Blogging Behind the Scenes

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I’ve been wanting to write a blogging behind the scenes post for awhile. Blogging is such a new space which can sometimes be so fun and other times can be a lot of pressure. In an effort to remember not to take things too seriously, here’s a glimpse into some of the things that go into it. 

Some of these items I’m going to share are downright annoying. At least, annoying in the moment but when you look back on it, you can’t help but laugh. Other things are just plain weird. Things I’d never thought I’d be caught dead doing. But for some reason, they’re the only workaround I can figure out to make things work. All in all, this blogging behind the scenes is meant to be fun. And hopefully a little funny.

With that, here goes!

BLOGGING BEHIND THE SCENES

Not everyone is on your schedule. 

Specifically, your photo shoot schedule. Matt and I have waited for a break in the crowds at everything from monuments to a street sidewalk. There are times when we’ve had the perfect shot only to have someone or something decide to sit front and center in the shot. Pigeons, kids, and grown adults seem a little oblivious to what exactly we’re trying to do with the fancy camera and (usually) a floral, flowy dress that’s probably a little “extra” for the scene.

The most memorable instance of this was when Matt and I were shooting in Mykonos. We woke up early, as many bloggers do, to shoot on the streets while avoiding the crowds. It was picture perfect. We had gotten halfway through a shoot and one of the store fronts opened up. They brought out a giant black and white striped mannequin and put it right on the shot. I turned around, noticed it, and burst out laughing. I mean, it was an eye sore. I mean, really. There was no way that was fitting into the Grecian, blue and white, vibe. I wish I still had this photo but keep reading for why I don’t.

Catcalls are still a thing. 

This is one thing that always surprises me. I mean, I’m shooting WITH my husband. He’s 10 feet away on the other side of the lens! Something about wearing a cute dress makes guys driving by in trucks (why is it always guys in trucks?) think I want attention. I mean, I’d love to know the success rate of catcalling. How many times has that worked out for you, guy? I don’t personally respond to whistles or a variation of “oww oww”. Do you? My gut reaction is more to vomit in my mouth (just a little bit). Kidding. Kind of.

Luckily, the frequency of these catcalls has significantly decreased since our move to Chicago. I guess parkas don’t really get guys as excited as a dress.

You may have a future in meteorology.

I never cared much about the weather until I started blogging. It helped that SoCal weather was pretty much the same every day, year round. However, cloudy days were the best shoot days for my style – lots of bright white light and no weird shadows. Whenever it was cloudy, Matt knew it was perfect shooting weather. It was just easier on both of us!

Now that we’re in Chicago, I track weather patterns like Ginger Zee from Good Morning America. Rain is the worst, snow is cute until it’s February, and wind can go either way. I’ve had many an outtake where we’ve gotten caught in a mini tornado or it looks like I have exceptionally terrible dandruff from all the snow.

Seasons are a struggle. 

Shooting the next season’s trends is part of the territory. I’ve shot fall coats in July with beads of sweat running down my forehead. I’ve also shot spring dresses in February with piles of snow strategically cropped out of the shot. If there’s one thing for certain, the words “I’m too hot” will never come out of my mouth after moving to the Midwest. Blogging has made me an expert at tolerating extreme temperatures so I guess that’s good.

Shopping as a job: dream or nightmare? 

This is one of the first reasons why I started blogging – I loved shopping. In an offhand comment, Matt suggested I start a blog to put my shopping to use. Little did he know what that comment would get himself into.

If I’m being honest, I don’t get as excited to go shopping now that it’s a job. Anything called a “job” seems a little less fun. Doesn’t it? However, it does come in handy whenever I get an eye-roll from Matt about something I’ve purchased. It’s really easy for me to say “it’s for the blog” – he has no argument!

 

Coding and tech. 

I thought I’d left coding behind with my college degree. Turns out, HTML coding is part of the territory when you’re managing a website. I hope your attention to detail is impeccable. That comma or > better be in the right place! Otherwise, your website isn’t going to display properly.

I also learned about backing up data the hard way last November when my hard drive crashed. Yes, I always knew I should. But it’s hard to get motivated to do it when you don’t have to. Slash, I kind of already thought I was. Thankfully, I have my Instagram husband there to remind me of these things! Sometimes, a little too frequently…

Behind the photos.

There are a bunch of ridiculous things we bloggers do to get the “perfect” shot. I’m not a pro at them by any means. Honestly, I lose patience really fast. When you’re working a full time job, spending an hour to get that picture perfect photo seems a little ridiculous (and isn’t a great use of your limited time). However, I still am guilty of doing a lot of things to get a photo that I’m comfortable posting. Curious as to what? Here are a few things that come to the top of my mind.

I’ve made Matt wait to eat until I can get a photo. I might even stand on a chair to get the perfect shot. Although he rarely tolerates that so I usually have to take what I can get. Matt has had to adjust my hair for many a beauty post. I’ve had to clamp clothes to fit with a chip clip when I didn’t have time to tailor them or a brand sent me the wrong size. I’ve slipped into heels once we get to our shoot location and I’ve taken off my jacket, thrown it at Matt, done a sprint shoot, and put my coat back on. That’s mostly on freezing days! I’ve told Matt a million times to not add pounds with the camera. And Matt has added pounds a million times. I’ve shot ice cream in the dead of January when it was so cold outside that our hands turned red. I’ve done a blogger laugh in front of the camera, looked away or stared at the ground, and pretended like I don’t even know the camera is there.

Keeping it real. 

This seems to be a buzzword in the blogging community lately. It’s getting a little annoying. There’s a movement to share more real moments and be more transparent or honest. While I love a perfectly planned photo, I’ve never been good at faking real life. My Instagram feed may be somewhat curated but my Instagram stories are all real.

Social media is essentially a highlight reel and I totally understand why people get caught up in that. However, it’s exhausting to always portray perfection. I spend 9 hours a day in a really un-stylish cubicle. I go to work, I make dinner, I binge watch shows with Matt, I wear sweatpants, and I do laundry just like a normal person. If you ever need a dose of reality, watch my Instagram stories. You’ll find a lot of helpful posts, a few sales, beauty tips, and a lot about daily life here in Chicago.

If you’re a blogger, what are some of the funny or weird blogging behind the scenes moments? If you’re not a blogger, is there anything that surprises you or things you want to know more about?

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4 thoughts on “Blogging Behind the Scenes

  1. oh my god this is all so true Jenna. I am not nearly as an expert as you are since I’ve only been doing this for about 8 months now, but blogging is a struggle most days. it made me laugh especially with taking photos in the winter. i had a meltdown on Sunday actually because of it! But we keep it going no matter what it takes because in the end, it’s something we love and are truly passionate about!!

    xoxo
    Meli

    http://www.melissaimbrogno.com

  2. Loved this post! I can never waste time trying to get the perfect shot either ’cause I’m lucky just to bug someone enough to take my photos. I’ve definitely had a lot of those awkward outfit changes in the car, trying to hide from the people outside, haha! Thanks for always “keeping it real.” 😉

    Miles of smiles,
    Grace

    Gracefulrags.com

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