Friday, 25 April 2014

Ooh La La Land

Today, I thought I'd share some photos from a project that I was working on last summer, that never quite amounted to anything. Back when I was learning Adobe InDesign, I started creating my own magazine, and although I never completed and printed it as I had planned, it was a great way to help me figure out the software. Also, it gave me an excuse to get all dressed up for a photoshoot in my back garden!

The theme of this photoshoot was Parisian style. This theme was materialised in the stripes and blue, white and red clothing. Oh and I traced some pretty things that remind me of the city of love. Have a look...

Sub Heading Reads: "Paris, the city of love and timeless style, is the inspiration for this week's photoshoot. We decided to bring a sprinkling of the French capital to rural Donegal."

So there you have it, a little glimpse at how I spent my countless free hours last summer in rural Donegal. I'm looking forward to this summer when I'll have time to do my own silly photoshoots again, just for the fun of it... I'll be sharing the random results on here, of course!

Monday, 21 April 2014

XX Pro or Valencia? How I Edit iPhone Photos

Excuse the #Selfie reference in the title, but it had to be done. Anyway, this is a little post on how I edit my photos for social media. It has a few super-simple tips, maybe I'll delve into some more advanced editing tutorials in the future, but for now: the basics.

Before my photos get anywhere near my Instagram feed, I use the VSCO Cam app, which is available on both iOS and Android. I found the app confusing at first, because I simply couldn't figure out where all my photos were! Turns out you've got to import the photos into the app, by clicking a button which is a tad too well hidden considering the point of the app is to edit photos... If you're a first time user follow this guide.

Before (Left) & After (Right): The Grand Canal, Co. Dublin

Once you've got your photos into the app you've jumped the highest hurdle, from there on it's all pretty easy to use. By selecting your photo and clicking the little spanner and paintbrush symbol you'll be taken to the editing window. From here on in it's a matter of using the slider to perfect your pic. I always make sure to do the basic edits of the photo (like colour temperature adjustments and exposure) before choosing a VSCO Cam filter. Here's the order of my edit:

1. Crop and rotate: I adjust the photo so excess edge is chopped off and I usually try to ensure that the horizon is level.
2. Exposure: I make sure the photo is bright enough!
3.Saturation: I try not to get too trigger-happy, but I have been known to crank up the saturation, especially on landscape pics.
4. All other basic edits: I play around with the other options. I might make the photo a tad warmer in the temperature section or add some extra fade, for a vintage feel (though this is usually covered my the filters).
5. Choose a filter: Finally I hop over the the VSCO Cam filter section and choose one. The great thing about these filters is that you can choose the strength of it, so if you want a super subtle version of a filter, that can be done by adjusting the slider.

When I'm happy with how it's looking I'll open it up in Instagram. I am a sucker for an filter, so I usually add one in Instagram over my already edited pic, but that should be done with caution. I've over-edited photos in the past because I get too carried away with the filters.

Before & After: The Estuary, Malahide, Co. Dublin

Before & After: Barnesmore Gap, Co. Donegal
Final photo that I posted to Instagram, with an extra filter. This might be an example of when I got a bit too carried away with filters, it may have been better to leave it at the VSCO Cam edit.

So there's an idea of how I edit my phone photos, I hope you got something out of it, even if it's just that you need to download the VSCO Cam app immediately! By the way, you can follow my Instagram here.

Monday, 14 April 2014

On the Road Again

This weekend was spent hopping around Donegal, scouting out the picturesque spots for my end-of-year photography project. The weather was far from ideal but we weren't letting that stop us. 'We' being my mum and Tommy, my friend and model-for-the-day. Here's a collection of photos from our trip.

How amazing is this old, run-down church? It was sort-of eerie walking around this abandoned building on such a stormy day... But it made for an interesting backdrop when taking style photos of Tommy's outfit.

I'm a little bit in love with symmetry in photography at the moment. Have you seen this video which shows Wes Anderson's obsession with centring shots? I'm pretty sure my new habit of putting the subject in the dead centre is inspired by this aspect of Wes Anderson's style.

I'm going to be somewhat sad when this photography project is all finished up and handed in, because it's been fun using it as an excuse to explore Ireland. Oh well, when I've completed it I'll be able to share the final photos. They'll be landscape shots with a twist and I'll be curious to see what you all think!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Velvet Combination

Top: Thrifted // Skirt: Topshop // Shoes: Penneys // Bracelet: Vintage

I didn't go on much of a trek to get these photos, they're actually taken in the courtyard that my apartment looks out onto (the pic on the left is the view from my bedroom window). The reason for the unadventurous location is because I was in a bit of a rush, I was heading to town to celebrate my friend Nicola's birthday. We went to Captain America's, ordered too much food and stuffed ourselves silly. We had a few cocktails too! Only €3 for a Cuba Libre? Sure, it would be rude not to. And, of course, we mortified her by belting out 'Happy Birthday' in the restaurant. She forgave us though, as the song came along with a mountain of ice-cream and brownies.

As for my outfit, there are some lovely textures in this look. The skirt is velvet and the top feels all soft and silky. I stumbled upon the top last year, but had no idea how to wear it. I picked it up regardless, and I'm glad I did, because I think these two pieces make a fun pairing. It's definitely different!

*Thanks to Alan for taking these photos.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Media Awards Season, The Look, and a Favour

On Thursday I got glammed up to attend the Hybrids, DCU Media Production Society's media awards, with my fingers and toes crossed. I hobbled over to the Helix (hey, it's difficult to walk with crossed toes) in my looks-fancier-than-it-is Penney's outfit. I was super excited for the night because I had entered my work into two categories and I couldn't wait to find out if my entries had been successful.

It was a great event, with a chance to network with Ireland's major media players at the wine reception before the actual awards ceremony, which was filled with laughs thanks to the hosts Dermot and Dave (from 98fm). And I am pleased to announce that The Look, the fashion magazine that I designed on behalf of DCU's Style Society, was shortlisted for the Publication Layout of the Year! I blogged about the first issue last year, but I have yet to share the final edition. So, with The Look getting a Hybrid shout-out, and with the Smedia awards* around the corner, this seems like the perfect time to show you my design work. Below are a few of my favourite pages from the magazine, and if you'd like to see how the whole thing came together, you can access the full magazine here.

*The Smedias are Ireland's student media awards, and The Look has been shortlisted for the People's Choice Award. It would be great if you could register with Oxygen and then give the magazine a vote.

And now for that favour: If you enjoy my blog it would be oh-so-lovely if you could nominate me for a Company Blog Award here, in the Best Personal Style Blog category. Thanks a million you gorgeous people! x