Recently, I’ve been asked by friends and family, what goes on behind-the-scenes (or BTS) on my blog. They’re curious to see how this eighteen month old hobby of mine, is Blog Life vs. Reality.
I laugh at their curiosity, because I know secretly how it works. To find out how ridiculous it may seem that every photo on a blogger’s Instagram, is so perfectly staged and candid. Where in contrary the photos are suppose to be shared instantaneously the app.
When you’re not actually in the blogging community, you really have no idea. So, I gave them my honest response.
What you see on a blog and Instagram, 50%-60% of the time is not reality (at least for me). Meaning the photos are probably not taken at that time or place. It’s usually a scheduled photo shoot. That’s why the photos are so beautiful and the filters are consistently the same. The intentional candid shots like no one is watching can “seem too good to be true”. But in fact the person that’s watching you is behind the lens.
There are ones that are “live” photos, meaning it was taken at present time. This is where Peter, aka “Instagram husband”, comes into play. Occasionally, when I have a killer outfit on at work, I may ask a coworker or even at times a stranger on the street to take a photo. When I’m desperate, I’ve even done many self-timer portrait selfies in secret alleyways, so I don’t look like an idiot in public.
Why do we do that? We want to create a picture perfect scenario that will inspire the reader or follower. Like “this can be you on this beautiful yacht sipping rosé all day”. Isn’t that fake? Shouldn’t bloggers be authentic?
For me, if I inspire you with a photo whether it’s about an outfit, style or something very personal, I did my job. Who cares if the pictures is intentionally planned or not. It lets you dream for just a moment.
I began to blog so I can teach what I know. Fashion. I have an extensive twenty year design background and I love to share my knowledge with my readers and followers.
My angle is editorial photography in hopes to create a fantasy by story telling. To create an escape, out of reality and let you dream a little. Not for me to be a supermodel. Not to be fake and represent brands I don’t care about. The authenticity of my opinions on the brands I promote, is my first priority.
1/ Who takes your photos?
My friend/photographer, Jason, who I wrote about our relationship on this post. We have a photo session once or twice a month, with 2-3 outfits each. I cannot afford to hire a photographer to follow me everyday snapping photos of me everywhere I go. How annoying would that be? Some of the well established bloggers have a team of professionals ready to shoot them at all times. Me? Not so much.
When Jason is not available, my blogger friend Cortney and I, from The Grey Edit, (as you see on the photos) have a quick photo sesh. It’s usually around 30 minutes long. We take the details of our OOTD (outfit of the day) and use them as content for our blogs.
2/How do you use these photos?
The outfits are spread across different posts, depending on when I plan to write it. Contents are planned, so it has a consistent flow to keep our readers interested. For example, I’ll post an outfit with bright colors during the warmer seasons, versus winter. Timing is key!
3/Where do you store all your clothes?
With limited space living in an older house, I have a few closets I rotate between seasons. Recently my closets got out of hand and I purged a bunch of clothes. Some I resell if it has value and gently worn, such as the designer pieces. For the most part, I keep my classic well-made clothes that I know won’t go out of style.
4/How do you have that much money to keep buying new clothes?
I don’t buy new clothes all the time or I’ll be broke. But when I do, I make sure there’s something in my closet I can style with. If you notice, I restyle a lot of the pieces all the time. Isn’t that how people do it in real life, anyways?
I stray from fast fashion or “disposable clothing”, since the likelihood of it lasting more than one season is anything close to hopeful.
The exception: When I don’t want to gamble on a trend, I may purchase them just to “ride the wave” until it dies. For example, embellished slides. I’ve seen Miu Miu with a pair, but couldn’t bite the bullet to pay $500 for a pair. I found them in Forever 21 for $19. They fell apart at the end of the season, but it did its job and I wore the heck out of it!
That’s a behind-the-scenes in a nutshell. All above are solely my opinion through experience. Other bloggers may view differently.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the blog world. I’d love to tell ya!
*All clothing (except my jeans) loan by Schai.
Photos by Jason Tang
Elisa & Cortney are wearing Néhmo Shirtdress (only white available).