A Fashion Bloggers 6 Year Journey – How I’ve Changed
Today Raindrops of Sapphire is 6 years old! It’s hard to believe that 6 years have gone by since I started my fashion blog in my bedroom on the 10th March 2010! I remember sitting there, setting it all up at night time and it took me right into the early hours of 4am, getting the design and logos right. Back then of course I was very new to blogging, I didn’t know what I was doing in terms of creating something successful as that wasn’t my intention, but I wanted a place online to share my photos of my outfits and my love of fashion with other like minded people, so that’s what I did. How it grew into what it is today (winning multiple awards, voted number 11 in the UK fashion blog round up, having over 2.7 million views etc) still seems crazy to me as time has gone by so fast, but I’ve worked so hard for years trying to create something I loved and now I consider Raindrops of Sapphire my baby, as I’m now self employed.
For this post, I thought it would be a nice idea to document my journey over the 6 years and show you just how things have changed, not just in terms of my blogging ability, but also how I have changed too. The photo above really surprised me actually, how much my face has changed in 6 years! I had a cutesy, baby fat face for so long which made me look young, but the last 2 years I’ve managed to drop that and my face has become more adult looking, thankfully, but here you will find how I’ve documented my clothing changes, my weight differences, photography improvements and more! I hope you like it!
My First Outfits
Looking back to my first outfits that I used to post, I was around 21 years old and still had a very young minded approach to fashion, so I loved anything brightly coloured, floral, prints etc. I didn’t wear make up and I didn’t really know how to pose or stand either, so my photos looked quite staged. I didn’t mind where I took them so my garden was often a go to place, and they were always low quality with a cheaper camera. Back then I thought they were great though as it was something brand new to me, but now when I look back at some of the older photos, they make me cringe. I can’t view some of my old posts because I feel like I look terrible! Ha ha.
My Silly Faces & Photos
As I was young, I wasn’t very mature either so I used to do a lot of silly poses and funny faces as I thought it was cool. I didn’t really worry what I looked like in the photos as I thought that made it much more fun, but some of these again, make me cringe when I look at them. I don’t do things like this anymore thankfully. I might do a little quirky face in some of my Instagram photos, but nothing like this as I find it highly embarrassing now! It was fun back then, but for what I’ve turned Raindrops of Sapphire into, it’s no longer appropriate.
Love Of Cute Poses With Bags
I first started getting into bags a year or so after I created my fashion blog. I didn’t like them before as I didn’t really have much of a feminine personality or style, but once I started growing up and seeing some that I loved, I used to like doing cute poses with them by my face. Looking back at these photos though, it’s crazy how much I have changed. I look so young compared to how I look now! I barely ever wore make-up either as you can see, which I think adds to my young appearance, but it’s crazy to look back like this, I don’t even recognise myself.
My Very First Designer Mulberry Bag
After I loved my little collection of non designer bags, I started developing a crush on Mulberry. I headed to Kilver Court which houses one of the Mulberry Factory shops and is quite close by, which is where I found my Mulberry Alexa Clutch in Powder Sparkle Tweed! This bag was my ultimate dream and I still love it to this day and wear it. It’s beautiful and I feel like this was a milestone for me in terms of me changing. I wouldn’t include it, but it was a turning point of my fashion and taste changing completely. This was near the end of July 2011! Oh how my bag collection has grown since!
I Got A Fringe/Bangs
Does anyone remember this? It was a short lived moment when I got a fringe! Right at the end of 2011, I decided that I would look amazing with a blunt chopped fringe, but I since regretted it. I came home and actually cried because I hated it that much. It made my face look round and it just didn’t suit me, so I quickly grew that out as fast as I could! I wont be doing that again, but at least I experimented back then and not now! It was a point in my life though where I was really changing more and thought I should change the way I wore my hair to make a statement.
My Love Of Always Wearing My Hair Curly
In 2012, after growing out my fringe, you can see that I started to experiment more with make-up, my fashion choices and I was obsessed with going for an overly girly look and curling my hair all the time. I used to wear it like this as often as I could and I even started collaborating with brands too! The bottom right photo is when I worked with Poochkis (here and here) to show their loungewear. I still really like curly hair like this on me, but now I have shorter hair it’s a bit difficult to do it, but this definitely marks a big turning point in my appearance and taking more care of myself.
I Did DIY Ombre Blonde Hair
Towards the end of 2012 I developed a huge crush on ombre hair, and since I was blonde already (well, dark blonde) I decided to do a DIY ombre hair colour on myself. It didn’t quite go to plan to begin with and was quite orange, but I managed to tone it down with purple shampoo and my ombre was my favourite hairstyle that I had had to date! I loved it and felt like it really suited and framed my face. I had it for years up until I cut my hair about a year ago and cut it out. I’m toying with the idea of doing ombre again, on a shorter style, but this is definitely what gave me my personal sense of style I think.
My Love Of Bright Colours & Prints
Looking back now, I notice how much I loved bright colours and prints. I used to wear bright coloured jeans in almost every outfit and I had a moment of loving to colour block by wearing bold colours together. I remember this phase really well as I still have a lot of the denim in my collection and colourful blazers, and it’s a time I look fondly back on. I still wear bright colours sometimes, but I feel like as I’m getting closer to 30, my taste in clothing has changed a lot more and I drift towards neutrals and pieces that fit well more so than bright, younger, bolder pieces.
My Struggle With My Weight
This is something that I haven’t really documented on the blog at all, I’ve generally kept quiet about it. I’ve spoken about trying to get healthy and things like that a couple of years ago, but before that, my weight was up and down a lot. I’ve gone from a size 24 in jeans, right up to a size 30 over the years and back down again, and it’s been quite challenging, that’s for sure. I felt a lot better when I was slimmer, I didn’t feel good when I was carrying extra weight because of my joint issues. I used to have terrible knee and back pain from my ehlers danlos so having extra weight on top was so bad. I regularly stay between size 26/27 in jeans now and I think that’s my ideal weight. I can’t go back to a 24 as my hips have grown, I’ve matured a lot and I just wouldn’t fit with my bone structure and it wouldn’t suit me, so I’m quite happy now with staying at the size I am as it’s a healthy weight for me. But you can see from the photos above just how up and down it’s been. I was bigger than the 3rd photo above, but I don’t have any photos of it on hand.
Learning To Use Lighting & Locations
After developing my personal style more and getting a DSLR camera, Adam and I started to take my outfit shoots more seriously and we would experiment with lighting (the golden hour being a favourite) and also scouting out nice locations to use which would complement the outfit nicely. I feel like this is a point in my blogging journey where I was turning it into a business, collaborating with more brands and really enjoying what I was doing. When I look back at photos like these, they give me a sense of achievement and happiness, with lots of fond memories.
Visiting LuisaViaRoma in Florence, Italy
In June 2013 I got to go to Florence in Italy with LuisaViaRoma to take part in their Firenze4Ever bloggers event. This was an extremely high point in my life and it was one of the most incredible things I had done. I felt like my blogging was taking off even more and I was even being celebrated for it, by getting to attend this event. Modelling their clothes and doing shoots with a professional photographer was definitely a career highlight for me. It’s a time in my life that I was really proud of and it marks a special point for me in my blogging journey.
Learning To Pose Better & Style Outfits
As time went on, I got better with my styling and putting outfits together and even when I was just standing for a front facing shot, I learned to pose better to make the photos look more natural and less staged. My blog was really starting to take off around this time and the photo on the right was voted the best outfit of mine by you that I had worn to date, which surprised me a lot as it was when I was starting to like a lot more neutrals. The photo on the left with the snow was also when I was learning to use photoshop more and make my photos look a lot better, plus I was using bigger images and had recently changed my blog design into something more sleek.
Different Blog Awards I Have Won
I wanted to create a section as well for some awards I have been shortlisted for and won as I think it’s important to document that as part of the journey. The first award I won was the Bath in Fashion Bloggers Awards in 2013. It was a local award for bloggers around the Bath and Bristol area, as well as parts of the south west. I won this with a public vote and got a certificate too, which was incredible! In 2014, I was shortlisted by Company Magazine in their Fashion Blogger Awards. I was down to the final 10, but unfortunately I didn’t win that one, but to be shortlisted was amazing. In 2015, my newer blog The Jeans Blog was shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards which I attended (see here). I didn’t win unfortunately, but I got a certificate for being a finalist. Now this year, for 2016, I’ve been voted as the 11th best fashion blog in the UK out of everyone, which is something I’m very proud of. I’m up there with Wish Wish Wish, 5 Inch And Up, Style Bubble and more, which is certainly an achievement. I can only hope to grow my blog more and more and as my social media grows (over 80,000 of you combined follow me!) I’m hoping it will help. I just can’t thank you enough for making all of this possible.
Looking After Myself, Learning To Pose & Use Locations More
I mentioned I was learning to use locations more and pose better, but as time has gone on, I’ve learned to be comfortable in what I’m doing now. We always scout pretty locations and wont use anything that doesn’t look good, we always make sure the lighting is right and that I can edit the photos to pop with colour and light as sometimes they don’t come out right, and I’ve learned to feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera and feel natural with walking shots, movement shots and more. From mid 2014 until last year, I was really taking care of my body and looking after it, so I felt great and it’s a time I look back on fondly!
More Maturity & How I’ve Grown, Mentally
Last year I started reading books on enlightenment. Things were getting tough for me with health issues and stressful situations. I had come out about having M.E as an illness and I was going into a bit of a relapse unfortunately, so I was looking for ways to keep me happy and focus my energy into good things. I was reading Siddharta and really enjoyed that, trying to relax a lot and the Summertime was quite a peaceful time for me actually, which marks a milestone in the way I was thinking and how much I had matured over the years. I definitely feel older now.
Using Colours & Surroundings To Complement Photos
Within the last 5 months, I would say my vow to make my blog have more quality posts and less about quantity (now that I’m self employed) has worked out well. I’m using more unique locations and using props and scenery to incorporate into my photos. I’ve matured with my style and when I wear certain colours, I always make sure there’s a location which will contrast that to give the photos more of a pop. There’s a lot I have learned with Adam over the years of blogging and I’m at a very happy place now. We upgraded our camera to the Nikon D610 and it’s amazing, which really creates nice photos.
My Current Outfits, How They Have Evolved From The Beginning
As you can see here, my style now as of 2016 has changed dramatically from the outfits I showed you before. I love layering a lot now, mixing neutrals with a little colour, I’m heavily into grey, I have gotten quite a collection of jeans, coats, boots and bags which I love and I personally feel that my style is the best it has been throughout my 6 year journey. I really take a lot into consideration when I put my outfits together and I spend a while planning them, sometimes I throw them together, but I do like to plan. I feel like my outfits are actually worthy of a fashion blog now.
How I Look As Of Now
And finally, a photo of how I look now, compared to what I looked like back in 2010. I would say the puppy fat has gone, I have more of a bone structure, I know how to do my make-up now and I feel like I look more mature. Sure people still mistake me for being in school sometimes, even though I will be 28 in a few months time, but I’ve definitely changed, I can see that a lot now. I’m so happy that I have gotten to share this journey with you all and I feel like you have all been there during different times in my life and experienced my growth as well, making it feel like one big family. Thank you so much for that and I thank Adam too for being with me throughout it all. Please do let me know what you think of this post in the comments below! Lorna xx.[showads728x90]