Exciting Announcement!

October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi friends,

So my blog endeavors have been slowly trailing off these past few months, but for good reason (mainly)! I’ve launched a new blog that is a part of my business website, finicky designs. I’ve been hard at work building content this past month and have just started posting regularly.

I will be featured on a blog this upcoming week, which I will declare as my official launch. So hop on over to my new site and follow my blog via email! OR, if you’re not super interested in receiving every single post from me in your inbox, subscribe to my monthly newsletter that has one featured blog post and a slew of creative inspiration.

Thanks for sticking with me! I look forward to seeing you on the other side.

-Melody

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Crazy for Spring and Terrain

April 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today I received an e-newsletter from Terrain. First of all, can I just say- I pretty much only receive Terrain’s emails so that I have something in my inbox to open that I know I’ll completely enjoy the design of. These emails are like a breath of fresh air for me, and this email was no exception.

I love spring. And I’ve nearly had to bind my own wrists together to keep myself from planting flowers and breaking out the deck furniture. This Terrain email was filled with Spring! So, here are my Terrain picks for the day that will hopefully leave you feeling fresh and ready for sunshine. (pst: there’s a Terrain Mojito recipe below!)

Source: ShopTerrain.com

My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 9.55.17 AM My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com

My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com

My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com My top Terrain picks for Spring 2014 | Finicky Designer.wordpress.com

 

A Rhubarb Mojito Recipe | Terrain

A Rhubarb Mojito Recipe | Terrain

My Foxin’ Crazy Obsession

March 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

If you happen to follow me on Pinterest, you would surely see by now that… I have a slight obsession. A crazy obsession. With FOXES.

Fox- source unknownI mean…come on… look at that FACE. That tail. That fur. And foxes remind me of my baby, Dasha- minus the orange fur:

Okay... maybe not so much.

Okay… maybe not so much.

Now, I understand- foxes are sly and carnivorous little creatures. But let’s move away from the actual animal here and talk about the amazingly fun and fascinating designs these little creatures have inspired.

Hello, cute children's items! (My poor future non-existent baby will surely be inundated with all things fox.)

Hello, cute children’s items! (At this rate, my poor future currently non-existent baby will surely be inundated with all things fox.)

Fox Hat

Fox doll

Fox Onesie

And then there are things for me.

And then there are things for me.

Fox bookends

Fox linen pillow | Etsy

Fox fabric

Fox mug

Love foxes, too? Want to keep in-the-know on all my crazy fox finds? Follow my (not) ever-so-original titled Pinterest board: What Does The Fox Say?

Have your own list of fabulous foxy finds? Comment below with your url and I’ll check it out!

Sorry... I just had to post one  more.

Sorry… I just had to post one more.

Top 5 Tips for Hiring the Right Photographer

February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Oh, a post like this has been on my mind for a very long time. I’ve seen so many poor photos plague company webpages and Christmas cards. Your photos can make or break your brand (or your Christmas card), so choosing the right photographer is critical. Here are few thoughts before diving into my top 5 tips for hiring the right photographer.

First of all, this is based on my personal experience with hiring a photographer, both personally as well as professionally. This is what I, as an individual, have found to be true for me. With my design background and training, I have a good eye when it comes to composition, color, and well put together visuals- so I am a credible source when it comes to knowing a good photographer and what you want to look for in photography. Second, a photographer is an artist, so each has their own style. Different styles will appeal to different people. So I’m going to try my best to take out the subjective style part of this and boil is down the more nitty gritty side of things. And last, while I enjoy photography and have taken photos for my clients many times (per their request)- I am in no way saying that I am a professional photographer or advertising my photography services. I admire and respect professional photographers and what they do. I am not at their level of expertise. I pride myself in becoming knowledgeable about the industry so that when my clients need a photographer, I know how to point them in the right direction.

So, now that we have all of that out of the way… here are my top 5 tips for hiring the right photographer.

Top 5 Tips for Hiring the Right Photographer - The Finicky Designer

1. Like what you see. A photographer’s portfolio acts the same as a designer’s portfolio- it speaks directly to you. As I mentioned above, each photographer has a certain style. Pay attention to the lighting, the overall tint of the photo, the color, the filters… do you like it? If not, you won’t like your photos either. A portion of what a photographer does is wrapped up in editing and post processing the photos, and if you really just don’t like a particular reoccurring style throughout their portfolio, you should probably reconsider. Also pay attention to the composition of the photo (how the people are framed in the shot) as well as the poses they’re in. Is it awkward feeling or natural feeling? Do you get caught up on how the subjects are placed in the photo, or is the composition pleasing to the eye? Does it feel forced or comfortable?

2. Pay close attention to detail. Every detail. In everything. Follow a few photographers on Facebook? Pay attention to what they post. Are there spelling, grammar, and simply careless errors being made? Look closely at the quality of their photos (I mean- really close). Are all of their photos in focus? Is the exposure correct? Does the photo feel authentic and real, or is it hiding behind over-processed filters? Pay attention to their design style. Do they know good design? Is their website clean, fresh, and appealing? Is it simple and easy to navigate? Their sense of style in these areas reflects their sense of style in their photography. Pay attention to their equipment. Do they have the necessary equipment for a professional shoot (flashes, lenses, possibly a backup camera for weddings)? When you meet, do they show up well prepared?

3. Communicate well with your photographer. I can set up an entire photo session without talking to my photographer over the phone or meeting them ahead of time in person. Yet by eliminating the face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) interaction, I’m risking not knowing how well we will communicate with each other and how comfortable things will be during the shoot. Can you tell a fake smile from a natural smile? I know I can. And if you’re not comfortable in interacting with your photographer, you won’t be able to relax enough to let the real smile through. You want a photographer who is personable, who is able to direct you clearly into poses that feel natural and comfortable to you, and who can command a pretty-darn-close-to-real smile from you in even the most stressful of moments.

4. Inquire about prices and hidden fees. Photographers should be able to tell you up front what they charge. Do your research and compare photographers and their price lists. Make sure the quality of their photos lines up with what they charge for their services. Know that more expensive photographers typically have more experience and simply take better photos. You get what you pay for. But at the same time, don’t feel too afraid to take a chance on a newbie every once in a while. One of my favorite photographers here locally is just starting out. They (husband and wife) are extremely knowledgeable about the technical side of photography, have an amazing eye for good composition and beautifully styled photos, and are great with post processing- but they’re still new, still building their portfolio, and their costs reflect that. Also make sure you are aware of what the price packages include. What prints or digital files will you receive? Do they have packages that fit what you’re looking for? Are there any hidden fees (such as traveling, multiple location, or outfit change fees)?

5. Ensure your photographer knows you and your intent. Photography is a very personal thing. This is your image, and there is some story you’re trying to tell through your photos. Your photographer should inquire about this and make sure that they completely understand what you want from the photos. Are you celebrating love? Are you wanting a photo of your entire family for Christmas cards? Are you needing a professional photo to go on your website? There is always an intent and a goal with having your photos done. Make sure you communicate that to your photographer and that they don’t go into a shoot without being well informed of that intent ahead of time.

Let photographers be the creatives and professionals that they are, but make sure you do your homework ahead of time so that your experience is memorable- not miserable. Once you find a photographer you work well with (and probably become friends with) and truly admire the work that they do- you’ll have a photographer for life.

Just had to share some real smiles from one of my clients who I so enjoyed photographing. (click to visit her page)

Just had to share some real smiles from one of my clients who I so enjoyed photographing. (click to visit her page)

Are there any red flags you’ve found when hiring a photographer? 

Want to add anything to the list, photographers? Is there something you specifically look for when referring your clients to a photographer, designers? 

Pretty in Orchid

February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, the 2014 Pantone color of the year is…

Pantone Color of the Year- Radiant Orchid

Yes! Radiant Orchid! And can we all just take a moment to sigh in its beautiful femininity? *ahhhh* I’ll admit, the color has undergone quite a bit of criticism with plenty of purple party poopers ripping on its… purpleness. Does anyone else think “Effie Trinket?”

BUT, all of the criticism aside- there’s something so refreshing to me about this color. I’ve always gravitated towards purple- but usually only rich, deep purples. Purples that almost appear more black than they do purple. So to be introduced to a light purple that I actually like- it’s a big deal for me. So here are some of my very favorite things I’ve run across in Radiant Orchid:

Decor- when done right. Follow the link for radiant orchid decorating tips.

Decor- when done right. Follow the link for radiant orchid decorating tips.

Beautiful gradient lace necklace- from radiant orchid to white.

Beautiful gradient lace necklace- from radiant orchid to white.

Radiant Orchid Style

Style. I love clothes in this vibrant color.

Of course, nature. Who does color better than God?

Of course, nature. Who does color better than God?

Radiant Orchid flowers in a jar

And completely impractical hair. If I was a mermaid, this is what my hair would look like.

And then there’s completely impractical hair. If I was a mermaid, this is what my hair would look like.

 

Weddings! So pure, so lovely- and this color is the best in ombre.

Weddings! So pure, so lovely- and this color is the best in ombre.

Radiant orchid bridesmaid flowers

Radiant Orchid wedding inspiration

Makeup- when done well. These are my lips... in a dream.

Makeup- when done well. These are my lips… in a dream.

 

And food? Sure. There are those talented enough to make radiant orchid delicious...

And food? Sure. There are those talented enough to make radiant orchid delicious…

Radiant orchid macaroons

So, what are your thoughts on Radiant Orchid in 2014 so far? Yay or nay?

Wow, right now I feel so… girly.

  • Follow The Finicky Designer on WordPress.com
  • Hi there. I'm Melody. Welcome to my lifestyle blog. Design is a big part of who I am, so I've decided to share some of my most fascinating happenings with people who take an interest in what I do. Enjoy my quirky design adventures- happy reading!
  • Finally a little glimpse of winter in Colorado! Today seems like a Play > Design kind of day. ❄️ Tons of extra Christmas cards from last year means a creative update to them for this year! (Gold embossing... with my toaster oven. 🙈) I always have fun every year putting together creative gifts for the year's new clients, especially since I work with primarily writers, and they're super fun to buy for!

Packages going out in the next few days. 📦 Then it's on to wrapping the family gifts and getting them under the tree. 🎄 It's my last full week of work for the year, and it's without a doubt a crazy sprint! 🌟