I have been struggling with writing this post for the last month and not for any good reason then the fact that I am hard on myself. At the time when I did the shoot, my excitement for the fact that full year had passed since I started my blog poured out of me. I would even say it was contagious to anyone who was around me at the time. My friend and I spent weeks going back and forth on how I should celebrate, which ended up turing into the shoot.
Sidenote: My one balloon did not last long! The woes of taking a photo in a rose garden...so many thorns!!
However the more I spent thinking about ways to celebrate the more I became aware of the feeling that I had not done enough. I spent the summer really trying to find myself and what it meant for my blog. I became closer to a lot of my blogger friends and really felt connected to some folks. However my worry of how I would be able to manage it once the school year started really dawn on me. I was afraid that I would not be able to keep up the demand of needing a post every week or even be able post a photo to Instagram everyday. I was envious of those who were still able to manage it while doing a 9-to-5 job. Though the more that I think about it, we all know teaching is not a 9-to-5 job especially if you are really passionate about it. So, I do try to give myself the benefit of the doubt if god forbid I forgot to post a picture to Instagram.
So here is what I learned over the last year since I started this blog...
- Find your niche and be proud of it. When I started my blog last August I honestly did not really spend time thinking about what it was that I wanted on my blog but I knew I wanted to start one. I had a tumblr page for awhile and felt as though it was something that I could mange. However at times, I feel as though I lose direction because so many ideas fall under the umbrella of "lifestyle" - thus I have moments where I feel like I am going down the rabbit hole.
- Plan your posts. I have to be honest I am not good at this yet, which for me is my Achilles' heel. I swear I am pretty much organized when it comes to planning my teaching lessons for the week, but not when it comes to my blog post. I think too much of my Type A personality (that exists somewhere) is thrown into my classroom. I have Evernote, Google Calendar, Sunrise Calendar and even Reminders. All of them which I use religiously and I still have not quite created an editorial calendar for my blog. It is definitely a goal that I have because I am very much aware how my blog would change if it was more organized.
- Embrace your Inner Paparazzi. Some of my favorite photos where developed when I stopped worrying about people looking at me while I took my photos. My friends got used to me saying "Wait, you cannot eat yet until I take a picture..." Do not be afraid to stand on a chair to take a great picture or get down on the ground! The more you do it, then the more you will feel comfortable taking pictures. I still have moments especially if it is super crowded where I do not want to take an outfit picture, but I am still working on it. Also, invest in a great camera! It goes a long way (if you are worried about cost then try QVC and get on the payment plan)!!! It certainly changes how you take your photos!
- Build a network because they might become great friends. I spent a lot of time once I moved to Boston really putting myself out there and reaching out to other bloggers. Instagram helped a lot but also going to events. Through that I was able to get along with some great bloggers and really build a great network of friends. We can spend time talking about things that we have a hard time working through when it comes to blogging, but also our life outside of the blogging world. You might know how that feels if you have ever been on a sports team or participate in a hobby that you love. You know how sometimes it is just nice to talk to people who have the same interest as you. For me this was the biggest piece especially when I was starting out. It was important for me to have this community, and it is one that I still rely on today.
At the end of the day, I still have a lot of growing to do, but I am glad that I have come this far (so far), and you never know, who knows what two years might bring!!
Dress: Forever 21 (past season)
Shoes: Madewell (buy similar here)
Sunglasses: Warby Parker (buy here)