It’s Sunday, I have a dissertation deadline looming plus a seriously long list of shit I need to get done. Instead of cracking on, I get up, wash, dry and curl my hair, apply my make-up (complete with beautiful highlight) and pack a bag to the brim with beautiful clothes. It’s blog shooting day, and thank fuck it’s not raining.
My ever-suffering Mum has agreed to help me, so she picks me up and we head towards the road that I always shoot down. It has three different usable backdrops that I alternate between, a place to park and so, also, a place to get changed. Not so fast though hun – ROAD CLOSED. Shit, shit, shit. My Mum and I try a couple of different locations that we think could work, but all either end up in us needing cash to park (neither of us have any on), or being surrounded by bastardy civilians enjoying their Sundays. So selfish.
Long story short, we spend about 2 and a half hours not getting anything done and having to go back home totally down-trodden and deflated. I’m especially stressed because I know I’ll have to factor shooting these outfits into the rest of my week, and I don’t really have the time. Cue stress levels x 1000, and a very unhappy girl.
Whilst detailing this story helps me vent my shitty day, it also brings into question why I’m so picky about my shoot locations, and why I nearly throw up every time somebody suggests that I take photos in front of a red brick building. “What about this building?” my mum asks as we drive past the reddest of red bricks I’ve even seen in my life. “NO WARM TONES WOMAN,” I bark back, “WHITE, BLUE, PINK, MINT GREEN, BUT NO RED.” This is followed by her asking why I can’t just take them in my back garden (vomit) or in front of a white plastic door.
If you’re a fashion blogger, then you know that the backdrop plays hugely into the aesthetic that you’re trying to get across. The white Chelsea houses with beautiful black railings are the absolute peak of locations at the moment, because they’re clean, minimal and they look expensive. Any outfit looks good in front of them. The other thing is, they look really good on Instagram.
I haven’t got the willpower to stick to an exclusively monochrome Instagram; I opt for cooler tones, and as long as something doesn’t look way out of place, I’m happy to whack the temperature and saturation down and then upload. But are we too obsessed with out Instagram feeds? My day could have been hugely different if I was happy to shoot in front of red brick buildings or some kind of park area, but I know what I want and I don’t want to compromise on quality. Realistically I probably am a bit too obsessed and sometimes I do get annoyed with myself for not uploading cute pics just because they don’t fit the theme, but when it comes to outfit shots, I think the background is super important.
That being said, the amount of photos I have deleted in retrospect because I thought my feed looked disordered is ridiculous. Even if the pictures are well received and people seem to like them, if they stick out and don’t blend into the theme, they gotta go. Deleting content that people like for the sake of it all blending in is surely obsessive, right?
Yet on the other hand, when new potential followers find your Instagram page, they’re going to be looking for a certain aesthetic and sense of style. This doesn’t mean you have to keep everything bright, white and minimal (unless that’s your look), but having some kind of continuity (same filter, same sort of backgrounds, same colour tone) is visually pleasing and cultivates a particular style. So in this sense you have to be a bit obsessive, to ensure your social channels keep growing.
How obsessed is too obsessed? Where is the line, and how do we tread it with feigned casualness and an air of ‘I don’t really care’? Well, impossible question. If we’re deleting popular photos retrospectively to re-order our feed then maybe we’ve pushed it too far, but being picky in order to achieve the aesthetic you’re aiming to create? You’re alright babes.