Archive of ‘Q & A’ category

Q&A Friday: Editing Photos for Instagram

Q: What photo editing apps do you use to edit your photos?

A: Snapseed!

Today I’m talking about my go-to apps for editing photos for instagram. I usually take my photos on a Canon in a manual raw image setting, upload to my computer and dropbox them to my phone, but when I get an iPhone 7 later this month I’ll probably be using that more since the quality is so great! I have played around in Lightroom a little bit, but I’ve been really happy with both Snapseed and Colorstory.

Snapseed is my #1 go-to for editing apps. The photo above is a great example of how I edited it via the app so that my hair color and door color didn’t blend so much. The more you play around with the app, you’ll find a rhythm to how you like to use it, however I have an order I tend to follow.

I always “transform” the photo to straighten it out. I rarely have a photo that’s 100 % straight (thanks instagram husband…), but that’s no problem for Snapseed! After that I will crop it to either a square or 5:4 ratio to fit the Instagram dimensions. Most often I do a 5:4 crop because I like the portrait (vertical) look of a photo. You can tune the images brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., but my favorite part is the brush. If you’d like to make one part of the photo lighter/darker, more saturated or less, etc., the brush is the best tool for this. Lastly, I use “heal” to take out anything I need to from the photo. I’ve used this to take out telephone poles, reflections of the camera in windows, car in the background, etc.

I also got a tip from my Instagram friend Jackie that the “grainy film” feature is great is you turn down the grain to 0, and then the filter to 25-50%, and then there are a lot of nice filters to choose from! Check it out!

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve edited via Snapseed and was featured on L.L. Bean’s Instagram account. I was sitting on the edge, but as you can see from the photo on the far left there’s a ledge that comes out more on the right side. I was able to edit that out, and then I used a brush to add color to the background without over saturating the boots themselves. The photo looks a lot better by using the “heal” feature on either side of my boots to take out the brush/ledge.

Another nice thing to play around with in Snapseed is that you can go back and erase certain steps of editing or even edit those steps. So if I’m not happy with how I straightened it and I’m almost done, then I can go back fix it, and then it will re-do all the previous steps so I don’t have to start from the beginning.

I also add “details” at the end to sharpen the image up just a tad without over doing it.

The second app I use is ColorStory, and I only use it once in awhile. The only thing I’ll use is the “flare/bokeh” feature for brighter, sunnier photos. If I feel my photos needs something extra, I’ll try a few and see if it fits. I don’t use this very often but am happy when I do.

One last tip – if you want your photos to be as clear as possible, it’s smart to upload them straight from the snapseed app to Instagram instead of saving them and then uploading them. The less steps to uploading, the less Instagram will condense them.

What app do you like to edit with?




Q&A Friday: How do I un-shrink a sweater?

After getting home from vacation, I washed everything I wore and accidentally shrunk the sweater shown above. I got this sweater when we were on our honeymoon 3 years ago, and along with the cute whale print it’s one of my favorites! I’ve shrunk sweaters before and successful stretched them back to normal, so I was confident I could do it again.

Step 1: Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a little bit of hair conditioner to it. Place sweater in a let it soak for ten minutes. Be careful about what you last used in your sink, some cleaning products and acne products can take the color out of an item. 

Step 2: Drain the sink, but don’t rinse the sweater or ring it out. Instead, place a towel on the ground and place the sweater on it. Roll it up carefully to get a little less damp and transfer to a new flat towel.

Step 3: Carefully start to pull and tug it apart to form it’s a original shape. Make sure you do this right after step 2 while it’s damp so it takes to the pulling. I spent a lot of time gently pulling the sleeves and sides away from each other. Let it dry and then you are all set!

Why does this work? Soaking it in the conditioner is going to soften the fibers in the sweater and allow you to rework the shape. I was so happy that mine went back to normal so I can continue to wear it!

Q&A Friday: Knowing What Size to Buy

Q: What are some tips for knowing your size when buying online?

A: I do a lot of online shopping and sizing can be really tricky. I can be anywhere from a double zero to a size six (mostly in between) depending on which brand I’m buying. Because sizing is all over the place, there really is no standard to go by. The best thing to do is forget the size number and go by the measurements.

The most important thing to aim for is for your clothes to fit well. Having them too tight makes you appear larger than you are, having them too big looks sloppy. Focusing on the number/size is going to distract you from finding clothes that fit YOU well*.

*****Keep in mind that the way your wear an items should factor into your size. I tend to buy bigger in outerwear/jackets because I’m laying them over sweaters. Buying my normal size would make me appear bulky! If you tend to tuck things in, you should buy a bigger waist size to accommodate the style. If you tend to layer over, you should have slimmer waist pants.

Every person should own a cloth measuring tape and keep it nearby when you are online shopping. Almost every website gives a very detailed guide on their measurements. If you are still unsure or between sizes, see if they have free returns (or a local store) and buy both to try on at home. Also, any good online shopping website should have reviews for an item. Do yourself a favor and read through these to get an ideal of sizing. There are many times I ordered a different size because of reviews and was very happy with how it fit later.

Have you ever bought the wrong size online?



Q&A Friday: When to tailor and when to skip?

image via jcrew

Question: When should I get an item tailored and when can I skip?

Answer: The answer to this question is truly a case-by-case basis because everyone has different body types and preferences to how their clothes fit. I do think a lot of young people skip tailoring because they think it’s too pricey / unnecessary, and that is simply untrue. You’d be surprised how little tailoring costs if you know how to ask for the right things.

  1. Go through your closet and figure out what items you would love more if only they fit a little better. There are many items I wasn’t wearing because I didn’t like the fit. After getting them tailored, I wear them all the time. Fit is everything – I’d rather have less clothes that fit well than tons that aren’t just right.
  2. Determine if it’s worth getting tailored. Will you wear it more if it fit better? Or is it something you shouldn’t have bought in the first place? Would the tailoring be too complicated to make it worth the price? It’s always better to tailor something of better quality than of poor quality. When I was younger, I went to get an item tailored (from forever21…) and the cost of tailoring was more than the item itself. That’s a good example of when to skip!
  3. Figure out exactly what needs to be done to make the tailoring process a simple as possible. If I need a pair of pants shortened, that’s going to be inexpensive and easier than getting the entire shape of the pants done. I once had a wide legged J. Crew pant turned into a skinny cut, and it just wasn’t meant to be done. It was expensive and they still don’t fit correctly. I shouldn’t have bought them in the first place because the tailoring was too complicated to be worth it.

To find a tailor that isn’t going to break the bank doesn’t have to be hard. A good estimation of a tailors price is the cost to get a shirt taking in at the side seams. It’s simple and should only be $8-$15 and be able to finish within a week. I usually negotiate a few dollars off every time I go to the tailor as well, so that helps overall with costs. The most important tip to consider – over communicate exactly what you want done. You can never be too thorough!

When to Tailor:

  • Shortening pants that are too long
  • Shortening a skirt that doesn’t hit at the right spot for your frame
  • Side seams adjusted on a shirt that’s too boxy for your liking

When to Skip:

  • If you normally cuff pants, skip the tailoring
  • Shirts with long sleeves can easily be cuffed or pushed up
  • Anything too trendy might not be worth tailoring over time


Do you get items tailored or is that something you haven’t considered before?

Q&A Friday: When is too early to start wearing white?

Question: When is it too early to start wearing white?

Answer: Years ago I religiously following the “Memorial Day – Labor Day” rule, and would never wear white in the winter. I’m so glad I don’t follow that rule anymore because wearing white is great year round. White makes the other colors, textures, & tones in your outfit pop a little more and also makes a great base for a look that appears fresh, not frumpy.

There are a couple guidelines I still follow while wearing white in the fall and winter months. I have a favorite white, cotton dress that is perfectly lightweight for summer, but would be challenging to wear in the winter even with tights and a sweater. I look for heavier weight white items to wear in the colder months to tie in the item appropriately, such as white corduroy pants, sweaters, quilted vests, etc.

So yes, I love wearing white all year round, but do caution against wearing white in fabrics that are better suited for warm weather (think seersucker, linen, thinner cotton).

Do you wear white year round? 

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