Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve got questions, and I’ve got answers. But perhaps your question has already been asked–or perhaps you’re still wondering exactly what it is you wanted to ask. So feel free to peruse through my frequently asked questions – and hit me up if you don’t find your answer here! xoxo
- What kind of camera/lenses do you use?
- When the site first began I used a Canon EOS XSi, but as my preferences and need for better consistency and an even more powerful camera grew with my site, I upgraded in February 2011 to a Canon EOS 7D. As far as lenses go, I have quite a few: Canon EFS 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 18-55 IS, Canon EF 70-200 f/4 L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. I probably use my 70-200 lens the most. Canon L lenses are unbeatable in terms of optical quality, minimal distortion, and the creamiest bokeh I’ve ever seen! I used to be a professional photographer and photoblogger (back before blogging was a household word) so I consider lenses to be an investment and treat them as such! Want more photography tips? Click here.
- What do you use to create your collages of beauty products & fashion?
- I’ve been a long time user of Photoshop, and that’s what I use for everything: collages, editing photos, site design elements…everything! I agree it’s not the easiest to pick up (it has a steep learning curve to go along with its hefty price tag) but once you get it, you know. It’s quite simply, the best.
- What program do you use to edit your videos?
- I use iMovie to download and edit all of my movies. I’m sure I could get much fancier with other more powerful programs, but iMovie is easy to use, pretty robust for my needs, and I’m familiar with it.
- Can I interview you on my site/blog?
- I have limited time and a pretty tight schedule, so I sincerely apologize if questions can’t be answered, but it doesn’t hurt to try! Just send me an email.
- What do you do for a living?
- I’m a resident physician.
- As another fashion blogger, I was wondering if you have any advice on how to get followers, page hits, etc.
- Hmm, that’s a toughie. What was I doing when I was where you are? I was networking! I was commenting on other blogs like mine, that I liked and truly enjoyed reading, and I engaged them in discussion in comments, tweets, emails, etc, with genuine interest and enthusiasm. I really liked them and they really liked me! With networking came more traffic, and I entered fashion contests, submitted my blog to various blog directories, and did a LOT of social networking. In the end, network network NETWORK. make GENUINE connections and you cannot go wrong. Karma is big in blog world – don’t be pushy or needy ever (and you definitely weren’t to me!). Help others and promote others – I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it really pays you back in the end.
- What are your favorite tv shows?
- Lately I’ve been watching Glee and Smash. I love musicals!
- Who designed your blog layout?
- I actually do everything, from the design to the coding. I use Thesis theme from DIYthemes and modified it pretty much until it was unrecognizable. :) I highly recommend Thesis, it’s powerful but user-friendly and appropriate for all levels.
- Who is your blog host?
- I LOVE my host Rackspace. I use their Cloud Servers. They’re incredibly speedy and great for high traffic websites. Fanatically great customer service, too.As far as blogging platforms go, I love WordPress (I use the wordpress.org self-hosted version but if you’re just interested in the wordpress-hosted one, go to wordpress.com — it’s also free). really great options as far as customizability (is that a word?) and free reign to do pretty much whatever you want! THe only thing is on wordpress.com you may not have sponsored ads or ads of any kind. Just keep that in mind if it’s something you’re planning on doing! Hope this helps! You can find more information about blogging on my Secrets to Fashion Blogging guide.
- Where do you find inspiration for your outfit pictures?
- Most of the time they’re spontaneous, last-minute, as in “honey can we please do an outfit post today with this outfit?”. Other times I will catalogue locations in my head that I really like, for future reference the next time I want to do an outfit post shoot. It has gotten to the point that when we’re driving, HB will point and say “that’d be a good outfit post”. Gotta love him!
- How do you get so much traffic and so many comments?
- It takes time to build up a readership. Encourage interaction. The most important thing is to be yourself, be authentic, be true to your readers and yourself, and network. I may not always be the best blog reader/commenter lately since things have gotten pretty crazy with the blog & my career, but I believe you should thank those who help you out, and the people who help you out most on your blog are your readers.
- What/who inspired you to start a blog?
- My 20-year-old brother died on October 6, 2009 and was the main reason I started PSS (but more on that later). This is a great question. I’ve always been a blogger of sorts. I had a photoblog called Eightyfour a few years back and won some lovely awards for my photography (I should get back into that but…no time). I enjoy connecting with people, I think it’s so important, and it always baffles me to learn that some people are (gasp) *private* and don’t think one’s flaws and toils should be shared with others.I’m not that type. I think sharing common experiences and showing we are all human and have the same thoughts makes us all more connected. We’re all in this together. Why not go through life with a feeling of comradeship and unity?Anyway, back to your question: what inspired me to start Pretty Shiny Sparkly. I branched this off of my personal blog because I wanted to create a place where I could be unabashedly girlie. I find lots of great things online (can that be a talent? please say yes) and the only way before PSS to share them with others was to buy it. My wallet didn’t like that. So instead of buying things I like, I save my budget and instead share it with you guys. I get to live vicariously through your shopping experiences. In reality, I have very little money (med student + no time for job + student loans = negative balance) to spend on the things I like. But that doesn’t mean I stop finding said things. Anyhoo, that’s why I share what I share on PSS. Interestingly, family tragedy was the catalyst. My 20-year-old brother died on October 6, 2009. I started PSS on November 1st. I guess I needed an outlet to escape to and PSS has been very therapeutic in that area. Now, I just can’t get enough of you guys! I love you all so much!
- Are we going to see you dance in a video blog??
- Only if iJustine is in it with me!
Ask me anything you want!