Being a blogger comes with a great deal of perks. From personal invitations to events and travel, taking photos in all the cool locations… But have you ever wondered how to do it; how do you get to be there?
Answer: You become fearless.
When I first started blogging I was an outgoing and bubbly college girl; a model turned fashion student who had sartorial stars in her eyes and an already vast experience in front of a camera lens. I asked photographers I knew if they’d shoot my outfits. If I wanted to work with someone; a company or brand or photographer or other blogger I simply out right asked them. Sometimes I’d be met with a little let down, but most of the time people were excited to collaborate. Especially since this was in the beginning days of blogging when not literally everyone and their mom had a blog. They knew I had reputable photography sources and that I knew how to appropriately pose. I was different; aesthetically and stylistically that made me unique. I liked to take charge in planning everything, which also probably went down to my slight OCD nature. I shot in Central Park, I shot in the streets of NYC and on the Brooklyn Bridge. I was loving my life!
As I grew older I became slightly more introverted. I was no longer in school with fellow fashion inclined students who understood the growing world of blogging. I felt sheepish to ask my coworkers for a quick photo sesh, and was apprehensive/fearful of rejection when reaching out to brands and event hosts, especially in a new city where few knew my name. I had moved around, losing my close-knit group of blogging friends and was thrown into a whole new clique of people. It was terrifying. I grew reclusive. If I was finally invited to an event I’d either freak out and decide not to go or I’d get there alone and proceed to drink until I felt like I could talk to these strange girls who all knew each other. My boyfriend, who I convinced for a while to be my photographer, was sheepish to shoot in public settings, which in turn made me afraid to be under the scrutinous, curious eye of strangers. My blog fumbled as I struggled to regain composure amidst so much new and unfamiliar territory, while also staying true to myself, which is brave-ness in itself.
After reading about how one of the bloggers I’ve been following for years gets her shots it put a whole new spin into my plans. Andy Torres of Style Scrapbook always seems to be alone; she lives alone, travels alone, listens to music alone, explores new cities alone. She doesn’t have a full team a la Chiara Ferragni to follow her around and ensure the omni-present perfection of her life.
So how does Andy get her perfect outfit snaps while traveling? As she recently shared on her Snapchat and Instagram-She fearlessly asks strangers on the street.
My mind was slightly blown when I learned that, but it made sense. If you’re a blogger without a personal team you need to be able to ask for help, even from strangers or other bloggers. I also started paying attention to what some of my favorite bloggers’ photos looked like. It’s no secret that “action” street style shots are a major trend right now; gone are the days of standing blankly in front of a wall and posing. Hello to the days of friendly collaborations with both peers and strangers. Now is the time to email those brands you love and say ‘Hi’. Now is the time to tell that other blogger that you love her style and want to meet up sometime.
Andy gave me the jolt of courage to start being fearless again. I asked strangers on the street, or random coworkers in my office, for a quick photo of my #OOTD. I’d give them subtle direction and, if they offered a compliment on my style, mentioned that I was a blogger and gave them a card. I started doing more shoots in public settings; crossing busy streets amidst neighborly stares and managing to be okay with it. The attention means more people are seeing my style, and if they like what I’m styling it’s an excuse to hand off a card and hopefully welcome another reader and follower to the pack.
The Lesson: Being a good blogger doesn’t always require a team of professionals to take your photos and help you out, sometimes it just takes being fearless among strangers, and with yourself.