Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My *picks* and my *pics*

First up today, I'm going to share some polyvore with  you all  haha. Polyvore is basically a fun site where you can virtually shop on the web, design outfits, and then not  buy them :-P Yesterday I created some  sets that I'm really  loving right now, but I'm not buying (no really, you'd be proud--I even gave away ALL of my gymbucks last week!!)

So if you aren't  on a spending freeze for kid's clothes please purchase some of these---I need to live vicariously LOL. But if I buy one more item my  children will need to start changing their  clothes mid day to  wear them all ;-)

This is Gymboree's new nautical  collection.  I lovve  the whale outfit for Raya (it's kid girl size) and then the kite outfit and the swimsuit are baby girl, and I love them  for Brielle! Too bad  Brielle has 1000 swimsuits already lol.

Gymboree nautical

I'm even going to throw one in for the boys this time! Gymboree has a baseball line out right now and I love this treehouse shirt with the plaid shorts---the treehouse door even opens! And baseball shoes--very cute. I think the swimsuit is also fun. I believe these are all baby boy sizes, so 3 month - 5T
Gymboree BB baseball

Crazy 8 has an adorable strawberry line out right now---I"m really loving the ruffle skirt!
Crazy 8 strawberries

I'm literally obsessed with these board shorts from Gap. This is all kid girl sizes so it'd have to be for Raya...alas Gap is so expensive unless you buy used. Love it though!
Gap kid girl spring

This is more Gap out right now---- love
Gap KG

And more Gap haha...how cute would Brielle be in the romper and Raya in the skirt set?!
gap purple

This is Old Navy and I'm loving the chevron dress. They also have girl cape shirts now! I got my nephew Ryan a boy one for Christmas hehe.
Old Navy Spring girl

Any brands you guys are loving for your little ones this spring?! I'm also loving Naartjie, but I found a bunch of that used online so my girls are pretty set for spring :-)

Now, switching gears completely from my fashion "picks" to my camera "pics" hehe. After my post yesterday I thought I'd give a couple photo tips for anyone interested.

I should first clarify that when I refer to my pics as "pro" I simply mean they looks less like a ordinary snapshot....I am no "pro" photographer though! But if you want to take your photos to the next level here are a couple pointers!

First, you have to shoot in manual mode with your DSLR! If you shoot in auto you are letting the camera pick the shutter speed, f, ISO, etc. and the camera rarely gets it right in less than ideal conditions. Shooting in manual really isn't that hard---just try it!

Now the more pro you are, the better your straight outta the camera photos will look...because you'll get better at adjusting your settings for the lighting conditions. (And just as a blanket  FYI, if you use your camera flash you likely erase any chance  of your pic  looking like  more than a snapshot. Flash equals big  no no in most cases! Natural  light only :-)  The better your straight outta the camera photos are, the less editing you have to do later, and the less editing you have to do then the better your pics! (Because the more you have to edit for things like lighting, etc. the more "noise" your photos will end up having.)

Here is an example from yesterday. First, this picture of Raya is what  mine looked like straight out of the camera, with zero editing. ...And before I had adjusted my camera settings for the conditions.
You can  see that  the lighting is  way  off. (I should have done  things like increase my ISO and lower my f and shutter speed to let more light into the camera, and therefore brighten the pic. You don't want to lower your shutter speed *too* much though because then you get photo blur).

Then right below Raya  is the pic I  took  of Brielle straight outta the camera---after I had adjust  all my settings. See how much better the one of Brielle looks?

Next, after you get a decent out of the camera picture, then you need to edit! Yes, the really pro photographers have pics  that look pretty great without editing. But most of them still edit. The really cool pics you see floating around Pinterest? Most of them have layers and layers of editing....things don't just pop out of the camera looking like that!

Photoshop is a pretty "pro" editing software. I use  Lightroom, which is also very good but  less bells and whistles and better (in my opinion) for just starting out. There are a lot of fancy edits Lightroom can't do though. However if you use a lot of the free photo editing programs your edits will often come out looking like  high school scrapbook rather than "pro"....at least that's been my experience. It really does make a difference to use a good editing program. Often times you can download a free 30 day trial of Lightroom.

So here is a comparison then to show you how Lightroom can help to "save" even the bad photos. Here  is that photo of Raya where all my settings were wrong, and how Lightroom was able  to help me save it some.

And obviously everyone has their own style of editing, so that  is something you have to play around with. I tend to like bright edits with lots of contrast.

And here  is my edit with Brielle---I  had to do a lot less editing on this one, since  I had my camera settings (more) right to begin with.

So I hope that helped someone perhaps! I continue working all the time on my manual settings and trying to understand how they need to be adjusted for different settings/conditions. It's just  trial  and error, but  it really makes a difference in the end!


  1. Your photos are looking great! Mine need serious work!

    Oh man, I am obsessed with the newest Gymboree line. I have filled up my cart multiple times but I just cannot bring myself to pay full price for that stuff! Plus, we may find out tomorrow if we are having a boy or a girl, so I'm trying to save my Gymbucks if it's a boy :)

    1. Ooo...I hope you find out---can't wait to hear!

      I know, I looooove the nautical. Sadly I went t hrough the bins of spring/summer stuff though and my girls have seriously way too much LOL. Not to say I wouldn't still buy something if it got cheap enough ;-)

  2. Your photos are amazing. I just found your blog from Kate at Daffodils. I love the Gymboree line but am trying not to shop for kids clothes for at least another month. Surprisingly I found a bunch of cute winter things from H and M. I was surprised because I usually don't shop there for myself. Your girls are beautiful.

  3. Thank you for doing my shopping for me. Kyla does need a swim suit and they both need some summer stuff so I need to use my Gymbucks! I am off to feed lunch and put kiddos down for naps so I can shop some more.

    I will have to come back for the photo tips because lord knows I need them!

  4. I love the Gymboree line. So cute. I know what we're getting kaylee for her birthday. She needs a whole summer wardrobe since none of her stuff from last year fits.

    Your pictures turned out really good

  5. I just placed an Old Navy order last night for Emma. 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts, and a pair of pj bottoms. I had Old Navy bucks to use up for online orders, so I didn't pay anything for it! LOVE orders like that. And I am pretty much obsessed with the gap line of the board shorts!!! The green with the white polka dots! I had them in my cart last night, but ended up taking them out because I really didn't want to pay full price for them. But I will be buying them!!! haha =)


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