The biggest compliment you can pay any blogger comes in the form of a question: “How did you edit this picture?” Listen, dear reader — I spend an embarrassing amount of time deciding which of the hundreds of pictures from a photo shoot will make it to my Instagram feed, and once I’ve gotten that narrowed down, I have to make the picture look aesthetically pleasing.
My old photo editing guide is a bit of a mess compared to this one, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. I can’t promise that I know what I’m doing now, but I am definitely more knowledgeable than I was then! The most significant change: I’ve ditched iPhone editing and edit all of the pictures you see in Adobe Lightroom CC. Let’s explore how things happen!
TW: Discussion of disordered eating and weight issues.
To say that I’ve hated my body my entire life is technically true, but it feels too vague. I’ve despised my stomach, made peace with my stretch marks and then gone to war again, picked apart my hair, my nose, my fingers, my cellulite — a darkly humorous moment came in seventh grade when I decided I had an unsightly mustache and covered my mouth with my hand when I talked. I did not know a life where I looked in the mirror without feeling bad, let alone good. I often smile through gritted teeth when taking pictures for body positivity. Such is life.
I’ve never been good at doing things I don’t enjoy, and I wish I was kidding. If something doesn’t seem rewarding, I avoid it like the plague — which, unfortunately, is how I’ve always felt about cooking.
Thankfully, my husband is a saint, and he does pretty much all of the cooking in our home. But because we’re getting older and attempting to live life like actual adults, we’re starting to throw more parties, and I’m expected to host events where you can’t serve chips and cubed cheese to your guests. Cue panic.
What’s that sense of dread slowly creeping in? Oh, just the reminder that I’m one year closer to 30. (I’M KIDDING.) If the post title didn’t give it away, today’s my 25th birthday. I’m writing this wrapped up in my favorite hoodie with some serious sinus problems, but I’m going to force myself to get dressed and moving soon. You only get one birthday a year, right?
Before I start partying hard, I want to spend some time reflecting on this year, what I’ve learned, and what I’m hoping for in the next 365 days. I’m a planner who loves envisioning the long-term, and it’s often unhealthy for me only because I punish myself for not reaching my goals. 25 was always a huge birthday in my eyes, and I just knew I’d be accomplished and successful by the time the milestone arrived. The funny thing is, I’ve got something that no accomplishment ever brought me: genuine happiness and the reminder that I am strong and full of life.
I’ve gotta be real with you: I love shopping, but I don’t even know that I love shopping. I just love surprises. My short-term memory is pretty crappy, so I usually forget what I’ve ordered once I’ve clicked “confirm.” Anyway, getting new clothing delivered to me — or picking it out in-store — is always exciting. When I launched my blog, I was seriously stressing about how I was going to create content when I didn’t have a ton of clothing.
I realized that it was impossible to wear a different outfit every day of the week — if not financially, it’s also pretty unsustainable environmentally! Back in April, I started to get invited to influencer events and I was seriously panicking. I had no idea how I would wear something different to all of these functions. It sounds so silly and vapid, but when you’re being photographed at events, you want to make sure you aren’t wearing the same dress to all of them. I was also in the process of moving, so most of my clothes were in a storage unit.