Q&A - Becoming A Blogger
Before I launched Imogen & James back in December 2015, I had often wondered what being a full-time blogger was really like, and how you went about it. I always found myself interested in the behind the scenes aspects of blogging and how you could turn it into a business. So today, I thought I would do a slightly different style of blog post. Over the last few days, I have asked you guys whether there is anything you wanted to ask in today's Q&A and I really enjoyed answering these. I would love to know if this is a style you would like to see more of on this space!
Photography by Amber-Rose Smith
Alix asks: What sparked your interest in fashion and photography?
Photography was probably my very first hobby and one that is still with me now. At the age of twelve, I told my parents that I wanted a camcorder for my birthday, because I wanted to start making home videos. I don't know if anyone remember the shoes "Heelys", you know the one's with the wheels? Well my weekends usually consisted of making Heelys' adverts outside my home... and I still have that DVD sat on my bookcase now. I've always been very visual and creative, and still take my own 'beauty' photographs on my blog now, along with trying to film my YouTube videos by myself, on a tripod, so that I don't have to bribe my boyfriend to be photographer for the day.
Having grown up in France, I became so admiring of the way the French dressed. It was only when I moved back to the UK when I was 16 that I realised how special and beautiful the French style was. And so I tried so desperately hard to dress differently in the hope of never losing the style that I loved. I would say when I reached the age of 16/17, my love for fashion came about, and by 18, I decided to study Fashion Marketing & Management at the University of Southampton.
Lucy asks: How long does it take you each week to put together a new post?
To answer this question honestly, I would say it really does vary from post to post! I was once told to always plan a photoshoot, write a blog post, and put it all together on three separate occasions. I used to underestimate how long this all took, and honestly there is no way I could ever have the right frame of mind to photoshoot, write and upload in quick succession. I would say I spend on average about three hours writing a blog post, between one to two hours photographing an outfit, and then another hour arranging the layout of the photos and text and incorporating the product links, ready to go live. But on average, I like to work on a schedule of getting two blog posts live a week.
Claire asks: I'd love to know how you go about taking your outfit photos? Does posing in front of the camera just come naturally to you?
Although the aim can be to photograph the outfit, I find it more important to create a story and I feel like people can engage and relate more to a story than just somebody sharing their outfit details. I personally could spend hours on lifestyle blogs because I find the imagery so inspirational, and that's my ultimate aim with my own blog. My biggest tip is to take story-telling imagery, whether that's a shot of some close-up flowers, a pair of shoes, or a head to toe outfit photo, when it all comes together it can create a really beautiful outfit post.
I do think we live in a society where people frown upon confidence, and applaud self-deprication. Most people will know of all too many conversations with their friends where there is a kind of race to the bottom as to who can be the most negative about themselves. It's ridiculous. I've been brought up to embrace self-confidence and be able to say to myself, I am smart, or I am creative, or I am beautiful. And that being able to say that about yourself is not arrogant, and is not a bad thing. My advice would be to start fighting against negativity towards yourself, and call people up when they do it to you or themselves. Don't be ashamed to be beautiful, talented or capable!
Pascale asks: How do you get in contact with brands or companies to get products to promote? How would I do this if I was starting out my own blog?
The first way to set up your blog as a business is to join affiliate networks, and these brands/companies on this network will offer bloggers a small commission for every sale they make. But this can only bring in a small amount of money initially when you are starting out, when you have a relatively small following. The second way to bring in money is to work with brands and get sponsored to feature a product. Personally, I like to email brands that I already wear/use their products, as there is nothing worse than promoting a brand/product on your blog that you genuinely do not like/or doesn't match your style. Then if the brand would like to work together, I would then request an outfit that suits my style and personal taste. But it's always important to have examples of your work and what you can create for a brand, that usually helps a brand know what to expect of you.
Jules asks: How does your boyfriend support your blogging work?
Luckily, he's very supportive of my blog! I think it's a well known fact that when you get your boyfriend to take outfit photos, it will end in some form of argument! I've had to learn that he only has so much tolerance for me telling him what to do and dragging him around all over the place. The most important thing is in a job where I am always on my phone, it's important to make time to promise to switch off from blogging completely and just enjoy spending time with him. But he still says he's incredibly proud of the work that I do, and he'll keep pushing me to succeed, which is all I could ever wish for.
Chelsie asks: What inspires you to write what you do?
I spend a lot of time reading other people's lifestyle blogs and I love feeling inspired over the creative work they do. I love to find beautiful locations to create the most visual and beautiful imagery, and that usually inspires me to write what I do. It's so important for me to write about things that I think my friends would like to know or find useful, and hopefully that inspires the rest of my audience too.
Let me know if you guys have anymore questions! But also, if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to feature on Imogen & James, send them my way! It's so important for me that you guys enjoy the content on this space. As always, thank you so much for reading!