Life As I Know It: February

Stephanie Hill talks about the creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February on The Style Bungalow

Fashion Blogger Stephanie Hill talks about the creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

The Style Bungalow's Stephanie Hill talks about the creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

“The Creative Pursuit”

I frequently wonder, “is the Instagram algorithm killing creativity or are tastes changing?”

To better understand this question, let’s turn back the clock to 2015.

I was working in public relations (and a few other jobs) and had very little time to blog. In fact, when I could, I would find a free moment to place my janky iPhone on a shelf, use the nifty self-timer and snap away. Editing took 10 minutes and I innocently thought it was great content. Over the weekends, I worked with a professional photographer and pushed myself to produce “editorial-like” content on a shoestring budget. I would get up at 5:30AM to shoot and go to sleep around 2AM after the last blog post was written – then, I’d do it all over again.

As I evolved on Instagram, so did my taste. It was during this time I discovered my passion for styling and eventually capturing and sharing professional photos, which became my full-time job. I went from producing content “for my followers” to creating inspiring shoots one after the next…it was exhilarating. During this time (circa 2017), I posted 90% professional photos + 10% iPhone photos.  

Style Blogger Stephanie Hill talks about the creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

Style Blogger Stephanie Hill shares her creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

And then, the complex algorithms pierced our lives and changed everything. Instagram went from solely being a photo-sharing app at your disposal to a personalization of content you see based on what you liked. As the app changed, so did the readers’ tastes. To me, it has become even clearer that more and more people are craving reality – aka, less editorial, more real content. I mean, we live in a time where everyone looks like they have the perfect life – all thanks to perfectly edited photos, which probably took hours to create. (#guilty) The world has caught on to this and the appeal has faded…

But have you ever had a moment where you’re scrolling and suddenly stop because of a striking image that altered the way you viewed the world, fashion or photography? I have. Many times.

I’m talking about a hashtag that led you to an obscure, new account and now you’re on an Instagram Story seeing a different sense of style and go “Wow, now that’s good.” It fuels your mind creatively. How about a tag that opened up a gallery of candid moments bringing you back to a sweet memory where you suddenly feel lighter, hopeful and somehow more understood? Exactly.

Fashion Blogger Stephanie Hill talks about the creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February on The Style Bungalow

Stephanie Hill shares her creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February on The Style Bungalow

Stephanie Hill speaks about her creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February on The Style Bungalow

I think back to a phase I had in high school where I only listened to underground bands. I would find them through small blogs and develop a personal connection to their song lyrics, story and lives.

Then some would go mainstream, creating music for the masses…and my tastes changed. Similar to the landscape of Instagram and how content is shared has shaped our tastes.

I admit, I can’t help but think of my blog in the same way – tastes have changed. While I don’t think I’ll ever go back to 2015 or 2017, as both extremes feel unnatural and a bit unrealistic to me today, where do I strike the balance? How do I continue creating content that resonates on a deeper level while pushing my creative juices?

Someone once said, “it all boils down to your end goal. To grow, you post what people want. To be creative, you push yourself to look past growth and post what makes you happy.” Both are important, but only one sustains a business. Right?

Yes. Both are important. Both require risks. And both question, “Why you started and what you are trying to communicate to the world now…” I think we often times forget we each have a unique point of view that can cut through the noise, which can lead to “success” and your niche. As saturated as Instagram is, it’s become difficult, but please don’t ever try to be someone else that’s out there. Remain focused on what really makes you you and remind yourself of your answers to the above…then success will become more attainable. Ingredients? It requires passion, work and diligence but if you get to the core you’ll realize there’s always space for talent and I believe that can sustain a business in the long run. Maybe I just answered my own question.

Style Blogger Stephanie Hill speaks about her creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

Stephanie Hill shares her creative pursuit in Life As I Know It February all on The Style Bungalow

Stephanie Hill speaks about her creative pursuit on Life As I Know It February

From Steven Pressfield’s book, “Do the Work:”

“The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled the plug before he even began. Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be – and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway. How do we achieve this state of mind? By staying stupid. By not allowing ourselves to think. A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate. Don’t think. Act.”

And that my friends, is “Life As I Know It” this month. The creative pursuit continues to be top-of-mind. Regardless of Instagram’s constant wave of changing algorithms and its influence on tastes, I am certain of this: I will challenge myself not to overthink, but learn the art of believing in myself more and act on the dream that’s been the fuel since the beginning.

Xo, Stephanie

Blouse: F.R.S For Restless Sleepers

PantsF.R.S For Restless Sleepers

Earrings: old Oscar de la Renta, similar options below

Sandals: old, similar options below

[Shaye Babb Photography]

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