Authenticity vs. The Perfect Feed

Here is the post where I admit that I feel like I am failing most of the time when it comes to blogging.

I don’t often sit on Instagram and wish I had someone else’s life. I really do love my life. I like the people in my life. I love my family. But, I often lust over people’s work ethic. Their determination to stay out and get the right shot. To hire a photographer. To think about the lines of a photo before they take it. To set up an area of their house/apartment that houses all their blogger to-dos. To set up a posting calendar. Downloading apps to make it just that more perfect. Having a REAL camera. Having a real camera with all the doo-dads to make it all work together in perfect harmony.

I envy that A LOT.

See, I can give you about 900 excuses as to why I can’t execute all of the above. I have a full-time job. I have a healthy social life. I travel a lot for work. I am on the board of a charity for brain research. I keep busy y’all.

And right now my latest excuse is that my boyfriend asked me to go see the final Avengers movie with him next week and I have to catch up on like 10 years of Marvel movies in two weeks. I mean, priorities people.

Plus I have this little side business aka Instagram/blogging.

But the real reason I don’t put in a ton of effort with my blog a lot of the time is that I just don’t know if I want to. WHOA. I said it. Let’s clarify this a little. I have a blog because I feel like I have things to say. I just want them to be significant things.

When I decide I want to write something it’s usually introspective. Writing this post, for instance, is SO much easier than me putting together a fashion post and finding look-alike outfits for you to purchase. But sometimes the things I want to write about don’t really vibe with my Instagram presence – light, fun, airy! Marrying up the two is hard for me. So many people have told me to find a niche. “You’re too many things! Food? Fashion? Pick one!”.

I’ve had many ideas of what this blog could be. Is it a travel blog? Is it a Chicago blog where I tell you about fun things to do? Is it a fashion blog? Do I share cocktail recipes?

My answer every time I come back to decide if I want a niche is no…no, I don’t. Because this Instagram and subsequent blog became what it is because I just share about my life. My niche is me. I’m the only one who has my opinions, my thoughts, my body. I want to share the things I like, the things I think, the things I wear.

Seems simple enough.

But then it comes back to the content. I need more of it. And better content.

I have an internal debate with myself about once a month. Do I hire a photographer and start doing more planned photo shoots or do I keep coercing friends, family, and my boyfriend to grab shots of me whenever we have a free minute like I do now?

The conundrum for me is the issue of planned photoshoots not feeling authentic to me or my brand. Trust me, I love the art that comes out of a session like that. I have lots of friends who work really hard with their photographers to plan the most amazing looks and locations and shots. And when I hear them plotting their next shoot or what shot will look good with what wall, I get envious.

I’ve done the photographer/photoshoot thing before. I’ve paid money for photographers to take shots of me and I rarely walk away with what I want. Because guess what? I’m not a model. I don’t look cute when I stare off into space with a Tyra Banks smize. And as much as I want professional photos, I also don’t want to spend half of my Saturday out there taking photos. It just doesn’t seem like the best use of my time. I feel like a better use of my time is being introspective and writing posts that make me feel something and, in turn, make you feel something.

I follow this blogger in Nashville and she recently put up a story on Instagram that basically said she’s pulled back from doing big shoots since time and money weren’t really allowing it right now. Not only that she was getting the photos back and feeling worse about herself so she started snapping more photos on her iPhone and got back to living her life. And she LOST followers.

My friends and I have that have under 10K followers on the gram talk about this a lot. To get to the next step we seemingly need to start to be more polished, more professional. But part of me doesn’t want to, because for me this blog and my Instagram are just me. The niche I’m trying to carve is ME. And I don’t do high fashion. I just like color and sharing what I do and what I eat and where I travel and sometimes I talk about grieving and sometimes I talk about how you guys think I’m a hypocrite (see my two Trump posts).

I don’t have the answer obviously, but for right now I just plan to keep sharing ME…in all my iPhone shot photos with my everyday fashion outfits and talking about my work trips.

Because that’s my niche.

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