How to Sharpen Your Images for Magazine-Like Quality

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One of the questions I constantly get asked is how I get my images so sharp and crisp, and what tools I use to create my magazine-like layouts. Ask any other blogger for help, and chances are you won’t get a response, so today I will let you in on my techniques. The “magical” platforms I use are Polyvore and Picmonkey. These two, are hands down, a fashion blogger’s best friend. Without these two, my blog would look like shit-  Yes, I sworeI’m sorry…but be prepared to see what you can do, all for FREE, because I’m about to show you…
For today’s post, my dear friend Dari’s gave me permission to use her blog (That Style Though) as an example. So let’s look at her most recent post,  “How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby“, and the featured image she used, and created through Polyvore:
How to Dress for The Kentucky Derby
Isn’t it sad looking? (Dari knows I love her!) Those hats just look so lonely. And don’t be afraid to agree in the comments, because Dari agreed. This is a safe zone guys- we are here to learn and make money from our mistakes. Now, before we dive in, and list everything wrong with this image, I want to first mention that Dari is very talented woman, and an amazing photographer. Not everyone who is a blogger knows how to create graphic layouts. All these things take time and practice, and with the help of these tutorials, I hope to give you guys enough confidence to try it out on your own, and hopefully pay it forward down the line.
With that said, let’s talk about why this image won’t grab a reader’s attention. The first thing you immediately notice is that the hats are blurry. The second; There’s not much to the image except for, four hats and some dashed lines.
Now, let’s make it a little more editorial, and go through why I changed what, and why….
Creating the magazine like layouts for your fashion blog

This image was created using the Polyvore mobile app

Color:
Now, I know Dari loves color because she’s my friend, however, color should be used to accent, not overpower your reader’s eyes. Make sure the colors are balanced and compliment each other. You never want graphics and color to speak louder than your content.
Typography:
If you like black and white, and do not want color whatsoever, then play around with typography. I get all of my inspiration from Pintrest, and if you need some inspiration, follow our board, Typography to get your creativity flowing – By the way, get ready to get addicted to this board…
Now let’s take it a step further, and edit the image in Picmonkey to get all the elements nice and sharp, because ultimately, that’s what Dari wanted to learn how to do…
picmonkey photos

This image was created using the Polyvore mobile app, and edited with Picmonkey

Notice how much sharper the hats appear?
Here’s what I adjusted using Picmonkey:
Saturation to 14
Sharpness to 6%
Clarity to 2%
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Why I didn’t use the same hats Dari had originally selected? It’s not because I don’t like them, but because the images themselves were not sharp when clipped to Polyvore. This might not be obvious at first, but when enlarged, the blurriness (Is that a word?) was all you could focus on. Sometimes that happens, and when it’s not working, spend less time trying to fix it, and more time trying to find something better.
The next thing I want to mention is, notice her logo at the very top? See how subtly it makes its presence known? By placing it there, you are creating a connection between your logo and your reader. Do you have to do this with every image? No, but it is important to embed your brand’s logo in your reader’s memory. The whole point of a logo is recognition. Not to mention that when this image gets re-pinned or shared, the reader will know that it came from her blog, and Dari can sleep peacefully at night.
 The best thing to do is to play around with in the Polyvore app. It’s an amazing tool that most, if not all, fashion bloggers use. Get creative, play around with layouts, and have fun with it until you develop your own style and format. Before you know it, you will be guiding another fashion blogger that you’ve inspired to follow their dreams.
One last note before I wrap up:
When I first started blogging, I wanted to have all the tools that I thought would help me succeed. So of course, like any other excited entrepreneur, I went ahead and purchased the Canon PowerShot Sx510 from Amazon. I was so excited, and  really thought this was the last piece to the puzzle. When the camera finally arrived, I whipped it out, took all my designer accessories (because we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy photographing them) and began to snap away. That’s when it hit me…”What the f*ck am I doing? The lighting is all off, the images are blurry, and what the hell is Macro?” And that’s when I realized that my iPhone would have worked just fine for the time being. So, the best advice I can give a newbie is this:  WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT. Play with filters, play with saturation, play with lighting, and practice with a steady hand. You won’t believe how much of a difference a certain angle can make. Once you’re comfortable with posing, arranging items, and capturing great details, then start looking for a good camera and read this post. Until then, I promise you, your iPhone will work just fine, for the time being.
 If you loved this tutorial, make sure to subscribe for more and tell me what you would like to see next, in the commens below-
P.S. – Don’t be shy, and feel free to ask any questions!

Our favorite accessories from Elle Ferguson’s Closet

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Ever since the fashion blog, They All Hate Us came into our world, fashion has never been the same. Every day, millions of girls visit their site seeking style inspiration, and before they know it, 3 hours of pinning furiously have gone by- And we’re not complaining..

Their vast collection of fashion photos can be best described as one of the best fashion moments ever captured on camera from all over the world. If you don’t already know who we are talking about, the dynamic duo behind “They All Hate Us” is,  Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton. Not only have these two proven that their  have eye of style is incredible, but it is also one that speaks to everyone.

As they share what drives their inspiration with us, their personal style is one that is probably lusted by every fashionista out there. To get an idea of what we’re talking about, a simple glimpse of their Instagram feed is enough to turn you into a life long follower.

This week we decided to focus on our top favorite accessories from Elle’s closet, and don’t forget to join us next week, as we share our favorite styles, from Tash’s shoe closet! A post you don’t want to miss!

 

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

Who said monogramming was out?

 

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

No words for this Chanel Bandana bag…

 

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet - Mirrored sunnies!

Proof that mirrored sunnies will always look cool

^ Shop the look for less, here ^

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet - Louboutin Lace up flats

Lace up flats – Another example that flats CAN be chic….

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet -

Her adorable Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera – An accessory every Fashion Blogger needs!

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera (Availble in 5 colors) –Only $77 with free ship, here.

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

So darling! Who knew a furry red pompom keychain on a mini Louis could look so incredible, with red AQUAZZURA fringe heels to match!?

Shop this key chain, available in more colors, here.

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

Finished with two hands full of Baby Anything rings –

Shop Baby Anything ring collection, here.

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

…And it looks even better on a mini Chanel bandana bag!

Our favorite accessories from  Elle Ferguson's Closet

….Even in black…

 

For more inspiration, and the source of all these photos, be sure to follow Elle and Tash on IG! 

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look ExpensiveOhhhh what a good shoe can do to an outfit….but I have a confession to make ladies. Are you ready for it?

I am NOT a shoe girl. Nope, not at all. I think anyone who spends over $100 on a pair of shoes they’ll be walking in isn’t a smart shopper to say the least. Shocking to hear a fashion blogger say that, right? And believe me when I say, I’m a girly-girl, but a smart one at that. Yes, we all love nice things, but why is it that inexpensive things automatically mean they are of cheap quality? Even Karl Lagerfeld agreed with me on this one, and stated to “Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.”  (Source) and with that very true statement, I introduce to my secret list of 7 inexpensive heels that look expensive…(Thank me in the comments!) Enjoy!

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

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7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

SHOP NOW

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

By the way, the Valentino version is $895…

SHOP NOW

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

SHOP NOW

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

SHOP NOW

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

SHOP NOW

7 Inexpensive Heels That Look Expensive

 SHOP NOW