If you have been keeping up with me across my social media platforms, you would be well aware that two days ago, I had my first ever day out shooting with a photographer for my blog. I honestly didn’t realise the impact that just an hour out snapping pictures in Sloane Square would have on me, sounds extreme, but I honestly think it has changed me for the better in terms of how I go about growing Jantelle from this point onward. I really did learn so much within that short space of time and I thought letting you in a bit more on my experience would hopefully inspire you if you are also a blogger, however even if you’re not, these points should be able to give you a few things to think about and consider taking on within your everyday life whatever you choose to spend your days doing.
Photography: Bethany Sandland
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Fear is a waste of time
Let me tell you, the nerves I had the night before, in the morning whilst getting ready and on the train to the location were major. Never have I done any form of photoshoot and I very rarely get my pictures taken for me so it may not seem a big deal to anyone else but this was a step I had been wanting to take ever since I started this blog just over a month ago now. Loads of things were going through my head, “what if I’m a nightmare to work with?”, “what if I just freeze up?”, “what if people walking past laugh at me or stop and stare?”, “what if I buckle in my heels?”. Now looking back, I can laugh at each and every bad thing that I feared could’ve happened because don’t get me wrong, all of those things could’ve happened but I refused to let them get the better of me and I just went ahead and did what I came to do, the best way I could and *spoiler alert* not one of those things happened. Sure, a few people had a look over seeing as two girls taking professional photos outside big and beautiful white houses aren’t exactly the norm for most people I guess, but the one thing Beth said to me before we started was “ignore everyone else around, chances are you’ll never see them again” and as soon as that was said, I honestly felt myself relax and excited to go ahead and get some amazing shots, everything just went up from there. I shared some of the photos we took for the first time later on in the day and 100% of the feedback both me and Beth got was positive, the views on my blog doubled and were the highest they’ve ever been and it was so nice to see that more of you lovely people began following my social media accounts, thank you for all of those things by the way. It just goes to show that of course it’s normal to feel nervous before going ahead with something new or outside of your comfort zone however 9 times out of 10, the outcome you get from taking that step is more rewarding and fulfilling than you first ever imagined; take that step.
You do not have to look like everyone else to be just as amazing
A factor that put me off getting in touch with a photographer to shoot some outfits was to do with the fact that I didn’t think I had a big enough variety in my wardrobe for people to like or be interested in what I was wearing. All three of the outfits I shot involved me wearing jeans and despite the casual nature of the outfits, I think the final results were just as pretty as someone in a beautiful dress and a gorgeous pair of designer sunglasses. I love shoots that contain intricately detailed pieces and statement colours however those aren’t the only ways you can end up with gorgeous content, what makes your content gorgeous is yourself! There is no point in trying to dress like another top blogger when you have your own unique style as I personally feel that my favourite bloggers are the ones who stay true to themselves. Being authentic and unapologetically you will mean that if people do enjoy your content or like you in general, they like you for you, not for a copy of someone else!
When in doubt, go for neutrals or monochrome
At one point, I was a bit stuck when it came to what shades I should pair together again in the hope of making the outfits likeable enough and also to fit in and not clash with the beautiful location I travelled to. This kind of goes back to last point but really, you just have to be yourself and put together outfits as you naturally would because this way you will feel a lot more comfortable also! Trying to keep up a fake portrayal is tiring. I’d say my style is very sleek and a lot of the time casual however I love adding statement pieces to my outfits to dress them up a bit and make the overall look more interesting. So my theme for all three of the outfits I shot was the clash of casual, edge and sleekness which made it effortless for me to put together as that is my natural style and so knowing that I was shooting outfits that I would actually wear made me feel a lot more comfortable knowing that all I could do was to simply be myself. As for the colours, I stuck to the most worn colours that I have in my wardrobe! Black, white, nude and blues in the form of denim made up all of the looks and were easy to style together and switch up on the day if I wanted to. So if you are also a fashion blogger, as far as fashion shoots go I’d really recommend going for the colours that you love wearing the most as you’ll naturally know how to dress them up or down and if you’re still stuck, black, white, neutrals and denim will be your best friends.
Don’t take it all too seriously
Blogging and life as a whole should be enjoyed and despite the long nights and early mornings that may go into it all, trust me when I say that all your hard work will pay off. In comparison to the rest of the blogosphere, I am just a small fragment of such a fast growing and densely packed industry so even I struggle sometimes with thinking whether or not I am as good as the rest but Beth and I funnily enough had a conversation about the topic after the shoot and she gave me a really good quote that instantly put everything in perspective for me and I believe it’ll do the same for you too. I don’t remember what she said word by word but it was definately along these lines.
“Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20”
It is so true. You could be so proud of the progress you’ve made then as soon as you have a look at the amazing opportunity that someone else has been given, you instantly begin to compare and downscale your own success, don’t do it! Something I like to do is to keep in mind that everyone who has got to such a high point in their career all have been at the place you are currently at. No matter how much money or how many connects someone may have, it is extremely unlikely that they would’ve gotten anywhere without some good ol’ hard work. The amazingly talented and well-known bloggers of today started off at 0 views on their blog just like we all have and if they gave up, they wouldn’t have been blessed with the astounding opportunities that they have been given today. The only way to fail is if you give up. There is no measure of success, it has a different definition for everyone so be inspired by those who are where you would like to be one day, keep at what you’re working on and be thankful and proud of the point you are at now and enjoy the process. Gratitude is key.
Jeans – Topshop (here)
Jumper – Topshop (couldn’t find online but found recently in Oxford Circus store)
Boots – Public Desire (here)
What lessons, quotes or sayings do you live by?