A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Friday, 2 November 2018

This Weeks Round Up

When winter strikes

As winter draws closer and closer, each year I forget how grim it can be to do my job over the coming months. As you probably know I shoot a lot of my Instagram content outside so come rain or shine, I am in some part of London with a red nose and fingers shaking in my boots, to create content that resonates with my current Instagram aesthetic. And boy has it turned COLD, out of nowhere too.

Changing in a grim Pret or McDonalds toilet with piss all over the floor, doing a sort of hopscotch dance trying to not let your feet step on it or dare I say your pretty new clothes (it’s a bonus if there is a baby change to lay your planned outfits on), this is definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of being a fashion blogger. Even if you are going to reward yourself with a three (ok five) pack of chicken selects at the end of it, but somehow the pee on the floor and/or toilet seat has made me lose my appetite altogether. 

Although I love oversized coats, cosy knitted jumpers and general layering it does feel like I am starting to miss carrying a tote bag of three slip dresses and relatively easy outfit changes. To limit shooting time and to be as productive as possible, I do tend to photograph between 2-3 looks each time I meet either my Insta wife or photographer to shoot. It’s just the quickest and easiest way to load up on content. I physically don’t have time to be taking multiple outfit photos on a daily basis on top of the admin side of my job I have to get on with. I wish my job really did meet up to the stereotype of “oh so you take photos of yourself for a living”. My favourite being “oh so you’re an Instagram model then 😂”. If only hun, if only. 

What you might not know is this Jean Paul Gaultier x Lipault suitcase (which I picked out at the Lipault store in Marylebone which is part of a 12 piece capsule collection) is actually filled with two dresses but the rest coats which take up SO much room. I picked out this J.P Gaultier Ampli spinner and Boston Bag. I love the spinner case because it's so easy to get on a off public transport as well as when I want to take it on holiday with me (hopefully sometime soon).

At times, it feels as though I am trying to stuff a sheep through a key hole. You know the classic trick of sitting on your case to get it closed. That is literally me right now trying to shoot my winter wardrobe. I am literally doing it for the gram with my winter wardrobe right now. This is one of the reasons that I chose this Boston bag because not only is it expandable meaning it's perfect for carrying around my accessories when I'm out shooting but I can also use the zip to make it more compact as an everyday handbag when I'm not out taking outfit pictures. I am not about to break my back and like the clothes I wear I may as well do my luggage in style too. How boujee of me. The winter blogger struggle continues. I feel like one of those donkeys you feel sorry for. Load me up. Along I go. But jokes aside, I really feel like I need to rethink my Instagram content as the weather gets even colder. I hate to complain but shooting outside in the freezing cold can at times be unbearable and as such I’m pretty much dreading it going forward. Not only that, now the clocks have gone back realistically I probably have about 3-4 decent light hours to shoot in which means moving my day around to accommodate for this. I’ll stop complaining now I promise. 

Instagram engagement

Some of you may have heard about the effect the Instagram algorithm is having on overall engagement. I have noticed a slight dip in my engagement and by this I mean the average number of likes and comments has dropped. Whilst I try not to let this bother me too much because ultimately it is just a number it can be hard to not stress out about it. I say this because, with the nature of what I do a lot of my paid work comes through Instagram ads. You may have seen them…#ad. Whilst I will hand on heart say all of my sponsored content is as authentic as possible (more often than not you may not actually even know) because I am being paid for it, as such it heightens the pressure for the content to perform well. With every paid Instagram ad I take on, I have to send a screen shot of my analytics to the brand for their own reports once it has gone live. What does this entail you may ask?! In short, it’s a breakdown of the saves, reach and impressions. If it is an Instagram story the same applies as well as how many people have swiped up and used the embedded link click ultimately driving traffic to a particular product or website. For those who thought us bloggers just take a picture and post it to Instagram, there really is much more than meets an Instagram scroll. 

I can say with certainty that every piece of content I post I am proud of otherwise I just wouldn’t post it. With that said, there is no indication as to whether the particular image I am uploading to Instagram will perform well. I guess what it boils down to is other people’s taste. If they don’t like the outfit, they won’t engage with the photo. End of. More often than not, a photo I genuinely love and cannot wait to post on the gram gets less likes than one that I am not 100% sure on, it really is so baffling sometimes. Personally, if a photo I have posted gets over 500 like within an hour I know its going to be a good performer. As a rule, most of my photos on average get a minimum of 1000+ likes, sometimes even hitting 3000 but recently I’ve been struggling to reach 1000 per photo. Instagram what are you doing to me? I’ve seen other bloggers tweet their same concerns and that their photos are not being seen. Some may think I am being ridiculous but when it’s your job you can’t not let it affect you in some way. 

I have at times compared myself to other bloggers with a similar following to mine and been left disheartened. Why are they getting way more likes and comments than me is what automatically springs to mind. Will people think I have bought followers? Am I a s**t blogger? are just a few of the things that go through my head. I know this mentality is so wrong but it can be easy to draw these conclusions. That’s Instagram getting into your head. What I can say with certainty is that I have and will never buy likes or followers. I mean what is the world actually coming to? Personally, this is just one step too far and also unfair on the bloggers who are trying to grow organically. Don’t even get me started on influencers who are making money through sponsored posts when they’ve bought their followers. Shame on them and the brand for not doing their research but I won’t dwell on it because I’ll probably be here all day. 

What I am trying to be better at is not focusing on the engagement at all. Using Instagram purely as tool to post my photos and let them probably disappear into the Instagram universe. I need to remember that there are way more important things in life than this. Instagram likes do not determine my worth, my passion and are just a number. I need to focus on the positives that Instagram has brought to my life. It has been a social platform that has allowed me to blog full time, to make a living at that and also become established as a blogger in a very saturated industry full of quite frankly stunning girls with great fashion sense. What is important is that I am happy, healthy, have a roof over my head and amazing friends and family and I’d choose these any day. Whilst it is a fundamental aspect of my job there are peaks and troughs and it’s about riding the storm and not letting it suck you in. I am doing the best I ever have at my job even if my Instagram engagement has gone down which is living proof that these likes do not determine my job and my place as a blogger. I have made a conscious effort to dedicate more time to my blog and posting on a weekly basis because this is my little space on the internet. Ultimately, I determine what happens to my blog and it is reassuring to know that I have full control of this. 

So over bitchy girls

On Saturday night I was out for Halloween with some of my closest girls. Whilst queuing to get into Aquum (which has become some what of a laughing matter because I always joke with my friends that we can’t end up in a club full of fuck boys but we somehow do) something shocked me. You know you get those people who think they are privileged to just cut the queue and think they can get away with it?! This sort of thing really annoys me. It’s like hun, I’m just standing shivering my butt off here for the benefit of my health. When we politely told the girls that they can’t cut the queue we were met with bitchy sarcasm; “but it’s my birthday”. Literally eye roll. When we wouldn’t budge (rightly so, why should we) this was preceded with pushing and shoving, you know the kind where girls are just looking for a fight. This really isn’t me. I’ve actually never been in a fight in my life so would probably have my arse kicked in an instant. 

It got me onto thinking that I have always been a girls girl. What happened to girls supporting each other? Fixing each others crowns and encouraging being a girl boss. I’ve seen it so much recently. Not just a rowdy bunch of girls in the queue of Aquum on Saturday night but all over social media too. I do struggle to reason with people when I am not that way inclined but wouldn’t life be so much more enjoyable if everyone was just nice. Why so much hate and negativity? Girls are notoriously bad for it too (not all) and can literally be so malicious. I can’t stand it. I hate the word nice but it literally costs nothing but the effects can be so liberating. You know the girls you meet in a club on a Friday or Saturday night, sometimes exchange numbers and think you’ve found your new BFF. I think it’s about time girls started behaving like this to one another all the time. I’ll fix your crown any day, not snap it off and throw it in your face. Don’t you agree?

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Just a little note, If you are interested in shopping the Jean Paul Gaultier x Lipault range featured in this post for yourself, I am offering my readers 20% off (valid instore only) with the code #JPG20 - The collection is limited, so once it's gone in stores it really is gone. So if you love it as much as I do, don't hang around. 

This post was sponsored by Jean Paul Gaultier and Lipault. All words and styling are my own.

Photography by Fifi Newbery

1 comment

  1. Love that pink coat! It looks so cozy xxx


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