Hey everyone! Today instead of my normal writing I wanted to address some posts I’ve been reading lately and how they affect me, as well as my goals for this blog. I have been following and reading Canary Beck’s articles on SL Blogger Support for a while. Editorials are not what I normally follow for SL but hers are always well thought out and make me think. Recently she wrote an article about quality vs quantity when it comes to blog posts. I encourage you to go and read it if you haven’t already. Here were my thoughts about the subject as it applies to me personally.
I was relieved to see that I am not the only blogger that feels like I need to post as often as possible to draw people in. I hope that my posts fall under the quality heading, because although I admire those bloggers that have the time to post daily, I don’t have that time available. For my posts I like to do a complete character, which involves changing skins and hair and eyes and even shapes along with the outfits and accessories, each and every post. I don’t edit many of my photos other than to crop or layer together multiple photos, however it still takes me quite a while to organize and post each time. For a post with just one character I spend at least a couple hours getting everything put together how I want. Then finding a location, playing with lighting, getting the poses right, getting the actual snapshots taken (usually with at least a crash or two) and then getting the photos ready takes me another hour or two. Once I have everything ready and have written up my post and made sure I linked all of the stores in the credits, I upload the photos to both wordpress and flickr and then link them to each other. Our net sucks since we live in a small town (they will be replacing the antenna or whatever soon though so yay!) and uploading the photos takes at least an hour, sometimes I leave them uploading overnight because I get tired of Flickr’s timeout message. So for one post it takes me at least 3-6 or more hours. I generally spread that out where I can. I’ll jot down notes for the look and story while at RL work and if its really slow I’ll get a start on the credits and writing the post at work and save it as a draft until I get home. For posts with multiple people, the character making part takes at least twice as long. I also try to be sure to copy and use different copies of the mesh body, hands, feet, etc for each character so that when I get to the location I can just switch saved outfits.
I know I could ask for others to do posts with me instead of using myself for all of the characters, but I usually want to use items from my sponsors for the looks. Also I’m not hugely social. I don’t mind people generally but am not always in the mood to be around them. That’s part of what makes this blog so nice for me, I have a reason to spend much of my free time at my home or shopping for items to use.
Another topic Canary Beck talked about in her article was the relationship between designers and bloggers. I am fairly new to blogging and have not had any bad experiences to speak of. I made sure to read what different designers wanted from their bloggers and decided if it was something I felt I could do. Some want every release blogged, which I can understand, but not everything a store releases will be something I love. An event I thought about applying for wanted one post before the event and then a minimum of two posts per week it was going on. For some events, like the Fantasy Faire, this is no problem. However this event was not something I was sure I’d want more than a few items from. For the Fantasy Faire I had been before and knew how huge it was and how many stores would be there, and the theme itself is what I use most often. All of the stores or events I blog for now are ones that want a couple posts a month and want closeups of the products as well as adding the photos to their flickr group. All of which is no problem at all to me. I only applied to stores that I loved and knew I’d want to use as much of their releases as I could. The two that recruited me, I did the same. I looked at their past products and knew that I’d have no problems reaching the minimum posts they wanted. I plan to keep my list of sponsors down to a level I can manage, as well as continuing to chose stores I know fit well with each other for my looks, so that I can continue to highlight as much from my sponsors as I can per post.
I’d also like to share with you what my goals for my blog are. Now that I’ve been blogging for almost six months I have gotten a better idea of what it is I want to focus on. I want to shoot for 2-3 posts a week. This is a goal and not a guarantee as there are times I do not have the time or am not at all inspired. I want to enjoy my blog and not feel like it is another job, that is one reason I started this blog instead of looking for photography work inworld again. I want to explore and learn to make my own windlights. Some of my photos don’t turn out quite like I want them, so I think learning this or taking some time to go through all of them and jot down which I like best and what they’d be good for, would help a lot. I also want to work on writing more complete stories for my posts instead of just scenes. Short stories would be too long but flash fiction would work great. Flash fiction is a story 300-500 words or less (there are differing opinions on the number of words, some say less than 2000, 1000, or 500, for my purposes it will be 300-500). It has at least one character, setting, problem and solution.
As a closing note I just want to thank anyone and everyone who comes across my blog or flickr photos and takes the time to read and hopefully enjoy the photos that go along with the stories. I did not set out on this journey looking to get free stuff and take pictures of it, I just wanted to have a creative outlet that let me share the characters and stories I come up with with others. I may not be looking to get hundreds of views each day or became super well-known like Strawberry Singh (who I love to follow) but I love when people do see my posts or photos and even more when they feel they are good enough to like or follow me. So thank you all, because although I’m not searching you out, you keep me motivated to continue doing what I love. I also want to thank all of my sponsors. I applied to you because I genuinely love your products and while I would love to buy everything, I am on a budget. So thank you for sharing your items with me so that I can use them with my characters and share them with others.
Wow, that got a bit longer than I planned. 🙂 Thanks for reading if you did, and I hope you enjoyed the photos! I did not use many of my sponsors for these photos because I had a family outing the beach planned but RL made that impossible for now and I still wanted to take photos and share them. Here is a teaser for my next post though. It will have two characters, so will likely be over the weekend, in a battle between good and evil. It will also showcase many items from my sponsors as well as some motion photography. You can also look forward to a post featuring my newest sponsor (got accepted as I was writing this post lol), a store you may have noticed appears in almost all of my posts, Adoness! Credits below!
P.S. And this is one of the ones that flickr decides is going to take a whole night to upload the photos. I’ll add the links once they upload.
Credits: (This is my new regular daily look – skin/hair/eyes anyways)
Mesh Body/Hands/Feet/Ankle Lock – Slink Physique, Slink Casual and Victory Hands, Slink High Feet
No mesh head at the moment, will be looking for an omega applier one that I like.
Shape – Lumae – Odette Shape (modified, mainly to be shorter and a few tweaks to make it me)
Skin – Lumae – Swan – Bare in Tone 2 (one of her older skins but a favorite of mine)
Hair – Magika – Cardigan
Eyes – Adoness – Lucus – Vibrant Blue
Tattoo – White Widow – Tombstone for Women (@ Anybody Event July Round)
Nails – Mon Cheri – Beach
Dress – Mon Cheri – Sachi Flare Dress
Heels – Faboo – Havana Heels – Bondi (a Rare from one of their gacha machines)
Bikini – Plastik – Zara Kini in Leona (@ new Satellite store)
Pose in Photo 1 – Vestige – Next Model 1 (@ July Round of The Instruments)
Towel / Pose in Photo 2 – oOo Studio – Sunning Towel
Pose in Photo 3 – Click – Little Swimmer (This pack is meant for toddledoo kids but worked fine for me with no adjustments.)
Pose in Photo 4 – The Secret Hideout – Looking Up Cute
Location – Pandora Box of Dreams
Windlight – Nacon’s Afternoon – various times