Over the past couple years I have found out a few things and I thought why not share the truth and secrets with you as it is always best to be honest. There are some things that people just don’t understand or had even thought about when it comes to Instagram. It seriously annoys me when people joke around about it being a job but it really is. So much effort and time goes into this sort of thing which is why I wanted to explain it all to you.
Lighting is a bitch. You can’t just snap a picture anywhere and any when and think it will turn out good. (The weather app is my best friend). All year round it is difficult. In the summer, the sun was too strong and bright on my face, which not only made me blinded by the light but also created shadows on my face. You can’t then go into the shadows because they are way too dark because again, the sun is way to bright. So it resulted in Eli and I waking up early, and I mean early and we would do outfit shoots at about 7.30am in the morning because the sunlight was softer and not so bright. And then comes Winter, the mornings are a lot darker so you can’t really do early morning shoots and the days are pretty grey. By about 3pm the lighting is dark and cold tone so the only decent time for a picture to be taken is between 10am-2pm, and that’s only if it isn’t raining.
It takes so long to find a nice location for the picture. I will constantly be wandering around to find somewhere with the right lighting and texture in the background, and sometimes when you’ve been searching for so long and you think you’ve found it, you get home and edit the pictures and decide you don’t like them. Where I live at the moment it is really limited so I have to use the same location quite a few times. People really underestimate how difficult it is to find a background which works for your theme, especially if you live somewhere with limited backdrops.
Flowers are a great prop for photos. During the summer, my feed consisted of a lot of flowers, and majority of them weren’t even mine. Mum used to get given them as a gift and I would quickly nab them so I could take an outfit picture. I even bought some fake ones from eBay so that they would last pretty much forever and I would have them whenever I needed! Obviously Eli does buy me flowers but he doesn’t do it every week so if I really want some as a prop, I then have to buy my own from the supermarket.
Coffee cups. I’m going to be straight with you here, 99% of the time when I am holding a coffee cup it is actually empty. LOL. I buy the reusable cups from Starbucks which are a £1 and they are great. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to hold a prop whilst having your photo taken.
God knows how many times people have seen me in my bra and cycling shorts. As I don’t do Instagram/blogging full time, it means that I have to take pictures of my outfits in bulk. So it involves a lot of me getting changed in the car or on the street. I normally wear cycling shorts as I don’t want to show my ass but yeah it’s great when you are mid way getting dressed and your t-shirt is half way on your head with your bra hanging out and a group of people walk past you. Honestly the things people do for the gram.
Never believe what you see. Sometimes I’ll post an outfit picture that I took last week and I’m wearing something completely different that day. Due to having to post campaigns on certain days or not having someone frequently with you, it does mean that some photos aren’t actually taken that day.
It doesn’t just happen with the click of a finger. Behind every good picture was probably about 200 attempts. I like taking my images in burst so I can go through them and find the more ‘candid’ shot but believe me, I have to go through about 500 images to find at least 3 good ones.
It can be really stressful. People think it’s this glamorous thing where we receive free stuff and all we do is post a picture which yes, it does seem that way but so much more goes on behind closed doors. I have a biggish diary that I have on me everyday no matter where I go, and it includes long lists of everything I have to do for that day. I have to write it down in a list otherwise it will get on top of me and I’ll start forgetting things because there is always so much to do. I then also have a smaller notebook with details about every collaboration I do. My small notebook is almost like a checklist for me – it has all the details I need for the campaign and what I need to include, i.e what sort of image they are after, suggested captions, tags and hashtags to be used. Most brands like to schedule you in for a certain day so sometimes it can be difficult trying to work around that because during that time you have to find someone to help shoot with you, take the images if the weather isn’t crap, edit them and then send them to the company for approval. Also the day that you are supposed to post may mean that it doesn’t sit nicely next to the one you’ve already posted etc so you then have to try and figure out what to do to make sure that you and the company are happy with the outcome.
Invoices are the biggest pain in my ass. For a paid collaboration, you have to wait until all the content has been posted and then you can create and send off your invoice. They always say that it can take up to 30 days and normally you receive your payment on the 30th day lol. It just feels like such a drag waiting for it. Or you won’t get paid and you have to start chasing the company haha.
People stare. A LOT. I get the fact it’s weird seeing someone stand in a street and the other person is on there knees taking pictures of you for about ten minutes but please, look once and then carry on. It is so uncomfortable and almost rude when people just stare and judge you. One time this guy was walking past me on the pavement on the other side of the road and I kid you not, he was walking forwards but with his head turned to the side staring at me. It was really annoying me and was making me feel uncomfortable so I started staring back at him and smiled and smiled back in a shocked way and then he stopped because he got caught. Everyone is so damn nosey and wants to know what is going on, but for the love of god, try and make it a little less obvious. Every time I have my picture taken there is always someone who stares. Catcalling is another one. Do you know how horrible it is so be stood there minding your own business, doing your JOB, and then someone drives past and shouts mean stuff at you. It’s really hard to not let it effect you.
It is a full commitment. You don’t just post a picture and then get on with your day, well especially if you want your audience to grow. I always get moaned at for being on my phone, but technically I am working. I have to like and comment on peoples pictures, reply back to comments on my pictures, I am always editing images, planning my content to see what fits and replying to emails. Now if you think, Instagram doesn’t sleep, there is always people on it, so everything I just listed will happen in the morning, during the day, evening and late at night. It is non stop. It’s not that easy to just turn your phone off and have a quiet night because then you fall behind. You fall behind on messages, emails, comments and engagement time and then you end up stressing out even more.