I began blogging some seven years ago with the sole intention of getting friends' feedbacks on whether a bag that I had liked was a better investment than a couch for my new home back then. I didn't realise that the blog would end up the way it has seven years later-- The Bag Hag Diaries is my digital space to write about my bag reviews, my travels, food stories (oh how I miss writing these), the occasional advertorials, personal style posts (hah, when I feel confident enough), and other topics I find of interest at that particular time.
I try to be a fertile writer with the intention of engaging my readers as much as possible, although my readers know that isn't always the case-- I do struggle with writer's block and well, laziness at times. Shame on me but as a result, you might notice the occasional "lazy" blog posts. So perhaps I shouldn't be referring to myself as a "writer" as much, out of respect for the real prolific writers out there. It is however, safe to say that I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger. But I was never a style blogger.
I've often marveled in amazement at the highly successful international style bloggers. I shake my head in wonder at how they have always managed to look perfect, to be able to put together the most incredible outfits everyday without repeating a look again in the not-too-near future. I thought that maybe being a style blogger is not as hard as it is being a "writer". And so for the past few months, I've been mulling over this thought (and please, don't laugh too hard)-- is it too late for me to cross over and become a style blogger?
Ok, fine. Laugh all you want as you question my thought-- if I was serious or not. I must be honest here so let this be a humiliating confession: at some point in my life online and off, I have been mocked and ridiculed for my style choices. But hey, also bear in mind that style is really personal and is a form of self- expression, and everyone makes different sartorial choices which may not necessarily be to the taste standards of others. So that means we shouldn't mock those who don't share our tastes. Respect the style of others, please! For me though, I've always firmly believed in "wearing" your confidence above everything else. So I suppose having confidence gives me the go- ahead sign that I can be a style blogger, right?
Hah! No! It's certainly not just about being a confident dresser (with the right accessories and oh, with the right "au naturel" makeup) that makes one a good style blogger. You need to know your right profile and body angles too. You need to know how you project yourself in front of the camera. It's almost a science! And that's where it gets extremely tricky. I kid you not.
Think about having a relationship with the camera lens. You need to be at ease and not stiff for those perfect shots. And it's not just about taking one to three photographs (those money shots which you will post on the blog). Oh no, darling. It takes a lot more than 3 photographs to capture "near- perfection" (by your standards). Your poses cannot be "posed" or contrived, if you know what I mean. You can't do the celebrity-with-one-hand-on-waist, shoulders-and-back-very-straight, beauty-pageant-one-leg-over-the-other-leg pose anymore. That's just way too banal for a style post-- you see this exact pose being overdone by celebrities and socialites who attend parties and red carpet events without fail each time (no offense, ladies). Good style blog posts have to look very natural.
How hard could "natural" look, right? And that, my dear readers, is the real challenge. To "look natural". Because oftentimes behind those photos, the poses are actually anything but natural! Here is a possible permutation of poses to get those "natural" money shots: Snap head back! Click. Pout a little. Click. Flip hair! Click! Fake laugh and open mouth a little. Click. Look to the side! Click. Drop one shoulder. Click. Pretend to walk. Click. Touch your hair. Click. Dreamy faraway look! Click. Hold your arm and slouch a bit. Click. Both hands on waist and look down.
Click. Cross your legs. Click. Bend one knee. Click.
After almost an hour of shooting a variety of poses and almost 100 photos that would flood your digital album with heaven forbid, mediocre- looking images later, you are sweating like a pig (unless perhaps it's wintertime where you are at). You realize that you need to touch up your makeup and make sure you neither have a cake-y face nor have an oily-frying-pan forehead. You want more shots. You know, for "options". But oh look, you have sweat pits! It is then that you realize you have no choice but to pick the money shots from the ones that were already taken. Unless you want to get dressed up again in a different outfit altogether and start over. But oh dear, the sun will set soon and the light won't be as great... Oh to get those money shots!
I tell you, it is a massive production to get it right-- at least it was from my experience! And I didn't even impute the post- production time one will have to spend "cleaning up" the photos! I'm sure that it must be so much easier for the other style bloggers out there-- especially if they're young, have got naturally good looks, good skin, a great sense of style, and a very healthy confidence level-- and oh it helps too if they have friends who can do the post- production work on their behalf.
So you can all sigh with relief-- you won't have to endure seeing my photographs daily on my blog. The posting of my style photos to accompany this story is an exception-- it is only to allow you to better understand the experience and know in full what went on "behind the scenes". I already know that it's not written in my stars that I'll cross over from being a fashion and lifestyle writer/ blogger to becoming a style blogger. But perhaps you'll have an easier time putting up a personal style blog-- and if you do put one up, let me know what your experience was like. If you have the patience for that kind of production, then it's never too late for you to become a style blogger!
Follow Ingrid Chua on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thebaghag