Vlogging Gear 101—What to Know Before You Get Started

You probably clicked on the title of this post because you’ve been thinking about starting your very own vlog channel. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let me show you how to choose the right gear before jumping in front of just any lens so that you can take the vlogosphere by storm!

The very first thing you are going to want to purchase is a camera suited to your vlogging aspirations. Keep the following three questions in mind when browsing for one:

Do you need a flip display?

Flip displays are great if looking good at all times and from any angle is crucial to you. A word of warning about flip displays: make sure not to focus on your face too much. Looking into the lens will come across as more confident and natural.

What lifestyle are you conveying? 

If you want to feature adventurous content, then an action cam is the thing for you! Action cams have wide-angle lenses for you to capture more excitement in one frame. If you plan on doing sit-down videos like makeup tutorials, however, an affordable compact camera will suffice.

Is the audio important? 

If the audio is an essential part of your vlog, get a camera that allows you to attach an external microphone. If your ideal camera has no microphone jack, simply record the audio on a separate device and sync it to your video on the computer.

Found your ideal camera? Great! Now it’s time to consider camera settings. Your settings will depend on personal preference. If you love movie-like motions and want to work with slow motion, go for 60 FPS. FPS stands for frames per second, or the individual shots being taken within one second of filming. If you want to keep it more relaxed, stick with 30 FPS.

Shaky camera action probably won’t be the best look for your vlog, so I highly recommend investing in a decent selfie-stick or, better yet, a bendy tripod. It’s important to have portable gear to be able to film wherever and whenever you want. Having that extra stability for your camera will really make a difference!

Lastly, never underestimate the power of lighting. Good lighting makes such a difference when it comes to the quality of your footage. A movie shot on a smartphone in natural light will look better than a clip filmed on a fancy DSLR in artificial lighting.

Do you have aspirations to be a viral vlogger? Let me know in the comments down below!

Tips for Capturing the Perfect Summer Moments

September is right around the corner, but it’s not too late to let the summer sun shine on your next photography project. Don’t let the good times slip away without getting some seriously repost-worthy pictures in. Here are some easy tips to try out next time you pick up the camera on your next adventure.

The Golden Hour

It’s no secret that famed photographers have sworn by the magic lighting that comes from a “golden hour.” While not everyone can have the mastery of Herb Ritts, everyone can definitely benefit from the gorgeous lighting from a nearly-setting sun. Find a location outside with plenty of space for natural light to come through. Next, experiment with the sunlight’s varying tones throughout the day. Everyone’s style is different, but with so many hours of daylight, you’re bound to find your very own perfect hour of lighting.

The Right Place at the Right Time

A good photographer will make anything and everything look incredible behind the lens. Sometimes an unforgettable picture is made up by capturing that perfect subject at just the right moment. While this may be a bit more of a challenge, don’t be discouraged from keeping an open mind and a ready camera lens. Maybe it’s a butterfly flawlessly landing for a split second, or the timely gust of the wind that just turned your bestie into a runway model. Whatever that fleeting moment is, you’ll be ready to catch it with just a hint of patience luck and patience.

The Color Catch

It goes without saying that capturing the spectacular spectrum of colors we see is one of the quickest ways to get a great picture. However, using color as a centerpiece in your photographs calls for a special balance between intensity and content. Start with finding a color that catches your eye, or maybe a group of different colored items that feels satisfying to your artistic palette. Play around with different angles and lighting, and soon you’ll find that perfect splash of color in your portfolio.

The Honest Take

While many of us are more than willing to make our significant others take countless pictures of our outfit, some of our best pictures are when we aren’t even paying attention. Candid pictures can reveal some of our goofiest and unflattering pictures alike, but they are by far the most memorable parts of any photo shoot. So, next time you’re trying to get that perfect take for your bestie’s Instagram, keep the camera rolling and click away at all of the laughs and priceless moments you share.

Know any other Vogue-worthy photography tips? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Hack Your Fall Semester—Decorative Styling Tips for Your Laptop

Waking up for an 8 a.m. class is difficult enough, but dressing up for it is a daunting task that many college students usually ignore. So, when your OOTD is leggings and a sweatshirt, you can look to other aspects of your life to style: your laptop. Having your laptop represent your style is a major time saver in the morning, and who wouldn’t want to be able to accessorize with technology?

1—Pick a color scheme. The colors you choose to decorate your laptop will help organize your stickers and case when you actually go to buy them. Not having a plan before purchasing the accessories will often make your decorations look either too chaotic, or boring. For my laptop, I chose black and white for my main colors, with splashes of pink and blue to stand out.

2—Choose a case. The first step to styling your laptop to is to pick a case that represents you. Be sure to stick to something simple, since you will be covering it with stickers. My laptop has a black and white marble case, which leaves plenty of negative space to add stickers. Be sure to make sure you pick the correct size case to purchase for your laptop.

3—Choose some rad stickers. A person’s laptop stickers say a lot about them—their interests, hobbies, favorite TV shows, movies, where they’re from, and more interesting details. My laptop has my favorite band lyrics by The 1975. It also has the logo for my favorite movie, Clueless, and an Otto the Orange sticker to represent my school. Additionally, my laptop is equipped with a Delta Phi Epsilon sticker to showcase my sorority. There is a Kim Kardashian sticker and a SpongeBob Squarepants sticker to show my funny side. On top of that, there is a Wawa sticker to show that I’m from Philadelphia and a “shooketh” one to show my favorite funny phrase!

4—Rock your new laptop. Show up to that 8 a.m. on time bursting with confidence and style.

Do you have any hacks to styling other aspects of your life? Let me know in the comments below.

These Editors Get Candid About What It Really Means to Work in Fashion and Instagram DMs

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

We are lucky to have thousands of Style Gurus in our college fashionista community who contribute content, hone their creative skill set, and bring the brand to life on their campuses during their college experience. But what happens when they graduate?

We like to think that college fashionista gives our contributors the confidence and skills to go out and take the fashion and beauty industries by storm. Case in point? Maura Brannigan (Senior Editor at Fashionista.com), Jen Mulrow (Assistant Beauty Editor at Glamour Magazine), and Olivia Muenter (Fashion and Beauty Editor at Bustle.com) are three leading editors amongst their peers—and all former Style Gurus!

While these former Style Gurus are still only a few years out of college, they have learned a lot. Here are some takeaways they wanted to share:

  • If you know what you want to do the moment you step on campus, mazel tov! But in case you feel overwhelmed on not knowing, don’t be. All three of these ladies dabbled during college (premed; public relations; Latin; you know name it.) and continued to take opportunities, follow their interests, and ultimately land their dream positions.
  • Think landing a job after college is all or nothing? Think again. Full time freelance (which two of three of these ladies did) is an opportunity to work (aka make money), get your foot in the door of a company, prove yourself, and (hopefully) eventually transition into a full time employee.
  • Business relationships like friendships take time and must be fostered. Start relationships when in college to land to job post-grad. Start with a simple email or DM on Instagram. That way when the time comes to graduate, you have already planted the seed and have roots to work with.

Besides this sage advice, Maura, Jen, and Olivia gave us a glimpse into what it actually means to be an editor today, the value of relationships, and the magic of paper and pen in the latest episode of our podcast, “Office Hours.”

Whether you are heading back to campus, taking a coffee break, or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

Why I Never Leave Without a Camera

We live in this big, crazy world filled with beauty and creativity tucked every corner. Even so, it’s incredibly easy to miss all of these little wonders. Life happens, your schedule fills up, and you’re rushing from place to place. Keeping busy is great, but sometimes we get so preoccupied that we overlook some important sources of inspiration.

I go to an art school where I study photography, but that’s not why I can’t leave my house without at least three cameras. It is the reason that I found this life discovery, though. I have sufficiently trained myself to be a competent passive looker, but I’ve found that when I have my camera and am actively taking in my surroundings, I see so much more.

I’m not just talking about a pretty landscape that would make for a good picture. I see people with amazing, entrancing style, architecture with imaginative shapes and designs, and I hear music with captivating sounds and voices speaking words that transcend into disquisitions in my ears.

I try to walk as my main mode of transportation. I get a big backpack and load it up with cameras of all kinds. I throw on a pair of comfortable (but still fashionable – obviously) “walking” shoes. And I put on my pink sunglasses because life really is better looking through rose-colored glasses.

My point is that every creative experiences a dry spell of inspiration from time to time, and I’ve decided that this simply happens when I’m no longer looking. Even serendipity requires some sort of stimulus. Having a camera gets me in the good habit of taking in as much as possible, and providing me with abundant content to compile a collection of inspiration to create with.

Life is just so miraculous, and sometimes we forget to take in the wonders that are right next to us. Hopefully anyone in a creative rut will find my weird lifestyle to be of some intrigue, or maybe those that are still constantly motivated will appreciate a new method of gathering inspiration.

Are you capturing the world around you? Tag @Cfashionista in your posts!

Download These Apps Now and Thank Me Later

Our financial decisions are a major part of our lives. Having poor finances equals higher stress levels. Not only do we deal with stress, but the world moves at a fast pace. It can be difficult to keep up with so much information. With this in mind, I realized I couldn’t handle everything on my own. So I decided to explore the App Store for some assistance. From my research, I’ve compiled three apps that will make life’s stresses easier to manage.

1—Qapital. Start taking control of your financial decisions. Qapital’s mantra is “save small, live large”. The app’s purpose is to help automate your savings with the use of rules. By linking a credit or debit card, you can apply these rules to start saving cash. My favorite rule is, “Guilty Pleasures.” If I shop at a store I know I shouldn’t, it will take a specific amount out and move it to my savings account. Rules can vary from rounding up the change to taking a percent from every check. Before you know it, you’ve probably already saved up enough towards your desired goal. This Fashionista is one step in the right direction towards making financial decisions; one cent at a time.

2—Flipboard. Stay connected with world events! I don’t read paper magazines due to my phone becoming my personal news anchor. In addition to Qapital, Flipboard immediately became my go-to news app. The design is incredibly unique and most of all, it’s simple to use. First, you create an account and begin selecting topics of interest that help you stay connected. These choices drive the types of articles that appear on your feed. Consequently, Flipboard becomes your own personalized magazine! Want to read more on the articles? Simply click that link and it will redirect you to the full page.

3—Headspace. Make some time for zen in your life. Sometimes we work ourselves so hard that we forget to take time out for a little TLC. While we can’t always take a trip to the spa to relax, Headspace is here to provide the needed mental clarity. I recommend wearing headphones for this to get the full experience. Headspace guides you through meditations designed to calm you down in 10 minutes, after a long day of work and dealing with life’s stresses. You can start off with basic meditation or make customized packs by subscribing. Another relevant feature is the option to receive inspirational and motivational quotes throughout the day. 

I’ve selected these free apps in hopes that they give you some mental clarity as they did for me. Comment below how these apps have helped you get your life back on track!  

Tips for Shooting Long Exposure

What if I told you that you could turn water into mist, clouds into paintings, cars into light, and make the world spin while you stayed static? By using a long exposure setting on your camera, you can achieve all of this!

I recently began to explore the wonders of this somewhat intimidating photography technique. Long exposure shots can easily become skewed. For example, both too much light and not enough light can equally ruin your shot, and if your camera moves ever so slightly you must try again. Now I know this sounds frustrating, but with a little practice and the right tools, you will be able to take photos just like this! Below are some “must-haves” for this photography method.

1—Get a DSLR. This absolutely is the most expensive part. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex, which is fancy for “a camera that has a removable lens and takes wonderful pictures!” (Check out this camera bag.)

2—Get a tripod. Having a tripod will allow your camera to stay steady during long exposure shots where camera movement is your worst enemy! If buying a tripod is too much, improvising does the trick as well—you just have to get creative!

3—Know about f-stop, aperture, and shutter speed. Once you have a DSLR camera, it has a bunch of different settings that you can shoot with. In order to create long exposure shots, you must switch your camera to “M” or “manual mode.” Once you have completed this, you will be able to change the amount of light your camera receives. This obviously differs for shooting at night versus during the day. For example, if you are shooting traffic lights, clouds, or stars at night, you want the most amount of light hitting your lens and for usually the longest amount of time (this may be variable depending on the effect you desire). However, an essential part of shooting long exposure at night is setting your f-stop to the lowest number possible which opens your camera’s aperture to its widest setting, allowing the most amount of light in. During the day, things become a little more complicated and expensive.

4—Long exposure during the day. If you are looking to shoot long exposure shots during the day, you must purchase a neutral-density filter (ND filter). This filter screws directly onto your lens and makes it much harder for light to enter. It is important that your f-stop number be set to something pretty high, which will allow you to capture water movement, for example, without letting too much daytime light in.

5—Find a beautiful location and start experimenting. I cannot stress this point enough. Long exposure shots and photography, in general, take time and patience to master all of these technical terms. However, if you, like myself, have a passion for capturing beauty, you will be able to achieve wonders!

Have a long exposure shot you’re proud of? Share it on social media and tag @Cfashionista!

5 Back to School Apps that Make Life Easier

I scoured the Internet and the App Store and read lots of reviews to find helpful apps for school this fall (read: not Candy Crush). I discovered new tools that I’m excited to use now, and I hope you will be too! Take a look at these five back to school apps that are suitable for a variety of majors, and get ready to be efficient.

1—For the math whiz. You know you’ll need a graphing calculator for a statistics class. But with prices ranging from $40 to $140, wouldn’t you rather use that money on some late night pizzas? Just download Desmos Graphing Calculator, which is absolutely free! While many professors may not allow you to use your cell phone during test time, consider it a lifesaver when it comes to being able to do your homework anywhere.

2—For the tech genius. If you’re heading into computer science or just want to learn more about coding, Learn to Code with Python is a five-star app that lets you learn one of the most popular programming languages in a fun, game-like way. Even better, you have a community of other coders on the app to help you if you’re stuck or to challenge and compete with. This app makes learning enjoyable, and it will introduce you to coding in a digestible way.

3—For the art major. You know the feeling when you’re out with your friends and suddenly an idea comes to you that you have to sketch now? Get more options than the Notes app on your iPhone—Concepts has way more tools and features like graph paper and layers. While it takes some getting used to, the app has simple guidelines to walk you through. The look is clean, and you can even link it to your Adobe Creative account along with tons of options for exporting your creations!

4—For the busy bee. Whether you’re juggling your basics or starting medical school, a planner is not just a need—it’s a must. Rather than toting one around, try myHomework Student Planner. It’s an app built with students in mind, so it’s perfect for organizing schedules and assignments. This easy-to-use calendar means you’ll never have to worry about missing a class again; you can even save your building and room number so the first few weeks of finding your classes will feel like a breeze!

5—For the Fashionista. Here at CollegeFashionista, we know the importance an outfit has on your confidence and perception. That’s where Pureple Outfit Planner comes in! I’ve tested many an outfit-planning app, and this one is by far the simplest to use. It lets you categorize your items (I like to take pictures of mine, but you can also use images online) and build your entire wardrobe on your phone. Use the calendar feature to plan your outfits ahead. You’ll never have to worry about figuring out what to wear before your 8 a.m. again!

What’s your favorite app for staying on top of school? Let me know in the comments!

Have You Heard Our Big News?

In case you didn’t already know, CollegeFashionista is all about empowering the students of today to build their career and start making connections in college that will last them a lifetime. As a team, that’s been our goal from the beginning—we are dedicated to helping women help themselves when it comes to their dreams.

When we started CollegeFashionista seven years ago, it was so much different than it was today. There were only a few Style Gurus, Instagram was barely a thing, and the CollegeFashionista team was only two people working out of their apartments. Fast forward, and things have changed quite a bit. However, our goal of helping students build a career remains the same.

In the past, Style Gurus have been contributors to CollegeFashionista’s website and social media channels. They’ve been the face of our brand, and the glue that holds us all together. We would be nowhere without them. Yet with more Style Gurus comes new (but good!) challenges, and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to ensure that we not only tackle the challenges but make our mission stronger and more effective in the process. That’s where the new CF comes in.

This fall, we are beyond excited to introduce our brand new program for Style Gurus. We will now be providing our community of career driven college students with an incredible, in-depth curriculum on every topic and skill they need to know to succeed in the fashion industry. Our Style Gurus will be members of a community in which they will be able to learn everything they know to land their dream jobs—but it doesn’t end there. Along with our new curriculum, we will also be rolling out our new Fellowship programs this September, which will provide learning opportunities for students interested in editorial, photography, graphic design, social media, and marketing and PR. These Fellowships are available to students who have been Style Gurus for a semester or more who wish to delve deeper into a subject they’re interested in and learn straight from industry professionals. They’ll also have the chance to start building a portfolio of work and get daily feedback on how to continue making their work stronger.

Basically, our new programs are a way for us to provide more in-depth, meaningful lessons and feedback to each and every student that joins our community—and we couldn’t be more excited.

In essence, CollegeFashionista will remain the same—a company whose main goal is to help students around the world achieve the dream that we all once had—to land a job and build a career in fashion. The only thing changing is that we’re getting better at it.

Interested in becoming a Style Guru? Learn the skills you need to land your dream job in fashion and apply to be a Style Guru today.

The August “Rhythm” Moodboard is Here!

Despite being in the middle of the calendar, August has always seemed like the unofficial new year. Finishing out your internship on a high; relishing the last bits of summer; the thrill of the back-to-school season. The ebb and flow of the summer meeting the school year brings about a recognizable cadence of endings and beginnings.

And while, yes, this time of year has a comforting familiarity to it that goes back to your elementary school days, that doesn’t mean it has to be ordinary. Instead of letting the routine of it all get the best of you, this month we invite you to create a new rhythm that is bolder, more vibrant, and powerful than ever before.

We here at CollegeFashionista are using this time to create a bold new rhythm ourselves! In honor of our seventh anniversary, we are unveiling our brand NEW Style Guru program, giving you an opportunity to learn about things you are actually interested in, get access to industry insiders, network, and grow your skills, community, and confidence!

So whether you are looking to end your internship on a high or start of the school year stronger than ever, create and find your own rhythm that is as unique and mighty as you are!

To kick-off this month, check out our August Mood Board on Pinterest to get you in the playful mood!