Tag Archives: Photography

Emma Roberts x Aerie

Emma Roberts got in front of the cameras for Aerie recently and the pictures that came out of this campaign look stunning. Not only are they gorgeous (and she is too!) but they are also untouched which is something we can always appreciate. The young actress who has been promoting her new television series “Scream Queens” also held an intimate dinner last week to celebrate the campaign in Los Angeles.

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30 Days in the Life of a Baby Rabbit

Oh my goodness, happy Monday everyone! I’ve been really excited about the things that we’ve been posting this weekend and I don’t know anyone that hates starting off their week with adorable things. So that’s what we’re doing! This photo series of a baby rabbit’s first 30 days is all that you need and gosh – the captions that follow each photo? Enough to melt all hearts.

Click here for the ultimate cuteness.

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The Instagram Project

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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.” 

Caturday

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)

Takeaways:

  • 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.

Tips:

  • 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!

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Smilebooth

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A few years ago, I learned about Smilebooth through DesignLoveFest and promised myself that the next time I had the budget for it, I would rent a Smilebooth for an event that I was planning. Really though – my love for photobooths started at the ripe age of 18 when I was introduced to USnaps back in December at my high school graduation all-nighter party. From then on, I brought it to Seattle University and now in California we use Smilebooth. What I love about Smilebooth is how easy it is to use, how you can fit an enormous amount of people into one photo, and how easy it is to share online via email and social media. They’ve really won over my heart – especially that Bay Area team. ;) I wanted to take some time to share some love because I’ve booked them for two of our company’s events now (and a 3rd one next month!) and they’ve been my favorite to work with. Here are some snaps from our party just a couple of weeks ago!

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The National Museum Installs a 10,000 Square Foot Ball Pit

To give visitors the experience of being at a beach indoors, the National Museum filled a very large space with a white ball pit. The interactive installation titled, “The BEACH,” includes all of your favorite beach accessories with umbrellas, beach chairs, and floaties. The firm responsible for this installation, Snarkitecture, typically puts out pieces of work that blend a combination of both design and experience. The installation will call the National Museum in DC home through September 7th so if you have a chance to see it in real life, you definitely should!

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Blog Roundup

– Los Angeles Photographer Emily Knecht captured herself in crying selfies for the last three years. [i-D]

– The best and worst airlines, airports, and flights – a summer 2015 report [FiveThirtyEight]

– The one haircut that all women love on men [Esquire]

– How good is your eyesight? I scored 20 and this was so much harder than I thought! [iGame]

– This device blows a bubble to notify you of your upcoming meetings. [Swiss-Miss]

– Shaving dogs into cubes is becoming a new trend in Japan [MTV]

– When to close your eyes [Instagram]

Most Exclusive Website [Herman Yung]

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Five Favorite Pins: Happy National Donut Day!

Happy National Donut Day y’all! More importantly though, why aren’t we celebrating donuts every day? When I was growing up, my parents would always surprise my friends and I with donuts the next day if we had a sleepover at my house and it was the best treat. I’m a huge fan of the generic chocolate and allover sugar donuts, but these days, donuts are starting to look a lot prettier. Almost too pretty to eat… Here are 5 of my favorite looking donuts. I don’t always know what they taste like, but they sure are nice to look at!

Lemon poppy seed donuts w/ vanilla glaze [Comfort of Cooking]

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A Collection Part 42

For the first time, we are publishing an “A Collection” post and starting the next one immediately. Hopefully, this means that we can have another one posted within the next six months. These are Veronica’s favorite posts and I even texted her this morning to let her know that she could expect it this evening. These posts are so interesting to me because there is usually little to no content. Instead, it’s a post of 50+ images that I’ve collected over 6 months that evoke something out of me. There’s no rhyme or reason. I can’t go through each photo and say why I chose each one. I just know that it’s important to me, that it means something and resonates with me in some way or another. I’ve never actually talked to Veronica about this, but while this doesn’t hold much content, I almost feel like she probably knows what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling through a collection of images. Maybe you all do! You tell me. :)

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Food in Pretty Gradients

Foodie photography is something that I never get tired of. There’s so many different things that you can do with it and even over the years, I still feel like I’ve never seen the same thing twice. I really loved this series by Seattle-based photographer Brittany Wright because of the color and the different stages of the food from when it looks its best and when it looks its worse and when you no longer want to eat it!

To view the rest of the series, click here.

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Vogue Features the New Brat Pack

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In this new spread for Vogue, Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, Gigi Hadid and Ansel Elgort are the latest stars to be envied in the young pop culture world.

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Ariana and Big Sean Get Ready for the Grammys

The Grammys were not that long ago, but everyone is still talking about the couple of the night – Ariana Grande and Big Sean. There was even one funny meme of the two of them posing together in front of a prom-inspired background. Adorable. In this series of photos, Vogue captures the two of them as they get ready for the big night.

[Source]

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Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift x Vogue

So having two best friends on the cover of Vogue is awfully sweet and kind of adorable. How can we hate it? The editorial is even better because the two friends ventured all the way to Big Sur for this photoshoot. Check out the goods underneath the cut!

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Anna Kendrick x The Edit

I’m more than just a little excited for Pitch Perfect 2.

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Sarah Hyland x Cosmo

Typically when we go off the grid from Yow Yow! it’s best to ease into a bit more slowly. I’ve been battling a nasty cold that’s been going around the office and it’s sticking around a lot longer than I would prefer. Naturally, that puts a little behind the news, but I’m going to play some catch up before I go to bed early!

Our favorite ‘Modern Family’ star, Sarah Hyland, was featured in Cosmo recently and she looks fantastic! I think we’re all excited for Sarah to have an amazing year especially coming out of her long-term abusive relationship in 2014. We heard a rumor that she’s dating again and we think she totally deserves to be happy and in love (hopefully!) once again!

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Dakota Johnson x Vogue

With 50 Shades of Grey being released next month on Valentine’s Day, it’s not exactly a shocker that Dakota Johnson is Vogue’s February cover girl. The more I see the ads for this movie, the more I get excited for it despite having never read any of the books. I mean I didn’t think too highly of the books to begin with, but all of my girlfriends loved it and couldn’t get enough. The movie will do for me.

It’s funny actually though because this is Dakota’s first huge breakout role. The last thing I even remember her in was The Five-Year Engagement so I’m kind of excited to see how she does with Anastasia. Click the cut for more gorgeous looks from this spread:

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