Thursday, February 7, 2013

behind the blog: here & now

This week's Behind the Blog is about a girl close to my heart...and brain! Jessica, who blogs at Here & Now, is a Ph.D student in biomedical research so she feels me on my lab coat pain but luckily for all of us, she has a great sense of style underneath it. Please give her a warm welcome!
Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

When I started blogging in October 2011, I had been reading a few of the larger personal style blogs out there (The Daybook, Kendi Everyday, Atlantic-Pacific), & something clicked in me that said, “I want to stand in my backyard & photograph myself”… but seriously, blogging started as my way to document my own personal style journey from college grad to grad student… as I say, I’m no longer a college student, but I haven’t really yet entered the “real world”, so I am finding a style for myself that works for the “here & now” and will stay with me as I transition over the coming years.

Which blogs do you read every day? 

I actually just cleared out my Bloglovin’ blog roll, keeping only my absolute favorites while making room for some new reads to be discovered in 2013. I enjoy reading blogs of the bloggers that came on to the “scene” at the same time as me, &/or are of the same size as mine (like my blogging sisters!). A few standout favorites include (but are certainly NOT limited to): Obviously Obsessed, Currently Coveting, It’s An Easy Life (her Awkward & Awesome Thursday posts SLAY me!), Sam Ipsa Loquitur, Because Shanna Said So, Still Being Molly, The Other Side of Gray, & of course my under-the-lab-coat-fashionista blogging soulmate Franish!

Oh & because I am about to go blind from reading those little word verification thing-a-ma-jigs, those blogs might be the next to get the ax from my blog roll – update that comment verification ladies! For the sake of blogger’s eyeballs everywhere!

Who takes your pictures? What camera and lens do you use? Have you ever been caught in the act of taking these?

I take my own photos using a tripod/remote/occasional self-timer set up. I have had my Canon Rebel T2i for a year with the kit 18-55 mm lens, & just ordered a 55mm f/1.4 portrait lens that I can’t wait to start using! So far I have only ventured as far as the alley behind my apartment to take photos & survived the occasional awkward double-take by my neighbors, so hopefully I can get some bravery to take photos in more public spaces… maybe 2013 is the year for that!

Do people in real life know about your blog? What were their reactions when they found out about your blog?

My close family & friends know about my blog, but I prefer to not share my extracurricular activities with my co-workers. I think highly of the blogging community, but I am not so sure my boss would feel the same, & so far I have successfully kept my two worlds separate. Consider me the Ph.D. student turned fashion blogger version of Superman…

You are currently in graduate school – how do you work within the confines of school and work towards a wardrobe once you enter “the real world?”

Being a grad student in a biomedical research Ph.D. program means that I have to wear boring things like closed toe shoes, conservative cuts, & clothes that won’t catch fire on my Bunsen burner, but I chose to not wear grubby jeans & sweatshirts everyday. That being said, I spend the majority of my clothing budget towards these 50 closet staples that are very versatile, & then pick up smaller trendy/flashy/not-lab-approved items (i.e. my liquid leather leggings) to spice up those classic pieces.

Many fashion bloggers hop from one trend to the next. How do you manage to stay on trend without breaking the bank and just blindly following each trend?

I am never going to be a super trendy girl – harem pants, 5 inch platform shoes, skorts, ear cuffs – just not for me. Trench coats, flattering dark jeans, chic ballet flats – that is more my style, & seeing that it worked just as well for one of my icons – Miss Audrey Hepburn – over 50 years ago as it does now, I think I am going to stick with my classic pieces! Seriously though, harem pants should be burned.

Putting yourself on the internet comes with the expectation that not everyone will always love what you are wearing and writing. Have you encountered any of these criticisms, and if so, how do you handle it?

I make my blog a positive place, & so far people have respected that & given me nothing but positivity in return. I am a sensitive soul, & one time got a little bruised that a commenter called my style “simple”, but after picking my ego off the floor, I realized that I do have a more “simple” style, & I should just rock it and make it my “thing”. Done & done.

What has been the best thing to come out of blogging? 

Creative Outlet! I am literally bursting at the seams with posts I want to create, looks I want to style, & blogs to read when I come home from the lab. I get to exercise my serious scientist brain everyday at work, so during my “me time” I love to be girlie & explore my passion for fashion.

When it comes to promotion of your blog, what methods do you use? Do you spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs, pinning your looks, doing link ups?

When I first started, I spent my free time commenting on successful personal style blogs that I aspired to be like, creating relationships with other start-up bloggers, & making sure I was putting myself out there on the best foot with my own unique voice & style. Now, I focus my “promotion” attention on purchasing “advertising” on other popular blogs, offering giveaways, & social media interactions. I’m not in this business of blogging to make truck loads of cash, & the meaningful relationships I have made with fellow bloggers & my sweet readers keeps my passion burning. Currently any money I make from blogging goes back into my blog (blog design, giveaways, sponsoring other bloggers, etc.), & I have learned that the easiest way to make money is to shop my own affiliate links (you want other people to shop your links, so why aren’t you!?)

What tips or suggestions do you have for your fellow bloggers? 

If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right. 

Isn't that the truth. Thank you again Jessica! Come back next week to read all about Dash Dot Dotty!