Ruffle Tops + Behind the Scenes

Today's post has been a long time in the making! I started this blog about four years ago, but this is my first foray into "real" picture territory. I put it off as long as I could because I just didn't feel like I would be good at posing and generally looking natural in front of the camera. Nor did I have convenient or affordable access to an experienced photographer to help me with those things. Eventually I warmed up to the idea (everybody's doing it...it can't be that impossible, right?), but it's logistically much easier to take selfies at home than it is to arrange for this kind of photo. More on that below, but for now let's talk about clothes since that's the part of blogging that does comes naturally to me!
Top: c/o SheIn | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o SheIn | Shoes: c/o Amazon | Necklace: c/o Amazon | Watch: Fossil (Similar) | Bracelet: Amazon

This ruffle tee is a fun dressy-casual top that's easy to dress up or down. It's standard stretchy t-shirt material on top but the ruffle hem detail adds a little interest. It also comes in a white version with a lighter blue ruffle hem. I'm wearing a size Small in this top, which is what I normally wear at SheIn, (see all of my tips and tricks for shopping and sizing there in this post) but it's comparable to an XS at Gap or Express. Taller ladies may find this a bit to short in the torso, but at 5'4" it covers what I need covered.

My jeans and shoes both run true to size. Express jeans have been on sale this entire month, and I should probably replace this pair since some of the distressing is starting to give out! For all of my current favorite Express jeans see this post.

Here's a closer look at the ruffle detail on the tee...

And here's a closer look at the embroidery detail and sizing scale of this bag. It has plenty of space for my phone, wallet, lipstick, gum etc. I can also fit my sunglasses in there, although that tends to throw off the sleek shape a bit!

If you're into the ruffle trend but my ruffle tee won't work for you, here are a few more options from Brand Name to Budget-friendly, dressed-up to dressed down Tops, Tees, Jackets and Cover-ups with ruffle details:
Top Row:
1. Shop Brand Name Ruffle Tees - "Clu Too" pictured
2. Black Ruffle Shoulder Tee
3. Burgundy Ruffle Sleeve Top
4. Ruffle Sleeve Jacket

Bottom Row:
1. Printed Ruffle Detail Top
2. Budget Grey Ruffle Hem Tee
3. Shop Brand Name Ruffle Tees "Pamina" pictured
4. Ruffle Sleeve Cover Up

Behind the Scenes:
I know it's pretty standard for almost every other fashion blogger to take posed photos like this, but since it was an entirely new and different experience for me I thought I'd share a little of the reality behind-the-scenes for a first timer!

1. Photographer credit for these pictures goes to Audrey of Putting Me Together! She is located here in San Diego and we met through blogging. When she found herself in need of some photography assistance I offered my services at a reasonable rate! (As in...free. She just has to turn the camera on me for a few pictures when we get together.) It's very helpful as a newbie to work with an experienced blogger on something like this since she already knows how to frame shots, pose, and other things I've never thought about, so I can't thank her enough for being patient enough to work with me.

2. Speaking of knowing how to pose...this is something I dreaded because I've never felt natural by myself in front of a camera. If I'm standing with family or a group of friends...sure, that's fine. But this just feels different. I spent some time browsing Pinterest and Instagram and paying particular attention to how people pose and look natural. Where did she put her hands? Where did she place her feet? Did she look at the camera or away from it? Selfie-ing is way less complicated! I'm sure like all things it gets easier with time and practice, but it was "effort" for me on this first go-round!

3. I did photograph a second outfit on this particular day, and you'll see it in an upcoming post. I've always heard of bloggers changing outfits in their car or in some kind of tent or pop-up changing room when take outfit pictures "on location" so they can take multiple outfit pictures in one session. I couldn't imagine putting myself through that kind of inconvenience, but it really is the most effective use of time, so I had my day of reckoning. I changed as quickly as possible in the backseat of my car (where the windows have a darker tint for privacy!), and it wasn't as terrible as I thought. It wasn't enjoyable, either, but I really over-dramatized in my head how horrible it would be, so I'm glad I finally got over that hang-up!

4. If you hate this type of picture and wish I would just stick to headless selfies, don't worry. I don't plan to give up my selfies any time soon! They'll still be a big part of my blog because they are still a more convenient, organic way to share everyday outfits by just snapping them as I wear them. But whether I like it or not, higher quality photos are a big part of blogging and something I need to incorporate at least some of the time for various growth and collaboration opportunities. Hopefully having my face in the pictures some of the time isn't a deal breaker for my regular readers!

And that's the latest from here! If you're a fashion blogger I hope you'll join us for our link up below and for everyone else see you back on Friday!

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  1. I can't believe my eyes lol, but you see it's not that bad and there's something taking pictures outdoor. It's such a better way to see the clothes, Audrey did a great job. Love this tee, it's so cute.


    1. Surprise!! Haha! Thanks so much for the support as always!

  2. It's so nice to see you in a full shot! I still don't having posing down and delete the majority of the pictures when I shoot an outfit. Your top is darling!

    Doused in Pink

    1. Thanks Jill! It's nice to know I'm not the only person who finds posing a bit of a challenge!

  3. Thank you for sharing your love of Express and fashion and allowing us to see your face! These pics look great!

    1. Thanks so much for the support and for the kind words! It means a lot!

  4. I really like seeing a full body shot and I always wondered why you did the headless body shots. As for posing, I use to do the same thing...look at other bloggers and see how they posed. Then I discovered that just didn't work for me. A lot looked very serious, always looking down at the ground. I'd always wonder "What's on the ground that's so interesting?" LOL! I mean, how often IRL do you see people looking down at the ground? Anyway, I didn't look like me if I posed or expressed myself like other bloggers. So I gave up on that and just do what feels natural to me. LOVE that bag!

  5. You look amazing girlie! Posing for blog pictures is definitely awkward, but does get more comfortable as time goes on. I have a serious case of RBF that pops up in most of my pics - whoops! Loving this outfit, and I need that ruffle tee <3
    Green Fashionista

  6. Oh, these photos are great! So lucky to have Audrey help you out as you move over into this new medium. Very cute peplum top and it looks perfect with your distressed jeans.

  7. These turned out so well! I love that fun top and the ruffle detail! The embroidered purse is really cute too! Way to venture out of your comfort zone!

  8. Great pics!!!! Love this outfit!

  9. I love your outfit, you look great!
    Have an amazing day!
    xx Kris


  10. Wow I can't believe it either! You look great! Taking outfit photos is super awkward but you look like a natural! I'm so happy you've decided to try it. It's a great way to see the whole outfit come together :)

  11. You look so awesome Gina!! I love this outfit too and I totally hear you on the challenges of taking photos like this. It really is a lot of work and inconvenient especially when you have the little ones and have to drag them plus my hubby takes the pics (this is why I usually only take them in a nearby park it would be way too hard to always travel to different locations with the whole family in tow just to take pics of my outfit). I change in the car too rather then going out multiple times for outfit pics, it's not my fave thing at all but it's true it's just part of blogging.

  12. I'm glad Audrey helped you! I would never have guess that was your first shot. It looks great and it just gets easier and you discover what works for you! Also, this outfit is so cute! I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures like this!

    Nicole to the Nines

  13. Look at you branching out! I think you're adorable and this ruffle tee is super cute. :)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  14. What a cute top! You're looking beautiful babe, and really cute outfit

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  15. You really shouldn't have waited so long - you look absolutely stunning in the photos!
    Thanks so much for linking up to the Fabulous Friday Link-Up this week!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Suzy Turner at Yogadocious
    (co-host this week)

  16. Gina I love this!! Yay for actually seeing your pretty pace! I think these photos turned out well, and I cannot wait to see the second set. I think you look very natural in the photos too. I total pro. Such a cute top!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  17. OMGEEEEE!!! You did it!! I can't believe I'm just seeing this now. (Meaning I must have missed a hint to it on insta or something.) You look fabulous! And I agree with some of the other commenters that say it gets easier as you do it more. In my photographer experience, I have done a few sessions with the same people and it's AMAZING the confidence they build after each time working with them. I am looking forward to the variety of your content that this photography will bring. You are selfie queen and I'm sure you'll transition into full model status before long! 😘

  18. oh my gosh, i love that you changed in your car. hilarious! but seriously, so smart. and posing is so awkward. for what its worth, you like fabulous and natural to me. but i know the feeling of feeling weird in front of the camera, especially on your own. super cute ruffle top, love the first one you shared, the white one? so cute. afraid to click on it... i clicked. can't pay $77 for a top. but gah, so cute!

  19. Girl. I can relate to ALL of this. It gets easier, that's all I know to tell you. (Although I will NEVER get used to changing in the back of the car. I still rarely do that, although my photographer hubby wishes I would.) I am so glad you're going to start integrating these types of post into your content. And that top is ADORABLE.


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