Party season and the pitfalls of indoor photography

This isn't a how-to post, more a personal insight of my difficulties in moving from outdoors photography to indoors. We're starting at the end, where the camera flash finally worked and the backdrop was uncluttered enough not to distract.



This was a mid light problem where the automatic flash refused to work and left me in this murky twilight zone.

 I felt the lighting was gloomy using the overhead light.

Too much daylight overhead was a challenge for my camera too, as I couldn't seem to get a sharp focus.

And this was to be my perfect indoor location, but my temperamental auto flash wouldn't co-operate, aaarrrrhhh!

Maybe this light level is OK?

But trying to get the camera to focus on this pattern was a bit of a problem though.



The party season is upon us meaning lots of sparkle and bling and trying on of last year's party dresses to see if we can justify a new one. Well, that's what I've been up to this weekend. My photo shoots normally take place outside in daylight, but wild winds forced me indoors and this proved to be quite a challenge for my all-singing, all-dancing camera. I'm sure my wonderful camera knows what to do, the problem is in the operator - me! I've only recently started using the timer with tripod, and am just about getting to grips with that, but incorporating the flash with timer has been a bit of an issue. And just to compound things, I had problems locating my perfect backdrop. The spot I thought would be ideal was the one place where the flash wouldn't fire which was so frustrating. I had this master plan of revealing three party outfits today. My thinking was that my fellow bloggers might give me their opinion as to what to wear to the big island bash on Saturday. However, two hours later I admitted defeat and this offering is what I've managed to pull together.

Trinny Woodhall of "What not to wear" fame, was in the newspapers this week giving women styling tips, one of which I must admit rings true with me. That being, women should think of their body type, not their age when chosing an outfit. I wear this shape of dress to work often and love the simplicity of it. Even though it's very slim fitting, the long sleeves and round neck feel demure allowing me to show of my curves without looking too flashy. Although that doesn't quite hold true with this silver geometric print version which really comes into it's own at this time of year. I bought it from TK Maxx a couple of years ago and have worn before it on New Year's Eve. Our annual island party is a big gathering at our local bar and restaurant and covers all ages from across the entire island. It's a great excuse to dress up which I know most of us will be embracing. In addition to this one I have two knee length dresses in the running, but also two maxi skirts and one maxi dress as well, so I'm far from decided. All I can say is that by this time next week I'll be hoping to show you what I wore on the night (providing my camera doesn't play up!)

One final word about underwear. Bodycon dresses really need clever and comprehensive underwear not matter what age you are. With this dress I'm wearing an underwired bra topped off by a brilliant all-in-one which starts at mid thigh and gives smooth cover over hips and bum, tum and waist all the way up and over the back leaving the bra front uncovered. Don't make the mistake of buying magic wear in too small a size (they always seem to be very small in sizing) as it will just make you bulge and push lumps out at the extremities. It needs feel comfortable too, so you want it to contain, but not be so tight you want to take it off after the first 20 minutes.

Dress, shoes and tights: TK Maxx. Clutch: boutique (unknown). Necklace: Dorothy Perkins. Brooch: gift.

This week I'll be linking with
Not Dressed As Lamb
Not Dead Yet Style
Elegantly Dressed And Stylish
Kremb de la Kremb



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27 comments

  1. Props for trying your hardest with the indoor lighting situation.

    If you go online and read your manual on your camera there should be a way you can force the flash, no matter the situation but I know my camera can be temperamental as well.

    The dress is stunning on you and I can see why you go for this style when you have such a great shape. All that swimming shows!

    I will admit I wear similar styles of dresses but haven't done the shapewear. I tried shapewear once and almost killed myself trying to get it off. I haven't been brave enough to try it again but after seeing you here I'm thinking I might need to reconsider. Maybe I had the wrong size.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Great feedback Suzanne. I've found the pages referring to the flash and will try to modify, but it does say the settings vary from model to model, hmmmm. I think the combination of shapewear and swimming is what works for me, and I'm sticking to it. Enjoy the party season x
      Anna

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  2. Oh, yes, that's a knock-out outfit. Stunning. You are very right about the sizing of shapewear running small. I love the smoothness it creates and the feeling of being squished, but not too much, although I don't wear it often. The accessories are perfect.

    Indoor photography - gaaa! You've managed a few great shots. You'll get the hang of it, at least that's what I keep telling myself too. I've tried the manual shutter setting, if your camera has such a thing, and it can give you good results too (sometimes, heh). Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for that Melanie. I do like to feel a bit squished too - it's better than worrying about lots of overflow in the wrong places! Am just starting out with the indoor photography so will keep on trying. I was lucky today that the sun shone this afternoon so I got out onto the deck for a few shots x
      Anna

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  3. Woweee, Anna!...What a figure, in bodycon, over 40 too!
    Should it be allowed?? hahaha many (boring) people would say not!
    Some people shy away from anything tight ,but you have proved how stunning (and sophisticated) it can look...at ANY age!
    I say bravo to you.
    I get the whole "support undies" thing...BUT I hate the stuff! I am a firm believer in "less is more" Even under bodycon. If it digs in, take it off!
    You look smooth and sleek in yours and there is no unsightly bulges (that often happen). You have got this whole look spot on (inside and outside of the dress!)
    Stunning!!
    XXX
    Samantha
    Fake Fabulous

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    1. Why thanks so much Samantha. I pretty much please myself and am not one to conform to shoulds and the like. If I want to do it or wear it, I will. I think age is a great release from the confines we thought were in place when we were young (like you).
      As you drift towards 60 you will probably review the whole shapewear thing again - I've only found them useful lately. (The trick is all in the fit - mine is a large.) You must read my article published earlier this year called "Honey you've got back fat!" it will make you laugh x
      Anna

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    2. I did read that Anna....but I just popped back over to remind myself. Hahahaha...oh dear....a back like a stack of pillows is another great descriptive!.
      Shapewear......hmmmmmmm....I am not convinced that I will ever be convinced, but never say never!
      I have bought it, in the past (55 pounds worth of pants) and took scissors to it in the toilets at an event....and I bought a 12 (I am an 8) and it was still agony! I stuffed them into the bin and swore NEVER to repeat the experience.
      Hats off to all the regular wearers.....women are tough!!
      I am, however, more likely to be 60 and commando. :oD
      XXX

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    3. Hahaha. I love your feisty nature Samantha. Vivienne Westwood went commando when she to meet the queen, and hey Sharon Stone's whole career was based on this too x
      Anna

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  4. Couldn't agree with you more about dressing for your body type and not your age! What a stunning print and in such a great colour for a party. The antithesis of the ubiquitous LBD. The silvery grey is so flattering on you, Anna!
    I think all us newer bloggers are struggling with the daylight issue! It's our first Winter of blogging and we're coming up against all sorts of hurdles to leap with finding that sweet, indoor spot and getting more technical minded!

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline. Yes this winter weather is gonna be a real challenge for us isn't it? I hope to goodness I can fathom my crazy camera out. The good thing is that my daughter comes home for Christmas soon so I'll get her to show me (she has the same camera).
      Anna x

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  5. Heavens Anna, I'm so glad your island knows how to throw an event worthy of your seemingly effortless Glam side; and it's obvious to anyone that your magic underwear is merely smoothing, not slimming. They haven't made a "slimming" underwear THAT magic yet. You look lovely, and I'm pleased your camera finally captured you well. (I desperately need a new camera and am trusting in Santa's generosity this year. I frankly hadn't taken into consideration that I'll need to learn how to use it!!!) Sally
    sarsaparillasal.blogspot.it

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    1. Hi Sally and welcome. Thanks for your lovely feedback. You've got it with the shapewear - it's really all about giving a smooth outline. I do hope you find a camera in your Christmas stocking this year and good luck with the instructions. Am off to check out your blog now x
      Anna

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  6. Wow, first of all, LOVE this dress on you! Aren't you a stunner? I loathe shaper underwear (I prefer a control top pantyhose), but I have found a "smoothing tube" that works well, just for removing lumps and bumps from under those fabrics that show 'em.

    Not a huge fan of the reinforced toe showing on nylons with open-toe shoes, but I like the tint of colour in the hose. Why can't they make reinforced toe that doesn't show?

    Glad you have an event that you can dress up for! I have a party this coming weekend, but nothing else till New Year's Eve.

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    1. Yes, it's such a drag that no-one has made tights withour reinforced toes. It took me ages trying to find these in a pale grey anyway. Just seen your peach cocktail dress with feathers which looks perfect for your upcoming party. I think I won't have another opportunity to dress up again either until NYE so will just have to make the most of the party on Saturday x
      Anna

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  7. Gorgeous dress that really does justice to your fabulous curves, Anna! I want to wear shapewear sometimes, but never make it our the door. I have to hang loose, so to speak : > thanks for linking, xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Patti! The shapewear thing is like Marmite - some of us love it, others hate it - thank goodness we're all different. Makes life more interesting eh?
      Anna

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  9. Oh this was funny. I laughed at you. I am sorry. But I recognized so much. Been there, done that. Time after time. And I came to the conclusion: there is no ideal place in my house. None. So indoors is now a building with big windows. Tripod is replaced by my husband (bless him).
    But I will say the dress is stunning but your figure even more. You have a wow figure. Va va voom.
    Greetje

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    1. Oh good, I'm pleased I made you laugh. And thanks for the compliments. I really don't have anywhere indoors either that works to my satisfaction. And I always feel more relaxed outside anyway, I don't know why, but I do. I've mastered tripod and timer outside, so just need the odd break in the weather and I'll be fine x
      Anna

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    2. Hi Anna
      Wow what a lovely dress indeed - silvery colour works great with your subtle colouring. Loving the magic knicker chat too - to reveal or not to reveal... the eternal question eh? May I suggest anyone who hasn't checked out Anna's terrific post 'These Arms' under Health Matters does so. Apart from being a jolly good laugh as usual it's a really heart felt and intelligent reminder of what our bodies are really for, what they've done for us and how fabulous they are despite all they have experienced and endured... Lets hear it for the odd bulge sisters!! The jury is still out for me on whether to squidge or not .. The only compression tool I ever had was from M @ S, it turned me into a bosom-less plank with strange protusions under the arm pits and lower thighs.. It got consigned to the sock drawer until I dug it out one day for help dealing with a pair of low slung jeans.. I cut a bit of ease into the arm hole area, donned a padded bra and then hacked off the bottom to make a long vest which would cunningly hide the muffin explosion going on in the hip area. Disaster. Cut it too short and it sort of rolled up in a wedge just above my navel - not a good look. Anyway, that was my last foray into 'shape wear' - though things that allow one's boobs to be naturally inflated sounds hopeful..I did have another look in Marks recently as I would like to find something that deals with real woman hips in low rise jeans but no luck. Any suggestions Anna ? Mags xxx
      PS how about a campaign to well and truly bring back waisted jeans and confine the low rise to fashion history! YAY!!!

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    3. Ah, Darling girl, so good to hear from you. The shapewear debate carries on apace and I love it. This may well be the magazine feature I've been waiting to birth! These personal accounts of claustrophobia and strangulation are perfect fodder for me. And yes I do have some lovely high waisted jeans waiting in the wings...
      Anna x

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  10. PS Bet Dic is lovin the undies debate as much as your sexy body con Anna! Mags xxx

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    1. Yes. All very interesting. Dicky doo x x

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    2. Hope you had a great Christmas Dicky Doo!
      Anna

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  11. You are wonderfully glamorous Anna!! I love this dress and all the amazing accessories plus amazing sparkly brooch- swit swoo! Will copy your link into next week's brooch post- published this week's one already!
    I think this is a brilliant outfit, not sure what the other 2 you had in mind are but this one is a winner for sure!
    Interesting to hear about Shapewear, I've not tried it- I can't wear this type of sillhouette as it makes my shape look unappealing to myself (you know what I mean- I personally don't like how I look in them!) but I'd be intrigued to see how it affected my shape. I had a big pair of white pants to go with my wedding dress as where the corset bit ended , there was a slight gap with normal knickers which showed the line through it to my tummy otherwise!x

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    1. Isn't it funny this idea we have of ourselves. I love dressing up but never see myself as glamourous or elegant even though I get comments to say this. I think once you find a style that suits your body type then you can just play it up which is what this dress shape does. Will be taking this on our cruise (see my forthcoming post) as it doesn't crease or need ironing! The Shapewear debate was great and am currently writing a little article as it seems to create a bit of passionate response. I don't like squeezing shapewear, just smoothing is what I'm after. You look quite tiny though so probably don't need much squeezing yourself x

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