Festive Holiday Layers + Camera Tips for Bloggers



img_1651 jcrew-peacoatjcrew-coat


TOP JCrew Factory (also love this) | BLAZER New Look | COAT JCrew | JEANS AOS | BOOTS Stuart Weitzman | BAG Chanel (similar) | WATCH Michele | BRACELETS David Yurman (one,two) | SUNGLASSES Karen Walker | EARRINGS JCrew (love these)

Today I am sharing one of my favorite looks for the holidays! I love layering different textures, so when I saw this sequin blazer I knew it was a must have for the holidays. I picked up THIS coat during the black friday sales and I am in love with the color. I have had my eye on it for awhile and do not regret the purchase one single bit. Of course any holiday look should have a little bit of plaid and this ruffle plaid top is perfection. I paired my holiday layers with denim but you can wear the same pieces with a black a line skirt for a dressier look!

Shop My Look

Camera Tips for Bloggers

Ok now to the camera details! I get a TON of questions about what camera I use and lenses so I thought I would answer a couple questions just in time for holiday photos!

I am by no means a professional photographer! This is what I have found works for me! 

1.What Camera do you use?- I have tried Canon and Nikon cameras and I use Nikon now. I have the Nikon D7100 and love it! I have a couple more bodies on my radar right now and may try a new one next year.  Once I try them out, I am happy to share my feedback!

2. What Lenses do you recommend?– I think if you have a decent body style, the Lens is what makes the difference. I use two lenses right now. The 85mm 1.4 and the Sigma Art 35mm 1.4. The 85mm takes AMAZING detail shots. I know a lot of bloggers use the 50mm to get that gorgeous bokeh, but the 85mm gives you even MORE bokeh. We have shot with this full body, but its a bit tough because you have to be pretty far back! I recently splurged on a 35mm and I am so happy with it. We started using it about 3 weeks ago. It gives you more room to play with angels and still gives you a great blurry background. The detail is also really amazing, but you have to pay attention closely to what the camera is focusing on because it picks up every detail!

If you are new to photography I do recommend the 50mm 1.8 lens. It is a great lens for the price!


Shot with 85mm (close)

blue feather clutch

Shot with 85mm (full body)


Shot with 35mm (close)


Shot with 35mm (full body)


3. Are there special settings you use?– I have watched countless hours on youtube on cameras and highly recommend doing that first.  It is also important to have a steady hand while shooting. A good camera/lens is sensitive and any slight movement after you focus can cause a blurry picture. We always shoot in manual because it gives us more control over all the settings and we keep the focus on auto (the little switch on your lens.)  Below are the two settings on the camera I change often while shooting.

ISO– ISO plays a big factor in the crispness of your photos.  The higher ISO setting = more noise in your photos. You will need to raise your ISO when it is darker outside to compensate for the lack of light.  I usually set my ISO around 120-200 for bright to normal conditions and around 400 for cloudy conditions. Every camera should have an auto-ISO setting which will make the judgement call for you, but I found this did not give me the quality photos I wanted.

Aperture– This is what controls the blurry backgrounds. My lenses go as low as 1.4 but I normally keep them around 1.6.  If you want more background to show in your photos, raise the aperture.

4. What do you use to edit your pics? Let me preface this question with that I always shoot in RAW which gives me more freedom to edit lighting and color. JPEG images do that work for you, but if your image is too light or too dark, it is really hard to fix it as a JPEG image while keeping the integrity of the photo. The only downside to this, is that RAW images are HUGE. So be sure to get a large memory card that is fast enough to handle RAW images! I use lightroom to edit my blog photos and resize them in photoshop. I will one day sit down to learn how to edit in photoshop, but if I add anything else to my day, I may not sleep haha.

Ok that is all I have for now or we may be here all day! If you guys have any other blogger topics you want to see, let me know!

xoxo Tara


7 thoughts on “Festive Holiday Layers + Camera Tips for Bloggers

  1. Emily

    Thank you so much for the post! I do have one question – do you find the images you resize in Photoshop to have a higher quality than exporting them straight from Lightroom? I am shooting in raw and have some great shots, but whenever I export from Lightroom I lose quite a bit of the quality. Just curious as to how this works!

Comments are closed.