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!

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