm just not willing to invest much money into it. It's a hobby, and it's for fun. What I *would* like to spend some time doing is learning about my camera and how to take better pictures. I'd love to know that for any aspect of my life, not just the blog.

3. What is your process for taking pictures?

Attach camera to tripod, find location, adjust lighting/camera setting if necessary, snap a few full-body shots, snap detail shots, head back inside. At some point I load images, crop, create collage, and smack it all on the blog. It's a pretty basic operation I've got going on here.

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?

I mainly use the same coupla places. I have definitely seen locations that I thought would be great, but frankly, I'm a shy gal and I'm not too interested in the strange looks from others. Also, I almost always take my outfit photos when I get home from work, and I need to get them done ASAP so I can cook dinner or whatever else needs to get done. Sometimes it's out front, sometimes it's out back. I've been scouting a place inside the house, but I haven't found anything suitable just yet. I do have my eye on a certain wall as a backdrop, though!

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?

I guess I would get a better camera. But I don't know how to use it. Or I could get better computer technology to better manipulate the images I've got. But again, I don't know how to use it. Does a professional photographer count as equipment?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Questions for the Peanut Gallery...

Hey Y'all!

As you're all sorely aware, I haven't posted any outfit photos here in several months.
First, it was my wedding -- I was busy planning, then recovering.
Once I was mentally ready again to start taking pictures, it was too bloody cold outside! I love the natural light and backdrop; those photos always came out so much better than anything I ever took indoors...
Which leads me to another issue: indoors, I have literally NO space in my house that isn't occupied by stuff. no bare wall anywhere that would make a decent backdrop for an outfit pic.

Now, this post isn't meant to be a list of excuses, but rather a cry for help.
Do any of you have any suggestions for places within a seriously messy house to take pictures? Would you rather see craptastic images than nothing at all? I mentioned to the hubs last night that I really want to start posting here again, but I just lacked the proper place to take my pictures. (Come on warm weather!)

Basically, I just want to know what YOU want. What do you want to see here?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?

If a blogger actually wears the outfits they post. If a blogger is honest with their readers about where the pieces of the outfit came from, how much they spent, if they were gifts/courtesy of a company. If a blogger shares aspects of their day to let you know why they wore certain parts of their outfit (ie, high heels because you sit at a desk all day.) All of these are pieces of the whole picture. Each individual blogger doesn't have to share every last piece, but the more complete a picture the readers see, the more authentic the blog/blogger is.

2. When it comes to your blog how to you infuse it with that true/
authentic feeling?

The pictures I post are always of an outfit I have worn, usually to work, since I don't often post weekend outfits. When something is different from my norm (a weekend or evening look) I mention that. If I wore something differently than how it is pictured on the blog (sometimes I forget to change from my commuting shoes to the shoes I wore all day, for example), I make a note of that on the blog. I often talk about an aspect of my day that relates to the outfit -- I think that ties my clothing into my personality and who I am a little more.
I also try to write pretty much the way I speak in real life. I've found that the blogs I enjoy reading the most are the ones where I feel like I'm sitting down with a cuppa tea, chatting with a friend. It just happens to be a friend I've never met who lives hundreds of miles away. I don't know if I'm quite there yet with my own blog, but it's something I strive for.

3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?

I probably have, though I haven't really kept track too well. Everyone's style adapts over time, and sometimes I find that some bloggers whose style I used to adore just don't work for me anymore. It's not a judgment on them at all, but it just doesn't pique my curiosity anymore. Personally, the vast majority of blogs I follow are ones where I can draw inspiration, learn for myself, or relate to in some way. While there is something to be said for fantasy-outfit blogs, for me, if I can't translate your looks into something I could/would wear, I'm not likely to keep reading your blog.

4. We can't communicate effectively on our blogs, something we don't live in real life... what are some ways you try to live an authentic life?

I live my life for me, not for my readers. While I do sometimes catch myself wondering if an outfit is "blog-worthy," I don't dress myself for the blog. I take pictures of what I wear, and I post them. Now, that's not to say that I don't use my blog as motivation for holding myself accountable for actually making an effort to look nice. (Maybe that's the same thing as dressing for the blog, but I don't think it is...)

5. Give a shout-out... Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?
Hillary from byhillary
Kimberly from Fab Finds Under $50
Suze from Miss Vinyl Ahoy
Tina from T Minus, T Plus
Andie from What Andie Wears
Erin from Work With What You've Got

Truly, my list could go on and on. but these gals are ones whose blogs seem to speak to me the most. They write about real things that happen in their lives, and they write with a voice that comes across as their own. I can get a sense of who they are from their blogs. They just happen to also post photos of what they wear. I think that's the key -- I love the clothes, but it's the people that make the blog authentic.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friend Friday...

I'm sure most of you have seen various other bloggers taking part in Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.
Since I have been remiss in updating the blog lately (I swear I keep meaning to take and upload photos for you, but I can't find anywhere inside to pose, and it's just TOO DARNED COLD outside!) I have decided to start taking part in these little Q&Asessions to at least keep the blog semi-conscious.
After all, I'm still here, and I'm still reading and commenting!

1. How do you determine what you will wear that day?

For work, I usually set my outfit out the night before -- this allows me to sleepwalk through my morning as much as possible. The most important thing I keep in mind is the weather. If it is cold, rainy, or snowy outside, I take that into account when selecting something to wear, adding extra layers or avoiding something that wont hold up well in the rain. It is always a little cool in my office also, so when it's hot outside, I always try to remember an extra layer for inside.
Other than the weather, I keep in mind other things like comfort, pieces I haven't worn in a while, clothing items or accessories that are new to me, or things I've seen that have inspired me. If I see a trend in the outfits I've been putting together (for example, I seem to have a natural tendancy to wear darker colors in the winter), I try to be aware of it and break the cycle.

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month,

As I said earlier, on work nights, I lay out my outfit the night before. I have done this since high school. Since I'm not an early riser, I like to sleep in as much as possible and just sleepwalk through my morning. I have, a few times, been inspired and put together outfits for a few days, and I have noticed how much more smoothly those days/nights go when I don't have to stop to pull an outfit together before bed. I might try to start planning a weeks worth of outfits on Sunday night, just to see if that's a habit I can maintain.
I have also seen a few bloggers who put together some "emergency" outfits -- for those days when you've overslept and forgotten to pull something the night before, for those times you just don't feel like wearing what you put together, for those spontaneous moments when you need to look cute or pulled together but don't have the time or energy to put into it. Voila, the work is already done! I think this is an intriguing idea, and I may try to put one or two ensembles together on a day when I'm feeling creatively inspired.

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don't repeat?

I don't worry about repeats -- I've never claimed every outfit I put together is unique, and frankly, if I like something I've whipped up, I can pretty much guarantee that I WILL repeat it, either verbatim or at least in a different iteration. I understand the idea that repeating an outfit might lack creativity, but sometimes you just gotta know that something works. And if it works for me, I'm gonna do it again!

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet?
(Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)

I have my clothes hung in my closet by color (and sorta-kinda by function) so I really don't like to move things around too much. Sometimes when I have a certain piece in my hand, I will hold it up near other pieces to try to get ideas. Sometimes I do try things on -- I have definitely been stuck in the morning with an outfit I put together in my mind and thought would work, only to realize it doesn't, and with no time to grab anything else! (This would be one of those occasions where an "emergency" outfit would come in handy!) There have been times when, even holding pieces beside one another, I didn't think they would work together, but just fot fun I put them on together and end up loving the way they look.
Basically, I just keep looking back within my closet and saying to myself "What else can I pair this with? How else can I wear this?"

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?

Like I said earlier, I think I am going to test out the week-long outfit selecting process and see how that goes. I've noticed that most mornings I seem to be getting ready faster than I used to, so maybe I can try to start wearing makeup on a more regular basis (most days, I wear NONE, which I'm pretty sure would garner a few gasps from the fashion crowd!). I also want to throw together a few "emergency" outfits.
I'm really interested in seeing how other bloggers answer this question, since I'm always looking for ways to cut down on the amount of time it takes me to do anything...