Self-Editing

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


For my last outfit post I took ... *counts* .... 92 photos.  Partly cos the multishot setting on my camera makes life easy, partly because I like lots of choice.  Whilst this was a rarity in one sense because I actually liked most of the photos, it was pretty typical of the number of photos I take per post.  Editing them into the "hmm, possible" and "hideous, delete, DELETE" piles doesn't take that long and is a natural part of the process as far as I'm concerned.  Most of you are probably the same.  After all, no-one likes to post pictures where they look like a complete horror.  So that's understandable, but where do you draw the line on self-editing?

I can't warm to blogs where everything is portrayed as so cool and impersonal and so achingly stylish and entirely lacking in humour or warmth that you just want to slap the people concerned.  I can't be the only one that looks at some fashion blogs and thinks "Do you really dress like that day in, day out?  How the hell do you afford it? Don't you ever get bored and want to slob round in pj's?".  Please tell me it's not just me that scrolls through lifestyle and interior decoration blogs and mentally screams "Feck off with your endless cupcakes and quirky retro stylings.  Why is your house so tidy? Where is the MESS? And how do you enjoy life surrounded by so many perfectly plumped cushions??!"

Maybe they do.  Maybe some people really are that cool and perfect.  Maybe they like it that way.  More likely, it's filtered through their blog via a certain level of self editing.  Beauty bloggers don't show the photos where they've got the angles wrong and you can see RIGHT up their nose.  Craft bloggers don't usually show the ones where they've monumentally arsed up and sewn their latest project to their trouser leg by accident.  Home bloggers don't take arty shots of cat sick or the dust on their shelves.  Fashion bloggers don't tend to show the photos where they've fallen over trying to achieve a cool pose and are flashing their knickers. Well this one does...kinda...

No actual knicker flashing but behold the look of sheer WTF-ery on my face as I prepare to wobble off my wedges and plummet to my right

I've discussed the concept of "blogworthy" outfits before. I don't inflict my jeans and work fleece outfits on you as I don't expect anyone would be interested.  But I don't dress up just to take blog photos and then go and put something else on for my day to day life either.  In plain photo terms, my self editing has a simple purpose - to try and pick the outfit photos where the clothes look best and I don't look hideous.  It's a constant surprise to me that an angle or two of difference in the way you face the camera can make you look two sizes bigger or instantly give you a massive double chin.

Looking beyond that to words and content, I don't try to paint my life as something it's not. I'm not interested in coming across as Little Miss Perfect Fashion Blogger, complete with artfully styled shoots and lashings of kooky clothing and accessories, because that's not who I am as a person.  It's my blog, done my way, and I'm just a normal person with a normal job (albeit in quite an unusual location) who likes frocks and shoes and books and so on. 

I may post more about the fun outfits and the fun things, but that's just because they're more interesting and no-one really wants to hear me beef on about feeling knackered or doing the ironing.  Ha, who am I trying to kid?  I don't DO the ironing.  That blog post is never gonna happen.  But do you get to know the real me from what I write?  I'd certainly hope so.  Not everything - I like to retain some mystique after all - but I'd like to think that if you met me in real life you wouldn't be totally surprised.

  My self editing is mostly done in terms of interest levels.  There aren't any topics that are really off limits, other than the specifics of my job and even that's not because it's dull, but because I don't want to go into huge detail online about it.  Now I know "interest levels" is a self-imposed set of criteria - after all, I don't know exactly what each and every one of my readers want to see on here.  But at a basic level, if it doesn't interest me, it won't appear on this blog.  This is one of my hobbies and I don't have the spare time to waste writing about stuff that I find dull.  If I know it doesn't massively interest most of you then I ration those posts out a bit.  For example, the comments and page views go right down for my horsey posts, so I won't do more than a couple of those a year.  Enough to satisfy me cos it's something I want to write about and photograph, not enough to bore the pants off you lot.  

Generally I aim to make this little part of the internet somewhere fun and colourful and a slice of my life.  That's just me though.  Do you work on a similar principle?  Are there any topics that are off limits for you?  Is blog you the real you?

23 comments:

  1. Thats a very thought provoking point there Alex. I have to say i don't really find things offlimits - if I'm not interested personally there may be another reader who is. I know that one of my blogs that I love every day is now doing a lot of video blogs which personally I avoid like the plague and do not interest me but a lot of their readers enjoy those - so who am I to tell blogger not to do them? That said I do tend to swerve clear of any blogs that mention Christianity a lot. There are some great frugal blogs out there I pass on simply because their whole pages are filled with God, and Jesus and my saviour etc and I was upset to see one of my beloved daily blogreads recently add a bible qoute to their header. I have nothing against ppl personally and know what faith can do for people via friends etc but TBH if your blog bangs on about it it's not for me. I dont have a blog per se but you dont luckily tend to see other religion bloggers bring it into their non faith topic related blogs and know my faith would be a personal matter.

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  2. Oh yes Alex ,you got this just right ,I usually end up with clutter in my pictures ,moan about ironing GRR and try not to bore with health issues ,'bang on great entry ' Love Jan xx

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  3. Love the photo you picked so agree ref 'achingly cool' tis so last year. I need your camera. All hail not being perfect xx

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  4. Very interesting post :] "Ha, who am I trying to kid? I don't DO the ironing."

    I started of blogging thinking I would keep a lot more secret than I do! I spend a lot of time doing uni work in my pj's so I dont blog about that - I always select the photos I am happiest with but ( I dont have a function to take as many photos as you) I only take a handful of shots. I hope the people who visit my blog get to know a bit of the real me however saying that I think internet me has changed the real me! If you get what I mean?

    Sorry for the nonsensical ramble!xx

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  5. My blog posts are just waffle. I'll never be a fashion or beauty blogger and my photos are shit (that's partly a camera issue).

    I've stopped following blogs which are just endless reviews of promotional items. I'd much rather see real people in real clothes talking about a place they've visited.

    C
    xxx

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  6. Great thought-provoking post. My outfits are always things I wear in real life but I'm conscious of feeling (self-imposed) pressure to keep posting new stuff. My wardrobe should have revolving doors as I'm constantly eBaying stuff and am planning a post on this in case folks are wondering about the affordability or potential debt aspect. For ages I didn't take pics near the window becuase my street is very recognisable in my city and I was worried about safety. I've relaxed about that but still tend to keep my personal life private (mainly cos my love life is very unexciting!) xx

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  7. I definitely keep the dull and mundane stuff out of the picture when it comes to my blog, I will only ever blog about the things that genuinely make me happy. The things that don’t simply aren’t worth blogging about xxx

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  8. I've never blogged about my work or hobby/sport which are the same thing, its quite a male sport and I'd be found out pretty quick and I'd prefer to keep it separate.
    Your's is one of my favourite blogs, I always think it's so well written and interesting and your photos are good.
    I grow tired of bloggers that moan a lot -I'm ill/tired/etc. And blogs that are only full of sponsored posts.

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  9. I have this thing: take a photo for Facebook or fun, grin grin grin. Toothy, cheesy grins all round. Take a photo for the ole blog EVIL BITCH GLARE FROM HELL. I just CAN'T help it. I have to take 20+ photos to find ONE where it doesn't look like I'm gonna storm out of the screen and punch someone.

    Why??!?

    Oh, and perfect bloggers? Heheh, they just make me suspect they liiieeee and imagine terrible photos hidden on their SD card.

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  10. I've totally given up on outfit blogging for the moment, I think. Especially since England has been so bleeding cold the last two weeks that I'm pretty much wrapped up in jumpers and blazer and coats but still shivering. :))

    A from A + B in the Sea

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  11. Brilliant photo and excellent thought provoking post. I'm currently having a massive rethink of my blog and the elements of my life I want to share, and I've edited some previous posts pretty heavily - I fear I've over-shared a bit in the past!

    Re. perfect bloggers - I don't even follow any like that (no offence!) - I'd much prefer to see someone I can relate to wearing, making, cooking the kinds of things I could try myself - much more inspiring.

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  12. I think everyone edits themselves slightly on the internet, but I do think that some blogs can give us unrealistic expectations of life, especially some Scandinavian blogs *sigh* (or is that just me?). However, as you say, no one is going to be interested in the boring minutiae of our lives like doing the dishes and moaning about paying the bills (that's what twitter is for eh! ;-)) and I also don't like to talk about a lot of personal things on my blog like friends and family because I know that they may not like it. However, I like to think that what I write on my blog is honest and 'me'. Yours certainly is Alex!

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  13. My blog is in a slow-yet-constant state of evolving. I'm making a bit more effort with hair and make up, some of the time at least. I tried to keep weather and whinging off the menu but they seem to have snuck back in under the cover of winter darkness...
    I swing from keeping myself happy (about content) and just blogging whatever anyway. If I waited until I thought the content was blog-worthy I'd only post once or twice a month.
    I do give up with blogs which are so impersonal and feature gorgeous lady wearing exactly-whatever-it-is-that's-on-trend c/o wherever every bloody day.
    ps. I love your horsey posts!

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  14. Great post Alex

    I only blog about what I want too. Mosheld the time it's probably waffle to most people but it's my waffle and it brings a smile to my face. My work, whilst I blog about at times is a seperate issue. We all try to pick photos that look half decent to be fair. Those supper stylish blogs, whilst stunning are not real life at all. I'd rather read an honest down to earth blog any day.

    X x

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  15. I find perfect blogs abit of an annoance as well. I don't mind certain things looking perfect but if I don't actually believe a blogger would wear the clothes they're photographed in then I wouldn't be interested in following their blog, I much prefer people, as your self, who appear real and I can therefore relate to xxx

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  16. My blog was always meant to be me warts and all that's why I called it 'musings' I just blather on about whatever, occasionally even the ironing!
    I think my best comment was from one of my best friends who said 'you write just like you speak, I can just hear your voice saying it'. Job done in my book then. Ive never seen the point in pretending to be something I'm not.

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  17. What a great post! I thought I was the only one who got hideously jealous/irritated by the clearly photoshopped/filtered blogs! A 'real you' blog is far more interesting.

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  18. This is a fantastic post, and I often ponder the same things you've mentioned. Sky high heels for commuting....seriously?
    I love the humour you bring to your posts and the honesty about the things that go wrong.
    x
    p.s that photo is amazing, and I think WTF-ery sums it up perfectly.

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  19. Yes, I have pondered all these issues too. The line between being honest and sharing something of yourself vs. retaining some privacy for yourself and others; posting about the treats and days out and nice stuff vs. the more mundane/troublsome/dull aspects; wearing interesting "blogworthy" outfits vs. the reality of the commute/school run.
    And don't even get me started on photos - I may not take as many as you (quite) but boy do I delete some corkers!
    Of course we all want to look half-way decent in the pictures we post, that's fine. (Your toppling over photo is brilliant, btw). And of course we present a certain version of ourselves, as we do in "real" life as much as in the blog world. But my favourite blogs are the ones with some connection to reality, and the writer is human and flawed and self-aware and humorous and quirky. Perfection's pretty dull really, and the fashion blogs where every last photo (and there are usually HUNDREDS) is Vogue-standard don't do much for me. I like a blog to have a sense of personality.
    I think you get the balance right, as you navigate all those tricky lines in your high wedges, Alex! xxxx

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  20. I think we have all had this debate with ourselves - how much is too much when it comes to sharing on the Internet? I don't post much about personal issues, or my family etc, because they haven't chosen to be broadcast on the web, I have, and I know they wouldn't really like it. Everything I do post is the real me and just my general life.
    I think you strike the perfect balance for what it is worth Alex :)
    I read a few 'perfect bloggers' blogs with a sort of fascination, but I never take them too seriosuly. Nobody's life is perfect and I much prefer those of us who admit it :)
    xx
    emsipop.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. There's definitely a sense of you in your blog Alex! It's one of the reasons that I love it so much. I get bored of blogs that are just outfits or so fashion-y that you never get a feel for the person behind it, it's something I aim for with my blog too.

    Ultimately, I like CLTT to be a positive space, sometimes I have a rant about something, but I try to make my rants into constructive discussion because nobody really wants to hear my whinge about how much of a dick my EU lecturer is or how annoying the dog has been. I think it's fine to keep it to the good stuff, but ultimately, trying to make things seem rosier than they are... YAWN.

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  22. Great post. I keep some things to myself, I try to be upbeat and positive, who wants to read my woes? I like my pictures to be considered, taken in front of something pretty or contrasting but I put that down to being a graphic designer, I deal with the visual everyday so it wouldn't be real for me not to edit my photos and keep my ironing out of shot. I do have a collection of pics that have been snapped mid pose, I keep saying that one day I'll share them, but I don't feel brave enough yet...

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  23. I love this post! I am tired of seeing bloggers pouty 'duck faces' and perfect outfits. I only just found your blog but can tell it's right up my street.
    Of course, I edit my pics on my blog. While I try to be honest and a bit tongue in cheek, at the end of the day I do hold back things- you have to I suppose- and won't post bad pictures of myself. I am pretty restrained when it comes to self photography, it's a mix of vanity and shyness, but if I do get a good pic I will sneak it onto the old blog :) xxx

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