Thursday, June 19, 2014

Style That Kid! - eBook Review.

Today I have a fun post on the blog.

The lovely Alida from Alida Makes kindly sent me a copy of her amazing eBook Style That Kid!
A book full of advice on how styling, location and the right light can make all the difference for your photos.

And what better way to show you the difference than by finding the post with some of the worst photos I have ever presented on the blog and retake the photos.

I have MANY bad photos on my blog but the ones from the original post with this dress have always made me cringe. See the full post HERE (yikes, sorry!)
And the worst part is that the dress is one of my favorite things I have ever made. Oh, the irony.
I have never had a specific interest in photography (as in learning to take good photos - I love to watch great photos) but when you have a blog and your photos sort of ruin the presentation of the clothes you had spend a long time making....well, then there is no way around it.....I need to get better. 
And photography is fascinating for sure.....but I am afraid my brain is missing a link to the technical part of photography. Whenever someone tries to tell me about aperture, ISO and shutter speed, all I hear is a loooong ringing tone in my just does not stick. 
SO annoying when I actually would love to know about it, ha. 

SO why am I telling you all this.....well, this sentence in Alida's book gave me hope.

"Each Photograph in this book was taken with the same camera and lens because I want to show you how styling choices, and not fancy cameras, can make or break your photos."

I loved that. Of course technique, fancy lenses and cameras helps your photos (if you know how to use them) but other things can help (or ruin) too and that is what this book is about.

The photos from the original blog post is taken in direct sunlight which makes the photos totally overexposed - yeah the sunglasses was not a styling trick but simply so poor Wilma could see out of her eyes, ha.
The direct sun is also creating big dark shadows on the photo which is also best to avoid.
And wow, how could I not have noticed how 'yellow' the photos is? It make me laugh (and cringe) every time I see it.

So what did I change?
I moved my photo shoot to the 'golden hour' - the hour before sunset. Unfortunately did it take me most of the golden hour to convince W to do the darn photo shoot and the light was almost gone. A more patient person would have waited for another day...yeah, that's not me. (reason #1000 why I will never be a great photographer). The missing light made the photos slightly grainy. 
I also messed up on turning her face up against the light in some of the photos......but then I actually figured out a cool new trick....I used the eye brighten function in Picmonkey on her whole face and that actually helped a bit, phew.  

The road behind her is creating some dimension. 

And who would have known that the anti-wrinkle function (also in Picmonkey) could help you blur out your background a bit more so your object really stands out. 

Guess who suggested this posture? I cannot stop laughing and I love it at the same time.

I did not wanted to over style since the dress already has a lot of details and different textures. 

I think I almost got the hair right the first time but like the single knot on top of her head even better. 
The dress is a knock off of a Japanese brand dress so to imitate this classic Japanese hairstyle is a no-brainier, right.
I already mentioned that the sunglasses in the first shot was a consequence of the bright sunlight, not a styling choice. They are both too dark and big for her. 

I went with glasses again but this time as a conscious choice. 
The dress is quite clever (I can say that since I just copied it (almost) and made it kids size, ha.) So the glasses are a way to give sort of an intellectual and cool feel to the photos that I think goes well with the dress. 

I could probably have found a location that was better for the cool vibe but honestly the thought of taking my kids somewhere right before sunset aka bedtime was too much pressure for me. 

I feel like I had some many 'ding!'-moments while reading Alida's book and honestly I cannot wait practicing and playing around with all the tips she is giving. 
Every advice in the book comes with photo examples so you can see with your own eyes that she knows what she is talking about.

I have used styling in my photos for a while but on a much more random note.  Now I have the tools to actually know the effect of my styling choices. So fun!
I will never take perfect photos but they will certainly improve after reading this - and some practice! 

I did also try to style the dress with these cat ears hairband (to imitate quirky Japanese style). I am not sure I love it but I loved the side view of the dress so the photo ended up in this post any way.

Thank you Alida for trusting me to review your amazing book.

Buy the book HERE.

I can wholeheartedly recommend it!


  1. Love the new pics and the poses. :)

  2. Ohhh wow! This dress is amazing!! And yes, these new photos help it to look exactly how it deserved. You know what? I'm finding very tough this sewing hobby! First, spending hours choosing the fabrics: my mind is dreaming at work, when driving, when chatting with my husband lol! (Don't tell him, but it's true) Then comes the sewing part, which also takes a while. Then you have to blog about it. Minimum of intelligence is required! Haha! And then the pictures!! You even have to think what is the perfect hour of the day according to the light! (I learnt this from your post)
    I think I need to buy this book... That would be my next present.
    PD: now I see shades and imperfections in absolutely all my posted pictures! Lol!

    1. Ha, yes.....that's the only bad things about learning new things.....suddenly we see our mistakes in our old stuff.....but we just have to move forward and see it as learning experience, right :-) nobody is perfect....ever!

  3. I've loved this dress ever since I first saw it, so cool and smart! As to the photos, the quality definitely looks improved, however, I think the improvement is due to better lighting and blurred out background - both seem to be photography/post-editing aspects. Actual styling and location were pretty nice in the original photos to begin with; that textured wall as a background added cool and editorial effect that this dress deserved. Actually, it would be interesting to see the original dress, original location, original styling (ok, maybe sunglasses could go =) but taken during the golden hour. I bet you'd get some really cool, editorial shots.

    1. Thank you!! And I agree with you....the problem with the original photos was more of the technical kinds than the styling kind and I probably have posts that were even better for retaking for this book. But I really really hated the originals and they were the first that came to my mind :-) And the wall is a good location too - especially for this dress - totally agree but there is not 'golden hour' lighting is either harsh midday sun or shadow because it is a digged out basement/court yard kind of thing.

  4. surely there must be some early morning golden hour equivalent?

    1. There is - an hour right after sunrise, usually 5-6 am....
      Here's a great site to help calculate golden hour depending on a location.

    2. Oh, thank you so much for posting this!!

  5. Wow, I really love the improvements. I need to work on this too... I thought the original picture was good, but then I see your after shots and I am convinced! I think I need this book, hahaha!


  6. Ok, I dont know why you hated the first pics so much. They were a bit overexposed, but not too bad overall. :) These are of course way better.

  7. Mie I can't believe how much you've grown with your photography in the last year. That first shot is amazing!!!! And the rest are really good good too. I love the clear frames, so cute. And well that dress- i don't have words to describe how much I love it, but what I love even more is that it's the item that made me discover your blog. Don't you ever delete that first post- i emotionally attached to it! hehe. xxx

  8. I need to get better at photography too but cannot commit to buying an e course until i have at least read my camera manual!!

  9. Altid rart med nye tips. Men jeg synes nu de gamle billeder var gode og at det kun er lyset som er den helt store forbedring 😘

  10. Altid rart med nye tips. Men jeg synes nu de gamle billeder var gode og at det kun er lyset som er den helt store forbedring 😘

  11. Fantastic photos Mie! I've bought this book and have found it so inspiring. My problem is that I fail at step one of any photography advice - read your camera manual - yeah maybe one day :)


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