Every day she brightens my IG feed not only with her fabulous, affordable outfits, but also with her hilarious personality and sweet, supportive nature. As usual, I'm sharing my Q&A with her along with some of my favorite outfits of hers so you see why I never miss an #ootd! (Although I might not be using that hashtag anymore after this interview...you'll see why!)
Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? Do you have any kids or pets?
Tatiana: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I moved to Orlando, Florida with my (now) husband nine years ago. I am an electrical engineer and I love traveling, eating, shopping (duh), dancing, eating and making people laugh. Did I mention eating? We don’t have any kids yet and no pets either, just us two!
How long have you been posting on Instagram? Did you start out posting strictly outfits or did it evolve into that?
Tatiana: It definitely evolved into my “Fashion Instagram” and it was about 10 months ago when I started to actively post my outfits. Initially, this was my personal account where I would post food, travel and friends pictures with a few mirror shots of my outfits every now and then. My friends would always mention how much they liked something I was wearing or how much they liked how I styled a certain piece. At that point I was following a few fashion accounts and I got inspired to start doing the same. I liked the concept of tagging where my items were from and provide some affordable style inspiration to others. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to do it as I did not want to seem a little vain and I remember thinking, “who is going to care about what I’m wearing?” But I really enjoy the process of putting outfits together so I was like #whatevs, I’m doing it for me! I never imagined that I was going to find such an amazing group of supportive and welcoming ladies!
Evolution of her Insta-Feed!
It seems like you've come a long way and learned a lot, so do you have any tips or tricks that you can share?
Tatiana: If you browse through my photos for the first few months after I started posting, they look awful. Good pics take a lot of practice, and here are some of my top tips:
- Clean your camera lens before every shoot. That thing gets dirty and it messes up the quality of your pic.
- Set your phone upside down with back camera facing you. The shutter button should be more or less close to your index finger so start tapping the phone (not too hard...if the phone moves too much your pics will be blurry) until you hear the shutter so you know you took a pic. Usually the first pic is blurry, so after that first shutter sound, don't move. Wait one second and press your finger in the same place once or twice more so that you get a few pics.
- Now, comes the part where you curse and get pissed at life. Check the pics to see if you are completely in it. (See my reaction in bottom right photo below!)
- I take my pics outside but out of direct sunlight. You want to be in a good bright place but kind of under a shadow.
- I use IG filters or VSCOcam filters. I've found 2-3 filters from each app that I like. Two things: first, play with different filters on that final pic you like. Depending on the original lighting on the pic, certain filters might look better. Second, don't overdo the filters. (I'm still totally guilty of doing this sometimes and I end up looking orange or yellow in some pics.) You want your pic to still look natural. I usually adjust the filter to 30%-40% NOT the full 100%.
- If your pic did not come out too clear, the sharpen tool helps some (IG has it). Again, I usually sharpen the image to 20%-30%. If you put too much, then it starts looking distorted.
- Another thing that I implemented lately is trying not to use the super popular hashtags like #ootd, #wiwt, #wiw, etc. My pic gets drowned into the hashtag feed 1-2 minutes right after I post. Also, I don’t know if people know that Instagram recently changed how the hashtags posting works. Before if you would add your hashtags, let’s say 2 hours later after you posted your picture, your picture would appear at the top of the hashtag feed. Not anymore. If you post your hashtag 2 hours later, your picture will appear in the hashtag feed based on the time that you posted, not at the top of the feed.
Caught taking a selfie in Peru
Tatiana: For my weekday posts, I take my pictures before leaving for work and I usually like to post between 8:00-8:30 AM Eastern. People usually look at their feed when they wake up or right before getting into work (at least I do). When I have an extra photo to post, like an arm party for example, I usually post it between 6:30-7:00 PM. I’ve experimented with different times and these seem to work well for me.
Arm party posted right on time!
Besides your great photos, another thing I love about your IG feed is that you are an expert bargain shopper. I have seen you make pieces from K Mart look like a million bucks. Do you have any tips for shopping and looking great on a budget?
Tatiana: Bargain shopper is a title that makes me proud! The best tip that I can share (and it’s one of the main things I try to convey through my posts) is that brands mean nothing to me as far as fashion is concerned. I buy what I like and what looks good on me whether it’s from Walmart (where I’ve found fabulous pieces, by the way) or another higher brand (which I probably can’t afford! My advice is to not limit yourself from shopping in certain stores just because they’re not “cool.” You never know what gems you might find.
K Mart Blouse!
Tatiana: I am obsessed, I repeat, obsessed with my Purple Peridot Fringe Necklace. Pictures don’t do it justice, it is stunning!
As your following grows on Instagram, I bet you are going to get a lot of questions along the lines of: “Why don’t you have a blog? When are you going to start a blog?” What’s your answer to that?
Tatiana: The answer is simple: I AM SO LAZY! My husband has been really encouraging about me starting a blog. He keeps saying, “Come on, it’s not that hard.” He even built a blog layout for me on a website already. I’m just like, “Ugh. But blogging is so much work though!” The other thing is that I’m really clueless about the blogging world too. Does having a blog means I need to go out and get full body professional flawless shots of my outfits? Um, I really don’t have time to do that. Another detail is that I wear pieces that I can’t necessarily refer my readers to online because they’re either old or they come from stores like Marshalls and simply can’t be bought online. Just thinking of all the work and time that I would need to put into the blog is overwhelming.
Tatiana: I do absolutely love adventures. I have done Class 3-4 white water rafting, ziplined thousands of feet in the air next to a volcano and rappelled down a 200-foot waterfall, all in Costa Rica. Not to mention the crazy hike we did in Perú two months ago!
Last but not least, you mentioned that you are Turbo Kick Instructor! Can you give us a good fitness tip to get motivated for bikini season?
As far as fitness tips, the best one I can give you is the one that got me into exercising in the first place: find the movement that you LOVE. You’ll have a better chance of sticking to your fitness routine because you will enjoy it. I hate running and bootcamp style workouts. I tried them for years and always fell off the wagon because I did not enjoy it. But let me tell you, the eating/nutrition is the hardest part and is actually the KEY to everything.
You won't get any argument from me on either of those points! I shared my fitness and nutrition tips in this post, and I fully agree that there's no One Size Fits All solution!
* * *I was so excited when Tatiana agreed to let me interview her for this post because I just knew she would be funny and entertaining! But what really impressed me was how thorough and informative she was with her selfie tips! All of the pictures in this post came from her Instagram feed, so make sure you follow her there for all of her outfit details plus her daily dose of positive energy!