I have had a flirtatious relationship with blogging since around 2010. I've had everything from Blogspot, Tumblr, Pinterest, to Youtube. I started to get a lot of traction on my first Tumblr account, but then ironically got a little weirded out by having committed followers which led me to delete my page. I regret it now because I can only imagine how many more followers I would have if I was "Tumblr famous" first. When Instgram came around I created a separate account solely for fashion styling, but wasn't able to fully commit due to time and resource restraints.
I have always used my artistic side as an outlet. I was an only child for ten years and spent a lot of time alone drawing and singing. I would play with my hair and practice my makeup while my mom was at work. My favorite thing to do once I was satisfied with a look was to fill disposable cameras with selfies. I was in choir all throughout high school and dabbled in acrylic painting in recent years. I have always been passionate about taking photos, making collages, and being an overall girly-girl.
In January 2015 I left my full time job to pursue my education. I had been working on my g.e. for seven years and wanted to fully emerge myself into school. Aside from balancing work and school I had a rough few years in my personal life. Because of all the pressures I felt as a young adult, I was dealing with severe anxiety and depression. I would constantly break out in hives from stress and was suffering from night sweats regularly. I was prescribed anti-depressants, but decided to not take them and to find the balance I yearned for instead. I began working part-time for the first time in four years. With the new found time I had on my hands I was soon inspired to throw myself into a new hobby.
I styled a bunch of looks from my existing closet and had various friends help me take photos on my iPhone 5s. At first I was too shy and embarrassed to add friends to my account, but since I finally had consistent content I decided it was time. Soon enough I went from having a handful of followers to a couple hundred. After a short time a boutique reached out interested in a collaboration. I was surprised how fast this happened because I didn't have a lot of followers or professional photos, but something made them believe in me and I was excited!
Since May of 2015 I have worked with more than a dozen clothing companies and photographers combined. With all of my new content I was inspired to try out for a modeling agency for the third time. I tried to get into the industry when I was younger, but I didn't have any photos which worked against me. To my surprise, several agencies liked my portfolio. I was in disbelief they wanted to meet with me and in even more shock when they asked to sign me.
There are so many reasons I love blogging. When I first started I was truly amazed at how fulfilling something so seemingly simple as taking photos could be. Once I got more into it I soon learned it is not simple or easy. It takes an incredible amount of commitment and persistence. Blogging has been an incredible outlet for me. Reflecting makes me love it even more because all my work has come from within. It has truly brought passion into my life and shown me my strength and determination.
On August 6th I finally hit 1k on Instagram, which I consider one of my biggest successes. It is a huge milestone for me because I started from scratch. I am very introverted and can be self conscious of my work so the fact that I was able to gain that many interested followers amazes me. I was convinced that the numbers would teeter back and forth for a while, but instead they have continued to grow.
Recently, several real life and social media friends have come to me inquiring about blogging and modeling. I find this very flattering considering I am still learning the ropes myself. I even inspired my best friend and boyfriend to start blogs which shows me that other people truly believe in what I do. This hobby has not only gotten me out of a depression, but has also helped me get passed some of my social anxiety. Having to meet and interact with strangers online and in person can be nerve wracking, but I quickly learned that networking is key in this industry. Instead of being stingy with advice, I decide to give my friends tips on what I've learned over the last year on how to grow. People often seem surprised that I am willing to give this kind of support, but I believe that what goes around comes around. I also encourage others because I know how much happiness and fulfillment it has brought me. I would also hope that other people in the same industry would reciprocate the same kind of support to me. Some people don't believe in giving advice because it makes the "competition" tighter by advising others on how to become successful, but instead I believe that I am making my own support group even stronger.