Earlier this season, Orla and I finally got around to shooting some looks. Orla is one of my favourite people to shoot. I met her a couple of years ago when she decided to not only start a blog but her business too, she wanted to shoot some promo shots as well as some outfit shots for her blog, thus started a wonderful little friendship. Now she is a very well established and very sought after Personal Fashion Stylist with a booming business. Her work with her clients brings them the very best of the seasons style and helps them discover their style along the way.

As well as this, Orla worked with me on some Fashion Editorials for Irish Magazines, check out this one we did for the Irish Examiner Magazine. we shot outfit photos last year when she was pregnant with her baby! This shoot also was a great one!

Fashions fade, style is eternal. ― Yves Saint-Laurent

Orlas own style is fantastic, I often say that anyone can be fashionable, I mean anyone can buy the seasons must haves’ and wear them ‘off the rack’ but Orla has style – something not many people can boast. She has an eye for style, she has her own style, she knows how to style other people and knows both what she likes & what suits her. She doesn’t conform to latest trends – well, not in any way you would overly notice anyway. She has a wardrobe to die for and a solid collection of stylish wardrobe staples. (Believe me! Ive seen the wardrobe!! I DIE!)

Having not shot with Orla in quite some time (since before she had her baby) we decided to shoot these looks earlier this  Autumn. The Dungarees have been a staple in Orla’s life this past season so she wanted to show how to style them creatively and in different ways. Long gone are the days of baggy, 90s ‘rees! You can read more about this look and her styling over on her blog.

I absolutely love shooting with Orla, although, we the amount of chatter we do, our shoots always take awhile. On the day of this shoot I finally met Orla’s baby son Bobby who I also got to shoot some images of too.  He’s handsome like his parents and a wonderful baby. I don’t normally photograph peoples children but I was delighted that we were able to send the shots over to his dad, Colin who was away working at the time. Spreading the joy!

This lady totally proves that we ladies can be both an awesome, stylish mommy  and be a working lady too!

I have two more blogger photoshoots in the pipeline at the moment and am working on dates for some creative portrait shoots in the new year, Hope you enjoy!

001OS-2122OS-2133 OS-2054 OS-2063 OS-2105005OS-24282002004 OS-1706003OS-2283What do you think? Are Dungarees for you? I think I love them!! Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @saibegan. Having great photo content for your blog or website can really boost your traffic and make you stand out from the crowd. Not to mention how much fun it is to shoot and feel good!  If you would like to do a shoot like this, get in touch!

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Iv decided to put together some of the most important things I think it takes to have a great blog. I come across so many great blogs which have fantastic content and writing but their design/layout or photos  really let them down. Coming from a background in design, I truly believe that if your blog hasn’t been getting as much attention as you think it should, bad design could be the reason. Studies show that within 10 seconds of landing on a webpage or blog, our brain makes the decision to stay or go! Help your readers make the right decision!

1. STYLE // One of the key aspects in keeping the reader on your blog is how it looks, how easy it is to navigate and how easy it is to read. Often if a blog has bright blue sparkly background, flashy images and a body of script font, our brain decides that this is going to be tiring and hard to keep up with. Go easy on the widgets – blogs that show every single widget available look trashy and are way to much for the brain to figure out.

2. COLOUR // Keep it simple, pick a few base colors. For example, a clean, one color background like white works perfectly as images and text are easiest to read on a white background. Its a proven fact that our brains can read off a white background easiest, so why make it hard for people?! Then use a pop colour too like a pink or blue for headings, links and other highlights. Use the colour wheel too and pick colours that work to compliment each other. Flashy, sparkly backgrounds make it extremely hard to keep focused on the blog post.

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3. TEXT // Fonts & text are really important on your blog. If a blog’s body text is a script font, the reader is a lot less likely to read the whole blogpost, not to mention stay on the blog and read more. Script or decrotive typefaces (fonts) should only be used only in the header of a post.

When choosing a font for body text, it’s usually best to stick with a Serif font (example Times New Roman) or Sans-serif font (example Helvetica or Futura). The most important thing with choosing a font is to make sure the letters are easily decipherable from one another so your readers don’t have to spend precious mental energy identifying letters. If the reader has trouble making out the words on your blog, they will not stay long. Spacing is also very important so break up those paragraphs!!

4. IMAGERY // Images are the single most important aspect to most blogs with the exception of writers blogs which are obviously text heavy for a reason. The Internet is full of words, billions of words,  but its not the words that get all the attention its usually the images. Readers can generally get the entire mood of a post by glancing through the photos. That’s why it’s so important to use images in your blog posts. If you don’t use images in your blog post, your chances of getting that post read go down to about 50 to 60%. Take Facebook for example, you are much more likely to read a post that has a preview image with it than a line of text on its own.

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5. PHOTO QUALITY // Try not to use generic images you pulled off google. Low resolution, blurry images or stock images really give your site a certain look, a bad one. There can also be some serious implications to using photos like this. You can be sued for using photos from the internet, its unlikely but it happens! If you are using images off the web, be very careful of copyrights and ask other bloggers permission before reposting their images.

You CAN shoot your own photos! Weather you are using a DLSR or your smart phone, taking your own photos is great for your blog and can be easy! Just remember these tips – turn off the flash on your camera and don’t shoot your photos at night. Its best to shoot outdoors as much as possible, or by a window in the house. Light is your friend so make sure theres lots of light in your pictures.

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6. PERSONALITY // Personality will help your blog stand from the rest. You (and your personality) are the number one ingredient for the perfect blog which generates good traffic. Personality allows your readers to connect with you. Even if your blog isn’t about yourself or your life, sprinkles of personality are a must! Have a photo of yourself on your blog, its your blog, people would like to see you. Put your story there too! People need a little insight into the blogs author! Having an ‘About Me’ page is an absolute must on your blog. Remember to include your name and where you are from as well as a contact email address. If someone lands on your page and wants to contact you and the contact tab isn’t obvious, they might not take the time to trail through your tabs trying to find your address. Make it easy for them!

When your working on your blog and how it looks, keep these stats in mind:

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views (jeffbullas.com)
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
  • 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)

So thats my take on how you could make your blog a little better today! You can seriously increase your readership and gain loyal followers too! If you have any other points you would add, leave me a comment or email me at saibhegan[at]gmail.com  – Id love to hear what makes blogs tick for you!

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OMFG isn’t she just gorgeous!! Orla & I shot these images recently for her blog and I don’t think Iv ever seen anyone so bloody GORGEOUS!!! As you might know, Orla is a personal & commercial stylist based here in Galway. Besides having a very successful personal styling business where she offers a wide range of styling services which include personal shopping, wardrobe analysis, online styling, individual consultation and much more.
We shot this look on a gorgeous summers evening, as always, seconds before the rain – Orla blogged this look here. If you think you would like to do this type of streetshoot – just get in touch, its not just for bloggers either! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them below!

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with blogger, Laura ‘Nellydoll’ Carroll. What I absolutely love about Laura is her blog is truly different, her style, her art, (she’s a class artist too) her writing, everything. When you read as many fashion blogs & magazines as I do (and Im sure you do too) they can sometimes tend to start to look the same (there are, of course exceptions to this) but generally, I scroll through a lot of pages with a lot of the same content.
Laura’s bubblegum pop style, ever-changing hair colour & love of the extraordinary, Laura really gives you a glimpse of her personality which comes out in her style and I for one LOVE that in a blog/blogger. Be sure to check her out at NellyDoll Blog & show her some love!

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