The REAL Reel

A few weeks ago, I saw this post by @chinaalexander and I haven’t been able to shake it from my mind. On a day when most of us were sharing our 2018 highlights, here she was sharing some of her “bloopers”. I felt inspired and guilty all at same time.

Here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with sharing and celebrating amazing moments and accomplishments. In fact, if you’re not celebrating yourself on the daily I truly believe you’re doing it wrong. But as an influencer, I 100% get sucked into the “highlight reel” mentality.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the work I create for I feel proud of the content that stems from my creativity and infinite brainstorming sessions. I get excited to share images and videos that I poured countless hours into. I love styling photo shoots and honing my editing skills. I love creating editorial inspired content featuring everyday products. I love it all and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. However, if you scroll through my feed and are soely looking at imagery, it’s nothing short of a highlight reel. It all looks perfectly planned out, and guses what, it is.

I spend hours every week curating content, mapping out an editorial calendar, shifting little squares around to keep folks engaged and interested and inspired. It takes a lot of work and that’s part of the work that goes into being a content creator. Having that stylized imagery is what helps to set you apart from other influencers in the space. It makes you unique and gives your voice something tangible to take in.

Our main mission should be to inspire audiences to make a purchase, try a service, go on a trip, make a lifestyle change, etc. At the same time, our mission should also be to inspire those actions in an authentic and encouraging (and positive) way. That’s why you follow us instead of reading magazines full of models who all look the same or celebrities who don’t even use the product they’re selling. You follow bloggers because we are real people sharing real opinions.

And if I’m being honest, all of that can get a little lost in the gorgeous, branded Instagram feed we push out to the world. I am so guilty of staging photos and staging content to sell something and I lose track of my purpose. On top of that, I get wrapped up in only sharing the most perfect photos. I want you to love the photo so much that you then hopefully take the next step to visit a blog post, buy a product, sign up for a service, book a flight and so on.

But here is where we get into trouble. All of these perfectly crafted moments start to put us in the same categories as model filled magazines and unauthentic celebrities. And it’s not fair to you.

So, here is where I make a change. Here is my message to you.

One. While I plan to continue creating beautiful imagery to accompany stories, I am also planning to be as authentic and relatable in the story itself. I never want a follower or reader to think my life is picture perfect because spoiler, it is NOT. It’s messy. It’s hectic. As I write this, I am wearing sweatpants and the sports bra I worked out in five hours ago. It’s not cute over here. But at the same time, I enjoy creating the beautiful imagery that hooks you into the story. My mission is make the copy that accompanies these images REAL. I want you to feel like you can relate on some level with what I’m actually talking about. If the image makes you click over, great! But I want you to stay because of what you’re reading.

Two. Here is your friendly reminder that what I post is 9 times out of 10 the “best” shot. It’s the one out of the bunch that not only gets the point of the post across but it also looks the best. My pose is just candid enough to look natural but is 100% staged to look that way. My angle is one that highlights my favorite features and maybe hides some of the ones I’m feeling insecure about that day. The lighting is just right. The editing is cohesive. Blah, blah blah. In case you needed a little reminder that what you see isn’t my only reality, here are some of my favorite REAL shots. My REAL reel.

As China said, “Fuck the highlight reel.I just want REAL.”

Here’s to more real content that equally inspires without digging up comparison and negative thoughts. Here’s to beautiful imagery that gets you to the real story. And here’s to the real moment that we all can relate to. Love you guys!


  1. 1.17.19
    Leslie said:

    I absolutely love that you did this. You’re one of my favorite bloggers and as a new blogger, it is so refreshing to see the REAL! You are absolutely precious even in the “real” photos and I adore your brand. Looking forward to what you have in store for the future!

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