Seriously, what is 'real' these days? I've been thinking a bit about social media and reality, and the huge disconnect between what I curate on my feed, and what my life really looks like. So I thought I would dedicate a post to realism, and share a few things about myself that most of you probably don't know.
Don't get me wrong, I love what I do! I love curating a beautiful feed, and constantly challenging myself to photograph product in new ways, and get better photos. But at a certain point, social media can become a burden, especially we are always comparing ourselves to others and beating ourselves up for not being 'perfect' enough. But hey, you know what? Nobody on instagram is perfect! Some of us are just good at taking photos and curating a gallery of images that show you only what we want you to see (and most of us are editing the crap out of our photos). Honestly, my life is SO boring! Mom life is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It can be incredibly lonely to spend my days at home working and taking care of a toddler, especially when my husband is working long hours. But you won't see that on instagram because I am a very private person, and I don't feel that my feed is the right place for me to be sharing my inner demons and struggles on the daily. I don't think you really want to hear about how I cried at the mall because my toddler threw a tantrum and I'm just an emotional pregnant mess, right!?
That is why I thought I'd share a few things about myself that I wouldn't normally share on instagram, so you can get to know the person behind the feed a little better.
I didn't intend to become an instagram influencer
Actually when I started instragramming, I did it because I was just starting my business selling art prints and stationary, and I wanted to really use social media to grow my business. I thought, hey, I love fashion, so I'll take some style photos to generate more interest in me and my brand! But what I really did was build an audience who is more interested in fashion than typography and stationary. ha! Luckily though, now I get to not only do my typography and design, and run a successful business, but I've been able to pursue my love of fashion more than I ever thought I'd be able to. Which was really my first love anyways...just ask my mom. I was always dressing up, even as a toddler.
My construction worker husband takes my photos
It took some SERIOUS convincing to get my husband to take my photos at first. He was not terribly cooperative (and sometimes still is not!), but slowly I have taught him how to use my DSLR and take the kind of style photos that I'm looking for. We really work as a team - I tell him what I want, and he does it. That's what husbands are for, no!? He still complains about shooting, but then I just remind him that if he wants to keep his wife he has to help me out. Just kidding!
I'm a major health nerd
I have struggled with terrible acne and digestive health issues for many years, and am still battling celiac disease, and innumerable food allergies on the daily. That's why you won't see any booze photos or many food pics from me (maybe the occasional smoothie or gluten free treat). I don't drink, I don't eat gluten, dairy, sugar, chocolate, processed food...the list goes on! I'm pretty boring actually, but being healthy is so important to me. Especially now that I'm starting to see the signs of aging. I'm trying to find every way to make my skin stay young forever. Seriously.
I live in the suburbs
Another reason why I am the most boring. If you ask me why I shoot on white walls, I'll tell you it's not just an aesthetic thing - there's really no other options for me!!! My hubby and I have driven around our area scouting out white and grey buildings and areas that work for my feed, because there really isn't that much around here. I wish I had some other options. It would be nice to sometimes shoot somewhere in the city - but getting downtown with a toddler can be a real difficulty, so generally I don't even bother.
I'm very introverted
I spent many years being SO incredibly shy - like barely talking to people at all. I like my alone time, and while I love to get together with friends, I'm not good at group events - it totally freaks me out. I'm not that girl who can talk to anyone out of the blue, I'm usually the one who stands around looking painfully awkward at events. This is another reason why you won't see my face on insta-stories much...I'm kind of terrified of putting myself out there like that!
I am actually a graphic designer by trade
My sister is a graphic designer, and I guess I just followed in her footsteps, and found that I had an aptitude and love for design. Especially typography. I do a lot of corporate design work, as well as branding projects and miscellaneous stuff for small businesses, in addition to a lot of custom hand lettering work. I didn't actually go to school for graphic design though, I learned all of my design skills while in university studying Fashion Communications. And I'm lucky enough now to be able to do both graphic design and fashion. :)
I'm REALLY tall (like 6'2")
This really adds to my awkwardness. I feel like being tall is makes you like a beacon for stares, and everyone wants to comment on it - like, 'you're SO tall eh'. Really? I hadn't noticed! It also means that I rarely ever wear heels (although I would LOVE to!!). I just feel like a giant when I wear them, so you will usually find me in flats. It also means I often have to buy larger sizes, because proportionately, I'm just bigger. People are always surprised if I tell them that I'm wearing a size large! It also gives me a bit of a 'big' complex, which can be annoying. I would actually really love to be dainty and small.
I really dislike reviewing and editing my photos
This is probably my least favourite thing about what I do. Reviewing hundreds of bad photos of yourself can be SO hard on the self esteem (especially when you're insanely self critical like I am). What you see on instagram is the one (edited) photo that was good, out of maybe 200 bad ones. It really takes a lot of work to make something look easy - which it is not. But the end product is usually worth the effort that it takes to get there.
I have two dogs
I have two psycho dogs, Wilbur the Boston Terrier, and George the American Bulldog. They are like my other children...very messy and loud children. My house is constantly full of barking and dog hair and craziness. But I enjoy it nonetheless.
Being a mom is my hardest job
While running a business and a blog can be particularly challenging, it is nowhere near as challenging as being a Mom. Motherhood challenges you in ways that you didn't realize you could be challenged. It's exhausting and frustrating, and sometimes I question whether motherhood is really for me. But I think that is all just part of the process. Motherhood is not just about teaching your children, it's also about letting them teach you. I'm not the same person that I was before Hunter, and I'm sure that in a few years, when I have 2 kiddos, I won't be the same person that I am now. But I would never take it back. I love being a mom, even if it is the most difficult thing I have ever done!
So there you have it, if you've made it this far, you now know me a lot better than before, no? Now, who else wants to share??