We like mixing up our content a bit, and since there have been a lot of reviews recently, we wanted to give you a bit more of fun post – a small insight into what goes on “Behind the Scenes” in the world of lingerie blogging. Char and I have joked many times: “If only our readers could see this!” while wrapping ourselves up in dressing gowns to pretend to be mermaids or posing in awkward positions on a bed with spotlights glaring down on us to get the right angle and right lighting – I’m sure you can imagine there are some pretty hilarious scenes and many, many outtakes (most of which will never see the light of day!). Here’s just one of the masses:
What a lot of people don’t realise is the hard work and effort that goes into a lingerie blog. I run two other blogs as well (Rebel Angel and Disney Days) and neither take quite as much effort as a post on BCLC does. For example, a “simple” lingerie review post will take the following:
- Emails back and forth between us to figure out when we can meet up to take photos.
- Making sure that the lingerie in question has been worn to test it out beforehand.
- As a result, making sure the lingerie is clean for the photo shoot – there have been times where I’ve been known to dig it out of the laundry for photos (don’t laugh!).
- Setting up the “scene” and “props” beforehand (more on this in a minute).
- Taking the photos themselves – this normally takes around 20 minutes for a set.
- Getting the photos off the camera, onto the computer and editing them (more on that too soon).
- Writing the blog post itself, which kind of deserves its own bulletpoints:
- Researching the company to give some background and history.
- Researching the piece of lingerie itself to see what other bloggers have posted to link back to, whether it has reviews on Bratabase and whether we agree/disagree with these.
- Breaking the post down into specific sections so that we give a good overview of everything possible about the piece we’re reviewing.
- Including links and prices of where you can buy the piece.
- Publishing the blog post – finally!
- Publicising the blog post across social media – ours usually go on our Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram (check these out in our sidebar), with some also making it to A Bra That Fits on Reddit or relevant Facebook groups.
- Making sure we know how well the post is going down by checking out our Analytics on Google – a process which is actually not that hard, as it is explained here in a quick overview if you’re just getting started.
Phew! And that’s just a review post – ones that include wishlists or are a brand spotlight include all kinds of different bits and pieces but fortunately not the photo part which can often be the hardest, physically and mentally – think about the fact that we then have to see hundreds of (sometimes unflattering) photos of ourselves on screen and sift through them to find the best options!
The Photo Shoot
(It deserved a heading in itself!)
Generally our BCLC photos take place in our bedrooms or spare rooms, depending on where the light is best at the time of day and what bedding we have on (it makes a difference!), although we have been known to venture further occasionally like in the garden for our Panache sports bra review or outside a holiday cottage for Char’s CK Smoothie review. These were awesome because there aren’t any people around to see them, but on a normal day, we don’t have that luxury! The lighting is always so much better outside though, hence why I have invested in some props.
The bedroom is usually the best place because we tend to go for a more cozy and homely feel in our photos rather than polished and magazine-esque (not that we could manage that!). We want them to look like real people wearing real lingerie, which they are! I mean, it would be awesome to do the full photo shoot experience and other bloggers carry that off SO well, but at the moment, our bedroom shots are our thing. It does mean though that we need to consider a few things like backgrounds, lighting and timing.
The background for our photos is most usually a bed, just because that’s easiest and they tend to look pretty with nice covers on, so we need to make sure they have our favourite covers on – at the moment we’re sticking to IKEA, Dunelm and George at Asda bedding mostly for photos (these do get slept in too – they’re not just for photos, don’t worry!). It seems stupid, but the mattress is a big thing too – in our spare room we have an Eve mattress because it had really good reviews and we find that way better for photos, it’s a lot more firm so is sturdier for balancing on, which we do a lot of!
Then there’s the lighting, of course! Indoor lighting is usual really bad, especially during winter when we have to shoot on evenings in the dark due to work. It’s all well and good saying to position yourself by a big window, but sadly that’s not always easy. So I’ve invested in these little studio lights (okay, they were a Christmas present!) plus a soft box for diffusing light only recently – take a look at our lighting set up above when we’re shooting, looks like a, well let’s say “inappropriate” shoot, shall we?! (Got to watch out for weird referral traffic…!)
A few bloggers have talked recently about how they edit their lingerie photos and how they take them, so here’s a bit more on ours:
I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3/1110D. I usually use either my portrait lens (50mm f/1.8) or the kit lens that came with the camera for BCLC photos depending on the room we have at the time – the portrait lens can sometimes be too close but gives a nicer blurry background so a better focus to the shots.
For editing, I only use free programmes – I’ve thought about investing in Lightroom or Photoshop but I don’t have the time to commit currently to learning how to use them so I don’t want to spend the money unnecessarily yet. I either use Picasa or Photos (on a Mac) depending on what computer I’m using. The editing is only very little – cropping to frame the photo better, changing the exposure to make sure you can see everything clearly, sometimes changing the contrast and saturation to get a better overall look to the photo, and resizing.
The time is mostly taken in choosing which photos will show off the lingerie best – deciding which angles, which details and which shots to use so that it will help a customer inform their purchase, because after all, that’s the reason we’re reviewing the piece.
So what do you think – did you know all this went into lingerie blogging behind the scenes? In truth, there’s even more to do with blog hosting, design, dealing with emails and social media, keeping up to date with the industry, interacting with other bloggers and people in the lingerie community, the list goes on!