Q & A – Instagram Edition Pt. II

Hey boos! I see a lot of new faces on here + it has been a minute since I dedicated a post to my most asked questions so here we go 🙂

  1. Any tips on creating content on a budget?
    • This is tricky! Curating a photo can be multi-layered. This can all depend on location, outfit, props, etc. If you are wanting to shoot at a botanical garden, state park, museum, etc these locations all cost money, not just for your own entrance fee but your photographers as well. So in terms of location, try to stick to public places like the beach, down town area, and even your home. For outfits, if you are not gifted certain pieces, thrifting will be your best bet. I have posted photos in entirely thrifted pieces from head to toe where I spent anywhere from $10-$40. Now if you use props in your shots, which I do almost 100% of the time, flowers are my go-to. Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, and Whole Foods carry my fave kinds of flowers for a decent price (depending on the week). But many times you can find props laying around the house and just incorporate them into your shots as you see fit.
  2. What is the biggest surprise in your transition into blogging full-time?
    • I would have to say, the struggle lies in the actual adjustment of schedules and time management. Before, when I was working full-time in the office, I knew I would only have the 6pm-12am time slot to work on my blog/IG. But now, as “more” time is available, I am finding myself still cramming everything into a small window of time as I am picking up more work on this end. Before there was some sort of structure there, though chaotic, it somehow worked. So, I am trying to fine tune a new schedule that works for me and that all begins with practicing good habits so that they eventually become routine.
  3. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to gain a bigger but yet organic and authentic audience on IG?
    • Now, I think this can vary depending on who you are asking. And this is because there are several routes to take. And by no means am I throwing shade to those who do the following techniques, but I’m just stating what I’ve seen be done. So in order to build an organic following, you want to refrain from joining any “course” that promises quick growth. Although, you may gain authentic followers, the way in which they advise you to do so, most likely won’t be organic. Because in my eyes, organic growth happens over time and not overnight or in a matter of a few weeks. Also, from what I’m hearing, these techniques can be flagged by IG which can effect your overall reach. In terms of authentic followers, do not succumb to the pressures or even curiosity of buying fake followers. I know SOOO many people do it, but like…it is SOOO obvious. And I have IG friends who have confided in me that they do this only because “desperate times call for desperate measures” and I can totally understand the frustrations of not growing, but I personally could not go about my day knowing I am making moves that have challenged my integrity. I also think there is a different sense of pride knowing you built your community solely through your hard work vs. through sus means.  So, the simple answer here…is literally just do you. Speak on issues that matter to YOU, create content that excites YOU, and by being your true + raw authentic self, people will take notice. Utilize your stories to help your audience get a glimpse into your every day non-curated life. Relatability means a lot to people! I like to ask myself, “am I the same person online than I am in real life?” If I feel I posted something that does not match 100% to who I am, I delete it. This has been key for me in my growth. In addition to authenticity, I love to focus on community. I want to get to know my followers and the only way I can do that, is through engagement. Are you taking the time to make real connections with others? Also, I listen to what my audience likes, if they ask for more at home shoots, I try to throw a few in there to show their suggestions are being heard.
  4. How do you stay inspired/creative?
    • I am naturally drawn to aesthetics. I love to look at content that makes me feeeel a type of way. And usually that is through pretty, thought out, photos. Yes, I love seeing bomb ass outfits, but what else can the photo give me? I want to leave looking at a photo feeling something stronger. So, that emotional aspect of it, is something I try to take with me in curating my own content. And this is not to say, I am successful each time. In fact, there are many photos of mine which will never see the light of day (or I wished never saw the light of day), because I didn’t/don’t feel any type of way while looking at it. It can be hard to conceptualize a shoot and go in thinking it’s going to be amazing, but during post-production, simply hating it. So I think what keeps me inspired, is creating and figuring ways that give me opportunity to feel less of those shitty days. I want every single photo of mine to spark something within me. So the more I am able to pull within myself and up my game more and more each and every time, the stronger collectively my work will be. I also like to analyze my feed as a means of surveying. What am I seeing too often? What am I not seeing enough? Which photos spark joy and which don’t? Whatever data I am able to pull from that, I can then go into Pinterest, IG, the outdoors etc., and try to locate those answers. Also, taking a break from posting, can also give me a fresh perspective on the direction I’d like to take for future shoots.
  5. How do you balance being so active on your social media and being present in your real life?
    • THIS IS TOUGH! I feel like the two go hand and hand at this point but that is partially because I have always been this way! Ever since I can remember, my friends and family HATED that I had to take photos of everything! But, I’d always found joy in documenting my life. So now that social media is actually a thing, I don’t necessarily find it to be any different? I know this sounds bad but I don’t look at it as an inconvenience to whatever my day to day is. But I also think this is because of who I am. If I’m having a shitty day, I am able to talk about it and share what that looks like. No make up, greasy ass hair, etc. But I know of friends, who can’t do that! They feel they have to “show up” for Instagram, make up, cheerful attitude, the whole 9.  So it can be hard for me personally to draw that line, because I can easily watch a movie with bae, take a quick video while slumped on the couch, post it, and keep watching. But what I did in Europe to try to remain as present as possible was saving all my videos until later that day, so I wasn’t spending that time while out adventuring. But again, this is a work in progress for me!
  6. How do you get such great engagement on your posts? 
    • Well, right now I am currently shadow banned so meh, it’s been hard out here for a sis!! HAHA. But overall, I have to owe it all to the community I have been blessed with! I think the amount of time I have put into getting to know my audience, and the friendships I have built has been reciprocated in so many ways, one being through engagement. For me, there is this sort of loyalty to each other so when we post, so we just naturally want to support and engage. And I truly think that has been the case for me.
  7. I’m a smaller account and larger accounts have directly copied my content, any advice?
    • UGH, if I had a dollar for every time this has happened to me (massive ass eye roll). So I know there is this notion that ideas are not owned and we all pull inspo from each other at some point and I get that! However, it can feel like a robbery when all the time, effort, energy it takes to curate one post, can literally be “taken” for lack of better word and treated as though it were an original concept. Because as content curators our work is essentially public, we are not really protected against this. So the only thing I can suggest doing, is finding it within yourself to some how shake it off. It’ll suck, it’ll sting, it really makes you question the integrity of others, but unfortunately this is a risk all creators take by putting their work out for the world to see. It is almost inevitable. But what is most important to remember is that people can copy your recipe, but YOU ARE THE SECRET SAUCE 🙂
  8. When it comes to blogging, what is your biggest fear and what’s your advice to fight it?
    • My biggest fear is that I am not touching on topics that resonate with people. If y’all notice, often times I don’t talk about very blogger-esque topics because simply other things interest me. I’ve found myself wondering if people even care what I’m writing about but then I have to remind myself that I am not creating content to conform, I am creating because I have a passion for whatever it is I’m putting out. So in my case, remembering that as long as I am loving what I’m doing, the rest will follow.
  9. If you knew something when you started your IG journey that you know now, what would you do differently? 
    • I would have cut off toxic, half-assed support earlier on. When you start a small business, you have a lot of skepticism around it. And in the beginning, I went through several months where I struggled maintaining “friendships” that I knew were not supportive but I stuck around anyway because #loyalty. But I realized, life is too short to surround yourself that with type of energy. Life requires you to level up and if my circle is not vibrating to that same frequency, girl, bye! The time and guilt I spent/felt by ending those friendships were yes, worth it in the long run but in retrospect, it would have been healthier for me to just act on those red flags earlier on.
  10. What does your BTS actually look like, if you could paint the picture for us. 
    • AH!! So usually the real BTS takes hours and this is because my posts are all for the most part… fully curated. We start off heading to the store to pick up our props, then we head to our location. Thing is, our location, is usually a longer road trip away, HA! So once we are there, I quickly change into my outfit, we have Troy (our dog) in his stroller chilling on the side of us, and we location scout. Once we have our exact location, I have bae stand in my desired spot, and then we add in the props. Usually the weather is against us, so many times we both are just standing idle until the wind passes. Usually I try 10-20 different poses. Often times after 20 minutes, Troy starts to bark and the embarrassment begins, LOL. Half of my shots are me telling or yelling at  Troy, “almost done, Bubba, just a few more!!” We normally take a break for me to review the photos and if none are to my liking, bae knows the pressure is on, because I can get impatient AF! Our roles are like reversed: he’s the one telling me we need to shoot more, and I’m the one who’s like, “K, lets go!” HAHA. Depending if the photo is due that day, we either edit straight after in the car for posting or we narrow down our selects so once we arrive back home, the post production part is not as long.

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Ah, soooo I know this is long (let’s be honest, when are my posts ever short?) but I tried to be thorough AF. Or if you’re just a metiche like me, hope you enjoyed the tea! XO 

 

Living With a Significant Other

Hey, y’all! So bae & I have officially lived together for 3 months now but really 1 year (unofficially) so thought I’d answer some questions in full disclosure (because you know ya girl don’t lie) and just simply share my experience with it all!

So with the craziness of our 9-5s, we’ve taken a bit longer than expected to decorate our apartment but thankfully, we have just finished!!!! Yass, honey and we are obsessed! We originally were going for Scandinavian Monochrome with green accents, but somehow made our way to like a boho chic vibe!! Regardless, we finally feel like this is our HOME!

So gathering the decor is the fun part, y’all! We’ve turned so many trips to Homegoods and Hobby Lobby as day-dates, grabbed some hot chocolate beforehand, and literally shared the excitement of what each new piece would bring to our space.

I think this was such bonding experience for us because we both had ideas of what we wanted for the place and worked together to blend those visions into a reality.

But, its not always this fun! HA

Sooo let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?!

1) Q: Are there more arguments now that you live together? And if so, is it normal roommate-type fights? 

A: Hmm! I wouldn’t say there are more than before, but what I can say is that some have become more petty! HA.

Example: “Babe! You took the last meal prep! Now I will have to eat out for lunch tomorrow!”

Example: “Babe! You forgot to leave on the lights for Baby Troy” (our pup)

Example: “Babe! When will you be finished playing your video games?” (You can probably guess who says this :P)

TBH, I’ve had some really BAD roommates in my day so our living situation is a piece of cake in comparison to those people LOL. But I think what is key, is understanding that healthy cohabitation is literally a TEAM EFFORT. If even one person slacks off, the once cohesive environment can and will eventually turn toxic.

2) Q: When you guys do fight, how do you deal with it? Do you give space or deal with it immediately? 

A:  Well, it really depends. In many of my past experiences, living with roommates = one big, fat passive-aggressive mess! Luckily, with us, we address any tension on the spot! I hate awkwardness more than anything so we try our best to address it ASAP. There have been a couple nights when we just rather sleep than talk things through, but generally, we like to avoid going to sleep upset.

3) Q: Is moving together something your parents approved of? Also, how did you tell your parents? 

A: My mom was on-board from the beginning. Although my dad died before he had the opportunity to meet bae, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been opposed to it. And I say this because my parents moved in before marriage as well, ha! From the beginning, bae made his intentions clear…marriage! But as he knows that whole idea scares me (for now), he proposed us moving in together as the next logical step. Initially, I shared bae’s proposal to my mom about 6 months prior to moving. I toyed with the idea for a while and I think she was pleased with how I took my time in processing it all. She was also really fond of him at that point so we had that on our side. I think a parent will only be on-guard with cohabitation, if they sense a faulty relationship from the beginning or if one person has to sacrifice their quality of life for the move.

4) Q: How does your man feel when you have to dedicate more time to your blog/Instagram vs the relationship at any given point?

A: I feel so blessed to have a partner who truly understands this hustle. He was a food blogger prior to us getting together, so he had an idea of just how much time this crazy industry demands. But, what has taken time for both of us to learn is how to balance being roommates, significant others, and business partners. There are times, when one of the three areas suffer, but we have really fine tuned it in a way that works and fulfills us. I truly believe if he did not live with me and/or share similar passions, he would not understand the ins and outs and sacrifices us bloggers make to continue to do what we love.

But when we notice one area is slacking, we sit down and discuss and come up with a game plan on how we can rebalance it all. But it is A LOT of work! Especially when your boo, is your photographer, location scouter, editor, etc. I am very lucky to have found someone who just gets it!

5) Do you still feel the same giddiness you did when you would have sleepovers? 

A: Yes! I still get those butterflies in my stomach when I’m walking in the door and vice versa. I think the nights I feel it the most are when we have plans of doing absolutely nothing but Netflix and chill! Those little moments are the moments I live for.

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So far, we’ve had a really positive cohabitation experience. We share similar tastes which help in many areas of our living situation, but as everything in life, it is not always rainbows and sunshine. There are days where the vibe seems completely off and others where everything feels just perfect. I think the most important thing is learning from every experience/day you share together as a couple. We have strived to make each month better and better and I am blessed to have found a partner willing to give me that 100% effort. So, I’d say the two key pieces of advice I’d give to anyone on the fence of moving in with their partner is 1) make sure you’ve taken the time to really get to know each other & 2) be sure you’ve chosen a partner who shares similar interests. Because ain’t nobody got time for a toxic and distant living environment. XO 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q & A – Instagram Edition

Hi guys! Long time no talk, ha! So, I’ve compiled a list of my most asked questions as of recently from my IG and thought I’d answer em’ in an easy read blog post!

  1. Q: How do you plan a curated feed?
    • A: I use the app called, “UNUM” It gives you a look of what your feed currently looks like plus a preview of what it would all look like with whatever photo you’re looking to upload next. Plus, I edit all of my photos with the same style of editing on Adobe Lightroom.
  2. Q: What are you hoping to achieve with your personal brand?
    • A: For right now, I hope to create beautiful photos that tell a story. I hope to continue to inspire women to be their bad ass, fierce, confident selves, but also to come together to create the better good in society. Whether that be, helping a stranger in need, speaking up on issues that are important, and/or not being afraid to put you and your mental health first! As I grow with my audience, I hope to create presets and possibly workshops/meet-ups for aspiring bloggers.
  3. Q: Do you ever get body shamed? If so, what do you do to forget the haters?
    • A: Not really in my adult life, but growing up, I would get dumped on for how my body looked! I was called, “cottage cheese legs”, “wide-load”, “corn-bred fed” throughout my time in school. It happened so frequently that I had a talk with my parents. They advised me that in this life, we are giving one body and we have the choice of loving or hating it. Through my practice with self-love, I realized these people were the problem and not my body! I felt empowered knowing this and am very comfortable in my own skin, today! However, just recently I received a comment on IG from another blogger that read, “You are the most beautiful big-skinny girl, I’ve ever seen!!” Now, part of me, was like, whoa! Although, maybe a compliment?? – it came off as icky. But at the end of the day, no matter what people intentionally or unintentionally say, you are the only person living in your body so might as well love it!
  4. Q: Do you connect IRL with many creatives? If so, how do you find them?
    • A: Yes, I actually have! In fact, I’ve made really strong friendships with a number of them! About 6 months ago, I mustered up the courage to host a meet up with some babes I know solely through IG. It went so well that now we talk everyday and are meeting up again this weekend, actually! Since then, I’ve met up AND collaborated with so many others and I think the most useful tool in doing this is your DMs! I heard a podcast that said, “Your DM portal is your magic potion!” You can literally create such strong connections  every single day with complete strangers by simply reaching out and complimenting someone’s feed, recent post, outfit, whatever it may be!
  5. Q: What inspires you to create?
    • A: For me, I get inspired by so so much! I’ve always been more of a visual learner and in my adult life, aesthetics really draw me in. I feel a mood whenever I see something that captures my attention. And this tingly- weird awe-inspired feeling is something I try to bring to my own content. I want to tell a story of some sorts: I want to make the seemingly ordinary look extraordinary, lighting up whatever random corner I’m shooting at. Most importantly, I don’t just want people to look at my content, I want them to FEEL something after looking away.
  6.  Q: Tips on posing and shooting locations?!
    • A: I try my best to scout locations ahead of time. Whether that means: I take a mental note of a cute area I see on my way home from work, or visiting a popular tourist site, or even hashtagging my city and going through recent posts of other IG users to get location inspo. However, there are other times that we just wing it, pick a random neighborhood, and drive around and around until somewhere speaks out to us. As for posing, I try to stand tall and confident in whatever movement I make. I like to go for more action motions such as: walking, arms swaying, dress in the wind, that sort of stuff. But do whatever feels most comfortable for you! If you are a hand on the hip, head tilted a bit, cheesy smile gal- you do the damn thang, boo!
  7. Q: Do you plan your outfits for the location?
    • A: Typically, yes! Like I said, I like to set a mood. So if I am doing a shoot with plants, I will go for animal print or something that is in the same palette. Also, I think you should go based off of your feed! If your tones are more warm like mine, I like to stick to neutral colored items but if its more cooler, than maybe whites, tans, black. Or I’ve seen some really colorful feeds, so likely brighter pieces will fit better. But the great thing about creating is that you can take a completely diff spin on what you’re comfortable wearing and switch it up every now and again!
  8. Q: How do you stay consistent with posting content?
    • A: This is actually a very complex question for me. I used to post on IG, 4 times a week, no matter what! I was on turbo mode and made sure shooting was of top priority. It wasn’t until I sprained my ankle when the universe sent me the unfriendly reminder that it will not always work alongside your preferred schedule. I legit could not walk for almost 2.5 weeks. I was miserable! I felt as though someone was suffocating my creativity and just sitting at home made me feel as though I was not bringing value to the world. I even tried to force myself to shoot, crying in pain on the way to our location, yet smizing for the shot, but what that actually did was exacerbate the injury and leave me with a photo where I looked pained. But as time passed, I accepted what was. But I was nervous, tbh! On this platform, you’re expected to create to remain “relevant” as sad as that sounds but more so, there are so many people looking forward to your content. I decided to be transparent with my followers and made it known the content would be slowed down for a while. Personally, I know of a lot of people who share “filler photos” or throwbacks consistently but I wanted to be true to my situation and honestly listen to my faith and the universe that maybe…just maybe I needed to slow down. Now that I’m finally healed (from my ankle, HA) life has given me a bit of a window to create more content again, so I do what I can for now. I try to make shooting a priority but I realize life will get in the way sometimes and we have to take care of our health first and everything else second.

 

So if you’re still reading this, you da real MVP! I’m such a chismosa and LOVE reading Q&A’s so hopefully this brought some insight into who I am and most importantly, has been helpful in any way to other aspiring bloggers or influencers. XOxo

Get To Know Me: Q & A

If you are new to Alll That Jas, welcome! Thus far, I have shared a number of wellness tips, yummy recipes, random thoughts, relationship advice, and travel recommendations. But as a way to get a better feel of who I am, I thought a Q & A would be fun!

I asked my followers on social media to send any questions they had for me and I will be answering them here today!

  1. What is your daily makeup routine?
    •  To be honest, I only wear a full face of makeup during the weekends. M-F I am very fresh faced. All this to say, I only wear four products for my every day look. First, I moisturize with Olay’s Complete All Day UV Moisturizer SPF 15 Sensitive Skin. Next, I apply a generous amount of Vitamin E Moisturizing Skin Oil onto the palm of my hands and spread the oil evenly to the base of my neck. Then, I use a small amount of Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation and with a blending brush, use circular motions to cover the entirety of my face, blending into my hairline and bringing it down to my neck. Finally, I apply L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara to coat my lashes.
  2. Where am I planning on traveling to next? 
    • At the end of the year I am heading to Europe. I will be visiting Greece for the first time and revisiting Italy and France. Next year, I will be heading to the Middle East to venture throughout Egypt!
  3. What inspired you to start your blog?
    • Hm, well. I have always considered myself an open book. I love sharing stories and connecting to people in real life. But I found myself suppressing my more creative side. I had friends over the years, tell me that I should write articles or short stories of my experiences, as I was able to tell them in such an amusing way. And for years, I kept archived, various YouTube videos I filmed discussing certain topics all because of this false idea that vulnerability was bad. I feared, “what if people think I’m too much or completely disagree with my perspective on things?” For a good amount of time, I was disappointed in myself for allowing fear to inhibit my potential. It took some tough loving from my best friend to give me the push I needed to finally break that invisible glass ceiling I created for myself. I don’t think I had ever been more uncomfortable than the night I launched my blog. And when I say uncomfortable, I mean I was really going outside of my comfort zone there. I was very familiar with sharing among my inner circle but definitely not much more outside of that. But as one post was published after the other, the process began to feel very organic and eventually comfortable. Throughout this past year, I have connected to so many people, many of whom I barely knew prior to this blog. So my advice, do not let the fear of vulnerability or critique stop you from growing!
  4. What is your ethnicity?
    • HA! This is a long one. My parents are originally from Central America, but they are both only half. My mom also has Egyptian, Italian, and German blood while my dad is half Spanish.
    • But my entire life I’ve been mistaken for Indian or Persian.
  5. If you had to choose the same meal to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
    • PHO! I have a sick obsession with Asian food as a whole but pho takes the cake. I’ve def had pho a couple days in a row, on several occasions but not too long ago, I legit had pho 4 nights straight…not proud of it! HA.
  6. What are your favorite shows of all time?
    • Dexter
    • Parks&Recreation
    • How to Get Away with Murder
    • Shameless
    • Breaking Bad
    • Sons of Anarchy
  7. What is your zodiac sign and do you think it fits your personality?
    • I am an Aries, through & through! My horoscope absolutely fits my personality. Aries are known to be confident, honest, and passionate but also impulsive, aggressive, and impatient. All this to say, guilty & guilty!
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    • When people bulls**t. I respect honesty, even if its unfavorable. I guess that’s the Aries in me because we are very blunt and direct so when I feel someone is beating around the bush, I am able to call BS from a mile away!
  9. Do you have any phobias?
    • Raccoons! All I will say is I had a bad experience when I was younger in Summer camp, lmao. I’ve come to realize they are nasty and vicious so whenever I see one, I legit have a freak out!
  10. What is your life goal?
    • Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to have an influential platform. In Kindergarten, I filled out a questionnaire which it’s first question was, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” And my answer was, “KNOWN.” Throughout my teenage years, I wanted to be a vocalist. In college, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist and now post-grad, I hope to create an online platform where I am able to work remotely allowing myself to travel. What I have found in common among these changing aspirations, is having the ability to use a public platform to reach and connect with others.
  11. If you could have a roundtable discussion with three people, dead or alive, who would it be?
    • 1) My dad. He passed away last year but way too young. He was full of wisdom and was the best story teller I knew.
    • 2) Cleopatra. I have always been intrigued by her trail blazing sovereignty. A queen in a Pharaoh’s world, how f***ing revolutionary.
    • 3) Louis Armstrong/Etta James. My all time favorite musical talents. I literally can not decide. True geniuses.
  12. Who is your favorite IG influencer?
    • @tezzamb – SHE IS A CREATIVE MUSE! Literally an icon in the making!
  13. What’s next for Alll That Jas?
    • The main focus for the blog is to continue to creative dope content. I want to engage with as many people as possible and partner up with unique brands…(which I am beginning to do).
  14. Where would you hope to retire?
    • Somewhere next to the water. Somewhere where life is slow.
  15. What would you hope most for yourself?
    • Consistent inner-peace. Namaste, y’all.  XO