Behind the Scenes-Our Outfits and Photography
Quote of the day: “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced and mastered-just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” Barrie Davenport
After letting you in on the history of our relationship for Charlotte, Nancy, Rob & I, let me give you some history about Jodie’s Touch of Style blog itself. The quote above is exactly the mindset I had when I first thought about starting this blog.
Truthfully, I had no knowledge of what to do when I started blogging. What I did know is that I’ve absolutely always loved clothes and putting together outfits. I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to any of you, that I used to take my friends clothes shopping. I have a couple of friends that don’t enjoy shopping, so I would volunteer to go with them and find fun items for them.
And part of the evolution of this blog is the fact that I used to think I had all of the answers when it came to styling. Truly, that is laughable, because we all have unique bodies and styles. I think the best thing I have learned about fashion is that is should be fun and enjoyable for all of us. No matter what our age, shape or budget.
It’s the same with my husband. When I first met him, he only wore tan, khaki pants and ugly plaid shirts. Seriously. He hated going shopping for clothes, and would dash in and out without even trying things on. Just like in these photos above, I look at his shirts and think how they didn’t fit him well.
One of the first times Rob and I shopped together, I remember choosing a shirt for him and he looked at me in disbelief. “You want me to wear that?” he said. And do you know, he ended up loving that shirt? It’s funny how shopping with someone else can make you try on items you would never consider otherwise.
The same is true with Nancy, my step mom. Not that she hated shopping, but it didn’t tickle her fancy like it does mine. I can’t tell you how many times, I would pull some items for her, and she’d just shake her head at my choices. Not that all the items I picked were perfect on her, but you never know until you try them on. Right?
So when I started putting together outfits for this blog, I really wanted women of every age to realize that they can be stylish. Therefore, I wanted to control every part of our outfits. Meaning, when I would be at my mom’s house and have her try on the outfits for the next set of photos that we would take, I would write it all down for her to remember what to wear. And then I’d do the same thing the next week at Nancy’s house.
There is a good part about that method and a bad part. I think it helped both mom and Nancy to be pushed out of their comfort zone by having me suggest and tell them what to wear. Trust me when I say, there were many times, that my mom would say “But I would never wear that.” And I would reply “That’s fine, but it’s my blog.” Like in the photos above. My mom always loves to match and wear monochromatic outfits. And it’s not that it’s terrible, but it’s nice to try other options. So I made my mom put on different colored pants with her blazer on this day. She didn’t appreciate the different looks, but I thought it was a great example.
Truthfully, I think we all need to be given shoves to try different styles at one time or another. I know, personally, some of my favorite pieces of clothing are those suggested by someone else. But it’s hard to do this when we get into a habit or rut. That’s the fantastic part about blogs in that they give you many different perspectives.
The bad part about me choosing all of the outfits is that I was only showing “my style” by pairing items this way. Whereas now, it’s been quite eye opening to see how each of us translates an idea.
Let’s just talk about the planning I needed to incorporate when I took photos this way. I would travel to each mom’s place every other week and take 6 outfit photos (2 weeks worth at the time). Then we would try on the outfits for the next two weeks of posts. You may ask, why not just take the photos after we tried on the clothes? That’s because when we first started, my neighbor was helping out by taking some of the photos for us. And since she was volunteering her time this way, we didn’t want to waste her time. When she was there to take photos, we wanted to be ready and set to go.
Luckily things have changed for the better. Now that Rob has retired, we can usually find a day every week to get together for outfit photos. I still need to plan ahead, but now it’s only about 2 weeks beforehand. It’s nice to have some leeway in case the weather is bad, or something comes up that one of us has to cancel. I must say that I love the fact that we can take our photos all together now. We get to catch up in our lives with each other, along with spend this time together.
And now I just email the outfit theme to both mom and Nancy and let them decide what to wear. Sure, I may give a suggestion here and there, but the outfits are truly their ideas. It certainly is easier on me, but not on them. There are still days that Nancy says it was less time consuming when I planned it all out for her. And I’m sure many of you could relate. Not every women enjoys putting together different outfits like my mom and I do. My mom would add in that it’s especially harder when we go somewhere and have to take a change of clothes to wear. At least I don’t make them change in the car….well usually I don’t! When we were just changing the coats & accessories, we did change in the car, LOL!
Photography & Modeling
I think one of the most important aspects of a fashion blog is the photos. And this probably has been the hardest part for me, because I have no experience in photography. That’s why it was so nice when my neighbor did help occasionally with the photos. But even then, I started off by sizing the photos smaller so they didn’t take up the whole screen. Why? Because it’s weird having such big photos of yourself staring back at you. Once, a reader suggested making them bigger, I did go back and resize them all. Talk about time consuming….
And even when Kari was taking photos, she’d only take one or two and they were always in front of our house because I wanted to save time. Needless to say, different scenery and many different poses have made this part of the process way more fun. After I had these photos, then I had to put them together for the collage. I started out doing this in Powerpoint until I found Canva.
When my neighbor stopped helping us with photos, I ended up buying a SLR camera and taking some online classes to figure it out. So far, I’ve taught my husband everything I know, and he’s starting to learn more on his own. It’s been good teamwork between the two of us when we are taking photos. I’ll try to figure out a good angle, and then Rob will add in some other ways to take the pictures. You certainly learn to look at lighting differently when you are thinking about taking photos.
Let’s also talk about modeling. You can certainly read articles about the best way to pose for a photo. And my mom knows how to do that to a tee! But it’s also been fun to not take it so seriously and enjoy this part of the blogging. I have to admit that I love the photos of all three of us laughing even better than the planned shots.
If you’re a blogger, I bet you have some lessons you’ve learned through this process! Share with me in the comments. I always love to hear other people’s stories!
Thanks to one and all of you for your support. It means more than you know!
Keeping in Touch
Are you registered for my email reminders to let you know when a post goes live? I’d certainly love it if you take the time to sign up and make sure all your friends sign up too!!
Do you ever wonder why you should connect with me on other social media sites? Well let me explain what I’ve been doing lately.
Sure you can find my posts on Facebook but I also love to share other people’s posts that I think you may like. Or my Pinterest page has all of our outfits in a nutshell along with fun inspiration from other women!
Right now, most of my time is spent on Instagram. Here’s where you’ll find many other of my outfits and plenty of musings about life and such. Sure, you may not feel like you want to add another social media site to your list. But I spend lots of time and effort to make sure there is something for everyone!
Also, feel free to Shop My Instagram items.