Category Archives: Culture

A Collection Part 43

Sometimes these photographs and things are little reminders to myself, but basically more of a collection of my own thoughts from the last couple of months.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

73 Questions w/ Emily Ratajkowski

I really like this cheeky Vogue series that they’ve been doing with celebrities. It’s kind of nice to see them in a low-key intimate environment, but still allowing viewers to get to know them in a different setting than you would on a red carpet. I’ve been following Emily on Instagram for a little while now and I find her to be pretty fascinating. She’s come a long way from being “just the girl in the Robin Thicke music video” and I’m excited to see what’s next (especially since her last movie was a bust.)

Tagged , , , , ,

ICYMI: This Speech By Viola Davis Last Night

Congrats to Viola Davis for taking home the Lead Actress in a Drama win at the Emmy’s last night and being the first African American woman to do so.

Tagged , , , , ,

Marshawn’s Pepsi Commercial

I had a massive giggle fit after watching this. For my 2 year work anniversary, my manager promised and purchased me a Marshawn fathead to go up on our wall. This was a very hard thing for her to do given that she’s a hardcore 49er’s fan. Meh. But she says she likes Marshawn so this was okay.

#GoHawks! Can’t wait for the game today!

Tagged , , , , , ,

John Cena Prank Call

I’m so glad that my coworkers and I have similar senses of humor. One of my team members shared this with us yesterday during our quiet afternoon on Friday and I’m pretty sure the four of us just erupted in laughter the whole time. Hopefully this will make your Saturday morning a little bit brighter!

Tagged , ,

My Favorite Pair of Best Friends

The two of them doing the “Single Ladies” dance at the US Open. They’re really having a week and the world. is. loving. it.

Also, I typically love these “History of Rap” things and they’ve always been my favorite, but this is probably my least – why so many pauses and breaks in between?!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

MTV’s Casting Call Page

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.43.57 PM

When you need a laugh or when you start to question whether or not your life is crumbling, just remember that MTV is looking for these people to make television shows about. I don’t even know what some of these things even mean.


Tagged , , ,

My New Favorite Instagram Account

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 9.50.07 AM

After being a week behind on blogging, I was introduced to a new Instagram account yesterday that I am completely enamored with. As most of you know, Instagram is something that I have been spending a little bit more time with in the last few months so when things like this happen, I get a little giddy. This Instagram with the handle “Socalitybarbie” is totally killing it. From the poses, to the captions, to the scenery, this Barbie emulates all of our favorite Instagram stars and pokes a little fun at it while doing so.

The account was created by an anonymous wedding photographed based out of the Pacific Northwest.

As the ingenious photographer told Wired, “Either your Instagram photos look just like her’s or you know at least one person who does.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 9.51.30 AM

Yep, I can’t even hide that this has been my life lately.

Tagged , , , , ,

Our Next Bachelor

I mean as if we didn’t already know this by the end of the last season of The Bachelorette! What took them so long to announce it? Maybe because they didn’t want all of the people auditioning for the show to only be there because of Ben and wanted to still have that element of surprise. I bet that by doing this they eliminated some of the crazies. Ben Higgins was a favorite of mine throughout the last season, but I couldn’t really picture him with Kaitlyn. He reminded me of Catherine from Sean Lowe’s season though in which he kind of stayed under the radar, but was always very classy and a gentleman. It wasn’t until Katilyn had asked him if he was a virgin that Ben started to lighten up a litle bit and show a more humorous side to him. And then all of the girls died and were like Kaitlyn/Nick/Sean who?

Exactly. It’s Ben’s turn now and we can’t wait!

Tagged , , , ,

The Instagram Project

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 11.19.58 AM

If you’ve been following my Instagram page for the last four months, then you may have noticed a signifcant change in the way that I’ve been posting my photos as opposed to when I first started my account. My co-worker Emily is someone that I find pretty knowledgeable in Instagram given that she runs an account for her cats that does reasonably well. When I picked her brain awhile back about how I could gain followers for my account so that I could build upon Yow Yow, she gave me a very simple answer: Hashtags.

But wait, doesn’t that look kind of spammy?

Not if you put all of the hashtags in the comment section instead of the caption.” 


Interesting. So I followed her advice. We happened to be together on “Caturday” at Dolores Park and after editing my photo and posting it, she helped me line up a variety of hashtags. (#cutecats #Saturday #DoloresPark #SF #adorable #cute #cats #catz etc.) Shortly after, the likes poured in. We ended at 54 and I was hooked. I convinced myself that I could do this experiment for another week, but naturally that ended up being four months. I was really put off by the hashtags at first so after I had received the desired number of likes that I was hoping for, I would go back and delete my hashtags comment. However, I learned that if I kept it there without deleting that users would continue to like my photos even weeks after.

That was just one of the things that I learned from this project, but I actually learned a lot more and have some pretty interesting stats to include in this post as well. Let’s start with the stats:

In my four months of doing this I had:

  • 8 regular photographers (people that have taken at least two photos for me. Most of them were my co-workers)
  • 17 photos of my food
  • 38 photos of my outfit
  • been to 3 different cities
  • staged 15 of my photos (had to rearrange things on a table/the way they would be taken)
  • spilled Jamba Juice on my bed. (This actually happened today so I’m still clearly a n00b)


  • I still haven’t figured out how to gain a significant amount of followers like I had hoped. I gained more than 48, but if I count all of the followers that have been added since this project and stayed “following” that’s the number I have.
  • I was never going to really take off as an “Instagram” star. Unfortunately when Instagram came out, I think I was still using an old school Blackberry so all other bloggers had a huge advantage over me.
  • If I wanted to continue a following, I needed to post everyday at least once a day. I felt a weird sense of pressure from this and as a result felt like I didn’t have enough clothes to rotate into my shots (had to buy more!) and had to continuously look for inspiration.
  • Doing this project made me a better photographer. When I look back on all of the photos I took prior to doing this, I realized I was just taking photos “in the moment” and of my friends and random things that no one really cared about. Those photos just don’t get likes.
  • I still despise the #nofilter hashtag and refuse to use it ever.
  • I started asking myself the question, “Why would people care about this photo?” Why do people care about a group photo or a single shot of my friend from across the table? They don’t. But random strangers care about it if you hashtag it correctly and they’re the ones who will like your photo.
  • It’s very hard to like your first shot. Sometimes, I would come out of a session with 30 photos that I had to continuously delete in a row in order to get to the $$$ shot. There’s lot of photos in between that just don’t “look right” because a strand of hair is in my face or my eyes are blinking or my mouth is open.
  • I still have yet to post a “selfie!” and I probably won’t just because I don’t think I can get it right and they make me feel uncomfortable.
  • Even though I had a set of hashtags that I always used and knew would do well, I still had some doubts that I was missing out on other hashtags that could do better that I wasn’t using.


  • If you’re going to capitalize on the fashion thing and the OOTD, then you’ve got to do it in moderation. I learned this lesson the hard way. I once had 3 outfits posts in a row. It didn’t hurt my likes very much, but when looking at the “whole” page of my Instagram, it looked off and didn’t display a “lifestyle” which is what people would rather see. Imagine a whole feed of outfits. No one really wants that.
  • I’ve heard that taking photos in the “Square” function of your camera gives you the best shots. I’ve tried it a few times now, but since I have so many photos with more of the white space around it, sometimes it looks out of place. What I like about the square though is that it kind of centers everything and makes it a lot easier for cropping. I’ll use this feature more when I’m trying to capture more of my outfit.
  • I definitely prefer having photos with more of the whitespace in the background. When looking at all of my photos as a whole, I just like that they give my Instagram page more of a uniform look, but I’ve read that it also provides people with more “visual relief” when scrolling through their feed. Because of this, it garners more likes.
  • Find a buddy! My friend Alex was also trying to step up his Instagram game around the same time as me so we would go on shoots together, give each other advice and basically lean on each other. When no one else understood what I was doing, it was great to have him around.
  • When possible, always include a location for where you’re at. That gives you a couple more hashtags to use.
  • If you’re trying to break into the fashion market, tag the brands you’re wearing. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I Instagrammed a Rebecca Minkoff bag that I fell in love with that I couldn’t afford and Nordstrom sent me a $50 gift card! Uniqlo has commented several times on my photos that they’d like to re-use my photo (they haven’t yet) but I have hope someday that they could so I keep trying.
  • High volume Instagram days don’t mean that you’re going to get likes. ie) Father’s Day. Because everyone is doing it and you’re not special. Your dads are – you just aren’t. On Instagram.
  • Just because your meal tastes delicious doesn’t mean it looks good.
  • Be courteous on Instagram. If someone random likes your photo, try and go to their page and give them a couple likes as well. If they leave a comment on your page, do the same.

This is still my favorite photo from this time period.

This is still the most liked photo at 73 likes and the first photo in the series of “outfit” posts.

Tools that I use: 

  • VSCO Cam for editing
  • Squaregram for the whitespace background
  • Twitter for sharing – most of the time I won’t share to Facebook though

Related articles:

So we’ve done 4 months of this. What now? Well, to be honest, Instagram has been way more fun since I started wanting to take better photos that I don’t really want to go back to what I was doing before. We’re going to continue on with the photos, the outfits, and the hashtags, and we’re looking forward to more learning and what happens next!

Tagged , , , , ,

Blog Roundup

– How to run an electronic music festival. Honestly one of the best things I’ve read in a long time and is laying the basic foundation for planning any music festival. [The Fader]

– Cereal Milk Affogato – Yum. [Grubstreet]

– Why you should be a morning person [Medium]

– Millennial men aren’t the dads they thought they’d be [NY Times]

– Bachelorette Andi Dorfman is writing a tell-all about her breakup with Josh Murray [EW]

– According to Facebook research, “Lol” is totally old school. [Refinery29]

– Every single Starbucks Frappuccino flavor ever. [Refinery29]

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Robot

As if I needed another show to watch. Every time I keep thinking about Mr. Robot, I end up writing “Mr. Robert.” What? I’m currently on episode 2, but I’m obsessed with this show and Rami Malek who is just superb and in some ways kind of a dream boat? We were all thinking it. Where did this guy come from? The last time I remembered seeing him in anything was Short Term 12 and I think he played a completely different character than he does now. Wow. Acting, right?! It’s amazing. A few of my co-workers have told me that they have stopped watching because they find the show to be too dark. But amongst Pretty Little Liars and Bachelors in Paradise, I could use a little dark every now and then.

Tagged , , ,

Power Couple Alert

So it looks like this is happening today. Apparently Gigi Hadid was the matchmaker in all of this and we’re not totally opposed to it because we really like Kendall Jenner. A part of me does feel very sad for Olivia Culpo though. And then there was a part of me that hoped Nick Jonas would just get back together with Selena Gomez. Oh the conflictions…

Tagged , , , , , ,

In Random Instagrams of the Day…

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.45.17 PM

Taylor Swift said Happy Birthday to her BFF Karlie Kloss today and hey – Calvin Harris just happens to be in the photo too. We see you, Taylor.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Getting Engaged in 2015

Now, when my friends are getting engaged these days, I don’t imagine that they are experiencing a scenario like this one. However, there’s a part of me that thinks that maybe there is some staging happening to an extent. This one takes it a little bit too far, but it’s something to think about isn’t it? I’ve been meaning to write a post on this (and I will soon, I promise) but lately a friend/co-worker of mine and I have been “beefing” up our Instagram game. We’ve taken things to some pretty extreme lengths and it’s almost to the point if it hasn’t gotten there already that our friends are starting to hate us a little bit.

“Are you using VSCO to edit your photo?”

“Can you take this one more time?”

“Did you double share to Facebook? TAG US!”

More on that later though…


Tagged , , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,974 other followers