Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Styled by Kimberley: Autumn Colours

This week we are styling up outfits inspired by our special blog guest: Lauren Aitchison. Lauren has already featured on the blog as one of our Blog Crushes so when she contacted us for a style challenge I was thrilled. I really don't remember when Lauren and I started chatting online but we've met IRL a few times now. Our similarities go further than the love of an 80s power jacket; we've had similar difficult life experiences, she can rival my biggest squeeze of a hug, and she's very switched on to current affairs. We can chat on any topic for hours.

I met up with Lauren to take these fun autumn colour inspired looks while she was in Edinburgh, and it was a horrible day to shoot on but it was also really easy. She was a breeze.

I'll admit I'm not the best photographer so I get quite nervous when I photograph people who aren't Helen. I've done it a few times now though and, you can never guess what someone will be like. Like anyone, bloggers can be quite different in front of the camera than you'd think. Some have their poses down and jump straight into it, Next Top Model style. Turn. Bam. Hand on hip. Bam. Look to the middle distance. Bam. Others find it difficult to perform in front of the camera, feeling a little silly in a crowded street. Because everyone is watching, right? Some can be kind of diva-level on photo control- they know exactly how they want to be portrayed online and want to approve every image on site. Why not? Their image is their entire USP.

Me? I find it directly relates to how good I feel on the day.
I have worked with a number of photographers by now, so I'm used to being in front of the camera. I know my natural face is pretty but mean. Being goofy might look cute on instagram but it takes effort, and feels and looks (outside the camera) strained. I'm far more animated than Helen IRL but I just can't fake it for photos.

All those faux laughs and weird contortions that photographers have asked me to use have produced great results but they really can be hit or miss. For every photo there's 3 unusable ones. Weird mouth and odd chin angles often ensue. Lying in probably-dog-wee leaves, oddly timed jumps in the air and sleepy mid-blink photos all exist on my camera roll. There's even one of me ungracefully squealing at a wasp.

If you struggle to get your best angle in, here's some help to get you posing like a pro (so, probably not me then):

1. Get to know your photographer. It's quite intimate to be photographed, and being comfortable is the main thing. It helps that I love to talk because chatting away and actually laughing in photos has produced some of my favourite ones.

2. Wear a comfortable look. When you are wearing something that you're not into, it shows. This is a mistake I've seen fashion bloggers make, wearing something on trend that's so clearly not their style. I've also styled up outfits I've not been 100% about and felt crap. Whether it's your new favourite OOTD or your old comfies, it will still be new to your audience and feel like you.

3. Loosen up. My body can sometimes feel frozen or stiff, and when I feel nervous I clam up. When Helen photographs me I literally do a little jump around and wiggle to prepare. If that's not enough I find that moving to a second location produces better images because I've already done a dry run and limbered up. I also often stretch my mouth between poses because my face can start to look tense.

4. Practise your poses. Honestly, this is something I didn't do and it took me a long time to find my groove. It's easy to do the same 3 shapes over but I like to add some extras at the end that can be thrown away. It's necessary to show off the shape of certain clothes, or get accessories in. To be honest, it's something I should do more work on but hey, I'm no model.

5. Let go. It can be difficult to hand over creative control to someone else. After all, they don't know about your 'bad sides'. But that is actually a positive! A fresh eye is going to find those gems of a photograph that you might have thrown out because you're hyper-focused on your goofy smile (guilty) instead of the overall impression.

Now I guess I just need to practise what I preach...

Coat | Oasis
Top | vintage
Skirt | Topshop (old)
Necklace | c/o Esa Evans
Brooches | Punky Pins and The Sad Ghost Club

I haven't even spoken about this outfit but I've discussed it before here. I hope I can squeeze just a tiny bit more out of autumn style but I think that turning of the leaves has passed already in Edinburgh. I'll be moving on to my winter version of this outfit, I think!

Thanks to Ian Finlayson for the photographs.

1 comment:


    When I take photos for Charlotte, there's very little direction at all - we pretty much just talk, and giggle, although I noticed at the weekend that I've started getting more ideas and asking her for specific angles and details. I like the photos we end up with though, because they look very sweet and very natural - I imagine it's a similar sort of dynamic to the one you and Helen have.

    Lis / last year's girl x