“WE DO WE RETURN TO THE SAFETY BLANKET DISGUISED AS PASTEL CO-ORDS, SHOT IN FRONT OF A PINK WALL, WITH YOUR RIGHT FOOT, PLACES EVER SO SLIGHTLY FORWARD?”
Another blonde girl, snapping up basic outfits in front of London businessmen’s workplaces, sporting cat eye sunglasses, pulling out all the classic blog-tastic, instagram spawned poses. Original right? I’m not the epitome of fresh, ingenuity, I’m no breath of fresh air by all means and I’m certainly not the most unique of bloggers. I like to think I have a creative bone or two within my little stature and I’m always thinking of ways to bring my slice to the social media table. But as of late, I can’t stop thinking about the countless, flower adorned locations we all frequent to pose and poise ourselves in front of, for the perfect Instagram shot. They’re pretty, nice on the eye but after a while, it’s tiresome to look at almost identical pictures. There, I said it. I myself, am totally guilty, and probably still will fall victim from time to time, a sucker for an Pinterest worthy Cafe or wall.
It’s exhausting and deceives us into feeling like in order to be successful, we must recreate what is already popular. It’s such an easy train of thought to fall into, but on the whole, exhausts our real creativity. After expressing this in a concise, limited character fashion of a Tweet, I’m being overwhelmed by the response. This discussion is what I really enjoy about the blogging community and with that, I sat down with my notebook last night, scribbling out my thoughts, spurred on by your reflections. So here is the materialisation – my thoughts on current instagram trends, the safety of content creation that has been done before and why we return to this safety blanket disguised as Pastel Co-ords, shot in front of a pink wall, with your right foot, ever so slightly placed forward. (Yes, I have done this many times 😉 )
Can’t help but feel like Instagram is becoming a place where we all flock to the same locations, in the same outfits, to take the same pictures with the same pose. I myself have fallen victim to this, but it’s leaving me with 0 motivation & inspiration.— Primrose (@StylePetalBlog) July 2, 2018
BEING AN ACCIDENTAL, ADVOCATE FOR A PASTEL, SOFT HUED INSTAGRAM FEED, I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE I’LL EVER BE QUITE THE INNOVATOR ANYTIME SOON.
I’m the first to admit I’m a lil’ bit of a walking cliche sometimes. Just look at my Instagram. I love pastels, whites, bright, clean images and I love a good trend. So naturally, there’s no point pressuring ourselves to become the Einstein of blogging and Instagram OOTD’s. We can’t possibly create ever-fresh, ingenious content 24/7. Sometimes you just wanna snap up that Primark dress against a pink wall, or slap on some red lippy and take a selfie. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a classic, simple snap and sometimes these are best. My problem lies, where I’ll never get an online standing ovation, or further myself by constantly re-creating what’s already done. I want to mix old with new, I want to get inspired by my Pinterest mood boards, or a location and follow through with a vision. I don’t want to get into the habit of seeing a photo of someone outside a popular location and think to myself ‘ohh I should recreate this.’ Or at least, I’d like to put a new spin on it. We’re all naturally, going to want those typical shots when we visit a place, a snap in front of The Eiffel Tower or smiling into a sunset, it’s nice to collect these visual memories, but I we also need to stay true to who we are, what we’re about and what inspires us. Don’t think you have to pose, look or edit a certain way to be successful – don’t force something that isn’t there, but at the same time, I’m a live and let live gal. Some may be sick of the same thing, but if that’s truly what you love creating, then if it’s not doing anyone else harm – go for it!
IT’S DIFFICULT TO SWIM AGAINST THE INSTAGRAMMABLE TIDE, BUT IT’S OKAY TO GO ALONG WITH THE CURRENT TOO.
It’s difficult to be uniquely cutting edge in the game where we’re all creators with the tap of a button and some generous lighting. It’s as easy as ever to capture images and video, and just as easy to fool ourselves into thinking we’re being a ‘proper blogger’ by all doing the same thing. I think as long as you’re allowing organic inspiration to flow and roll with the creativity, you’re in a good place. Whether a product, location, story or the weather inspires you, capture that in a way that excites you. It’s all to easy to unintentionally get into the copycat train of thought. It’s difficult to swim against the instagrammable tide and it’s okay to go along with the current too – but in the long run, I’m telling myself that nothing breakthrough has ever come from repeating the same old.
Challenge yourself – talk on Twitter took a mention of the ‘ugly location challenge’ – something I think is genius, amusing and a good way to force a bit of change. I found a bush full of stunning flowers amongst a less than picturesque street, shoved myself right in there and bam – this was the result. (Pretty chuffed I’m not going to be modest here.) Try out things you haven’t before, look at things in a different light – if you think somewhere or something would work, shoot, capture, draft, experiment. I could scour out all the white walls in the universe but I’m trying to mix things up now and again and it feels super refreshing.
BY THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX I’VE BOUGHT IN A NEW AUDIENCE I NEVER EVEN KNEW I HAD
The response has only been positive recently when I’ve tried something a lil’ different. This is also a great way to engage with a different audience or one you never knew you had – by trying something you haven’t before. Don’t be discouraged to shoot at famed locations, or try something someone else has – but be open to think outside the box at the same time. There will always be critics and yes we could moan about our feeds, blogs and Youtube’s’ being ‘too curated’ or ‘lazy’ or ‘staged’ or ‘unoriginal’ – but I’m an advocate of doing what makes you happy and feel good. I think the main point of the conversation was that we just all need to work to our unique points. I’ve started to shoot images close to where I live and utilising the area more – the response could not be more positive and has bought me followers who never even knew I was around the area – a nice common ground and a great way to build relationships. We are unique, we’re all different and beautiful and bloody amazing and this should be celebrated. I will unashamedly, still flock to Notting Hill when in London to find an adorable blue house, but don’t disregard a place, or don’t not buy something you like just because you haven’t seen someone popular do it before. Create your own vibe, be proud of the work you create, ask for feedback, run polls and most importantly, just do you.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one – whether you’re a sucker for all of the cliches, like me, or are doing your own thing! Even if you’re a bit confused about where you stand creatively, join the discussion below or over on my Twitter!
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Photography by Ben Kapur