A Day in the Life: Crystalin + Natalie Shoot Days

a day in the life- shoot days

Behind the scenes of blog photos 1

Behind the scenes of blog photos 2

Crystalin’s outfit: Gap tee // Calypso St Barth cardigan (old, similar and on sale!) // DL 1961 jeans // DVF pumps // Brooklyn Designs necklace //  Ray-Ban original aviators // vintage Coach bag (similar)

Natalie’s outfit: Gap denim jacket // DL 1961 jeans //  Nine West pumps // vegan tote // DV Dolce Vita loafers (old, similar here and here)

Behind the scenes of blog photos 3

Behind the scenes of blog photos 6

For the last year or so I’ve had the pleasure of shooting blog photos with my good friend Natalie, who also happens to be a blogger. Last year around this time, I randomly messaged her asking if she would be interested in shooting together. I could take her photos and she could take mine. We could spend as long as we wanted on getting the right shots and we could have fun while doing it. Flash forward to today and let me tell you, this whole partnership has been a huge blessing. Yes, we shoot each other’s photos, but we’ve also become so close and have shared so many stories. There’s nothing better than being able to bounce ideas off another blogger or share similar experiences that no else understands. This blog world is different (and I mean that in a good way), and it’s not always the easiest topic to relate to with family or non-blog friends. As you hear from many other bloggers, meeting other like-minded women who share the same passions as you is one the best things about this industry.

Behind the scenes of blog photos 8

Behind the scenes of blog photos 9

a day in the life of a bloggers photoshoot day

Blog photos are a huge part of blogging and everyone does them differently. Whether you’re new to the industry or have been doing this for years, it’s always interesting to find out how other bloggers do it. We recently got to work together on a collaboration, so we thought we’d use that time to document a day in the life, shoot edition.

Verve Coffee

Crystalin Marie Natalie Dressed

Crystalin marie Natalie Dressed Verve coffee


2:00pm – Meet up at the location of choice. We go back and forth between Santa Cruz and San Jose, but on occasion we’ll shoot in San Francisco or Palo Alto.

2:15 pm- Shoot first looks.

3:00- 3:15 pm – Move locations (somewhere nearby) and shoot our second looks.

4:00- 4:15 pm – Break for coffee or a snack. Sometimes we don’t even get to this and by the end of the day we’re starving, like ravenous.

4:45 pm- Shoot third looks.

5:45-6:00 pm – Move locations (somewhere nearby) and shoot our final looks.

6:15-7:00 pm – We’ll call it a day and head to dinner.

This is just a rough layout of the schedule, it can be different every week and changes based on different lighting throughout the year.

Verve Coffee Roasters

Verve Santa Cruz

Crystalin Marie behind the scenes

F U N  T I D B I T  &  F A C T S

– Since we have limited time with each other throughout the week, we take 4 sets of photos during one shoot day. That’s a total of 8 looks, people!

– Since we shoot 4 looks at a time, we typically will reshoot what we’ve already worn a week or two before.

– Yes, we change in the car. By now, we’ve definitely mastered it.

– Finding the perfect wall is HARD. The struggle is real. We have our go-to spots, but depending on the lighting and outfit, it could be a hit or miss.

– We use one camera and change the memory card, so that each person has their individual photos to take home.

– Since we’re both looking for similar images, we’re able to help each other out with poses, styling, and angles.

– We deal with random people talking and staring all the time. For the most part we’ve gotten used to it, but there have been some creepos.

Verve Coffee Santa Cruz downtown

Verve Crystalin Marie

Crystalin Marie DL1961 denimPhotos by Carlie Statsky

Some days we have to reshoot a look because the shirt wasn’t tucked right. Oftentimes the wind destroys our hair. Other times the outfit doesn’t photograph well and you don’t end up using the photos. We’ve both also taken turns deleting our entire memory card. Shooting blog photos is hard work, but at the end of the day, we have a blast working together. Having another blogger shoot your blog photos has been a huge blessing, but having it be a friend makes it fun and all worth it. The margaritas and wine haven’t been too bad either ;)

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  • Ah! This is a blogger/photographer match made in heaven! You’re so lucky to have found each other and that you work so well together. Marathon outfit shooting is the way to go, although like you said sometimes they don’t all work out. Thanks for sharing this little bit of insight into how you work. XO

  • What a blessing it is to have another blogger to share your work day and help each other!! I can only imagine how much more fun this has made your long days. It was so interesting to hear about what goes on behind the scenes to get all the beautiful pictures that you post!! Loved reading this!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Rose! Although these days can be long and extremely tiresome, we definitely laugh A LOT :)

  • I must say, I’m a tad jealous of your blogging friendship! I would love to connect with someone like you guys have, because only other bloggers REALLY understand the work that goes into getting the shot right…or how an imperfectly tucked shirt can ruin a photo.

    I love reading both of your blogs, so keep up the good work!

    Something About That

  • This is so fun! I love having a blogger buddy. Adri Lately and I will do something similar – although we’ve never tried to shoot 4 looks at once! My husband hates taking my photos and just doesn’t understand the whole blogging thing so it’s nice to be able to meet up with someone who understands!
    Jeans and a Teacup

  • Um, can we all please hang out? I love this post! As a fellow blogger, I can relate to all of this (right down to the windblown hair and failed shirt tuck). There is really nothing better than connecting with like-minded women who are pursuing the same passion, so it’s great that you and Natalie have been able to collaborate.

    I live in LA, but I’m up in SF visiting my boyfriend every other weekend, so I’d love to grab coffee with you guys if you’re ever in the city!



  • I love this post! I always think it’s so interesting to hear how other people shoot for their blogs. When you shoot in the afternoon do you always take your photos in the shade? I usually have to wait until the evening for photos because it’s just too bright in the afternoon, but I’ve been trying to figure out a way to be able to shoot earlier.

    XO, Maci

  • Loved this post! I so wish I even knew another blogger near me, haha. There are many “big bloggers” in my area but none on my level that I could hang out with and talk blog. It seems so cool to find a friend and a photographer! My boyfriend takes my photos and doesn’t like doing it so he blindly shoots for five minutes and then we go. I never know how they turn out until I get to my computer.

  • Thank you. I LOVE the “behind the scenes” look. For those of us that don’t blog but are curious about the process and wonder “how it all works” it’s cool to see the mechanics of getting your shots. More please!

  • Very interesting post! I always wonder if some bloggers hire a photographer for each post. What kind of camera did you two use? I’m looking for a good quality camera bu not something too expensive. Thanks! And love your blog!


  • My friend and I are starting to do this right now as well. We both just restarted our blogs and IG’s. Did you also have a tripod or a third person to shoot the photos of you guys together?

    Thanks for sharing your collaboration story with us! Very inspiring. I’ve sent it to my friend!