Blouse: Amelia James; Skirt: old (similar

Or at least dress like you’re in one. Truth time. Most days I don’t shower until lunch time changing from PJs to loungewear and back again. Between running errands and cleaning up messes, I teach my six year old to read and correct math tests for the fourth grader. Sound glamorous? It’s the life I lead. But every once in a while I want to play dress up even if it’s just in a new shirt with fab sleeves. 

Truth time times two (say that 5 times fast;). I didn’t think I liked bell or gathered sleeves. Enter Amelia James with all the fun designs and comfy clothes. Lesson learned, don’t knock something until you’ve tried it. 

Speaking of trying things, photography is an interesting art with a huge learning curve. Light is a huge deal and so is location, location, location. The funny thing? The most unlikely places make the best pictures. Wouldn’t you know Wally World made a better backdrop for photos than the antique market full of beautiful things. A busy underpass is the perfect setting for fashion pictures (ah the lighting at this one). It takes a while to get used to looking at the trees instead of the forest. 

Here are some things I’ve learned for scouting out photo locations in the last year. 

1. Lighting. When choosing a place to shoot remember direct sunlight is your worst bet for portrait photography. Grainy yellow lighting is also not ideal. Look for cool lighting or bright lights. 

2. Look at the trees. It’s all about the details when you’re taking portrait photography. Sometimes you don’t need to look at the whole picture. That really cool sign may not translate well when it dwarfs the subject. But, that dingy wall might make for a perfect photograph. This may be the only time in life where thinking small is your best bet. 

3. Clean is always better. Or in other words, look for a consistent background. Something with the same design across the back is much better than mixing patterns. In this case, the busy background of a book store works only because it’s symmetrical/consistent (bookshelves surround me) and my outfit is neutral. 

We had a lot of fun with this shoot. It isn’t perfect (indoor lighting is always tricky and there were a lot of yellow tones) but, the kids behaved (and were rewarded with mini hatchimals- I’m so glad they’ve discovered those) and this outfit was perfect for a casual family afternoon. 


  1. I just love how you find the most unique backgrounds to use, Jamie- totally agree that often times, the ones you think won’t work end up being the best choices! And I’m absolutely loving that dreamy bell sleeve top!


  2. These are fabulous ideas for finding a unique and beautiful photography background… I love thinking outside the box to find amazing areas to photograph.

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