Style

Blog photo locations. This has been one of the biggest struggles as a blogger. If you are a blogger or have a personal brand, having a great backdrop/location is so important because it brings your aesthetic to life.

Before I go into all of my tips, I have to say that I am not perfect at this because I have a very specific vision for my brand, and I am unwilling to forgo that vision if the background is not right. To get specific, I shoot in front of walls quite often because the area I live in is not a prime place for cool looking buildings etc. Very recently, I have been making an effort to change this by driving to San Francisco, a 20 minute drive, to shoot.

1. VISION BOARDS

Create Pinterest boards for location ideas, whether it’s for a cohesive vision for your brand, or for a specific shoot. What I have found is that my vision boards involve a lot of black, gray, white, and pink. Many have intricate backgrounds.

2. CONSIDER COLORS

As I mentioned above, I always consider what colors will be in the photos. Think about what you’re wearing: will you blend into the background or stand out? Sometimes I’ll find a great place to shoot, but there are touches of a color that I don’t care to use. Don’t let that deter you! I simple desaturation or color fix when editing will do the trick.

4. DEPTH OF FIELD / BLURRED BACKGROUNDS?

Go back and look at your vision board(s). Do the photos you pinned have blurry backgrounds, or are the backgrounds in focus? If they’re blurry, they have a depth of field. If they’re crisp, they do not.

If you LIKE depth of field: You will need to stand at least 3 feet in front of the wall or backdrop that you want to be blurred by the camera. So, do not stand right in front of a wall if you want a blurred effect.

5. KEEP A LIST OF LOCATIONS

When it comes time to shoot, I always refer to my list! I can never remember all of the places I’ve ever shot and loved. So I keep a list and shoot at this spots on rotation. It is the WORST to drive around looking for locations…not efficient at all.

Similar sweater dress (same brand) // Booties

Buying clothes, accessories, makeup, really anything brings out the consumer reporter in me. Anyone else? Before I go to make a purchase, I research the hell out of my options. Time efficient? No, but making choices that suit my lifestyle is important to me.

For example, say you need a new pair of rain boots and the options seem to be endless. Do you buy the pair that is in your budget, but aren’t vegan? Or do you choose a pair that are cheap but are not vegan? As you have probably experienced regardless of your lifestyle, these decisions can be tough.

There is rarely a perfect option, regardless of what you’re shopping for. But you can make the best decisions for your budget, code of ethics, and urgency. There are no right and wrong answers, but limiting negative impacts with decisions means we’re doing our best, right?

Here are the questions that I ask myself when making a purchase (I even did this with my CAR):

Is it a need or a want?

My list of ‘wants’ is a mile long…I am one who cannot get into the capsule wardrobe thing as hard as I try. Call me a big old consumer, because it’s true. Here’s the thing though, I always make a second list of ‘needs’ from that ‘want’ list so that they get priority over everything else. This saves time and a lot of money.

Is it cruelty free?

Purchasing cruelty free clothes, makeup, shoes, and even my car is a non-negotiable for me. If you purchase cruelty free goods, you probably feel the same way: lusting after designer pieces (or non-designer) only to find out that they’re made from leather. This is always such a huge bummer for me. I am probably throwing myself to the wolves now, but I do not live a full vegan lifestyle…I eat a lot of fish for protein. But that’s a different story for a different day. Personally, I just can’t get down with animal testing or buying products made from animal skin or fur. Plus there are always alternatives out there that are just as fabulous.

“If you want to find brands that are truly cruelty-free, you’re going to have to be critical. Never blindly trust a label and never settle for an incomplete cruelty-free claim. If it sounds fishy, it probably is. There are a ton of false “cruelty-free” claims being thrown around. In other words, there’s a lot of bullshit out there, so keep your guard up!” – Cruelty Free Kitty

The best way to find out if something is cruelty free and/or vegan (yes, there is a difference), google it. I’m always standing in Sephora googling something like “Is NARS cruelty free?”…and for the record, NARS is NOT a cruelty free company anymore.

Is It Affordable?

The cost of items is lowest on my list of priorities because I will wait for an alternative, for an item to go on sale, or I’ll use Honey for promo codes. After I’ve found some different options for an item on my list, I compare them to see what I like the look of best and what item seems to be made from an ethical company (this could be a main question to ask on your list).

I hope you’ll give this list making strategy a try when making purchases – it makes things so much easier once you can cut out the clutter or what you DON’T want. I recommend making a list of your own principles and things to consider. I promise you’ll feel more confident, chic, and badass while rocking items (or driving a car!) that you can stand behind!

SHOP

 

CLOSET CLEAN OUTS. These can be anxiety inducing and refreshing all at the same time. At least that’s how it always feels for me. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have watched my closet clean out that I did on stories. I hadn’t purged and edited my closet for years, and it had been nagging at me for awhile.

There were a few things that I did differently this time, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. So, let’s get right to my top tips for cleaning out your closet!

♡ Get your mindset in check

You might be thinking, “oh, shut the fuck up” about the mindset piece, but this really is an important step before you start the clean-our process. If you’re anything like me, you are easily attached certain clothing items because they were gifts from someone special, or they bring back certain memories. Most of the time, keeping something in this instance doesn’t mean that it’ll ever be worn again. For example, if your grandma gave you a sweater that you think is just hideous, but you feel bad about letting it go. Just let it go. When it gets hard to let something go, remind yourself that when you get rid of something that no longer serves you, you are making room for pieces that do. And: one woman’s trash is another’s treasure. So, think of it as being generous!

Empty your entire closet

Yes, the whole thing, shoes and jewelry included. Don’t worry about sorting yet. Just get it all out. If you store any of your clothes in containers, your dresser, or other areas of your home, get those too. Dump them on the bed.

♡ Make piles

Start 3 piles. Mine are: Sell, Donate, and Keep. As you gather items to sell, I recommend setting up an account on eBay, or taking your clothes to a local consignment shop. My preference is eBay – the process is so easy. I prefer to donate over selling, however my personal rule is that if I want to get rid of a designer or pricey item, I will usually sell it. For nice, non-designer pieces, I donate to a women’s shelter or I ask friends and family if they are interested in any of the pieces. Separating everything into specific piles will help the process flow more smoothly, and the clean up will be a lot quicker once you’re done going through your entire wardrobe.

♡ The 1-year rule

There are certain items that will be hard to decide on which pile they should go in. If I need an extra push, I ask myself if I’ve worn that item in the last year. If the answer is “no”, I put it in the sell or donate pile. If you haven’t worn something in a year, chances are you won’t wear it again.

♡ Wash your closet

Yes, actually scrub, wash, and vacuum your closet while everything is out.

♡ Organize & restock

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to keep, being strategic about organizing makes getting dressed so much easier. I like to color code my closet like this: White to black, tanks to sweaters. For example, I’ll start with all of my white shirts and sweaters. I add them into my closet in order of lightness, so tanks go first, then tees, then light button-ups, then sweaters.

Now the really fun part: take inventory of what is missing from your closet. When I did this, I felt so much anxiety because I had gotten rid of 1/2 my closet. I am still slowly adding pieces back in. Tip: Write a note in your phone of everything that is now missing, and check them off as you add these items back in.

Charleston, South Carolina had been at the top of my travel list within the states for a long time. Something about the gorgeous architecture, southern charm, PINK, and the beaches just spoke to me.

And it didn’t disappoint. I’ll be recapping our trip with all of the details such as where to eat, what to see, etc. soon.

But for now, let’s talk outfits. I started shopping for this trip about a month before we left and I wanted my Charleston wardrobe to reflect the atmosphere: feminine and light (because it was hot).

Never go away from your personal style or buy things that you would never wear otherwise…this is my biggest tip. You will not see me wearing seersucker or a shifty tunic, even in the south. Think your style with a twist. (more…)

JUMPSUIT // SHOES // SUNGLASSES

CONFIDENCE. It is the single most important embodiment to own because it makes all the difference in how you feel and what amazing things may come your way…when you attract them. When you have confidence, it radiates.

Yes, it can be hard in 2018 with social media – comparison sucks. But the key here is to DO YOU. There is only one you…let it shine and own it.

It has taken me almost 31 years to feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. Of course I am not all the way THERE, but man have I made progress. Here are five tips/techniques that have served me well in the confidence department…

1. Change your mindset/think positive

This one is so simple yet makes such a huge difference when put into practice. Here’s what has worked very well for me: replace one negative thought with three positive thoughts. Taking part in this practice has massively changed my outlook on everything. Even the bad things in life come with positives, and I love to look at life this way.

I think of this replacement technique as designing my thoughts and future. There is no place for constant negativity.

2. Stop comparing yourself and focus on YOU

Who cares what other people are doing/if someone has a larger social media following than you/is thinner than you…the list goes on. Jealousy does no favors. Take the time to acknowledge these comparisons and how you feel, and then move on and focus on your goals, dreams, and ambitions.

3. Face your fears

Fear can threaten your physical self and our ability to regulate emotions because fear usually means that we do not feel in control…AKA not a good place to be.

It’s clear then how damaging the influence of fear can be, therefore it’s all the more important to realize that you can never truly run from your fears. You can keep running, or you can face your fears and then CONQUER them.

Ladies, this one has been very hard for me, but I practice all the time and I do it in small doses. I had always been that person to push things to the corner, or say “I’ll deal with this later”, but that did not serve me at all. Here is what I have done with every single fear that comes up for me:

+ Identify the fear: This is where you’ll work on the uncomfortable truth. Accept it, it is what it is. Once you accept it, this fear becomes a lot smaller just by beating the mental game.

+ Visualize overcoming that fear: What will it look like once you overcome your fear? How will you feel? Be as specific as possible when visualizing this.

+ Take action: Stay calm and GO! Tackle your fear with a to-do list/plan of action. By conquering your fears and getting extremely uncomfortable, you will feel so empowered. Trust me.

4. Spend time alone and talk to yourself

Getting to know yourself is SO FUN. I love spending time alone, whether it’s going to the gym on my own, running errands, or just staying at home and reading a good book really is the best. It is so important to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself.  We cannot always rely on others, we have to be able to pick ourselves up, give yourselves that pep talk, pat ourselves on the back, and reassure ourselves.

And yes, I talk to myself. Try checking in with yourself at least once daily and ask yourself how you feel. Is something bugging you? Are you excited about something? Pause and ask yourself how you feel, and allow yourself to think through your options if a decision needs to be made – a decision that you can feel confident about. Also, trust your gut. 99% of the time, it is right.

5. Dress up for YOU

There’s no denying that slipping on something like a simple and gorgeous LBD gives us that extra pep in our step. Or that wearing a chic blazer during a big meeting helps you own a room. Clothing, accessories, and makeup all play a huge role in confidence. When you look good, you FEEL good.

Speaking of clothes, this jumpsuit is just perfect for owning your confidence. Not only is it RED, but it’s also so flirty & chic. Love how comfortable it is too.

xo, Lynn