Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Woman: Summer Photo Shoot Fashion Inspiration

As some of you may know I am in Photography school, while I have been freelancing for a few years now I have finally decided to take the plunge & invest in myself by furthering my Photography & business education. While I have slowed down on the freelancing while working on my certification I have not fully given it up & have been itching to get back into snapping some beautiful photos.
I love photographing people, however, I do wish at times I could take each of my clients, shopping for the perfect shoot outfits prior to the shoot itself. No I am far from a fashion expert. However, I do have a back ground in Fashion Design and merchandising (I attended a few semesters at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, New York), so I am pretty fashion savvy and can usually throw something together fairly easily. I usually can recognize pretty well when a specific fabric, pattern, color etc, will photograph well & when it will not photograph as easy.
So in honor of my mini come back into the world of freelance photography I have put together a little inspiration board for the woman's photo fashion. 

The point of this post is not to say you should go out and replicate these exact outfits. I am well aware that everyone has their own style, and taste. Rather, I hope these general ideas, give you something to think about when picking out your summer shoot apparel! 

Dress- American Eagle, Bracelets- Forever 21, Sandals- Steve Madden, Belt- American Eagle

1. Neutrals With Color Pop- Neutrals are always a safe way to go no matter what the season! But why not throw a pop of season friendly color in the mix to give your look that extra WOW factor! This outfit is just the beginning of the many directions you could go in.

Blazer- Urban Outfitters, Tank/Camisole-Forever 21, Polka Dot Jeans- Michael Kors

2. Layers- Ok I know what you are probably thinking... It's summer... Layers really?
But hear me out. Layers, while can cause a bit of warmth are so worth the hassle. Layers while making your over all outfit look awesome, also allow for multiple different looks in one. Take the example above, some photos with the blazer on, some with the blazer off.. Add a scarf or head band in there for a few shots, roll the pants. You can layer with just about any article of clothing during any season. Wearing shorts? Throw some vibrant tights underneath! Just remember the end result is some kick ass photos!

Dress- H&M, Lower Shorts- H&M, Upper Shorts- Urban Outfitters, Shoes- Jeffery Campbell, Scarf- H&M

3. Prints & Patterns- A good print/pattern is always a great way to make your outfit a unique look. Spice up your outfit with a bold pattern & compliment the look with some dainty, simple accessories.

Shoes- Steve Madden, Skirt & Summer knit- J Crew, Lace top- Forever 21

4. Textures- Textures! Textures! Textures! Example- Lace, knits, patches. This is one of my favorites when going back through & editing photos! They tend to pphotograph really well, & can easily change the whole style of your shoot. Knits, comfy, cozy, homey.. Lace, elegant, graceful, classy etc.
Upper Necklace- J Crew, Earrings- Forever 21, Lower Necklace- Express, Clutch- Express

5. Details & Accessories- This is the fun part! Why not take a simple outfit with some big bold eclectic accessories! Head Scarves, Neck Scarves, Gaudy costume jewelry, pull your hair back & wear some funky earrings! If you're wearing a more outgoing outfit tone the accessories down to a bare minimum but maybe incorporate that one piece of jewelry that in all its simplicity is still fabulous! 

What you wear for photos doesn't have to be what you wear on a day to day basis, but instead maybe choose to step out of your comfort zone. Mix it up a bit. Wear something that can be a topic of conversation, but most importantly you feel comfortable wearing & feel good in!

Are you having photos done this summer? Have you picked out what you're wearing?
I hope this has been somewhat helpful! I plan on putting together a few family shoot inspiration boards soon so stay tuned!! 

Y'all come back now ya hear?! ;)


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIY: Moss Topiaries

I have been looking for something to fill the bare space on top of my kitchen cabinets. Something different, other than plates or picture frames. While that looks awesome too, I have plates already on the wall in the dining room & frames all through out my house. So I felt the need to mix it up a bit. 
The space is still not quite finished but here is a peak at the DIY: Moss Topiaries I chose to begin with! 

What you will need:

1. Faux Moss.- Comes in different shades & Textures at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or a Local craft store! 
2. Styrofoam balls or Pre-made topiary. If you buy the pre made -you will not need #3.
3. Wooden Dowel & Styrofoam base.
4. Planter Pot
4. Hot Glue gun & Lots of glue sticks!
Don't forget to use your coupons that can be found for most craft stores in your local ads & smart phone apps!

*** The faux moss comes in big sheets, I cut into small squares and glued on, overlapping in some sections to create a more natural look, Decorate your pot if you would like. ***

Well? I have seen Moss topiaries like this at the store that run for $30+... I say Hellzzzzz no! 
This DIY was less expensive than pre made store bought topiaries, Simple & gave me inspiration on what direction I am going in with my kitchen! 
Do you have a space above your cabinets? What do you have up there?

I would love to hear what you think of my Moss Topiaries?

Happy Hump Day! 


P.S. Baby B started crawling today!! I'm one proud Momma... time to put the baby gates up! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Painting Play Date.

Every DIY'er/ crafter has there fare share of failed projects. It is a constant trial & error process.
This project was a little bit of a hit mixed with a little bit of a miss..
I don't usually share the misses because they are not worth anyones time, but the boys featured in this post are to adorable to pass up.

Here is how it all began.. 
My boy Bennett was looking to have a play date with his good buddy Jackson & being the artistic Mommy that I am decided it would be so fun for them to dive into a bunch of paint & get absolutely filthy. Following the fun in the sun up with a dip in the pool and a bit of hosing off. 
I was looking for a safe & inexpensive way for the boys to paint. So I took to pinterest, which when in doubt.. PINTEREST it up! What kept popping up was a recipe for yogurt & food coloring. I thought well this is perfect! Both boys being just old enough to have whole milk yogurt & all.. (in case they decided to taste test the paint, it was safe to ingest.) 
My original idea was to roll out a large sheet of craft paper sit the boys on it and let them do their thing. Hopefully crawling around & printing it up so us Mommies could frame.. Instead here is what happened..

The paper got crinkly. The yogurt soaked into the paper creating holes when the boys crawled over top. the yogurt began to smell & Flies began to sworm. Among other things. Luckily, we had a few small baby size canvases on hand. The little men did a little finger painting smiling, and what looked like they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, a little swimming & headed inside to enjoy a few Puffs & some Mickey Mouse.

 Won't the yogurt, mold?Was my immediate thought.. We read Salt was the answer. Later on after Bennett was down for his nap, his canvas was almost dry, I combined some salt and some water in a squirt bottle and sprayed covering the canvas. When I came back a few hrs later his painting did not look very good, the paint was cracking & chipping. This project had gone so very wrong. I will definitely do this again with my boy, but next time I will go the easy route and purchase the non toxic baby safe finger paints! So not worth the trouble in this case. However if you are just looking for something to entertain & stimulate for a bit this would be a kid friendly, not to mention tasty & healthy way to go!! 
Although the paintings may not have turned out as hoped, the boys had such a great time & in the end that is all that really matters. I love  to see a smile on my babies face. 

 Of course I snapped a few candids.

Arn't they the cutest? 
Happy late Fathers Day to all you Dads out there!
 Bennetts Da-Da was gone in the field for his first fathers day, which was very unfortunate since we had so much in store for him but duty called. I told Bennett his Dad was a super hero & he was off doing super hero work & we will celebrate when he gets home! ;)

Amanda (Bennetts Mommy)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DIY Fathers Day for the BBQ'ing Dad.

This past week my husband purchased a new grill, he has been OBSESSED ever since, & I mean obsessed. We have grilled every night for an entire week (Fine by me, I don't have to cook ;)), I can see him getting creative with trying new techniques & an interest in experimenting with new spices. 
 So as a last minute Fathers Day gift I have whipped together an easy DIY for the BBQ'ing Dad. That won't break the bank & you may even have a bunch of the ingredients already in your spice cabinet.

Here is what you will need to create what I like to call,
Dads Kick Ass [Moo] BBQ Rub- 
Best on Steak

1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
Tiny pinch of sugar
5 Tbsp Paprika
Glass container with secure lock & seal lid - I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.
& some handy dandy labels (optional but adds a nice personalized touch)- Also purchased at Hobby Lobby then I designed Labels and printed them on. The Font wasn't as dark as I had wanted, so I simply traced over it with a fine tip sharpie.

This recipe makes about one cup. Make however much you desire. I ended up doubling the recipe to fit my container & it still only filled to about 3/4 of the way.

They're cute, right?! Make him a couple extra containers to store his own grilling creations!
I taste tested the spice on dinner tonight since the hubby is away in the field.. Delicious is an understatement! I hope he loves!

Do you like my labels? 

Here are some Label Freebies to printout! Enjoy! 
Hope all you fathers out there, have a very Happy Fathers Day! Bennett's Daddy sure will!!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thrifted Chair Makeover.

hmm..Lets start with, these handsome fellas.

As some of you know I am currently a photography student, hence why I have been M.I.A this past week, while out practicing some new techniques on nature, for an upcoming project, these crazies kept jumping in my shots! They're perfect but will my instructors count if there is nature in the background? ha ha
Anyways, My sweet Bennett boy there, turned 8 months old on the 8th! Gahhh! He is growing so fast,I wish there was a pause button on lifeI can't believe I am the mother to an 8 month old! This week he has advanced so much, he now pulls himself up in his crib (not for very long but he's working on it),Eats bits of cheerios,puffs, and rolls into sitting position on his own. Still no full on crawl but he is getting around, thats for sure. He does this cute army crawl thing and rolls from room to room following Miss Penny girl. Follow me on INSTAGRAM to see pics of B & his doggy. 
Mommy is so proud of you Bennett! 
Now that I have caught you up on my loves, lets get down to business.

I have a stock pile of projects in my garage, things I just pick up along the way, & a lot of the time I don't get around to doing until months later. Doesn't everyone? (I thought this was normal.)
This was one of those projects. 
I picked this chair up a while back with a fellow thrifty friend Miss Jordyn. <<< Link to visit her blog. I was very unsure of this chair at first. While I loved the shape an such, it was the beginning of our shopping that day & I wasn't sure I was ready to commit. Luckily, Jordyn knows her furniture & she could spot a treasure like this from a mile away! She gave me the extra push I needed to just do it!

Lets check it out, shall we?!

After taking to 2 power sanders to the thing to get through the 4 coats of paint :/ yes... 4!!!! 
A fresh coat of paint, a little stain & this adorable little chair has been given new life.
My paint job is in no way perfect but even with her little flaws she remains flawless. I'm head over heels in love with her!
That beautiful minty blue tone I chose is Tranquility by Valspar. Valspar has these awesome sample sizes that can be found at Lowes for about $4. I often purchase these! The sample covered this entire chair two coats & I still have a little left over. They're great if you don't plan on using the same color very often or like to switch it up on a regular, like I do. Finished this baby with 2 clear coats in Matte finish. & there she is.
I haven't decided 100% where her new home will be. I am thinking spare room, desk chair? That way every time I sit down to write for you guys I can write in style!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

DIY Cake/Serving Trays.

Ever since I could remember Alice in Wonderland has been my all time favorite book/ movie. So much that my baby shower was even Mad Hatter tea Party themed. It was amaze-balls to say the very least!!! 

Maybe my love for wonderland had played a part in my love for tea? 

So today we will begin with a little Saturday morning tea & a post on my DIY Cake Tray that cost $1!!! Ready? 

Muffin, muffin? ;)

Even if you don't drink tea.. this cute little set up sure does make you want to start doesn't it!?
Wanna know how I did it?

Can you believe I only spent $1 to make this cute cake tray?! I used a silver serving tray & plastic cup, a plastic wine glass, margarita cup, just about anything would work, just pick the look that best suits you.  I purchased the silved platter tray at the Dollar store, they were 50 cents a piece & the cup I chose to use I had purchased at Walmart off season a few years ago. It had just been chillin in the back of my cupboard, so I decided it was time to get some use out of the poor thing. 
I super glued the cup to the serving tray, holding in place until completely dry. 
Then flipped over and gave a good coat of spray paint & clear coat. I opted not to paint the tray, not only because I love the two toned look but also I'm not trying to get my guests sick.. you're welcome ;). If you choose you want to paint your tray.. be SURE it is food friendly, non toxic paint.

The Chalkboard serving platter is pretty self explanatory.. Chalkboard the front of the tray and voila, a cute unique way to add some personality to whatever you are serving!  

These two DIY's took me about 5 mins to do, waiting for the paint to dry took longer than the actual process of putting it all together! 
So worth the wait! Make one, add your own twist to this project, I would love to see what you come up with! 
Enjoy your weekend everyone! I'm about to go hang out with my boys in the back yard & sip on a Corona & lime! Summer is here!