Frugal Fashion: Camera Shy

April 1, 2014

Frugal Fashion Camera Shy - Spring 2014

Deep breath.

There are two reasons why this post is significant for me- number one, I’m really uncomfortable with cameras.  One of my goals for 2014 is to get more comfortable both in front of, and behind the camera.  (As documented in my frugal living vlog).  This year, I’m going to take more photos and finally get over my camera shyness.

Secondly, for the first two years of this blog, I was always too broke to do anything remotely cool.  I was a frugal fashion blogger who was working, going to school, trying to stay out of debt and couldn’t afford much fashion…if any.

I used to swoon at other fashion bloggers who somehow magically had the time and talent, plus a killer wardrobe to take outfit posts.  I had none of those things, if a new outfit came in, I would struggle to get everything together to take a decent photo without the right equipment (like stacking giant storage bins before I got over my stubbornness and bought a tripod)

I attempted to do outfit posts by myself back in the day and it felt horribly awkward to me- plus I felt like a total poseur.  While it can be uncomfortable to be out in the open taking pictures of yourself while people stare, it seems to be somewhat easier when you have someone with you.  I have always admired Hallie from Corals and Cognacs for her outfit posts in downtown Chicago (and now NYC), some of which had people openly gawking in the background, which of course, are my absolute faves.

Additionally, living on $800 a month meant my wardrobing was never too impressive.  I was so broke that spending $40 on some accessories at Target was a big friggin’ deal for me, but not really the stuff of interesting outfit posts. You can read one such post, where I try to cope with buying a few pairs of pants since mine were literally falling off me.

I’m happy to say, things have changed.  I’m still frugal as a fox, but I’m at a point where I have the headspace and room in my budget to get back in the “pretty” of things.  To do pretty things for pretty’s own sake.  To be slightly vain, slightly frivolous and to spend time fussing over details.  To document what I feel is beautiful, and to feel powerful in doing so.

Needless to say, I still am not much of a dresser or a photographer, but something struck me the other day about the power of starting.  I was swooning over the fabulous outfit photos of blogger MiniPenny, and she told me that’s taken over 300 outfit posts over the years.   Granted, her early work is still so. stupidly. good. but I have to start somewhere…anywhere.

Here’s where I start.

Frugal Fashion Camera Shy - Spring in Chicago

This photography adventure I’m on will give me an excellent chance to see more of Chicago.  On our warmer day meanderings, we found a series of murals in Logan Square which of course, I had to stop at.  Beautiful Logan Blvd. with it’s grassy features, hasn’t woken up from winter yet and I’m starving for color.  Chicago street art satisfies my cravings!

Frugal Fashion Camera Shy - Spring Fashion 2014

Frugal Fashion -Shannyn Allan Frugal Fashion Blogger Chicago

In general, this post is more about excitement than it is about fashion blogging. I have no idea how or if I will keep outfit posts up.  I’m saving $20k for a California wedding this year, and as much as I would love some trousers (or like, more structured fitted jeans that have a crisp cut at the bottom) and some new sunnies from TOMS, I’m not made of money.

I’m just excited that I can get out and have the courage to get near a camera.  I am also thrilled it’s feeling like spring here in Chicago and I get the chance to roam around the neighborhoods and go shopping at the local Chicago establishments.

Shop 1021 Chicago

For the first time in MONTHS, I went shopping for clothes that weren’t dryfit or for a half marathon (Also why I haven’t done outfit posts in ages…I’ve been running races every weekend in 2013!).  Fiancé and I actually went to a mall (gasp!) to find some things for spring.  I’ve also been on State Street downtown to find some new things for spring.

There is nothing new about this outfit aside from the necklace which I just got at their big 30% off sale at Forever 21, holla!

Frugal Fashion Camera Shy -

Sunnies – TOMS / Necklace – Forever21 / Lipstick – Rimmel  Moisture Renew c/o Influenster / Jacket –  Urban Outfitters / Jeans – Levis / Shoes – Target (on clearance!) / Bag- August Wrinkle (no longer in business…sadness)

I am hoping my outfits get more polished and so does the photography, but for now, we seriously just had fun being outside.  We hit up some local Chicago shops and the Farmer’s Market and enjoyed getting some vitamin D.

It’s been a long winter, but there is nothing more glorious than wandering around on a warm spring afternoon.

Also, thank you for not laughing at my attempt to look all fashion-bloggy in front of the camera.  If you did laugh, I can’t hear you 😉

10 comments so far.

10 responses to “Frugal Fashion: Camera Shy”

  1. Nicola says:

    I so know how you feel!! I feel so embarassed of my photos compared to other blogs because all I have is a really old ‘point and shoot’ camera and I definitely have neither the eye for it or a photogenic bone in my body!!

    I’m just hoping I can learn from what I see, get a DSLR for my birthday and that practice makes perfect!!

    Keep it up babe, yours are looking great!! x

    • Shannyn says:

      Nicola- I’m glad I’m not the only one. It can be so intimidating! Yes, we all have to start somewhere and I’m sure your point-n-shoot is fine, that’s where I started…even sometimes I know this fancy pants camera I have isn’t being used to it’s full potential, but you have to start somewhere!

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Jen says:

    I love the way one special piece like the necklace can really pull an outfit together. The graffiti background is very cool!

  3. Mini Penny says:

    So pretty! I know exactly which mural this is, too 🙂 That necklace is BANGIN’. <3

    • Shannyn says:

      Thanks doll! Now, if only I could get my photos (or hell) my outfits to live up to yours, I think I need a crash course and a shopping trip 😉

  4. Miss Thrifty says:

    Oh lawks: compared to the average Brit, you are a total glamazon. Keep it up, you stone frugal fox!

  5. Melissa K. says:

    I love your fashion blog posts…they are not only classy, stylish and give me ideas for building a basic (and function able!) wardrobe, but it’s a breath of fresh air to see a blogger showing ideas that don’t have their “assets” hanging out for all the world to see! Thank you!

    Many Blessings,

    • Shannyn says:

      Thank you Melissa 🙂 You are too kind! Sometimes my assets do hang out, (can’t help it sometimes… most tops aren’t cut with modesty in mind!) but it’s not something I do intentionally most of the time!

  6. Oh, I love your photos! Thanks for sharing your feelings about being photographed in such a transparent way. I can so relate. Great post.


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