Thursday, 28 July 2016

Photo Tips | How to Take the Best Photographs in Bright Sunlight

Photo Tips: How to Take the Best Photographs in Bright Sunlight | Not Dressed As Lamb
As it's the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and the UK has seen some sun at last), I thought I'd revisit one of my posts from my photography tips series and update one of the most popular. Taking photos in strong sunlight can cause all sorts of problems for any photographer - not least a (fashion) blogger. Here are 8 tips for getting the best results when shooting on sunny days!


LIGHT IS THE KEY TO TAKING BETTER PHOTOS. THE MORE LIGHT YOU HAVE, THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF YOUR PICTURES BECAUSE CAMERAS RESPOND BETTER TO AND LIKE A LOT LIGHT.

Light is the key to taking better photos. The more light you have, the higher the quality of your pictures because cameras respond better to and like a lot light.

Think of it this way: The more light there is travelling through the camera's lens and shutter, the more information the 'film' has to interpret. The more information on the image - the sharper and more detailed the photos.


You can break down outdoor lighting conditions into three very basic groups: Cloud, rain and sun.

  • CLOUDY is straightforward - your light will be evenly diffused wherever you shoot, so you're not really restricted in any way unless it's extremely dark due to extra heavy cloud cover.
  • RAINING is obviously tough but there are ways round it - read my tips for photographing in the rain here.
  • SUNSHINE means you've actually got a lot of different choices - so read on for the low-down!

PLEASE NOTE: Do not, under any circumstances, look directly at the sun either through the lens or otherwise if shooting into the sun. Safety first, folks.


How to work with strong, daytime sunlight

Although it's a camera's dream to have lots of sunshine, it can be a photographer's nightmare. Too much light and/or the wrong time of day can cause lighting headaches and you can easily end up with unflattering results - it can cast high contrast shadows on your face and outfit and makes you squint as well as bleaching the image. Strong, direct sun should ideally be avoided at all costs, but you can work with it in many cases.


1. AVOID SQUINTING BY WEARING SUNGLASSES


This is the easiest way to cope with bright sunshine - I'm a bit of a squinter so even in winter I'm often in sunglasses. If the sun is blinding your eyes they really are a necessity. Remember readers like to see blogger's faces so try not to wear them in every outfit post if you can help it.

Spring style: Fluffy pink cardigan, paisley joggers, black lace up pointed flats, up do, cat eye sunglasses, evil eye brooch
[Original post]

My trusty go-to black cat eye sunglasses (above) are always in my handbag so that I have them if we do an impromptu photo shoot and it's super sunny.


2. STAND IN SOME SHADE


Make sure it's not dappled light or it will cause havoc with the photo's exposure. If the sun is strong there will still be enough light (remember the sun is four quadrillion times brighter than a 100W light bulb). Here are two examples where you can see the strong sunshine in the background but the shade was far softer and more flattering:

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - July 2016

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links July 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links is a monthly post of things I've seen, watched and liked on the internet that I'm sure you'll love too! This month I'm sharing a bold lip make up tutorial, fascinating facts about ethical fashion, tips for going live on social and a moving insight into what it's like living with epilepsy.

So much to read, digest and enjoy - I hope you like them!

WHAT LINKS DID YOU LIKE - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links July 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
(Photo credits: Top row, left | Top row, right | Middle row, left | Middle row, right | Bottom row, left | Bottom row, right)

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I just died and went to heaven over Kirsty's candy-coloured walls.

Lisa Eldridge knocks it out the park again with a brand new bold lip and natural face look.

Folake is wearing the most incredible Roksanda purple wide leg pants I ever did see.
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Monday, 25 July 2016

Off the Shoulder Frilled Top and Floral Culottes + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Summer style: Off the shoulder ruffle top, floral cropped trousers, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Following my 5th blogiversary/birthday post on Saturday (written by my Instagram husband, no less), today I'm bringing you the outfit I wore when we went out on Saturday for my birthday itself - also known as my first venture into the off the shoulder trend.

This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is off the shoulder and cold shoulder tops (or dresses), so if you have any of either do link them up (to be featured next time) or simply link any other outfits as the theme is always, always optional!

To be honest I was quite nervous about wearing this style top: I tried on a ton of different off the shoulder styles before I found the right one. I think I was hesitant because I tried on one off the shoulder top last year and it was a total disaster. The thing is I like my shoulders - to the extent where I think they're one of my best features - but I'm also a little bony in that area. When you add in an ample chest and put a top that cuts straight across and above the chest, you (I) end up with a 1950s-style pointed chest when you look from the side.

Summer style: Off the shoulder ruffle top, floral cropped trousers, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Saturday, 23 July 2016

What It's Like Being Married to a Fashion Blogger, by an Instagram Husband

What It's Like Being Married to a Fashion Blogger, by an Instagram Husband
"Good things come to those who wait"... True? I think so.

I've vicariously observed the growth of Catherine's blog as an 'Instagram Husband' over the past few years and seen how she has nurtured it from a small side interest created to steal her away from the humdrum toil of a 9-5 office job into making the decision to "dive in at the deep end" and go full-time on the same venture.

Oh, how I remember the day when she confidently strode down the stairs to tell me that this is what she wanted to do with her life from now on... How we cheered HUZZAH and slapped each other's backs, danced a little jig and dismissed all our financial worries as mere trivia.

ON THE 5TH BLOGIVERSARY OF NOT DRESSED AS LAMB (AND CATHERINE'S BIRTHDAY IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW) I'M TAKING OVER AT THE HELM

On the 5th blogiversary of Not Dressed As Lamb (and CATHERINE'S BIRTHDAY IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW) I'm taking over at the helm... tapping the keys to make "words" if you will. Settle back and have a cuppa, for you are going to hear the naked truth of what it's like to be married to a fashion blogger!

What It's Like Being Married to a Fashion Blogger, by an Instagram Husband | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Marks & Spencer Challenge | Styling the Basics: A White Top and Denim



Styling a basic white top and denim: Marks & Spencer white bell-sleeve shirt and wide leg cropped jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb
Having introduced you to the Over40Collective at the end of May, I'm sharing another collaborative project with you from this group of seven over 40 bloggers I'm so happy to be a part of. My fellow O40Co co-workers and I set ourselves a styling challenge: Could we show that anyone - and in our case women in their 40s and 50s - can style the basics from British staple brand Marks & Spencer?

The brief for "The Marks & Spencer Challenge" as we called it was simple: Purchase a white top from the M&S website or store and style it with denim bottoms. Easy, I thought - but the reality was that the challenge turned out to be a lot harder than I imagined, for all sorts of reasons. (See the end of the post for all the white top/denim bottoms outfits that the other members of the O40Co styled.)

THE REALITY WAS THAT THE CHALLENGE TURNED OUT TO BE A LOT HARDER THAN I IMAGINED.

I'll start by saying I'm incredibly happy with the final outfit: A white bell-sleeve shirt with wide-leg jeans (also Marks & Spencer, I'd been wanting a pair like this for a while), accessorised with a skinny scarf, bright bag and those crazy-comfy mules. But I thought I'd give you an honest opinion of the process of finding and buying the right basic piece to style, and doing it with M&S.

Styling a basic white top and denim: Marks & Spencer white bell-sleeve shirt and wide leg cropped jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Monday, 18 July 2016

Why Black and White Patterns Are the Easiest to Mix + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Black and white pattern mixing for summer: Dandelion flower print and paisley, red strappy sandals, fringed bag | Not Dressed As Lamb
It's properly summer at last in the UK, so light layers are all that's required in these warm evenings. I finally had a chance to wear the lovely dandelion print blouse from a couple of years ago (this one is a pretty alternative), and naturally thought another pattern was the best choice for the bottom half. (As someone who is known for her pattern explosions, I thought it high time that this ultimate rule breaker featured as this week's optional  #iwillwearwhatilike theme!)

If you've ever wanted to mix patterns but don't know how, black and white patterns are a great place to start. The key to pattern mixing is to ensure you have one or more colours in both prints, so black and white are the easiest to mix. (See my pattern mixing masterclass post from last year.)

THE KEY TO PATTERN MIXING IS THE ENSURE YOU HAVE ONE OR MORE COLOURS IN BOTH PRINTS, SO BLACK AND WHITE ARE THE EASIEST TO MIX.

The classics are combinations of polka dots, stripes and florals. Move onto something less obvious - like the dandelion print and paisley I've paired here - and you'll be a pattern mixing connoisseur in no time.

Putting this outfit together I of course had to add a splash of colour somewhere... All that black and white (especially in the summer!) brings me out in hives ;)

Black and white pattern mixing for summer: Dandelion flower print and paisley, red strappy sandals, fringed bag | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

10 Spring Outfit Ideas (My Best of Season, Spring 2016)

10 Spring Outfit Ideas (My Best of Season, Spring 2016) | Not Dressed As Lamb
Here's my best of season outfits from the spring (March to May) - there may be some you missed. Hopefully this will give you 10 springtime outfit ideas!

We had a very wet and windy spring, so I compensated for the lack of sunshine with a lot of bright colours - orange became my new obsession. My fave of the faves is undoubtedly no.8 (my fairy princess look for the UK Blog Awards), though for an everyday outfit I'd go with no.4 - the floaty pleated maxi skirt and blue blazer. Those colours scream spring...!

Click on the titles or images to see each original outfit post in full and to get shopping links.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE OUTFIT FROM MY SPRING 2016 BEST OF SEASON? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

SS16 pastel bright stripes, mustard yellow trousers, coral heels | Not Dressed As Lamb

1. How to Wear Pastels, Brights and Winter White

CLICK THROUGH TO THE POST FOR SHOPPING LINKS >>

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Friday, 15 July 2016

31 Weird and Wonderful Facts About Me

31 Weird and Wonderful Facts About Me | Not Dressed As Lamb
After nearly five years of blogging (my blogiversary - and birthday - is a week tomorrow), I thought I might share some weird and wonderful facts about myself that you may find interesting. Or just downright strange.

Either way, I thought this would delve a little further into what makes me tick: Stuff you just can't fit onto an About Page. So there are some random facts, my loves, likes and dislikes, a few quirks and even some interesting statistics.

So before I get all nerdy on you I'll leave my 31 facts with you to read, chuckle at and enjoy at your leisure... Happy Friday!

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE FACT IS IN THE COMMENTS - OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB! (AND TELL ME IF YOU DO ANY OF THE WEIRD THINGS TOO SO I KNOW I'M NOT ALONE...!!)


1. Bubble baths

I can't bear bubble baths - baths yes, but no bubbles. I can't stand them touching my skin... It makes me shudder just thinking about it.


2. My name

I dislike my my name being abbreviated (Cathy, Cath, Cat, Cate, etc). But weirdly I will accept "C" and one other name (see point 5).


3. Eating habits

I will eat almost anything - I was a fussy child but decided that it was ridiculous to keep telling myself I hated certain foods and made a conscious decision to try things I thought I didn't like. My favourite meal now has to be an Indian curry, but when I was 18 I went out for a curry for a friend's birthday and ate nothing because I thought it was the most heinous food known to man.


4. I've never seen...

I've never seen a Harry Potter movie, or an episode of Downton Abbey, or Mamma Mia (all out of choice). I have, however, seen spoofs of all three and could never take the real things seriously anyway.

I'VE NEVER SEEN A HARRY POTTER MOVIE, OR AN EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY, OR MAMMA MIA (ALL OUT OF CHOICE).
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A Tribute to Madonna's Live Aid Outfit, 13th July 1985

A Tribute to Madonna's 1985 Live Aid Outfit: Floral trousers, mint jacquard jacket, lace top, heavy jewellery | Not Dressed As Lamb
So here's an outfit that's been 31 years in the making. This is my tribute to Madonna's Live Aid outfit - something that's captivated my imagination for more than two thirds of my life. (Okay so it sounds dramatic, but this stuff is important when you're a teenager!)

On this day in 1985 I had my 13th birthday party, and all my friends and I watched Live Aid on a little black and white TV in a huge tent in my garden my parents had put up for us for a sleepover. The TV was on a long extension cable and for some reason it being in black and white didn't bother us - we were just happy to be out of the house and not inside with the parents.

THIS WAS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO HER USUAL LOOK: SHE WAS COVERED UP FOR A START, AND IT WAS FLORAL AND LACE AND JACQUARD BUT WITH HER USUAL TON OF JEWELLERY.

I don't know whether it was that night or on extra footage the next day, but I can remember seeing Madonna at some point and my heart stopping. This was something completely different to her usual [Like a Virgin] look: She was covered up for a start, and it was floral and lace and jacquard but with her usual ton of jewellery. I knew at that moment I wanted to look and dress exactly like that.

A Tribute to Madonna's 1985 Live Aid Outfit: Floral trousers, mint jacquard jacket, lace top, heavy jewellery | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Monday, 11 July 2016

Gingham Bardot-Style Dress With Pearl Collar + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Classic summer dressing: Bardot-style gingham dress, bronze heels, pearl embellished collar | Not Dressed As Lamb
This was an outfit I wore to a party in London last month - I'm only just getting round to showing it to you now! The Hobbs Twitchill gingham dress was incredibly popular last year after I was featured in the Sunday Times Style magazine wearing it, and although it was available for ages it's sadly now completely sold out. (Fear not - I found a gorgeous halter neck version and a shirt dress version, both in black and white in case you can't live your life, like me, without a Bardot-style black and white gingham dress.)

This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is gingham - the perfect summery pattern of preppy-style lovers everywhere (after stripes of course)...!

The details I added to the dress this time around were the pearl collar (alternative) and bronze heels (alternative) - the former adds some interest to the plain neckline and the latter adds colour without adding colour, if you see what I mean. In other words, treat metallics like neutrals. They'll always go with anything and everything.

TREAT METALLICS LIKE NEUTRALS. THEY'LL ALWAYS GO WITH ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.

Classic summer dressing: Bardot-style gingham dress, bronze heels, pearl embellished collar | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Thursday, 7 July 2016

3 Easy Statement Pieces to Buy or DIY This Summer (Including the Holy Grail of Heels)

Embellished panel sleeveless tunic, cropped flared jeans, gold cage heel nude mules | Not Dressed As Lamb
Three statement pieces, three stories attached to them. I might as well start at the top (literally)!

If you've followed me on Instagram for at least a few months you may have seen this top appear in my feed in about February time, where I asked the question "I absolutely love it, but will I wear it...?". My willpower turned out to be strong at the time and I decided that a sleeveless tunic with an embellished panel (that was also fully lined) was very beautiful but impractical, it being sleeveless... It was winter, after all.

HAVING SEEN IT POP UP A SECOND TIME AROUND IN THE SUMMER SALE AND REDUCED EVEN FURTHER, IT WAS TIME TO TRY AGAIN. THIS TIME I LOVED IT EVEN MORE, AND IT WAS FINALLY THE RIGHT WEATHER FOR IT.

Having seen it pop up a second time around in the summer sale and reduced even further, it was time to try again. (Designed by Central Saint Martins graduate A V Robertson for ASOS, there are several pieces in her range she designed exclusively for them that I absolutely adore, like the black funnel neck dress with embellished panel. Love.) This time I loved the top even more, and it was finally the right weather for it.

Moving down: Cropped flared jeans. I'd actually had my eye on these dark wash cropped flared jeans from Topshop because I wanted jeans with a raw hem, but just before I ordered them I had a brainwave about an old pair of Levi's sitting in my charity shop clothes pile. These jeans are at least 15 years old but still fit me perfectly - it was the length that bothered me somewhat. They were either too long or too short.

Embellished panel sleeveless tunic, cropped flared jeans, gold cage heel nude mules | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

10 Preppy Style Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

10 Preppy Style Fashion Bloggers You Should Know
Be warned: If you're not a fan of stripes, I'd suggest you look away now. Preppy style means stripes, nautical themes, more stripes, sweaters, yet more stripes, blazers, chinos, and yes - you guessed it - a few more stripes. But as someone who describes her style as "eclectic, erring on the side of preppy with a twist", it's safe to say I love preppy style.

As a child, I grew up watching Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly films and poring over their clean 1950s and 60s looks, so it's no surprise that I love me a cropped Capri pant with ballet flats and a blazer. I can remember thinking Ali McGraw in Love Story was everything I wanted to be in terms of her long raven hair and that classic Ivy League style.

Here I've featured 10 fashion bloggers who aren't necessarily 100% preppy; more, they all have elements of preppy style to a greater or lesser extent.

I'VE FEATURED 10 FASHION BLOGGERS WHO AREN'T NECESSARILY 100% PREPPY; MORE, THEY ALL HAVE ELEMENTS OF PREPPY STYLE TO A GREATER OR LESSER EXTENT.

10 Preppy Style Fashion Bloggers You Should Know
Image credit above: Atlantic Pacific | Top image, L-R: Penny Pincher Fashion | Classy Girls Wear Pearls | Prosecco & Plaid | Atlantic Pacific | Covering the Bases

So for all you Breton stripe fans out there, you're in for a treat. But let's face it, how many of us don't have at least one striped tee in our wardrobes...? ;)

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON PREPPY STYLE? HAVE YOU FOUND ANY NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!
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Monday, 4 July 2016

Red, White & Blue (Espadrilles, Dungarees and Slouch Bag) + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Sleeveless summer overalls: Red, white and blue outfit - red wedge espadrilles, white dungarees and Panama hat, blue slouchy bag | Not Dressed As Lamb
As today is July 4th of course the #iwillwearwhatilike theme had to be red, white and blue...! Happy Independence Day to my US readers :)

Although it's not a holiday for the UK our flag colours are the same, and the last time I donned this classic colour combo was for the Queen's Golden Jubilee back in 2012 for my Wake Up, Wake Up, the British are Coming! post. It was all so long ago now, especially as the London Olympics were the same year - but it seems like only yesterday we were applying for tickets hoping to get to see something (anything).

[She wonders where the time has gone and gazes off into the distance momentarily...]

DUNGAREES AGAIN. I HAVE NO REMORSE. WHEN WHITE, WIDE LEGGED CROPPED DUNGAREES WITH A FLATTERING SQUARE NECKLINE ARE HALF PRICE IN THE SALE THEY SIMPLY HAVE TO BE ADDED TO BASKET.

This outfit! Dungarees again. I have no remorse. When white, wide legged cropped dungarees with a flattering square neckline are half price in the sale they simply have to be added to basket. I went a size up because unlike jeans you can pull them in at the waist (depending on the style) with a belt. Luckily the bodice part wasn't too big - I have a really tiny back so if I go too oversized with anything fitted up top it just sags and bags on me (especially under the arms).

Sleeveless summer overalls: Red, white and blue outfit - red wedge espadrilles, white dungarees, blue slouchy bag | Not Dressed As Lamb
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