SPRINGING INTO SPRING WITH CREATED COLORFUL

What better way to prep for spring than with a color consultation. Keep reading to see what I’m talking about. A few months back I had the pleasure of working with the amazing Created Colorful team to figure out my best colors.

What is Created Colorful?

Created Colorful is a team of amazing color experts devoted to helping you find your best colors. They are there to help you unlock the many possibilities you have with your wardrobe and help you learn to choose clothing in colors that highlight your best features. The brains behind this whole operation, the beautiful Lindsey, Owner of Created Colorful, set-up an amazing color consultation for me so that her team of trained experts could find my best colors.

Initially, when the Created Colorful team reached out regarding a consult, I was a bit hesitant. Passed experiences around make-up and wardrobe styling had me thinking that a color consultation might be a flop. I had my make-up done before by people who didn’t really understand choosing the right colors for my skin type. I’ve sat in the chairs of experienced make-up artists who didn’t have my foundation shade or didn’t quite know what lipstick colors would look best on me. I’ve been sent clothing items from brands in colors that I felt really didn’t bring out my best features. Needless to say, as a woman of color, I’ve trained myself to always come with a plan B in situations that involve wardrobe styling, make-up and hair. I’ve trained myself to never assume people know how to style women of color, curvy women, and in my case, dark-skinned women. I’ve trained myself to believe that not every space is created for me and therefore, I have to create that space for myself and hope that with time, others will be able to see the need for inclusive practices, but with everything I do, I try to step out on faith and decided to give the Created Colorful color analysis a shot. FYI, this was my first time doing a color consultation.

My Color Consult

So, the first order of business was to complete a brief questionnaire. I was then asked to share several selfies with specific color fabrics draped over me . After those selfies were reviewed, I was asked to send just a few more colors to complete the full analysis. This part of the process was actually pretty fun because I got to dig through my closet and I discovered I had quite a few colors in my wardrobe. I think I was able to get almost the full list of colors they asked me to share, but they asked for a few more as well and after all my pics were sent in, it was time for the real magic to take place. I received a full analysis via email with kind words from Lindsey, the owner of Created Colorful. Additionally, I was given a full break down of my best colors, courtesy of my assigned color consultant, Tressie.

And the results are in … <<<drumroll>>>

I am Warm Spring, but I can also pull off some of the colors in the Clear Spring palette as well. Tressie, my color consultant, provided me with a very detailed analysis of why these colors work for me and how they would work with my wardrobe and highlight my features. To say I was shocked at what my colors were is an understatement. I remember filling out the questionnaire and thinking, if they pick brown, navy or light yellow for me, I’ll be so disappointed because I thought those colors really didn’t look all that good on me, especially brown, mostly because my skin is brown and I felt like it fell flat on my skin. Well, surprise, all of these colors are in my palette of the best colors for me and I’m not AT ALL disappointed. In fact, it just further proves a color analysis was needed. After getting my full assessment, I immediately wanted to take action, and started scrolling through old photo albums to see if I was already dressing in the colors that suit me. Below are a few of the pics I pulled from throughout the years where I was getting it right with the Warm Spring palette vs where it was not the right color for me.

Scrolling through old blog pics post color consult was like looking at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. Now that I’ve been schooled on what my best colors are, some old pictures revealed that I was wearing colors that really weren’t my best colors. I’ve done so many shoots for my blog and for brands I’ve collaborated with in the past and some of the final photos for these shoots haven’t been my fave. Taking a glimpse back through old pics with the info I know now has me thinking perhaps the images weren’t my fave because of the colors I was wearing. I never thought the colors I wear for photos could make such a big impact on the final product. Often times, location, lighting, weather and a subjects energy level are the main things I consider when producing a good photo. Since receiving my color consultation, I’ve really changed the way I style myself for shoots and am way more attentive to the wardrobe colors I buy and while every shoot situation doesn’t afford me the opportunity to avoid my worse colors, I can at least be creative with the colors of the locations I shoot at and accommodate with the right make-up. Speaking of which, the pics below are from my most recent brand shoot. Keep scrolling so I can explain…

My color consultant, Tressie, mentioned increasing the warmth of my photos to enhance my features. For the above brand shoot, I was able to do this in editing along with wearing a flamingo pink (a color in the warm spring palette) and shooting at a peachy colored backdrop. I feel like everything aligned with the warm spring palette and it made such a huge difference in the photos and brought out the warm tones I have. My color analysis also recommended a few tips for Warm Spring make-up and I thankfully had a gloss that aligned with the palette and topped it off with a warm rose blush that definitely helped with bringing out my best features and played to the warm tones that I have, and not to brag or anything, but according to my color consultation, Beyonce is a Warm Spring, so there’s that, LOL.

My Created Colorful consultation has been such a game changer in how I prepare for photoshoots for brands I partner with. So much of the final photos I produce weighs heavily on the colors I wear and what shoot locations I choose. I’ll definitely be using the Warm Spring and Clear Spring palette to guide me on what colors I should wear on shoots and even use it as a guide for how I edit the final photos. This experience made me feel heard, not only as a woman of color, but as a woman period. It’s nice to feel included in spaces where I once felt like I had to be the expert all the time, and while I think we’re all experts over how we style ourselves, it’s nice to know efforts are being made to embrace the unique beauty of women of color, so they can feel supported in their goals as well.

Interested in a color consultation? Click here to learn more.

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TAKE PICTURES WITH A TODDLER

Okay, so, the title of this blog post was clearly click bait, lol, figured I might as well confess and keep it honest from the jump. Let’s be real, there is no right way to take a pic with a toddler and there is no successful way to take pics with a toddler. For toddlers, it’s a whole new world for them. For Charlee, she just started walking on her birthday and she’s been on the move ever since. She wants to see the world, touch things, taste things, look at everything and do it all over again the next day. She’s curious, she’s energetic, and persistent; I’m sure some of these adjectives fall in line with many toddlers out there.

Look, I have no magical secrets to getting content with my little one, but here are 6 tips for getting what I would consider to be decent, instagramable shots. I’ll be the first to say, I’m no expert, I’m learning as I go, but so far I think things are working and though I’d do a dedicated post sharing some tips and tricks to make pics with your little just a bit easier .

KEEP SNACKS ON HAND

Kiddos, are still growing, which means when they are hungry, they need to eat right away. In Charlee’s case, she eats every few hours. What this means is that when they are hungry your photoshoot is not important, period. I like to make sure Charlee is fed prior to a shoot or has had a hardy meal an hour or so before a shoot and I always keep snacks on deck just in case. In fact, for this shoot, she scarfed down a half a PB&J right before and was happy as a clam and ready to party afterwards.

NAPS ARE ESSENTIAL

Plan your content days with the little one around their nap time. When they are fully rested, you’re more than likely to get better pictures and a kiddo who is more cooperative, full of energy and ready to take some pics. This can be hard sometimes with all of life’s other demands, but a full rested kid will make for a much easier shoot day.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION

Some little one’s don’t like to be in the car seat a long period of time, so try to plan shoot locations well in advance or shoot closer to where you live. Additionally, pick locations that couple as a fun place for kids to explore and entertain themselves. Those candid shots of them taking in this big new world make for perfect content and it’s even better when it’s a location that is specifically for kids.

KEEP IT CANDID

Sometimes, the best shots are the ones you catch off guard. This polka dot shoot was mostly a liter of candid shots, because Charlee just started walking, she looks down at her feet most of the time. I just embrace that and try to capture pictures of her enjoying this new found skill of hers. Most of the time, Charlee has no clue what’s going on when we are shooting, she just wants to explore the new location and the shots we often capture of her enjoying the new space are always the most enjoyable for me to edit and share with family and friends.

DON’T FORCE IT

Kids are more intuitive than we think. If they see you stressing, they’ll stress too. Just be natural, smile, laugh, play with your kiddo, enjoy the space and help them and join in on exploring the location with them. They want to be free to wander, but they also want you to share in the adventure too. Most of the photoshoots I have with Charlee involve me helping her discover all our shoot locations have to offer. When it’s natural and you’re just spending time with your kiddo, you’ll forget the camera is there and that’s when the real magic happens and you truly get authentic shots I think your audience will enjoy. When you force it, it really will show in the pictures. Have patience with your little one and remember that not every shot will be perfect, but when you’re being yourself and letting your kiddo be themselves, every shot will always be you!

PLAN OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME

Getting a toddler ready takes a bit of time, getting a toddler ready for a content day takes even more time. I like to get my outfit(s) and Charlee’s outfit(s) out a day or so before the scheduled shoot and I always bring an extra outfit or pieces that can mix and match with what she is wearing just in case she spills food or has an accident. There is nothing worse than having a cute outfit for your little one and then it gets ruined right before it’s time to shoot so with a backup, you’ll always be prepared.

So there is no right answer for how to take perfect pics with your toddler, but I hope my tips are a great way to at least avoid a complete photoshoot disaster. Just remember, no shoot with a little one will be perfect, in fact, it might flop, I’ve had a few of those if I’m being honest, but just know, your kid is learning, growing and exploring and what better way to reimagine the world by learning and growing with them. I always look at content days as an adventure, it’s so rewarding to see Charlee grow and smile and learn about all the new things around her. Shoots are different these days because of it and it only makes motherhood that much more enjoyable. πŸ˜ƒ

P.S. big shoutout to Chris Dalton the lovely muralist responsible for this lovely colorful polka dotted walk located in downtown Sanford, NC. Thanks for making Sanford so colorful! πŸ™‚

Till next time.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie


8 WAYS TO WEAR A BLACK MAXI DRESS

I love a good black maxi dress, especially for the summer. I think it’s one of those basic pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe. There are days where I don’t feel like glamming up, but still want to look professional, that’s when a black maxi dress is in order. It’s a piece that can be mixed and matched with so many things and worn so many different ways.

All that said, I got the cutest, softest, sleeveless black maxi dress from Sozy and wanted to share 8 ways to style it. So here it goes.

Add a Denim Jacket

A denim jacket is another piece I think should be in everybody’s wardrobe. It’s a classic and instantly adds life to a simple look. It’s so easy to elevate a look with a denim jacket. You can roll the sleeves up, pop the collar, button it up, tie it around your waist, wear it around your shoulders. Get my drift? πŸ™‚

Add a Funky Scarf

I have so many scarves from years past. I went through a serious scarf phase where I felt like every outfit needed one, the black maxi was not exempt from this. One thing I love about adding a scarf to a black maxi dress is that like the denim jacket, it can be styled different ways. I know at least 5 different ways to tie it around my neck and about 3 different ways to tie it on my head, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can tie it on your purse and decorate that up a bit. I’ll do some posts in the future about all of this at a later date.

Add A Classic White Button Down

Sleeveless dresses are great, but around this time of year where I’m from, the weather isn’t always that consistent, adding a white button down to a sleeveless black maxi is a great transition look. It says that you’re not quite ready for spring yet, but you’re looking forward to it. Adding a white button down takes this look from casual to a bit more formal as well. Lastly, if you’re not feeling the hostess look, you can always wear it over the maxi dress as opposed to under, which is what I’ve done here.

Add a Funky Blazer

If you’re like me, most of the pieces in your closet are bright and are crazy prints. These types of pieces go well with a basic black maxi dress. It’s a great way to elevate your look and make a statement at the same time. I added a simple braided belt for just a little extra, but the blazer alone would do perfectly fine.

Add Textured Sweater

Sometimes mixing textures adds a little extra boost to an otherwise blah look. Like I said before, where I’m from, the weather this time of year is a bit unpredictable, so the way I’ve been adding texture is with spring transitional sweaters. This pretty lavender sweater is a fuzzy texture, sort of cropped, a spring color, simple, but still cute enough to make a statement without overpowering the dress. I also like that wearing the sweater over the dress almost makes the dress look like a skirt.

Add a Kimono

Once upon a time Kimono’s were trending on the fashion scene. Not sure if that’s still the case, but I’m not one to follow trends. I just wear what I fee like wearingl. Like my scarf phase, I went through a major kimono phase, and to this day I wear them to dress up simple pieces like my new black maxi from Sozy worn in this post. Kimono’s can be pieced together with a statement purse, necklace or belt as well.

Add a Funky Sleeveless Blouse

It’s no lie that I own the craziest printed tops and blazers. It really works to my advantage because they go so well with simple pieces. I decided to keep this blouse unbuttoned and do a beach tie. I call it a beach tie because I feel like this is how some people wear their beach cover up’s at the beach. I don’t know, just an assumption, this is how I rock my top cover ups at the beach, so I’m calling it a beach tie, end of discussion, LOL. πŸ™‚ Note: If you don’t have a sleeveless button up printed top, you can easily pair your black maxi with a regular top or tee shirt.

Add a Belt

This is for sure the simplest way to elevate a black maxi and there are so many different types of belts you can pair it with. Need I say more.

I hope these 8 ways inspire you to add little flair to your black maxi dress.

Loving my black dress from Sozy? Click here to shop it and other comfortable, stylish pieces.

Till next time!

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie