Blog Q&A!

I feel like this post is such a long time coming but I feel like now is the perfect time to cover it all! I've had several questions on how to start a blog, how to make money, is it easy?, what camera do I use to take pictures and I'm so excited to answer all of these for you guys today! One thing I want to say before I dive in head first, is that I am so thankful for each and every one of you who follow along with me on social media and are here on the blog. I always say I don't just want to be "another blogger", I want to uplift, inspire, and help others in any way I can feel comfortable in their skin, reach their goals, whatever it is, I hope you take something away from here that encourages you.

1. Be Yourself - I know it's self explanatory but it's true. Don't try and be like any other blogger. Share the hard stories you think nobody can relate to because there will be someone who needs it. Share personal things that can help your readers get to know you more. Now while I still have a private life of course, I think it's important to remain relatable. We all are unique in our own ways. Please do not feel like you have to do something like someone else to be successful. Definitely gain inspiration from people you like to follow, but don't forget to share the special parts of you. Nobodys life is perfect ;)

2. Find Your Niche.  Are you wanting to be a food blogger? Lifestyle? Fashion? Whatever it is, make sure you don't go too out of your zone that you choose. This applies to social media as well, but you don't want your blog to be all food & recipes and then the random post about home interiors. You want when people go to your blog or website to get an instant feel for what it is exactly that you blog about so they know what to expect.

3. Don't Do It For Just For Money - Seriously, just don't. I feel like this applies to any job you have, but you will end up frustrated & disappointed. It's hard work and has taken me 4 years to get to this point. From shooting, to editing, to posting and then sharing on social media, it can take a lot out of you. You've got to do it because you're passionate about it. The money will come.

4. Try To Be As Consistent As Possible - I still have my longer than intended breaks but you want to try and post often. I shoot for about 3 times a week if possible. Maybe that doesn't necessarily mean on the blog, it could just mean one of your social media pages but regardless, make sure you're around :)

5. It Takes Time - And it really does. This was a big lesson for me. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've told Chase maybe I just need to give it up and do something else. It's always funny though, in those moments it never fails there's an opportunity that comes not long after that makes me so happy I DIDN'T quit. So don't quit.

How long have you been blogging?
I started this blog in March 2014. 4 years strong and things look A LOT different around here since that first post, haha.

What do you use to edit your photos?
Every now and then I will use Photoshop but that's once in a blue moon. 99% of the time I use Lightroom with my own custom presets. I started out downloading free ones, even buying a few and then tweaking them to my liking. A few I love are the VSCO ones & Tribe Archipelago.

What camera do you shoot with?
I currently shoot with my Canon Rebel T6i and I would recommend it to everyone! Eventually I want to upgrade but I've had it for a good while and absolutely love it. It's user friendly, is easy to navigate and it also has bluetooth so you can send your photos directly to your phone.

What lenses do you use? Or which lens do you use most often?
I almost always use my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. It's a great fixed lens and super sharp. It's great for family trips to the zoo, outfit posts, literally everything. I couldn't live without it and if you're just starting out, it will make the world of difference compared to your kit lens (18-55mm)!

What settings do you use?
I shoot on manual & RAW usually at 2.4 at 200ISO. Obviously this depends on the time of day, whether I'm outside or in, and what I'm photographing. If I'm outside, the ISO I will usually turn down to 100 but I typically like my images a little bit over exposed. My best advice if you're not shooting on manual is to practice practice practice! Take pictures of random things in your house, a tree, anything. Keep shooting and you will eventually figure out your settings and what you like most. Also, try googling your camera and it's best settings, but manual is the way to go to get the most out of your camera.

How do you get to collaborate/partner with different companies?
So my first collaboration when I started the blog was with Freshly Picked and I reached out to them after seeing a post about wanting blogger moms to partner with. The first few collaborations I did, I reached out to those company (companies that I was genuinely interested in and would use their products), and just put myself out there. I didn't have a big following, was just getting on my feet, but I just went for it. It took me a while honestly to get opportunities to come to me but it did happen and it was consistent. I think the biggest thing with this is that if YOU are consistent, have good quality photos and are reliable in responding to emails, following through with previous partnerships, they WILL come. Just be patient.

I've been blessed with some incredible opportunities that I wouldn't have had if it weren't for the blog. From Macy's to Godiva, Clarisonic to OshKosh - I'm so thankful to have had partnered with them but you should know not all partnerships & collaborations are paid. Some are compensated with only products. Another way to help gain reach and opportunities, is to partner with blogger networks. This doesn't just mean marketing teams online (although I am signed with a few that connect me with companies), but this also means local to your area. Is there a blogger network local to you with meetups & workshops? It's a great way to network and also gain exposure with local companies.

What is the best way to gain followers?
I may not have the most insane number of followers but I am SO thankful for those of you I do have!! One thing I have learned is to NEVER put your worth on a number so let's just go ahead and get that out there. I have to have a come to Jesus talk with myself very frequently about this but I can tell you, with all the changes in algorithms it seems to be getting increasingly more difficult to gain followers. Again here, I think if you're consistent and stay in your "niche", the followers will come. By niche I mean, I think if you're going to post about fashion, only post about fashion. Don't post an outfit, then cereal, then your living room, then your dog, etc. Know what I mean? You want people to go to your page and say, ok. It's clear what he/she does and I know what to expect if I follow them. I think also the order in which you posts makes a difference. You can download different apps that help plan your layout before posting to Instagram. Also, tagging/mentioning brands and other pages are huge, especially if they decide to repost your image on their page. Research the best hashtags for your niche and start tagging! Also, Pinterest!!!

How did you get your own domain name?
This is actually really easy you might be surprised. So when I first started the blog, my link looked like "" right? Well having blogspot attached doesn't look too professional so all you need to do is go to a domain name page (I use GoDaddy), and search your name or whatever your blog/website is called, pick the one you like and you pay once a year for it. This is a personal preference but as my personal opinion, it just looks better and pretty much pays for itself :)

>> I encourage all of you who are on the fence about blogging or photography to take the jump, make the leap, be passionate & JUST DO IT. It's not easy. In fact it takes up a lot of time from shooting to editing, to posting, to sharing on social media but like any job, if you love it, it's really not a job is it? Please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions, I hope this post inspires you and gives you that extra push you may need! 

My camera
My most used lens
My wide angle lens