There has been a lot of chatter online recently about what it takes to be a blogger in 2018. It is serious business these days, you need a Canon 6D, a vlogging camera, ring light, lightboxes, a MacBook, an Instagrammable desk, fresh flowers every week, a designer wardrobe, a photographer boyfriend, cute dog and a partridge in a pear tree. Or…is it possible that we’re actually overcomplicating the entire thing?
Have I ever shared the story of how I started blogging? Picture this, it was 2008 and I was living in my parent’s gorgeous home in a picturesque village in Hampshire. Surrounded by rolling fields, deer grazing in the fields, an actual farm just down the road – I was bored bloody senseless. My days consisted of driving to work, working, driving home, eating dinner then bed. I was yearning for something more. I was an avid reader of fashion blogs, particularly Style Bubble and Kingdom of Style, and one day I thought I would try starting my own. I had zero expectations and armed with my laptop, a somewhat stable internet connection and plenty of time on my hands, I metaphorically set pen to paper and started blogging.
Back then, the blogging landscape was totally different. There were no glittering events or gifting; you were a blogger because you had a passion and wanted a creative outlet. It wasn’t about notoriety, freebies or press trips. In fact, PRs weren’t blogger-friendly at all. I just wrote about my take on fashion and shared “style posts” taken in my bedroom with my compact camera’s timer on. All I had to offer was my perspective and my imagination, but it worked.
Of course, blogging has evolved a hell of a lot over the last decade. I wouldn’t dream of putting up a dodgy yellow-hued self-timer picture with my head cut off now! I organise monthly shoots with the incredible Ashanti of Adorngirl and I love putting together concepts based on what I want to write about, planning outfits and shooting. My blogging style has clearly evolved, as has my taste in fashion and the digital landscape as a whole. Truth be told, it took me a while to embrace the change and put myself out there, which is generally required by bloggers. You are your brand and you have to take centre stage.
My shoots with Ashanti have really shaped how I approach blogging, they helped me find a new way to express myself and embrace the way that blogging has evolved. We organise shoots with a mixture of editorial shots which we know will slay and more down-to-earth street style shots which are more relatable. These shoots form the basis of my blog content, whether I’m writing about how to wear vinyl pants or about my identity as a British Asian woman.
Aside from my shoots, I’m pretty light on the old blogger kit – I mainly shoot on my Canon 550D or my iPhone, which I actually prefer. I don’t have a lighting set up or even an instagrammable desk to write from but I guess I’m fortunate to be based in London. It provides a great backdrop for shoots, I’ve shot everywhere from Hampstead to Shoreditch and each area has a completely different vibe.
I say I feel fortunate that I live in London for my shoots but you don’t NEED to live in London to make it as a blogger. I also see a lot of really great bloggers tweet about not being in London and how it hampers their blogging career. I understand that the majority of events do take place in London and it’s frustrating, however as long as you have a passion, are creative and want to write, that’s all there should be to blogging, right?! Truth be told, you won’t see me at a lot of events because I don’t find them very enjoyable. What I love is creating content, planning shoots and writing.
The question of what it takes to be a blogger has been playing on my mind for a few weeks and gave me a great idea – why not shoot in some everyday locations to show that you can shoot absolutely anywhere and still slay? I didn’t want to rely on the pretty gardens of Hampstead or the gritty graffiti of Shoreditch to tell a story. I wanted my styling and creativity to be front and centre. We chose to shoot in a launderette and a tube station – two of the most mundane and functional spaces you could possibly find! I really love how these shots have turned out and I want them to be a reminder that anyone can be a blogger, as long as you have a phone, laptop and internet connection.
I love blogging for democratising media. You don’t have to look a certain way to be a blogger, you don’t have to be from a certain background to get your foot in the door. Everyone has an equal opportunity to make it and use their voice as a platform. It’s such a beautiful and simple thing and I’m so happy to be part of the community, creating content and sharing it with you.
T-shirt – Off White
Boots – Topshop
Bag – Saint Laurent
Photography by Adorngirl.