My First Photo Shoot: An Introspection
In an attempt to become a legitimate fashion blogger who creates her own looks as opposed to re-posting other females’ ensembles, I had my fist photo shoot a few weeks ago. Let me tell you: I’ll never be one of those fashion bloggers who delights in taking photos of herself. I was extremely uncomfortable with the whole thing. The photos came out beautifully – to the credit of my awesome photographer, Dea – but the three photos above are the only ones I’m going to post out of the 100+ I took.
I addition to feeling painfully awkward, I walked away from this shoot with a major realization: I spent entirely too much time trying to perfect my look. Two hours in a salon getting my hair washed and curled; one hour in a nail salon getting a fresh Shellac manicure; one hour getting my makeup applied; and fifteen minutes getting my eyebrows threaded – a total of 4.25 hours spent in physical preparation for one photo shoot. That was 4.25 hours I took away from serving God and studying His word, time devoted completely to vanity.
I’m reminded of an excerpt from this article by Kathy Jones of the Blind Hem in which she calls modest fashion bloggers hypocrites (to which I wrote a response here):
“What is a style blog, rife with photographs of yourself, but a construct of vanity? The very idea of a style blog seems to contradict the most basic definition of the term ‘modest.’ By authoring a style blog, bloggers are placing themselves in the public eye — they are watched, dissected and lusted after.”
Though harsh words, she has a point. I couldn’t help but feel slightly hypocritical (not to mention vain) when I realized how much effort I put into this one shoot.
Modest fashion bloggers shouldn’t emphasize personal beauty or the labels sown into their clothes. However, I still believe modest style blogs are necessary. There are plenty of women seeking to dress honorably without sacrificing their personal style, yet there are too few style blogs with photos that are consistently modest.
From this post forward, my shoots will be less glamorous and more realistic – I will spend my normal amount of time (30 minutes) primping and prepping, and, sometimes, I won’t even show my face. I believe this will help me keep my vanity in check while I continue to create photos that I hope will inspire fellow modest fashionistas.
I would love to hear what my readers think. Do you think fashion blogging, no matter how modest the clothing may be or how little time is put into preparation for shoots, is an exercise in vanity and a hobby Christian women should not participate in?
I’ve been looking for a Christian fashion blog that I’d enjoy for some time now, and just came across yours today. I really enjoyed this post – you look great! I wish I could see what you’re wearing at the bottom though 🙂 I have my own blog as well – I am a born again Christian, and very proud to say so, and I do, on my blog. I enjoy sharing my experiences, and throw some pics in of what I’m wearing too.
You’re asking a really interesting question here – is this fashion blogging thing vain? Probably. Should we as Christian women be blogging about fashion and faith? Yes! If somebody that isn’t Christian comes across your blog because they like the fashion, and end up reading about your faith, it could spark something in them, maybe they’d go to church and give their lives to the Lord, or read the bible to learn more about this faith that you have. I think sometimes, as bloggers, and just people, we don’t realize the magnitude of this platform, the amount of people that we could be reaching using this thing. We can move people and stir them up just by posting about a real experience, and how God brought us through it.
I personally don’t think that you should be cutting off your face in your pictures, or posting other woman in your posts, are those women more beautiful than you? Not in my opinion! You are fearfully and wonderfully made, show the women out there that we’re all beautiful in our own special way – you’re not putting pictures of yourself up to allow people to lust over you, no. We are not responsible for someone else’s actions. But you are a real girl, figuring this thing out with God. Allow us to see a real girl, with a face, so that we can relate to you, and for those who don’t know the Saviour personally, they could seek him as a result of this blog.
I hope my small opinion helps you find your niche!
All the way from South Africa, Arlene.
Elizabeth> Arlene August
I’m so thankful for your comment, which led me to your wonderful blog. I just read your testimony — very powerful! Thank you developing the courage to post such a tragic story. (I tried to leave two comments, but I’m not sure they went through…)
As for this post, I must say I’ve had a change of heart on the matter, though I still believe that (for me!) daily fashion blogging would be a vain exercise. I already struggle with materialism and vanity, and focusing on my outer appearance daily would be dangerous. That said, I do intend to post more photos every now and then. I believe there is so much power in blogging, and I know I need to share more about myself to develop those connections through my blog (and fashion/style is important to me). I hope to post photos soon. Thank you for the encouragement!