Today’s post is a tag that Stashmatters tagged me in a few weeks ago. It was really interesting to read the behind-the-scenes of her blog posts, so I thought it would be fun to share what I do. A big thanks to Stashy for tagging me!
1) What camera do you use?
I switch between using a point-and-shoot camera and my phone. My phone is the ASUS Zenfone 2. People seem to get weirded out that I don’t use either an iPhone or Samsung, but I frigging love this phone. My point and shoot is the Canon Powershot SD1400 IS. It’s nothing special, it’s just the camera I had on hand when I first started blogging!
2) What editing system do you use?
I use GIMP, which is a free program. When I started blogging, I knew I would need something to edit my photos, so I Googled ‘free photo editing programs’ and GIMP was the first one to came up. The name sounds familiar from my childhood, although I don’t think I ever used it until I started blogging. I loved using Photoshop as a teen and got used to how much that program can do compared to GIMP, but it works for what I need it to do!
3) Do you use artificial or natural lighting?
I use natural lighting about 90% of the time. There are three locations where I make my blog posts:
- The backyard deck (I hope the worn-off paint gives my photos a “rustic” feel but it more likely just looks like the deck needs to be repainted, hehe 😛 ):
2. The kitchen counter:
3. In front of a window:
My parents’ home has a floor-to-ceiling window, which I take pictures in front of. I use two pieces of white poster paper as the backdrop and floor. The house gets tons of natural lighting, but somehow the brightness doesn’t translate in photos – that really surprised me when I first started taking pictures for my blog. As a result, I try not to take photos indoors if I don’t have to.
However, I am trying not to rely so much on natural light anymore, considering that for nearly half the year, the daylight is too short and/or it’s too cold and snowy for me to take pictures outdoors. I just purchased an LED lamp from OttLite not too long ago, so I’m hoping that will help with taking better indoor photos.
4) What is the top item on your filming wishlist?
My answer is similar to Stashy’s: big umbrella light with a large white backdrop. Would also love a more professional camera (not that I’d know how to use it :P)
5) What is your favorite day in the week to write / photograph?
I tend to write on weeknights after work. As I find photographs more time-consuming, I try to do most of my photographing on the weekends, as that’s when there is the best chance I have of getting an extended block of free time to take pictures. Usually I end up taking photos on Sundays, and then I’ll usually edit the photos on weeknights as well.
6) Do you plan your posts. If so, how?
I used to plan out my posting schedule via Excel. When I first started, I had three months’ worth of posts planned! However, I started a new position at work shortly after I started blogging, and I found that I was/am doing a lot of unplanned overtime, which made me fall behind schedule since I had less and less time to work on my blog after work. I now try to plan my posts two weeks at a time , and I don’t use Excel anymore. Since two weeks’ worth of blog posts is only 4 posts for me, it’s fairly easy to keep track of them in my drafts. Unfortunately, I find that I still fall behind on posts sometimes because, say, I had planned to edit my photos Wednesday night so that I can post on Thursday, but then I end up working late and couldn’t take the photos. I think that just comes down to getting more of my blogs finished as early as possible – it’s a work in progress!
7) How long does it take you to write and photograph a post?
I probably spend about an hour to an hour and a half doing the writing (which includes editing while I’m writing), and then I’ll come back to the post later on and spend about 15 minutes doing a final edit before posting. Photographing and editing the photos seem to take me forever. There have been quite a few times when the picture looks good (ie bright, clear) on my camera or phone, but looks much too dark or blurry on my computer, so I have to set everything up again and retake the photo(s). Then I spend some time editing the photos. I would say photos take me about 1-2 hours in total.
8) How many hours do you spend editing an average post?
Hmm, I don’t have a straightforward answer to this as I tend to edit as I write, then do an edit of the whole post as soon as it’s done being written (usually the night before it’s posted). I’ll leave it and come back to it with fresh eyes the day it’s posted, at which point I’ll do a 15-minute final reread right before posting.
9) Favorite types of posts to write?
Oooh, that’s difficult. I think I love writing the type of posts I love to read the most myself, which are favourites posts and reviews. I also love posting eye looks, but those are more time-consuming posts. Some of my favourite posts I’ve done are:
10) Do people at your school or work know about your blog?
My coworkers don’t know about my blog, and only some of my friends do. I haven’t told anyone about my blog – it’s my fiancé who goes around telling everyone about it (yet he doesn’t read my blog himself, ahem!) All of our friends will say “oh, that’s pretty cool”, but don’t really take an interest in actually reading it. That seems to make sense, because I don’t think any of them are big into reading blogs. It works out, because I prefer that they don’t read it, anyways!
11) What is your process of thinking of a blog idea?
Usually I just write about whatever I happen to be thinking about or using in terms of makeup. I do get some ideas that I know I want to talk about, but don’t want to immediately do a post about. In that case, I will set up a draft with just the title of the topic and maybe a sentence or two, so that I remember to go back and write about it later.
12) Do you feel awkward filming in front of other people or in public?
I don’t photograph in public, although when I take pictures on my backyard deck, the people walking by on the street (which doesn’t happen often) and possibly my neighbours can see. I sometimes wonder if they wonder what I’m doing.
13) Do you and your blogging friends plan out posts together?
I have never done a collab before! The idea of it sounds super fun, although I feel like it puts a lot of pressure on me to deliver!
14) What is your subscriber goal by the end of the year?
Honestly, I don’t have a subscriber goal. Whatever happens, happens! I started my blog as a stress-reliever or escape from work. That, combined with my competitive nature, makes me think that having a subscriber goal would no longer make blogging fun for me because it would become a numbers game! My only goal in terms of blogging is to get better at photography – I know I’m not very good at it right now and that there is much room for improvement!
15) Who do you tag to do this tag next?
A lot of people I follow have already done this tag, so not tagging anyone in particular – anyone reading this should do it! I love to know what goes on behind the scenes of your blog posts 🙂