The Creative Process…

I can honestly say 2019 has been my most creative year yet. If that’s even a thing – and also, I’m not trying to brag. I’m just excited. I pour a lot of energy into pretty much every single thing I write and share with you guys. From my blog posts to my newsletter to Instagram, I strive to make this content as relevant, relatable, exciting and empowering as I possibly can.

I started doing more of a storytelling vibe last year with more thoughtful posts and post topics. My goal for this year was to put some extra focus into the imagery and make the photos you see here on the blog and on your screen via IG a little more interesting.

There are so many bloggers out there – SO many. Seriously, why are there so many of us? And while I am so pumped all of these awesome women are running bomb businesses, we all tend to cover a lot of the same topics which means a lot of our photos tend to run together when you’re scrolling through your timeline. How many photos have you seen in the past 48 hours of a blogger sitting on her kitchen counter with a cup of coffee and white roses? Been there, done that – a lot.

It’s been a lot of fun over the past few months creating slightly more editorial or action style images to accompany the stories that I post here on the blog and you guys seem to love them as much as I love creating them – so I thought I’d share a little of what goes into each shoot!

Check out some of my favorite #laurenelyceBTS clips from this year.

It’s taken me a while to get organized but I feel like I’ve finally gotten a good grasp around my process. To be fair, I don’t do this for every single shoot or photo. Sometimes it’s fun to just show up to a new place with a random outfit and snap some photos – there’s a lot of that. But when I have a specific message or story I want to tell, I like to be as thoughtful and intentional as possible. So here’s what I do…

Step 1. Plan out editorial content

I go back and forth with my editorial calendar. Some months I’ve got it all planned out far in advance. And then there are months like this one where I come up with posts the week before. I typically at least have a list of topics and messages I want to cover and keep it in my Notes app on my phone/computer for easy reference.

If I don’t have anything top of mind or going on in my life that inspires a new post or story, I love looking for inspiration from other sources. I scour Instagram, magazines, some of my favorite blogs and even different brand campaigns to get ideas for blog posts, photoshoots and more. To be clear. I do not copy. I despise nothing more than when someone copies someone else, especially more than once. Sure, I’m not really sure any of us have 100% completely original ideas but if you draw inspiration from a photo or blogger, put your own twist on it – and spread the love aka give the credit where it’s due. The photos in this post were actually inspired by my friend Mireille of City Peach. I loved how fun & whimsical her photos were and wanted to do my own spin. I opted for a more minimal feel with white and tan like most of my feed and thanks to my awesome dance coach/photographer Naomi, I think we nailed it.

Step 2. Develop the imagery concept

Once I have a story or message I want to share, I start brainstorming how I can bring that vision to life. I’ll usually text Hannah or Naomi with the general topic or project if it’s sponsored and we’ll look for some inspiration or talk through some different ideas. This is probably my favorite part if I’m being honest. I’ve always wanted to be a creative director for a big brand so I like to pretend that’s my job.

Step 3. Plan outfit & props

Now that I have a concept nailed down, it’s time to think about what I need to make the photo pop. Sometimes that involves props like a disco ball, glitter or bubblegum. Amazon has been my best friend lately!

Now that I’m not only doing style and fashion content, I like to keep my outfits on the simple side when it comes to the lifestyle images. I usually want the message or scene to speak for itself. However, when the post is style-centric or if a statement dress/sequin jumpsuit makes the most sense, I love playing dress-up and having fun!

Step 4. Scout locations

When I’m driving around Atlanta or saving photos to my ATL inspiration board, I add locations I love to a list in my Notes app as possible places to shoot. Then, when I’m planning my next photoshoot I’ll cross-reference the location list to the list of photos I need, props, outfits, etc to see what makes the most sense.

Step 5. Create a shotlist

Lastly, the shot list. Mabe the most important part of the day and the only thing that keeps me truly organized. I’m all ready to go before the shoot starts but once we get in the thick of things, all of my “control and order” go out the window. I get hot. I get annoyed. I forget half of the things I want to do so having a little shot list on my phone is really helpful – and I usually like to share with my photographer before the shoot, too.

Photos by Naomi Hopkins