If the Lace Fits

Well, I'm back to taking photos with my tripod in my backyard for a little while. My sister-in-law is more than seven months pregnant and Alena just moved to Austin, plus with Mary and Jenn halfway across the country in Illinois and Iowa, I'm on the lookout for a new outfit photographer. I have a good camera and a good lens, and I always like how my photos turn out when I take them of other people or places, but I just can't seem to take good ones of myself with my tripod. Does anyone have any tips? You know, other than "make more friends." 

This dress has actually been sitting in my closet for about two months untouched. I got it in a Facebook swap, and even though it's a size too big, I decided I'd swap for it anyway since it was so pretty. Unfortunately, I didn't magically fit into it like I had planned (weird how those things work out), and without the jacket and belt, it's definitely noticeable how ill-fitting it is on me. It also has a great open back, but I still haven't gotten a lace bandeau, and I can't do the whole bra-less thing. Do you see my dilemmas? I finally decided to take it out for a spin though just to see if I could make it work for these pictures, and I'm happy to see that it worked perfectly with a jacket and belt. I'm still not sure if I'm going to keep it though, so if anyone wants a size large lace YA Los Angeles dress with the tags on (I only wore it for these pictures), shoot me an email or let me know in the comments!

On the personal front, I had a really good weekend that mostly involved food, which in my opinion is the best kind of weekend. I hung out at my friend Adam's house on Friday night, and we ended up making an impromptu trip to Sprinkles ice cream and waiting in an insanely long line for it being 9 p.m. I've had Sprinkles cupcakes a handful of times, but I had never had the ice cream, but I'm happy to report that the wait was worth it. Although you probably didn't need me to tell you that red velvet ice cream with a chocolate/vanilla cupcake top in it was good, did you? I didn't think so.

On Saturday night, my family took my out for an early birthday dinner since next weekend is going to be pretty busy for everyone. We went to the Packing House, my favorite new place in Orange County. I've mentioned it before, but it's essentially a giant food court filled with local restaurants, bars, fancy dessert places, and well-dressed people. It's by far the coolest place in the area, and even though it's always crowded, we decided to go anyway. This time I tried the gourmet grilled cheese place and the crepe place, and they were both delicious. There's a brewery in the same area as the Packing House, so we headed there afterward so my brother could buy me a birthday beer. All in all, it was a good start to my birthday week that will hopefully include even more delicious food.

Dress: YA Los Angeles, from a swap
Shoes: B.A.I.T via eBay
Jacket: Dry Goods
Clutch: Sassy Stitches by Lori, gift
Necklace: Unknown  (found in my room)
Sunglasses: Modcloth


  1. Love the outfit!!! That dress is adorable


  2. Love the lace and striped clutch! Happy early birthday!! :)

  3. First, if you'd like, I can be your full-time photog. Just let me live in your backyard and pay me a small stipend. ;)

    Also: Ahhh that dress is totally my size and adorable. I'd take it if you're willing to part with it. Let me know how much. :D :D

    I love the dress with blazer too. It gives it a little work/play and color contrast, while giving it a sophisticated feel.

  4. You're so cute, and I'm in love with those shoes. That color is so beautiful. Also, I want that dress. So feel free to send it to me, although I'm not sure it will fit me either haha sisterhood of the traveling dress?

    Also, I know we didn't Skype...what's this week look like for you? haha I'm going to text you later :)


  5. I love this dress with the blazer, and you definitely can't tell that it's too big on you in these! Sigh, I have problems with the tripod & myself thing, too -- but I don't really like when other people take my photos, so you can see my dilemma!

    xox Sammi

  6. Ah, don't you hate it when that happens? I have totally gotten a dress before because I have hopes that once I get it home, it will magically fit, haha! But that's never the case. Perhaps a quick take-in of the seams, if you know anyone who sews? I would do it for you but I live too far away.
    I can relate to your feelings on your pictures taken by someone else vs tripod! I used to like taking my own pictures, but then I got spoiled by my husband's skills and now when I take them myself I just ... ugh. Haha! But I think these pictures look great, and you look SO good! This might be one of my favorite outfits on you!

  7. Photo solution 1: Give Jenn a one-way ticket to California. Train or plane, doesn't matter. Jenn will live with you until you get this whole "blog" thing out of your system. And by then, you won't even want her to leave.

    Photo solution 2: Strap a GoPro to your dog for some sweet action shots. I'm full of many superb ideas.

  8. Woah. What a delicious sounding weekend! I love getting to have all sorts of tasty things leading up to my birthday.

    I love that dress- you should see if you can take it in in some key places- it's so pretty on you!

    I totally prefer having someone else take my photos, but when I do use the tripod, I just rock the 10-snaps-in-a-row self timer. I've have a lot more luck with that with a camera remote.

    Becca | Ladyface Blog

  9. I think these pictures turned out good, so no worries! You definitely did a good job hiding the fact that this dress doesn't fit well. I can't tell from the pictures! Such a cute little lace dress and the blazer looks great with it. You could probably get the dress altered? Or just look for a new one!

    Jamie | PetitePanoply.com

  10. Elana, this is such a chic and lovely outfit! It's such a bummer though that the dress is too large on you- it doesn't show that in the pic though, ha! The pattern is just gorgeous! Anyway, the Packing House sounds like an interesting place.. can't wait to see your future posts using the tripod! My sister has been bugging me to start using it, haha..X

    Chic Nikkie

  11. Happy Birthday Week!

    I do like this on you and never would have guessed it didn't fit well- that jacket did it's job!

  12. Sounds like a marvolous weekend... you can't even tell it's a size too large. You should keep the dress or just get it altered. It looks amazing on you and I love your cat eyed sun glasses!

  13. It is absolutely beautiful on you though! Too bad it doesn't fit you well enough to keep it. The clutch and blazer give it such a cool spin.

  14. You totally made the dress work! It's too pretty to go unworn, in my opinion.

    It sounds like you had a really nice weekend! I guess there was no time to have someone snap a few photos, huh? Honestly, I use my tripod for a lot of my posts, too. It's not so bad, but once you have someone snap the photos for you, it gets hard to go back to one!

    xo Jackie
    Something About That

  15. Taking own pics is hard!! I guess practice makes perfect is the only advice I can really give you. Eep! I love with my parents during the summer so my momma helps me take mine, else I usually just go what you do and take em in the backyard with a tripod. Any parents or relatives you can temporarily enslave??

  16. Man, I hate it when I get a dress that doesn't fit and I can only wear it a certain way, it makes getting dressed so time consuming because I have to think of all the contingencies on that garment. You certainly look beautiful with it styled this way though! Navy and cream is always a gorgeous combination.

  17. I would never be able to tell this dress was ill-fitting, it looks so pretty on you!
    As for the photos with a tripod thing... a constant struggle for me too! I have been taking more in my back yard now that I have one, and here is one important thing I noticed: pictures seem better when you are not super close to something in the background. The perks of a better lens (for me) has been the ability to show depth of field better (the whole making the background fuzzier thing!) When objects are closer to me (like bushes in my yard), it looks more like I could have taken the pictures on my phone,etc. So, if I have the chance, I like more open spaces like a field or a quiet path where you can really see a difference between the foreground (me) and the background.
    Sorry if that was confusing haha!
    xo Hannah

  18. Rad jacket! Love the pleather cuffs and beautiful pop of color with the shoes!

    - Anna


  19. Well look at you. You totally took something that wasn't good and turned it into a majorly great outfit. I get so exhausted taking my own photos. My clothes never look the same when I have to run back and forth.

  20. I can't tell at all that something is ill-fitted about the dress. It really does look lovely on you. You paired the dress with the blazer and shoes so lovely! Great look.

    Lauren xo
    Sophisticated In Style

  21. Dang girl- you look like a smokin' hot, chic, biz lady! I woulda never guessed this dress didn't fit and I say keep it! Love that jacket- perfect cut and textures!

  22. Your pictures turned out great and your blazer is really cute.

  23. It's such a bummer that dress didn't fit because from the pictures, it looks darling on you! The color and fit/flare shape looks so good with those fun little shoes!

  24. You looked great despite any fit issues!

    As for the shooting yourself thing, I would say the issue I have the most with it for myself is making photos too deadpan. When you introduce a variety of angles instead of being so one-to-one with your camera it makes the photos more interesting. You could either physically move the tripod or just consciously angle your body in some shots. Also, having some more up close, plus others that are more pulled back adds to the intrigue as well. Like someone else suggested, distancing yourself from your background and choosing a larger aperture will help create shallow depth of field which makes you as the subject pop. If you can't change your aperture too you could always experiment with portrait mode. I think you've done a great job yourself though!