Whenever I talk to The Boy about this blogosphere of ours, it leads to interesting observations and conversation. I think it’s because he is not really interested in it (he doesn’t read any blogs, not even mine), and so he looks at it from a different perspective to mine. Today, we began talking about realistic versus styled blogs.
I don’t think I ever thought about it before but, you could easily divide the blogs I read into two categories: there are the ones that document life, as it happens, imperfections included. Whether these bloggers are talking about their kids, their travels, or their food, it feels that they are real people, just like us. And then, there are the perfectly styled, dream-life ones. These are blogs that, while still dealing in seemingly everyday subjects, look like well-curated magazine editorials.
I think the main difference between these two kinds of blogs is the style of photography used. The real-life blogs often feature stunningly beautiful pictures, however the pictures never look staged. A picture of ingredients for a recipe looks exactly how I would pile the ingredients on the counter if I were cooking that meal. Pictures of pretty flowers rarely have the latest issue of Vogue, sparkly jewellery, and the ubiquitous Diptyque candle in the background. In the other category, the bloggers tend to take highly styled pictures. The mason jars and the striped straws are placed just so, all artfully arranged to create the most pleasing outcome and to go with the blog’s luxurious, or girly, or rustic etc theme. Inevitably, the pictures end up making the rounds on Pinterest and Tumblr.
I have plenty of blogs from both categories in my Bloglovin’ feed and I enjoy reading posts from both. I like reading the real-life blogs and if I’m honest, I think perhaps they allow the reader to get to know the blogger better. However, I also enjoy looking at the beautifully styled blogs because they really are so pretty. I think I go through phases; I may be really interested in just following someone’s life with all its imperfections and then I may feel like escaping to a perfect looking world. For sure, I do sometimes think that some blogs are becoming a bit too “produced” when they start to feel more like an online magazine rather than one person’s online diary.
I know that my blog falls in the first category of blogs, mainly because I can’t afford a super fancy camera, I’m not interested in styling my breakfast before I eat it, and I don’t think I have the time anyway. Actually, maybe that’s another thing: people who blog as a hobby might simply not have the time or money or energy to style everything to perfection before they post a recipe for example, whereas professional bloggers of course have to strive for the best possible look. But best doesn’t mean staged, does it? I mean, The Pioneer Woman is a hugely successful blogger (and a legend) and she most certainly takes beautiful pictures that never look staged.
So, basically, these are just some of my scattered thoughts about blogs. Have you noticed this divide in the blogs you read? I’d love to hear your opinions.