Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Buffalo Plaid

Jeans: c/o Red Dress Boutique {also have/love these} | Top: c/o For Elyse {similar & on sale!} | Jacket: BB Dakota c/o Single Thread Boutique | Necklace: BaubleBar | Shoes: Maiden Lane | Purse: c/o GiGi New York | Ring: {similar} | Watch: Anne Klein | Bracelet: Juicy Couture | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Lips: MAC 'Ruby Woo'
I keep staring in awe of these photos because these were taken with my new lens.  Hooray! I now upgraded to a Canon 50mm f1.2 L series lens.  The above photos were shot at f1.2 and are completely in focus.  It's magic, I tell ya.  I hate parting with my older lens (50mm f1.4), since we took so many great photos with it, but there's really no reason that I need both.  I'm currently selling my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens for $340 {includes shipping + original box}.  It's less than a year old and in perfect condition because it was practically my baby.  Anyways, if you're interested, just shoot me an email at and let me know.  It's a perfect lens, especially for bloggers, and it's really easy to learn how to use.  Some of my favorite photographs were shot with it like the ones from this post, this post, or this post {they're all from last winter}. 

Speaking of colder weather, this buffalo plaid jacket is going to definitely be a fall staple for me.  It's cozy and stylish, so it can't get any better than that.  If you shop it here and buy it soon, you'll be able to get their friends & family discount!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Penciled In

Skirt: Anthropologie {love this one} | Shirt: c/o Just Breathe Boutique {similar} | Clutch: {similar} | Shoes: Steve Madden | Necklace: c/o Benevolent Jewels | Cuff: c/o Loren Hope | Watch: Michael Kors | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Lips: MAC 'Ruby Woo'
Although it's still 80 degrees here {yikes}, I finally traded out all of my summer clothes for my fall clothes in storage.  Wahoo! According to the weather channel, Fall is 'officially' coming to Louisville this weekend, so I wanted to make sure I had everything prepared in my closet.  The chilly weather that's expected to come this weekend is in time perfectly for the St. James Art Fair.  Every year, Andrew and I go to explore all of the fun tents and booths in the historic district and around Old Louisville {where all of the old Victorian homes are}.  We usually make a weekend out of it and do every fall activity possible.  It's quite possibly the best fall weekend ever! I may even have to pull out my bean boots for it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sleek in Black

Jeans: c/o James Jeans | Shoes: c/o Vince Camuto {really loving these & they come in leopard!} | Top: F21 | Blazer: Gap {on sale!} | Purse: Spartina 449 c/o P.C. Fallon Co. | Necklace: c/o Benevolent Jewels | Watch: Michael Kors | Cuff: c/o Loren Hope | Earrings: BaubleBar | Sunnies: Karen Walker | Lips: MAC 'Ruby Woo' 
I loved buttoning up this top and pairing it with this black blazer {which is now on sale!} to make a professional yet stylish look.  I was walking downtown in this outfit, and I didn't want to carry around a massive handbag. So, this perfect little cross-body bag from Spartina 449 via P.C. Fallon Co. did the trick! It's sleek and had neutral colors that still matched my outfit.  Spartina 449 handbags are designed in South Carolina and are made from French linen and real leather.  Make sure to check them out and snag one for yourself.  Personally, I've got my eyes set on this black satchel and this calf hair wristlet!  Visit here to check out all of the other lines & make sure to follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

Happy Friday!

Thanks to P.C. Fallon Co. for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Photo Tip Thursday: Shooting Wide Open

This week's photo tip has all to do with unlocking the use of the maximum aperture that your lens has to offer. I'm sure many of you have gone out and bought yourselves a 50mm lens with a maximum aperture of around f/1.4 or f/1.8, put it on your camera and immediately set the lens to its largest aperture and tried to take outfit photos. After all, the larger the aperture, the blurrier the backgrounds, right? probably didn't work out nearly as well as you'd hoped it would {a.k.a. you got a whole lot of blurry photos}, and you probably asked yourself why you even spent all the money on a lens with that large of an aperture if you can't even use it to take outfit photos. Well, you can.

The reason shooting with really large apertures is so difficult is that it involves a completely different shooting technique than you're used to. You're dealing with a depth of field that is razor thin so it leaves absolutely no room for error. If you screw up, your subject will be entirely out of focus. So, here's several techniques/pieces of advice that you'll need to learn/use to help you shoot wide open. 

1. Select a single focus point. This is the most crucial. When dealing with a depth of field this small, you have to tell your camera where to focus. A camera decides where to focus by finding areas of contrast, and when you allow the camera to use all of the focus points to determine the area of proper focus, who knows what it'll focus on. Nine times out of ten though, it probably won't be exactly where you wanted it to be. When taking full body shots of your subject at maximum aperture, select the vertical most focal point and place it over your subject's eye to focus. If they're wearing sunglasses, place this focus point directly on their forehead. If you're trying to photograph an accessory {such as a watch for example}, choose the focus point nearest to or on the accessory.

Focus on the eyes or forehead for full body shots. {Taken at f/1.2}
Choose the focus point closest to the accessory that you want to photograph to ensure that it's in focus. {Taken at f/1.2}

2. DO NOT focus and recompose! Like I said earlier, the depth of field when dealing with apertures of f/1.2-f/2.0 is very, VERY small. Once you focus, you have to take the picture immediately. If you move the camera even the slightest bit in any direction, or change the angle that it's facing in relation to the subject, there's a 99.9% chance that you're going to get a blurry, out of focus photo. I know many of you want photos where the subject isn't in the center of the photo, but this just can't really happen in camera. You can always crop the photo later in post-production to get the composition that you want. Focus on making sure the image is sharp first when taking the picture.

You can change the composition of the subject in post production by cropping the photo should you like.

3. Maximize your depth of field. This is a neat fact. At a constant aperture, increasing the distance between yourself and your subject will increase the depth of field. All this means is that the depth of field is greater when shooting at f/1.2 while standing 12ft. away from your subject than when shooting at f/1.2 while standing 10ft. away from your subject. If you're shooting with a large aperture and find that a vast majority of your subject's body is in focus, but a little bit still isn't, try taking a few steps back. This might increase the depth of field just enough to get their whole outfit in focus.

Shooting wide open can be devastatingly frustrating to master. I'm not going to sugar coat it either and say that if you become proficient in these techniques that you'll never get a blurry photo again because that's just not going to happen. The truth is that you're going to have to take more photos than you would at a smaller aperture to ensure that you get one that's really sharp and usable. I still get plenty of blurry photos myself. That just comes with the territory when using apertures with depths of fields this small. But however, by practicing these techniques, you'll be able to get a whole lot more really great shots that are usable. It might be a little frustrating, but it's definitely worth it, because let me tell you, when you nail the focus on your subject with a really large aperture, the results are absolutely spectacular.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Little Red Dress

Dress: LuLu's {sold out--similar plunging neckline AND 50% off} | Shoes: Steve Madden | Clutch: Clare Vivier | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelets: c/o Loren Hope {here, here, and here} | Necklaces: c/o Moon and Lola & c/o Gorjana {here & here} | Lips: MAC 'Ruby Woo'
I'm not kidding when I say that I've worn this outfit at least three times.  I just love the plunging neckline and the leopard accents.  It's the perfect little red dress...if that's even a thing.  I wore this out with my friends the other night, and we were out at a bar when a guy walks by that we became friends with, pretty much just only for the moment.  {When a guy tries to talk to one of my friends, it's like he has to talk to all of us because we come as a pack.}  Anyways, he was one of those "friends" that lasted for an hour because you have shared an intoxicated joke together and that's pretty much it.  He was also the kind of guy that had his shirt unbuttoned one button too low where you feel uncomfortable and it's borderline creepy.  I kept standing next to him and comparing our v cuts...liiiike really subtle, Grace, really subtle.

Hope y'all have a fabulous hump day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cream & Black + Giveaway

Jeans: c/o James Jeans | Top: F21 {similar} | Blazer: F21 | Shoes: Vince Camuto {similar} | Necklace: c/o Lydell NYC | Earrings: Givenchy | Clutch: Clare Vivier | Cuff: c/o Loren Hope | Watch: Michael Kors | Lips: NARS 'Cruella'
Seriously, these are the most comfortable jeans ever.  I could probably wear them all day long, because they're stretchy and conform to your body in the best way possible.  They make me feel slender so these are definitely some night-on-the-town type jeans...and how can you go wrong with a black and white ensemble? I don't think ya can.  This blazer has become one of my favorites lately because it's the perfect cream color and it's also pretty affordable, which is definitely a plus...for me at least... 

Enough about the jeans and blazer, let's get to much better news.  I have yet another giveaway for y'all! Wahoo! Today I am thrilled to be collaborating with Kiss Me Darling and 26 other amazing bloggers to bring you a $500 Neiman Marcus gift card giveaway! Yep, that's lucky reader will win a $500 Neiman Marcus Gift Card to splurge on some amazing clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  Think about all the good stuff you can get with that!

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