Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I was browsing through my Facebook feed earlier this afternoon and someone had posted a link to a blogger who wrote a post, sort of a "behind the scenes" look at her Instagram feed...I thought it was a great idea, so I give credit to this lady, for the inspiration behind this post (as much as I wish I was this creative, I'm really not) 

This picture looks like a relaxing afternoon, maybe around sunset, chilling at our lake house. I'm accompanied by Ray-Bans? and a book that I'm buzzing through because I'm all about the novels this summer. And look at that gorgeous tan! 

In reality, it took me about ten different shots at different angles and crops to make sure my legs didn't look fat and the lighting was just right. Those glasses, while I love them, had just broken and were $13 at Target (I'm not ashamed of that, but I'm just being honest) it took me nearly a month to get through a book that could have been easily read in a week. And my tan? Well yes I have gotten tan this summer, but as is the case with 90% of my photos, I applied the F2 filter.  

Classic white girl here, with my usual morning coffee and pastry because that will totally keep me full all day, and I'm so classy with my Coach bag! 

Actually, I was starving again by 12:00, that's not my usual but I felt like treating myself because it was my birthday and I didn't get a job this summer so I had nothing else to do that morning. I went into food blogger mode and had to take a handful of shots to make sure the morning light hit my croissant just right, and while my bag did provide a nice contrast, I was mostly using it to hide my phone so people wouldn't think I was weird for taking pictures. 

Look how artsy I am, perfectly pedicured toes, and the light reflecting just marvelously in my favorite mug. The plant is a wonderful accessory to the scene as well, and this is totally not staged, right?

Wrong! I took a variety of shots trying to get the ideal reflection in my mug, and I was still in my pajamas (those are my favorite pajama shorts) with no makeup on and my hair probably in desperate need of a wash. I totally did stage this whole scene, because I have to make sure reality fits the image I have in my head. OK, let me give myself some credit-I guess I am creative, it just doesn't always play out the way I want it to, so I have to try harder.  

This selfie game is on point. 

My hair is in a braid because I have curly hair and it does not come out of the shower as anything less than a mane to be tamed. I was suffering from a pretty severe cold and sore throat, and I placed myself in front of a window so the light would reflect in my eyes and make me look more alive. Please excuse the awkwardly visible tan line I have going on, oh, and I might have slept in that shirt...

My caption for this photo is "maybe the real measure of art is what beauty can be found amidst all the chaos." I'm so cool, being a world traveler and all. 

I was in a moving car, cautiously crossing in the hopes of avoiding being hit, about an hour from home (which is actually pretty neat- only being an hour away from the Golden Gate) I was having a bad hair day and it was a really gloomy day, but I was able to use my trusty F2 filter. For me, being a photographer is having the power to capture a moment in time, yes, even amidst the chaos. 

One of my biggest flaws is my severe lack of self-esteem and confidence. Before I was a blogger, I educated myself by reading other blogs, watching YouTube videos and stalking Pinterest boards; I explored people's Instagram accounts, following random strangers who inspired me with their "perfect" lives; their juice cleanses, their world travels, their morning espressos...the more I learned about these bloggers, the more I realized that they only showcase part of their lives: the part they want people to see. When I decided to start my own blog, I found myself adopting this habit as well. My Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even my Snapchat became outlets for me to showcase who I have worked hard to become (while still staying true to myself) The talented, educated, wander-lusting and yes, artsy woman who I have grown into didn't just grow overnight...she overthought every little thing and wondered how people would react. I struggle with self-image and I find it challenging to face each day when I wake up, just like a lot of other people. I suffer from the occasional depression, anxiety, breakout and bad attitude, and trust me, my life is nowhere near perfect. But that's okay. 

Readers tend to think that bloggers have care-free, wonderful lives, complete with white comforters, Starbucks and their MacBooks...bloggers are in a world of their own, but that doesn't mean that we aren't people just like everyone else. We also take 20 selfies before finding one where we feel beautiful; we can't afford to visit a new place every month so we have to find the extraordinary in the everyday, and who really has time to get Starbucks every single morning? 

I guess what I am trying to say is that image is not everything. Photography and editing are special to me because it is something that I wanted to know, I spent hours practicing, and it has taken me years to become the photographer I am today. Add in my iPhone and my Instagram account and I am able to present my life in my photos to others in the hope that I can also be an inspiration...just remember, it's not a bad thing that we only show what we want the world to know, but it's still very true. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise


  1. Came across you via Bloglovin'. This post is super on point, oh the things we'll do for Instagram! Each shot takes a million tries, then you have to worry about the caption. Hehe.

    Savy //

  2. Absolutely love this post! I live in Italy and thus have a lot of shots around Italy - a lot of people comment how they would love my life balhbalbh - but the truth is it's life and there's SO much bs I don't write about. Great great post.

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your feedback! Wow, my blog has reached Italy?? So cool, and really makes my day.

  3. You are an incredibly talented photographer. I love the depth of this post and absolutely agree with you. Great quote too - I might have to write that one down!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest post:

  4. I have been wanting to do a post like those for a while but I dont think any sort of lighting could make my messy life look good right now. Definitely want to try it out once I finish my move though!!

    But I honestly dont mind staged Instagram photos, what I do mind are completely pointless ones that are grainy or reposted in hopes of gaining more likes (or do only my friends do that?)