tricks

Take the LAY-ME Out of Flat-Lays; 6 tips for quality photos

Sorry for my dad joke….. kinda.

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If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you probably have heard of a flat-lay or seen it on social media / blog pages. And…if you are completely clueless about what I am talking about, here is an example of a flat-lay:

These photos are composed of like items, space and a common color scheme - creating a visually appealing image for all your social media and website pages. Why are we talking about flat-lays you may ask? I am no photographer or graphic artist but I have always been interested in finding fun ways to create my own content. I also put up a poll on my Instagram and Facebook stories to see which topic people would be more interested in and this was the winner. (I am a people pleaser) Honestly, I have been trying to master this technique for quite some time and I have learned that it takes a lot of practice and inspiration / “watching and learning” from others.

So, now that you know (or have been re-familiarized) what a flat-lay is, I want to dish out some awesome tips to get those photos looking fleeky! But, first things first, you will need these five things:

1) Clean, simple background

2) Good lighting

3) Like items with similar color schemes (use in 3’s)

4) Proper spacing (use rule of thirds and symmetry)

5) A small step ladder to get the right angle

Once you have those 5 things, we can get to the meat and potatoes of this blog, the tips!


1) It’s all about proportion

Use a mixture of big and small items to even out the photo and play with the spacing of those items.


2) Take advantage of natural light

Try to position your items near a window or outside where the sun can light up your photo organically.


3) Use props that work together

You wouldn’t use a bottle of wine as a prop if you were trying to market your fitness clothing line - find items that compliment one another and match your branding.


4) Be a storyteller

It’s one thing to take a photo but it’s another to make sure there can be a story tied to the image - this will help the audience relate to you.


5) Position yourself

I told you, you would need a step stool and this is why! When you do a flat-lay, you need to be taking sort of an aerial shot (from above) so this will help you position yourself to achieve that.


6) Edit to perfection

After you have tried different angles, positioning and props - feel free to edit your photo. Play with contrast, brightness and filters to get that crisp, clear and aesthetically pleasing image.

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Now, get out there! Try things, make mistakes, create some masterpieces (or not) and have fun! Like I said, practice makes perfect and when you use these tips, you’ll be on your way to fabulous photos for your pages!

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Happy content creation, friends!

-The Blonde Boss xo

Tips for Social Media Managers When Planning A Vacay

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This week has been crazy!  From packing to scheduling content to making sure my last blog is posted (cough, cough, finished this one last minute).  Social media managers know how hard it can be to unplug and unwind on a vacation, especially when social media is used for almost everything! How do you know when to put your phone away and enjoy what's going on around you?  This can be answered simply with... PREPARATION!  

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I want to give you 3 quick tips to making sure your social media pages are set and ready to go so you can actually enjoy your vacation!

1) Schedule your SM posts

2) Post Less if Needed 

3) Set aside time 1-3 times during your vacay for engagement 

Sounds like a lot of work but... it doesn't have to be!  Make sure you set aside time a week or so before your trip to schedule content (depending on how many accounts you manage) - this will give you time to post strategically and not rush! If you are really short on time, post less! I know that might sound scary but if you give a little notice to your followers (like I will on Saturday) and just tell them you need some much needed "you time" they'll understand!  Just make sure you at least have something posted during the week to keep yourself relevant (cue the cute vacay photos) !  Lastly, if you have any downtime, try to go on and like/share/comment but put a timer on your phone to limit your work time.  This will help keep your page active without doing too much work!

Now....

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. Happy vacationing friends! :)

-The Blonde Boss xo 

Ditch the Holiday Stress + Focus on Self Care

Holidays can be the most stressful times of the year and even though we love seeing our families (for the most part) and showering everyone with gifts - there needs to be a middle ground here. 

In order to avoid holiday burnout, physically and financially, we must take steps to practice self care.  So, how do we fit this in every day while running around like chickens with our heads cut off? Simple. We make time because it is necessary... for our sanity's sake.

1) Say NO

You don't need to be at every holiday party and silly gift swap - it's redundant and honestly, it can take a lot out of you.  Feel free to say no to running around on Christmas day and just relax at home with your family.  Do a Skype or Facetime chat instead - let them see your face and wish them a happy holiday and tell them you're staying put, they'll appreciate your small effort. 

2) Give yourself time to holiday shop

Don't wait until the last minute to get your gifts, find a Saturday to tackle your list but also, don't plan anything else for that day.  When you aren't rushed you will accomplish so much more.  Grab a coffee from the food court at the mall, browse around, find thoughtful, more affordable gifts that you know your family will really like and actually USE! Have a list handy with ideas for each person and just go down the list. Don't break the bank, have a budget in mind. No need to squeeze it all in one day but if you can at least get half done, you will feel less pressure on you! Then, at the end of your shopping trip, go home and rest for the night, maybe wrap a few gifts while watching your favorite show or listening to Christmas music by the fireplace.

3) Business Owners... Be proactive!

If you know the holidays are busy for your business, be proactive and get your work done before the holidays hit. You don't want to be working late or checking emails while the kids open their presents on Christmas morning.  Take the first few weeks of December to make a plan and execute it as efficiently as possible.  Make a list if you need to and make sure you fulfill all tasks before the 23rd of the month.  When you practice organization and think ahead, this can be a major weight of your shoulders! And hey, why not reward yourself for completing those jobs? Merry freaking Christmas to your damn self!

4) Remember the Basics

With any self care routine, you must always: get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and eat right! Try to go to bed early or sleep in if you can.  Drink up to 8 glasses of water a day to keep yourself hydrated and feeling good!  Make sure you fit in your healthy foods along with the occasional treats because, as we all know, junk food snacking is inevitable during the holidays.  Also, make sure you take care of your skin!  Always wash your face and moisturize - this is a must during the colder months, especially when your feeling stressed.

5) Lastly, find time for YOU

With all this running around you might need a time out.  Take an hour to visit a bookstore, go get breakfast/lunch/dinner by yourself, take a warm bath, enjoy a nice workout, find a fun hobby or just DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It may be the holidays but you need to put yourself first in order to get everything done.

You can't possibly be in the holiday spirit if your mind and body aren't in the right space.  You must learn to decipher what is important and what isn't necessary.  When you decide on that, you can enjoy your holiday season without dealing with all the anxiety that comes with it.  Use these tips this month and get ready to slay the new year! 

-The Blonde Boss xo