Thursday, 23 March 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY WORK: AMANDA HENDRICK: BASKING IN THE LIGHT


The already glowing Amanda, looked even more luminous basking in the light of this expansive window . I have a thing for when strands of hair catch the light, so I really relished taking this set of photos.  

Please credit me if you use my photos. 

Thank you,


 

 






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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

CHRIS KAMRADA/YOUNGGUNS/BRIXTON - GALLERY


Since Ben departed Young Guns, the boys have had some fabulous drummers in the shape of Josh, Casey and Chris join them on tour. Chris, who has also worked with bands like PVRIS, Sleepwave and VersaEmerge joined the boys for their recent run with LTA, and showcased his hugely impressive drumming talents each night. Here's a few snaps I got during their penultimate night of tour at London's Brixton Academy.

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Young Guns Brixton Soundcheck: Gallery


Sorry for the slight pause in activity on this blog over the last week. I've been busing taking pictures at gigs this week, and spending a hell of a lot of time commuting. Factor in editing the images and a fair amount of napping, and I've been left with very little time to construct blogs. 

Just so you have visual proof that this isn't lies to excuse some blogging laziness, I thought I'd do a few posts showing you some pictures from the events I've been. Here are some shots of Young Guns during their soundcheck at Brixton Academy on Friday. It was the penultimate night of their UK run with Lower Than Atlantis, a tour that has been incredibly fun and rewarding for all involved. At the end of the soundcheck disaster struck when a major tech fail occurred that we weren't sure could be rectified in time for the show. Panic!! Tne pictures of the boys huddling together is when they were discussing possible solutions for the nightmare. 

Anyone who was at the gig will be able to tell you that it all go clearly got sorted because they went to put on one of the best shows of their career. The crowd were incredible and there was an amazing energy within the iconic venue of Brixton Academy. Lower Than Atlantis headlined and confirmed their place in the upper echelons of the UK rock scenes. A very special show for the band, fans and industry folk alike.

All shots taken with my little Panasonic Lumix. Please credit if used. 

If you want to see some more professional shots keep an eye on my friend's feed -  @marcusmaschwitz - pictures from the show are incredible

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Monday, 13 March 2017

I want to be a better person but ….but how?


I long for the day I can post an article that will deemed worthy of retweeting and sharing amongst the blogging community, because it’s inspiring or powerful, or radiates heartwarming positivity and light. But I’m afraid today I deliver another rambling spill from my brain, which will once again leave you thinking that Sophie has a lot of work to do on herself.

And that would be true. They always say recognising the problem is the first and important step, so here I am telling you that I don’t think I’m the ‘good’ person I once was, but I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve never felt like I’m the bee’s knees… or the cool modern equivalent to that phrase. However I was always knew that I lived my life kindly, and considered the thoughts and feelings of others - something I think I learned from the behaviour of my parents. I’ve never been the prettiest, the coolest, or most talented, but I think I tended to give off ‘good vibes’, and tried to ensure I was a positive addition to people’s lives. I was the care-giver (mum and I have always collected the strays or troubled of the world), the listener, the comforter, or the person who’d quietly stick up for the weak or misfit-ed. I was never the most outgoing of people, but always had a lot of friends (almost to a level it was stressful to time manage), so I always presumed it was down to the fact they knew I’d be there for them, treat them well, and never judge.

Note the past tense nature of this paragraph.

Of course it’s impossible to be the friend I once was. As you get older you get pulled into so many directions. You have time-hogging responsibilities that leave you less time to do those cute extra things that cement your role as a great mate. If you’ve worked in as many jobs and industries as I have you will have accumulated a number of friends, and become a fixture of many friendships groups, which you also have to divide you time and effort between. Throw in a chronic illness and your ability to be a good friend is hindered further. With everyone spread across the world, your position being absent of money or energy to travel to meet them, the relationships dwindle . I can’t even find the energy to keep up with all the WhatsApp group chats these days, so always end up missing the information about the next meet up.

But, I don’t beat myself up about this anymore, not that it doesn’t make me sad that I often feel out of the loop and isolated, but I know it’s not my fault.

But sadly there’s been a definite deterioration in my way of thinking, and the way I react to other people, and the individual way they think or behave. On a daily basis I am letting tweets on my feed make me angry or frustrated. I see people being so ungrateful, prioritising the wrong things, or just being cruel, and it makes me resentful of the industries I work in, and the way we live today. Due to the change in what is considered important in today’s society’s I keep seeing the wrong people elevated or rewarded, and the deserving and hardworking shunned, and I can’t help but let it affect me. I guess I take it very personally because I know all too well that you can work your butt off, do the right thing, even go the extra mile, and still not achieve what you have rightfully earned. Things just don’t work out how you feel they should.

And here’s a really ugly part. I’m finding it really hard to be happy for people when they get the things that have eluded me for so long. It’s a horrible truth but I can’t ignore that it’s there. This isn’t the case for everyone. I’m ecstatic for those that truly deserve it, who are kind genuine souls, those who have faced a lot of hardship, or worked very hard. I’ll always champion those people...and they give me hope that it can work out. But I can’t pretend to be happy for everyone…even if a tweet showcasing support to them would make me appear like a better human to those observing.

I don’t spend my time communicating these negi thoughts as and when they come. I still try to be fun and lighthearted Soph when spending time with other people, but there are a few slip ups when they filter out through gaps in my happy mask. In fact I rarely ever say harsh words out loud, but the fact remains that my thoughts have definitely become less forgiving, more cynical, self pitying, and envious. So that makes me a horrible person right? And the problem with these thought’s is that each one fuels more of the same. Then you end up feeling worse, because if you still have the essence of the old you within you, you feel guilty for allowing yourself down that path.

I’m sure It doesn’t help that I don’t have positive voices and presences around me for the majority of the time, because the people you surround yourself with really do help to shape your mood and general attitude to situations. The majority of the time I’m in bed on my own, so I only have my thoughts and opinions to focus on..thoughts and opinions that generally include berating myself, or the world we live in today. These days I also have serial killer Dexter for company, which can’t be helping matters. I can see a difference on the days I spend with some of my certain friends though - this I hope proves I’m not a lost cause and perhaps one day I’ll be back to the sunnier version of Soph.

With my friend Holly we laugh about gross stuff, personal matters that most people would put under the ‘oversharing bracket’. We also get each other excited talking about creative endeavours and travel plans. After a chat with Amanda, during one of our photo sessions, I feel like I can actually achieve something, and I start believing that maybe I really can make some dreams come true. When my darling Kelly drives over, we express our love for each other very freely, laugh over some good food and catch up about our fails and successes since our last catch up. The fact that she is always willing to travel to me gives me faith in humans,  because she recognises just how much that helps me. Then there’s my oldest girls who know my essence and have been around long enough to have seen all the events of my life that have lead to the sad person I am today. They are able to bring out the old Soph because when we’re together it’s like we’re silly school girls again, recounting all the embarrassing moments we had in front of the fit guys at school.

But if these moments are too infrequent, my voice is obviously going to be the overriding message, and that is a message is hopelessness and one that tells me I don’t fit in this world, and will never get along with all that existing within it involves…all communicated on the loudest of tannoys of course.

When life has been repeatedly unkind some people find comfort or escape by turning to excess amounts of food, or by numbing out on drugs or alcohol. Others may find themselves turning to unsuitable partners and toxic relationships because they are so down on life, and themselves, that they don’t think they deserve better. My coping mechanism, and the reaction to the life I’ve lived, is to become this harder, toughened version of myself.

There are benefits to this perhaps. People always took advantage of Sophie (Lite version) because they knew they could. She’d be ok with it, she’d forgive, she’ll still be here etc. These days I speak up a bit more, and put my foot down where necessary and I am happy to put unpopular opinion online.

As I continue to write an I wonder if maybe I’m not as hard or un-good as I think. Maybe people just don’t talk about their less than nice thoughts as much as they do their happy, encouraging, inspiring ones? Hmmm

After - all Si still gets a bit cross with me saying ‘ You’re too nice’ and ‘People are taking the piss out of you,” ‘You should tell him/her that it’s not ok.’ He’s either telling me to ‘lay the smackdown’ or  completely agrees with the things I point out that I feel are unjust. Maybe I’m not being completely  irrational with these thought. Maybe I’m not this bad person, but I’ve just found the level of ‘nice’ you need to have to protect yourself from harm.

As I  just said, it has been suggested I was probably just ‘too nice’ for the majority of my life, and that that was probably what got me in most of the situations that lead to the downfall of my overall  positivity level. People see nice-ness as weakness…more accurately they see it as a sign that this is a person is someone they can manipulate or who will offer forgiveness beyond the usual level.

So I wonder if it is possible to have positive thoughts, be happy for others, and not let history, and the lessons you’ve learned from it, dictate your mind and the way it functions….while protecting yourself from future harm that your old positive self fell prey to. Sounds tricky.

Annoyingly this lack of positivity offers another part of my being that makes me feel ostracised from the blogger community. Currently there’s so much focus is about being someone that radiates positivity, being that posi role model. I know a mindset can help to get you on that happy track, but it’s still an incredibly hard vibe to manufacture if life is constantly reminding you how cruel and unfair it can be. I did work out that the community was making it harder for me to be positive because so much of how it functions feels unjust to me so I stopped watching videos and distanced myself from lots of people and events. I know for a fact I’d be a more positive person without social media too, so in time I hope I can remove that from my life too.

Due to horrendous past relationship that taught just how cruel humans can be, and how proficient some people can be at lying, I definitely have more of a guard up that I once did. I’m now at a point where I presume people have a motive or agenda when they doing something nice, whether that’s the case or not. This is a sad attitude to have particularly because it could mean deflecting genuinely lovely people away. But I get those thoughts due to life experience. Surely no ones just nice, like I once used to be…back in the dark ages before social media andwhen emphasis wasn't on cool points and numbers. In the past I’ve had people be nice to me because of who I know, and who they can access via me. And there’s still some that slip through the net. In the last few months there’s bee a few people I’ve befriended that I thought were good eggs, but who numerous sources have informed me are the opposite. But then how do I know that the people telling you they’re not nice aren’t the issue….See these confusions are another reason why I sometimes find it easier to just completely step away from social situations.

Blogs are meant to be honest, and people say that ‘realnness’ is one of the major things they seek from the bloggers they follow. But I feel a lot of the time people want to read about vulnerability, or posts that talk about strength, growth, overcoming. I’m not sure they want to hear about the ugly sides of us, the things that still exist within us and bring out the unpleasant sides to our personalities.

What can be gained from hearing those terrible truths?

I guess it’s that whole ‘she’s ruining my vibe’ type thing. People don’t want to take on other peoples negativity because they’re probably using their energy to batt their own bad thoughts and tendencies away. So do I need to find a way of being honest and real without being bringing other people down?

This post had no real structure. It was just a spur of the moment brain fart (more like full on IBS attack) which will probably make me an even less desirable blogger.. and human. Sorry about that.

One day I hope I’ll be able to write an honest post talking about things I’m proud of. I truly hope they’ll be a day when I can brag about the stuff I’ve achieved and feel comfortable in doing so because I'll feel worthy of the public pat on the back.

I hope you’ll bear with me in the hope I’ll get there someday. In the meantime, feel free to offer tips on how I can become the better woman I want to be.



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Friday, 10 March 2017

GREYWIND ALBUM LAUNCH GIG PHOTO GALLERY

  

A few weeks ago I headed to the stunning setting of London St Pancras Old Church for Greywind's debut headline show and to celebrate their album release. I was there to capture some moments from this pivotal night, including an acoustic performance, meet and greet, and incredible full band show. I recieived numerous request from fans to post these pictures so they can recall the night...so here you go guys. Have you got your copy of Afterthoughts yet? If not, I'd get on that....
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day: You Got This...



Valentines day encourages people to tell people they love, them and in the same way IWD will get people focusing on feminist issues and the power and beauty (inner and outer) of women. I know that the blogging world is going to be heaving with posts, and while this is no bad thing I hope we will try and thread this through our content throughout the rest of the year too. We don’t have to do posts about sisterhood, supporting other females, girl gangs and such to do this. By offering up opinion on issues that matter, by being accepting those of others and contributing intelligent debate, we are showing we have voices that should and deserve to be heard. If we continue to post articles that show that females can be vulnerable, but can also be strong, and if we continue to do good work within the industries we beaver away within, we have actions speaking loudly alongside our words.

Unfortunately some of us are made to feel like we need to prove ourselves, or that we need to fight to be considered equal…in a relationship, in a work place or in a community. I think how we live can be just as important as the things we say. Us ladies may exist in a world where we still need to be extremelyresilient,  having to buck up, dust ourselves off, and persevere to a level that we shouldn’t have to, but my god am I going to continue to brush off those dusty needs and stand tall as many times as I need to. I know that my gender doesn’t harm my ability in the areas of work I have chosen to explore, so even if there are people telling me, or making me feel that I can't succeed, do as well, then I’m damn well going to make sure I do all I can to prove them wrong.

On another relevant issue…I have tired a bit of the angle that girls should support other girls, without exception. I understand our journeys are littered with issues connected to equality and sexism, and that we don’t need people of our own army going rogue and attacking us too. I of course agree that we should offer kindness, support, and encouragement when we can, but I don’t think the fuel should be the gender of the person. Realistically not all women are going to share the same values, the same opinions, the same level of understanding and kindness, or the same backstory that has had an inevitable impact on the aforementioned things.

I’ve noticed on social media that as soon as a female voices an opposing view, a difference of opinion, or merely challenges the words/actions of another female, many people love to conclude that they are jealous, ‘throwing shade’ or being un-feminist. We need to be careful here. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that as a woman I couldn’t take on board the opinions of others or another person’s (females) standpoint. I would feel weakened if I thought people didn’t believe I could take criticism and try and learn from the experience in some way. We will all find ourselves in a position where need to called out  we aren’t infallible - we WILL make mistakes. I know I don’t agree with everything every blogger says for instance, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire their work ethic, how well they’ve done, or dislike in any way. It just means I have a different opinion on that or many other matters they have chosen to talk about, and that's okay. Surely we should use our platforms to showcase our own personal and unique views and in turn encourage healthy and well thought out debate. Otherwise me might as well upload posts with links to other peoples blogs saying - READ THIS.

Now to this media storm that has happened in the last week or so, focusing on the actions and words of high profile celebrities like Brie Larson and Emma Watson. Shock horror Brie Laason wore revealing outfit on the One Show, and Emma Watson wore an outfit that was quite revealing in the boob area as part of a high fashion shoot. I'm sorry they have faced this mass wrath of judgement but at least it's got people talking, which I hope will lead to a deeper understanding of what being a Feminist really means.

The assumption that a naked body or the appearance/showing of a part of the body that we see less on a day to day basis is always a sexual thing, is so off I don’t really know where to start, but I’ll try. People seem to believe that a bare female body immediately means people will be titillated by it, that the person displaying their body is doing it to feel sexy, or to give off ‘sexy.’

It can be about so many other things, but so many people seem to respond in a way that targets the obvious and the easiest angle, perhaps due to the ‘values’ that have been ingrained as they grew up or perhaps due to how society has conditioned them to.

I wish people would consider these things before jumping to conclusion. when viewing an image with an element of nudity or flesh baring.

Perhaps that part of the body holds some significance for them. Perhaps there’s a link to something that has happened to them during their life, a visible or invisible scar that tells a story. Perhaps it’s a part of the body they hold dear because the struggle or torment it has delivered to their life, which has go on to teach them some valuable life lessons. Maybe to them, their body represents a vessel for new life and a source of love and nutrients for their offspring. Perhaps it represents the potential of new life. Maybe their willingness to appear without clothes signifies a shift in their self acceptance and a new level of confidence. Maybe they want to portray vulnerability. Maybe their creative eye gazes in awe over beautiful lines and curves. Maybe they want to stand strong as a message of hope for people doubting their own self worth or beauty. Consider whether they are doing it to rebel against conformity. Allow yourself to wonder whether they may see the naked form as a human in it’s purest form, stripped back and without prejudices and judgements caused by the addition of clothing, which tends to has the ability connote a level of wealth or status. Some may see their skin as a canvas, proud to show off the artwork they’ve collected on their body. Perhaps they find being naked liberating and the life that ‘free’ feeling it gives them. Perhaps they are doing it to draw attention to a cause. Perhaps their life hasn’t gone how they would. Perhaps it’s an artistic decision, perhaps every aspect of the shoot was artfully curated.

Maybe they put on this revealing and skin flashing outfit that made them feel fantastic. There’s a chance they felt powerful and strong. Ask yourself whether the sight of someone  enjoying their sexuality or being comfortable in their skin, should always be considered something that cheapens,  devalues their worth, or the perception of women as a whole.


I think I said what I wanted to say in a nutshell in this instagram. 



Lastly. Build people up where possible. Have intelligent conversation. Promote equality.

I really hope you all have  women in your life that bolster the fact that you can do anything and you have a voice that should be heard. 

Just make sure you got those people that can say ‘You got this’. But if not please tell yourself.

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

MY FAVOURITE CRUELTY FREE FOUNDATION


 
As you will know if I've been struggling to find a cruelty-free foundation that doesn't disagree with my awkward and temperamentall skin. A lot of people presume that natural products are going to better for absolutely everyone, and you can understand the logic, but as someone who suffers with allergies and intolerances to salicylates, which are found naturally within a lot of fruit and vegetables, I can tell you that this isn't always the case. 

I've tried various Cruelty Free foundations that had so such promise, brands that were reccommended by bloggers with similar skin types, and who upload honest and reliable reviews that I usually agree with. But when I went on to try them myself they either brought on a very notiecable breakout, drew attention to my fairly large pores, or not had sufficient enough coverage to mask my acne scars and discolouration. 

But I've finally found my holy grail foundation in the award-winning Skin Base Foundation By Illamasqua. Feeling desperate and not wanting to have to settle with a non cruelty free brand, I put out a plee on Twitter. Many bloggers and friends tweeted the brands I'd already tried, or brands that aren't yet available in the UK, but then I  got a slew of messages reccommending this particular one. So to you guys....THANK YOU!!


So the next time I was in London and before heading to a girly dinner in Soho I swung by their store which is quite literally a stones throw from Carnaby Street, to pick up a bottle. 

I thought it would be one of those fly-by visits, a simple case of picking a colour that looked right, perhaps discretely testing on one of my cheeks, and then handing over my cash. But as as soon the sales assistant asked me how he could help it, I knew it would be a much more thorough procedure. 

I was sat in one of their chairs in front of the mirror, with my face already fully made up for the eveneing of socialising and eating at Balons round the corner. When he asked if he could take off my foundation I have to admit I instantly felt a bit stressed. If you're someone that's not very confident about their bare face, you don't particularly look forward to the prospect of exposing your natural canvas to the public who can peek in through the window, or to a shop full of strangers. I was also seriously clock-watching as I had somewhere to be, and hadn't invisioned this task would take more than a couple of minutes. But when he pointed out that by testing it properly all over my face it would ensure we would find a perfect colour match. I figured if I'm going to spending more than my norm on a foundation, I ought to get the perfect one, plus I could see that there was only one other person in the shop. I decided to let him wipe off my thick veil of make up.

Once my face was bare and it's true blotchy self, he started applying some Hydra Veil (rehydrating gel) all over my face, but focusing on the areas that tend to sweat or expose pores. Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil 'instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel'. 


Utilising the power of Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 which work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, the formula promises to create a healthy looking, balanced finish.

He put some on his hand which he then applied to my face using a brush, and my word did it feel refreshing.  The plant extracts provide that calming and refreshing feeling. Once dried, which takes a matter of seconds as it sinks in to the skin in the same vein as a primer, you instantly see a smoother surface for the foundation to rest on. 


Next we tried out a couple of shade of foundation on my cheek with us finally settling on 6.5 which has an olive yellow undertone. I know that a lot people struggle to find foundation's with yellow undertones, so I thought it was worth mentioning. I'm someone who looks fairly pale right now, but I tan incredibly well in summer, going quite a deep golden brown. There are an impressive 26 shades to choose from.

Knowing that I was off somewhere aftewards, he very happily obliged in finishing off my make up with some blusher and powder. He also was very generous in giving me a sample of the HydraVeil to take away with me, as well as an invite to come back and have my make up done, which I sadly couldn't do before the offer expired. Still a nice touch though! 

Having lived with it for a number of weeks now I am just as impressed with it. In fact I love it even more since I've started applying it with a dense buffing brush. I'm going to sound like a complete loser now, but I genuinely get excited about putting my foundation on everyday, just because the transformation is so very satisfying. A little goes a long way too (if applied with a brush) , it dimishes the appearance of pores, covers discoouration very well, and lasts all day. Unlike many of my past foundations, it also doesn't tend to sit in the lines that come from my nose to the corner of my mouth either.

The greatest joy/relief upon discovering this foundation is that it doesn't worsen my acne, in fact I truly believe it reduces it. If I go a few days of not wearing it I definitely notice a few more of those buggers sprouting up. Perhaps that's because having foundation on prevents me from touching my face as much, or maybe there's something in the formula that is beneficial to spont prone skin...or maybe just my skin. Either way, I'm ecstatic about it.

But when I was having my make-up done professionally, ahead of the Fifty Shades Darker premiere, we were having a girly chat  about our favourite foundations, and this of course was mentioned by everyone. However, one of the make-up artists did state that she tried it on a client who had very dry skin and it didn't work too well for her. So maybe if you skin is highly textured by dryness, maybe this isn't the ideal choice for you. 


So a huge shout out goes to Illmasqua for not only creating cruelty free and (some) vegan products that do an amazing job, but also for having staff willing to put in the time and care to ensure their customers come away happy and confident in their purchases. It's also great knowing you're not sacrifying style or choice, the brand are famed for their stunning array of colours, proving you don't have to limit your make up creativity to be more ethical. 

At £32.50 it's fairly expensive, but if something gives you confidence, improves the appearance and texture of your skin, AND it happens to be cruelty free, I think it is very much worth it. Before going Cruelty Free I used Clinique Anti Blemish which had a simililarly good effect on my troublesome skin, but lacked the full coverage of Skin Base, so even though it was cheaper I think this one is worth the extra few pounds.


What are your favourite foundations? I'd love to hear your reccommendations.

30ml 1FL OZ
price per 10ml £10.83
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Monday, 6 March 2017

Integrity VS Survival: Sponsored Content


 
Sponsored content…Wait, don’t close this tab or window. I’m know you’re fed up with seeing the negative comments about it under your uploads, probably as much as you’re fed up of reading blog posts that explain why people shouldn’t be anti us bloggers doing paid-for videos and blog posts. I know, it’s been spoken about by all of us at some point or another, but today I wanted to focus on a particular intricacy that makes it less of a black and white issue. I hope I’ll be able to explain why your personal views on it should take into account the position/situation/size of each particular blogger.



When the full time/established bloggers talk sponsored work they’ll of course, quite rightly, explain that this is their livelihood and like any other career they deserve to make some money for the hours of work they put in to create this otherwise free content. They’ll attempt to silence many of their detractors and doubters by assuring them that they will only work with brands or products that they believe in or love - or have used naturally before they were approached for a collaboration. 

They’ll promise to always be truthful, and confirm that they’ll make sure the AD videos are clearly marked, and that everything they say within them will be true and honest. Transparency is the buzz word. Whether the readers/subscribers believe this to be the way that the specific blogger genuinely function when it comes to paid work, will probably depend on the sponsored work they’ve done previously, and whether they can see clear synergy between the brand and the blogger. Regular viewers/readers tend to be able to gauge whether that blogger tends to fall in to the honest bracket - it only takes one glowing review of a product known to be below par to eradicate faith. 


 
So I think this is a very sensible/correct approach for successful bloggers/vloggers who make regular and substantial money from blogging. To handpick the most suitable from the plethora offers they receive, and decline the ones that don’t feel a good fit or don’t align with their ethics, style or beliefs, seems the obvious and moral method for handling sponsored opportunities.  
There are numerous  benefits to this approach too.  Videos will be more enjoyable to watch because their words will be genuine and hopefully passionate, or the collaboration will have fuelled a creative visual that sits well on the channel and showcases their skill set. All these elements will make it enjoyable for the creator to make too, and more importantly won’t risk the bond of trust between them and the viewers/readers. They’ll be protecting their business and it’s reputation, which we know is very important.

And I think ideally most of us would like to take this staunch approach to keep our integrity completely in tact. After-all no one wants to be associated with lies or deception, and we would all rather not be associated with brands or products that aren't respected or considered cool within the community. 


 
However, smaller influencers, the ones who are also relying on this as their sole income, don’t always have the luxury of choice. We’ll be watching our inbox like hawks just hoping a legit sponsorship opportunity will land and diminish our money worries for a  bit. Once we’ve wasted a frustrating amount of time with numerous to's and fro’s, with companies that don’t understand that a sponsored post requires them to pay us money, any money, we may be left with one or two to consider. BTW anyone else tired of the emails asking us for our ‘cooperation’.

The opportunities that remain may not be hugely exciting, or a perfect and obvious match for what we do, but we are aware that  if we accept the opportunity the financial reward would give us the ability to then go on to make the work we really want to make for our blog or channel. Perhaps the money we make will mean we can update our equipment and deliver a higher standard of work we know our readers and viewers would appreciate, and enjoy even more. It may help us afford to travel to blog events and create useful contacts. Perhaps it could mean we don’t have to be in a constant state of stress, which inevitably effects the work we put out, as well as our health, and the enjoyment of being a creator. Perhaps the same PR company works with lots of brand we do love, and we see this one as a foot in the door to future work which would sit perfectly on our platforms. 


 
I don’t think this mean’s we sacrifice our morals or integrity. Just because the partnership isn’t perhaps the most obvious, perfect, or isn’t quite the achingly cool match we wish it was, it doesn’t mean it has to be riddled with dishonesty either.

It may be a brand you’ve not heard of till then, but when you look at the site you think it looks right up your alley, and they seem to be doing a good job at what they do, so you don't see any harm at raising awareness of their brand. It may be that it’s not really your kinda thing but you know for a fact that a lot of your subscribers would like to hear about it. Perhaps the company has allowed for a lot of creative freedom with the project so that you can promote the product in a way that befits your ethos and your visual style. Of course the last point is only possible if the brand understands the importance of this…..(that points deserves it’s own post)


 
For me the key to working round this issue is using the video or blog post to inform people about it so they can make up their own mind. I personally don’t really look to reviews anymore, music or beauty, because I know everything is so subjective and we’re all coming from different standpoints, tastes...and skin types. I seek out information, test for myself, and form my own opinion.

A good example would be that I have attended lots of screenings/premieres over the years. I am required to do social media on the carpet and maybe Vlog about my time on the carpet. I will never say I think a films amazing if it is not (in my opinion), but I will tell you what kinda of film it is, who's in it , and also tell you about my experience of being at the premiere. I don’t want to encourage people to go and see a film that I don't believe is worth watching by spouting hyperbolic statements or flat-out lies, but I do want to let you know what’s out in the cinema at the moment so that you can make a choice about whether it looks like something you'd like. There’s plenty of films I've not made no comment on in regards to the quality of the film or whether I enjoyed watching it, and instead focused on how fun the event was. I think this is totally fine, particularly when you consider that most people are tuning it to see you get ready, your outfit choice, which celebs are on the carpet etc. If I was asked to do a review and didn’t like the film I would tell the PR that I’d have to be honest.


 
This year I've turned down quite a few interview opportunities and events, for two main reasons.
As I’ve banged on about numerous times, it costs me £20 a pop to go to London (where all these things take place). If they’re not paid opportunities and if I don’t have money coming in, I'm essentially losing money every-time I do this kinda work (which is soul destroying). And although it can be fun, it is still work, because it’s content for my channel/blog which is my only source of income till I get my Etsy store rockin' and rolling. Sometimes it’s worth it for the investment, it may be a bit hitter views wise and bring more subscribers, which will then put you in a better bargaining position for future sponsored work, or just be good for the illusion of blogger status. 
 But with my finances as they are I generally can’t think that way right now.

You aren’t paid to attend or carry out these interviews because as a creator you have often taken the place of slot which would be filled by a journalist, and they would have been paid by the publication for the content. We don't have a publication to invoice, because we are the publication. So sadly I simply can't ask for my expenses to be covered,


 
As I'm uploading less while focusing on my art shop, I am also trying to consider each upload a bit more carefully, and trying to offer content that genuinely will appeal to the tastes and interests of my particular subscribers. So the last few weeks I’ve been weighing up suitability to my channel, the cost to my energy levels and health, but also it's effect on my bank bank balance. Sadly not all of us are in the position to say yes to all the fun stuff that comes our way, and we may also have to say yes to the not so fun opportunities that come our way. In my current position I would say yes to a sponsored post if I thought I could make it work morally and stylistically and if I could be honest, even if it wasn’t exactly the dreamiest of collabs at first sight. 

I guess what I’m saying is we’d all love to be the teachers pet, the angelic beacons of morality of the blogging community, and only work with brands and products that are seamlessly connected us and our personal brand, but the fact is they’re not always the brands that want to work with us, and we need to eat, pay the bills…survive. If I hadn’t been so worried about being seen as a sell out in the past, maybe I wouldn't still be living with my parents at this embarrassingly old age.


 
Obviously my situation is a bit different. At my level of subs you may not usually think you're in a position to go full time. You wouldn't have to say yes to a sponsored post that doesn’t get you giddy with excitement because you’d be making money from your other job.. But I’ve turned to YouTube as a salvation of sorts. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to earn money, even when largely in bed, without having to rely on benefits. Just to reassure smaller bloggers, there really are plenty of opportunities for our size too, but they’re just not necessarily the big or recognisable brands that instantly inject a stamp of credibility to your personal brand.

So, in summary, I’ll never work with a brand or promote a product I think is bad, and I’ll never say something positive which I don’t believe to be true, but you may see me do some collabs that might be random, obscure, or a yard or too from sponsorship ‘goals’. But they’ll still be transparent and honest. Promise.

You wan't me to eat, right?


I'm wearing
Zara Dress
Boohoo Denim Jacket
Primark Polo Neck
New Look Boots
Empty Casket Necklace
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