Saturday, July 25, 2015

༺ Thoughts On Blogging and ‘The Taste Gap’༻

Thoughts on Blogging and The 'Taste Gap' | Lavender & Twill

*le sigh* I told the Mister to tell me if my petticoat slipped down in these photos, but here it is making an appearance in just about every shot!  ( ̄。 ̄;) 

Oh well, no-one is perfect, and I don’t have to mention the lipstick I photoshopped off my teeth petticoats and the like to tell you that, do I? (*◕‿◕*)

Time for some real talk though ~ I find it hard to post pictures like these when I feel like they are not my ‘best’ work. In this particular outfit shoot, this one, and this one, {there are more, but we don’t have to go through all of them do we?} I feel like the photography is a bit subpar. Now, photography is one of those tricky things. When you are posting outfit shoots, how much of the photography matters, and how much is a good clear picture of what you are wearing?

Is it about the outfit, the writing, or the pictures? 

Thoughts on Blogging and The 'Taste Gap' | Lavender & Twill ~ Isabelle wants to show you her pretty pink shoes; these are her favourite! ~

As blogger, I think it’s definitely a combination of both. As a writer ~ it’s all about the words because I’m painting a verbal picture. As an artist ~ it’s all about the composure, the subject, the ‘story’ your picture is telling.

I have this back and forth pull as a writer and an artist, as to which creative expression is more important and I guess that’s how I ended up being a blogger as well!  It’s the best of both worlds. Well, most of the time…

The problem is my inner art critique gets quite dramatic, and looks at the results of a 300+ photo shoot without enough decent shots and goes “I cannot post this! It is insufferable! Intolerable! It simply will not do! You will have to go out and take these photos again!” while my inner blogger is all “That’s all well and good, but I’ve got to post something. Empty blog space = bad. Static content = bad. Not posting regularly = bad! You will loose engagement in your community. Talk to people. Talk darn it!!”, but my inner writer shrugs, and just wants to write about how hard it can be to get good photos!

Haha. I’m not the only one with those voices inside their heads kinds of thoughts right? (⌒▽⌒)

As you can tell, my blogger side wins the argument most of the time, even to the point of putting up videos that are a bit grainy, or eking out a post from a scarce handful of photos gleaned from a shoot gone awry.

Thoughts on Blogging and The 'Taste Gap' | Lavender & Twill

I think in some ways this is a good thing for me ~ it tells my perfectionist side to be quiet and just keep on turning out pieces {or posts in this case}. Sure, they won’t be like what I envisioned for the first little while {see this super amazing video by Ira Glass on the artist’s ‘taste gap’ if you haven’t seen it before!}, but the more I practise, the closer I get to creating what I see in my head.

And really, when it comes down to it, I think most of it is in my head. I know it’s not quite there, I know it’s not quite good enough. But the rest of the world isn’t holding it’s breath waiting on me to make the most amazing thing ever ~ and if it was, and if I did ~ how would I go on making more art if I couldn’t get over the fact that the next one might not be better than the one before?

One step forwards, two steps back? 

Thoughts on Blogging and The 'Taste Gap' | Lavender & Twill

Maybe so, but as long as I keep stepping, I’ll keep moving forwards. My work will improve, that taste gap will close, and it will get better as long as I don’t quit and I keep learning.

This stretching process really applies to all kinds of creative efforts ~ writing, photography, art, sewing, outfit combining, knitting, blogging and just about anything else you do where you can say “Yes, I made it myself!”

Besides, who wants to make a perfect piece and never make anything again for fear of not being able to create something better? Sounds boring to me!

That’s why I keep on going on, keep on blogging ~ even those less than perfect posts ~ because I just can’t stop. It is continual cycle of metamorphosis ~ making, tossing, changing directions, creating a bridge to cross the gap so I can finally make the art I’m dreaming of.



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  1. Gina White (Beauty from Ashes)July 25, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Excellently written Bonita! And I can totally feel what you are saying. About everything. The pictures that were taken of me at the capitol on Monday weren't my favorite. Sometimes, I feel so self conscious having my pictures taken (a lot of mom totally understands why I do it) as I feel like people are thinking "Ugh...there she goes again, having her picture taken". But I have learned that the more pics you take, the better the chance you get of getting a couple of good ones. And I want good pictures to post on my blog. My mom is the best photographer! I also get what you mean in the struggle of your perfectionist self and your creative self. And then there is the no post = bad, etc... is a struggle isn't it? Anyway, I totally "get" what you wrote here! Thank you!

  2. Ahhh I found this post extremely cathartic! I always wonder how much effort goes into other bloggers posts when it comes to taking photos. I always have the feeling that most people just take photos in a matter of 5 mins and look stunning in every single photo... For me, a lot of the time when we take photos I end up looking through them and seeing that my belt is sitting way off to the side, or I'm standing badly, or that they are out of focus/camera angel is skewed.

    I always stress about how my face looks in photos because I don't have a nice smile, and I've had nasty comments before saying I look bad because I never do a toothy grin with all 32 of my teeth showing. I really regret having a tantrum in highschool and refusing to get bracers! But yes, it's comforting to know that there are other bloggers out there who have a tricky time taking photos too. Your photography is always BEAUTIFUL and I enjoy everything you post, so in my eyes you could do no wrong :) And of course, we are our own worst critics!

  3. Yes, all those voices are in my head too! Perfectionism is such a thing to struggle with, and I have found that in all aspects of my work and life, currently with both my actual creations and the photos and the blog posts...

    And when you have a schedule for posting, even if you set it for yourself, you end up having to use material you are not 100% happy with. Most people won't notice, though, I suspect! I think that your photos are in general of a very high standard compared to a lot of blogs, so even if they aren't what you want, they are very very good!

  4. I just had to say that I had a braces-refusing-tantrum in high school too and I also regret it and hate smiling in photos! Oh, young me with her wannabe-feminist opinions!

  5. Don't worry, I think that here your petticoat looks a lot like an eyelet-y kind of intentional trim on this dress and is very, very pretty.

    In all the years that I've been posting outfit photos, there's only been one full shoot that I didn't share, and that was because the photos turned out to be way, way too low light and the dress I was wearing wayyyyyy too big for me - bad combo, I promise you. However, I've certainly wrestled with the very points that you discussed countless times and usually try to let the family historian + scrapbooker + blogger in me win out and that is to say, I tell myself that documenting the moment, even if it didn't look as glam/pretty/perfect/thin(ner) weight/ideal lighting/best weather conditions/etc is more important than if I the photos themselves look like they could grace the pages of Vogue. I'll never be that young again, never relive that moment, never get that tomorrow back, so why not just celebrate it - proverbial warts - and all and let my writing try to add more sparkle when I feel photos might be lacking it for whatever reason. It isn't always easy - I'm very self critical, too - but I've never yet regretted it and hope that I never will.

    Tons of hugs & understanding,
    ♥ Jessica

  6. I know what you mean Gina ~ there's that tricky, "Oh, why do you need *more* photos?" aspect to blogging which can be a bit hard to answer. I'm always taking a ton of photos to be able to whittle it down; it can take me up to an hour to get enough photos!

    And yes, more photos generally means you find a "good" collection of pictures to use. Like a I mentioned ~ I will take between 200 - 500 photos before I think I have enough to pick out six or seven for the post.

  7. Oh, crooked clothing and awkward posing! (ಠ_ಠ) I always have to check back on the photos as I am doing the shoot ~ I've learnt the hard way that if I don't, something will be wrong, like my dress will be sitting funny, or none of the poses I tried actually 'worked' like I thought they would, etc.

    The Mister and I don't always have the same view of what consists of a good photo... And my tripod gives no feedback whatsoever! :P

    I can understand not feeling comfortable smiling. For the record, I don't like how my eye squinch up and disappear when I'm smiling. I've learned to become more comfortable with it now, because I've realized that people like seeing a 'true' smile and they won't see the same things that you do when you do smile for real.

    That being said, I think that there's absolutely nothing wrong with anyone smiling just how they like too. I think your pictures are always super lovely, and very elegant ~ you remind me very much of a 1940's film star. I don't think I have seen any of them smiling like crazy either. :) ♡

    I love the way that you pick the most perfect locations to match your outfits, it always gives the whole photo shoot such a dreamy "Art Nouveau" feel. Your posts are always a favorite of mine! ♡ ♡ ♡

  8. I think the petticoat looks great, to be honest! I know it's not very period appropriate, but a tiny peek of a pretty petti is nothing to be embarrassed about.
    I also have the same voice in my head when it comes to creating the best possible pictures vs. just having something to put up. Lately, I've found myself coming down on the side of not posting as often, but always feeling like what I come up with is something that I really love. When I first started blogging, I spread myself a bit thin, and valued posting consistently over posting quality content. Not to say that you can't do both, there are a lot of bloggers out there who manage it quite well, but like you said, it's all about finding a balance and closing the gap.
    But anyway, I always think your posts are lovely! Your photography has a beautiful, dreamy quality, and your writing is very thoughtful.

  9. Yes to everything you've said! Like Jessica, I've only failed to share one set of photos so far - and that was because my blogger side couldn't stand them as well as my artistic side ;) but the rest of the time, the reason I get enough photos I'm just about happy with is because I take about 200 per session and I stick to poses I know work for me! The second I try something new it won't work and I end up with more like 300. I did a shoot yesterday, for example, and it was in the 300 zone because I was so unhappy with the lighting that we kept moving to different spots. I couldn't share some that were in shadow and some that were in bright sunlight, so each time I started again!! I'm definitely a horrendous perfectionist anyway and blogging brings out the worst side of me in that respect. I'm glad I'm not the only one that struggles with being 'good enough' - the stupid thing is that anything we do is, really, because we've done it and it's our blogs! But that doesn't stop me feeling like I should be magazine quality... Anyway, I always think your photography is fab so whatever you're doing it's working for you :) x

  10. Me too! And where am I at now? No photos of smiling with teeth either and wearing braces for two years in my late 20s (i.e. I'm wearing them right now!!). Oh if I could but go back to my younger self and give her a slap... It's so rude of people to leave nasty comments about how you choose to smile though. I am only surprised I haven't had any of those yet!

  11. Schedules and deadlines might be a total pain, but on the other hand, they do keep pushing you to keep moving! I like that aspect, because otherwise my perfectionism would take over and I'd never get anything done.

    Thank you for the sweet words Tanith, they are very encouraging. :)

  12. I do love that thought Jessica ~ certainly the personal aspect of this blog that I adore is the time capsule effect. Being able to look back on your journey, and the way your family is growing and how life is changing ~ that is so much fun. It's definitely something that motivates me to keep going.

  13. An excellent point indeed Jessica! I think quality certainly rules over quantity, and that's something I've tried to stick to through all my years{!} of blogging. I don't want to create a crazy schedule I feel like I have to stand by ~ I try to go by the guidelines of "If I have a story to tell, or something to say, I'll post; if I don't or can't post for whatever reason, I'll just have to let it go and not try to throw up some 'filler' post for no reason."

    Well, sometimes I've done a filler anyway ~ those kinds of posts do have their place. But I guess it all comes back to that balance. Keeping the quality, but trying not to only do it if it's perfect. Posting regularly, but not too often, etc. It's all a balance, and what works for some definitely won't work for others. :)

  14. Agh, sunlight and shadow!! Crazy mixed lighting is not my favorite ~ it's almost as hard to work with it as straight bright light! Or indoors. Now that's a killer. That's my one complete fail set of outfit pics. It was an indoor setting in winter, and it did NOT turn out at all.

    I hear you on the magazine quality though Cici. I don't know if I'm nuts, but I'm always trying for that 'editorial' feel, mixed with a vintage look, and seen through a diary kind of lens... Ha!

    It doesn't always make sense, but I know what I am aiming for so that's a starting point I guess. :P

    And thank you lovely, I think your photos are gorgeous too. :D

  15. I really dislike that people do that ~ really what business is it of theirs? For all they know, it could just be your style choice!

  16. Side note - but just to make sure you get the message - I'm going to pop that maroon pillbox in the post this week for you to borrow! It would look perfect titled on a cute angle! :)

  17. Ahh ~ oh thank you! Er, does that mean there's another email from you that slipped through the net? Oh gosh, I'm so embarrassed... And I'm so sorry for any inconvenience I caused you!

  18. Great post, Bonita! I can totally relate as lately I've been ill and so haven't really had the time or energy to craft or take photos - but I don't want to leave my blog empty throughout winter, so up go the not so perfect pictures and not so inspired writing. But, all practice is good practice, so I guess even the non perfect blog posts help us move forward!

  19. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you've not been feeling well. I hope you get better soon! It's always hard when we have stuff that we want to do, but don't have that ability to get it done.



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