I know what you’re all thinking and, believe me, I think that Instagram has gone downhill since the algorithm too, but that only means that we need to step our game up to get our content bigger and better than it was before – who doesn’t want to improve?!
That’s why I wanted to give an insight into what I use to get my photos Instagram-worthy, because I am such a perfectionist and any old photo won’t do for me! I don’t consider myself a champ in any way so don’t take this as me sharing my wise words of wisdom, I just wanted to show how I get my pictures to a standard where they’re worth posting.
Quite a lot of nosey people ask me what my favourite things are that I use everyday (and throw in my bag when I’m out and about!) I thought I would write a blog post about my essentials to carry around to avoid any mishap in my day!
On Sunday, I had a day off and the weather was divine, so I decided to venture to Richmond Park and get some shots for my Magazine University Project.
The concept of the magazine is a health and fitness guide which doesn’t support the idea of diets or supplements but reinforces the importance of keeping healthy – by regular exercise and eating right.
I decided to go for a brisk walk to Richmond Park to capture some images of the various places to go for a run/walk/cycle and I am so glad I did.
The beauty of the park is something that I have completely overlooked since being placed just a stone’s throw away for University.
Sometimes just going to a place like this is enough to calm you down, cleanse the soul and create inner peace with any problems or troubles going on in your life.
I just walked. And walked. Taking photos as I went along to capture the stunning picturesque park in all it’s glory.
The sun was shining high in the sky and it was pretty warm, it was a perfect day to see the park to it’s full potential and document my walk with images that I am proud of.
I only managed to walk a little bit (I checked on Google Maps when I got home!) and I was completely astonished by the sheer size and density of the park itself. It covers over 3.5 square miles and is around three times the size of Central Park in New York – just to put that into perspective for you guys!
Whilst I was there, my phone died so I was just able to wallow in the beauty of the place and get beyond my thoughts, taking steps further and further into the stunning wilderness that swallows you up and throws you out somewhere new.
Here’s a few of my photos I took whilst there – bearing in mind they were taken on my iPhone 5, I think I captured some great shots. I’d love to know what you think.
I sent a few questions to Victoria Magrath (you’ll probably know better her as Inthefrow) about her life of blogging.
First of all, how did you get into blogging? Was there something that inspired you to do it? If so, what?
I was inspired to blog after watching a Youtube video by the Beauty Crush, Sammi, and after that I was hooked on Youtube and blogging and everything else surrounding that. I just decided that I wanted to write down what I loved just as much.
Where did the name ‘inthefrow’ come from? Obviously it’s “In the front row” but is that something that you dream of getting, therefore having it as your url?
To be honest, it came from a lyric from an Alanis Morissette song called Front Row. The lyric says, “I’m in the Front Row with Popcorn”, which I had named my first Tumblr Blog. When I came to name my new fashion blog, I decided to use the same name but wanted something shorter and snappier. I figured In the Front Row could be shortened to Inthefrow, and that was it.
I see you’re a lecturer too. How do you manage your time to blog?
I pretty much work two full time jobs right now. Lecturing and working in the daytime, blogging before and after work and then all weekend. So I dont ever take time off from it. But I’m a believer in hard work pays off, so hopefully I’ll see the benefits one day 🙂
What are you aiming to get from blogging? (If you haven’t already achieved that)
I hope to grow my blog as successful as I possibly can of course, and just to keep writing about what I love. Blogging is such a brilliant way to meet inspiring people, so I just want to keep meeting new people, making new friends and widening my future prospects.
Is there anything now that inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things. Fashion, beautiful clothing, stunning scenery, the people I have around me, the prospect of travelling to incredible places. I often spend hours on Tumblr and Instagram looking at imagery and planning my future.
Who are your favourite fashion bloggers at the moment?
My favourite fashion bloggers would probably be Sammi from The Beauty Crush as I adore what she wears, Native Fox, as she is always dressed head to toe in designer and also Angelica Blick. She is just so stunning.
What’s the best part of fashion blogging for you personally?
The best part is probably getting to meet new people and doing things you never usually would. Such as taking trips here and there, modelling for brands, working with brands that you love, going along to amazing events and catching up with everyone. I love it.
What’s your advice to budding fashion bloggers?
My advice would be to do it, if you’ve got the passion and the time for it. It’s not about the items that you might get free as in most cases it takes time to build up relationships with brands who would like to gift you pieces. It shouldn’t be about that and whats in it for you, it should be about how happy it makes you and how much you enjoy it. If you dont have the passion, you may not continue blogging after a few months, which is what happens to a lot of people unfortunately.
Obviously you appeal mostly to girls, but what is your advice to male fashion bloggers (like myself)?
I love male fashion bloggers. Mainly because they are much rarer and therefore their content is just really exciting and different. I would say that you just need to stay on top of what is coming out, and with the Mens fashion week this year, it looks like the world is paying much more attention to menswear for the future. If you can stay on top of that, make your own predictions and then portray that to your audience, I think youll be on to a winner.
As some of you may have been aware, I went on a weekend away with my boyfriend.
We went to Bath and Bristol for Saturday and Sunday and it was such a great chance to spend some time together and really appreciate each other’s company.
We got up early on the Saturday morning and began our travels West to the beautiful city of Bath.
On our way we noticed that we’d be driving by the Stonehenge in Amesbury. It was such a lovely day so we decided to stop and take a look. We were taken by a little shuttle bus up to the ruins and spent some time walking round and taking photos. It was quite surreal. Hearing stories about it’s origins made it seem kind of supernatural and magical.
We started again on our travels to Bath and arrived around lunch time. (We were aiming to get there for breakfast but the Stonehenge was spontaneous and pushed it back to Brunch!)
We had looked up a Café in the centre of Bath that looked lovely for lunch and went there. It was called Wild Café.
If you live in Bath, go there. If you live near Bath, go there! And if you’re thinking of going to Bath anytime, go there!! I would seriously recommend it.
It’s a cute, quirky little café that had a range of breakfast/lunch/brunch options to choose from. I opted for a bacon and cheese burger (like I always do) and it was one of the greatest I’ve ever tasted. It was accompanied with homemade chips with the skin left on, fantastic. Fred (my boyfriend if you hadn’t guessed) went for the mussels. They smelt, looked and tasted divine: a real sensory experience.
After lunch, we took a walk around Bath. This was the worst part for me because I have hurt my toe, but it was beautiful nonetheless. We went to see The Circus, The Royal Crescent, Jane Austen’s tea rooms and much more. The weather held out for us so it was great to be able to spend time outside in the fresh air. The air felt different, cleaner and much purer than London air. Weird.
By the time we’d seen the sights, we decided to make our way over to Bristol to the hotel we were staying at.
The hotel we stayed at was right in the centre of Bristol called The Grand. It was a gorgeous hotel that was lit up by purple lights at night (yay, purple is my favourite colour!) We checked in, went to our room and immediately threw ourselves onto the bed. It was lush! There’s usually that strange feeling of “oh, we’re here now, what do we do?” but we didn’t. We knew that we wanted to go to the health centre that was right next door to the hotel. It had a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna. It felt great to unwind after the long day trawling through the history of Bath.
After relaxing for a while, we went back to our room to get ready and go out for dinner. All dressed up, looking nice, we walked through the streets to find somewhere acceptable to eat. Bearing in mind it was Saturday, people would have been getting drunk, we were just looking for food. We found a place right on the riverside called Severn Shed which served amazing food. Seafood, burgers, steaks, you name it – they served it! Fabulous.
I was totally stuck for choice but finally decided to have skewers – one with chicken and chorizo and the other with king prawns. Fred was talking about having a Steak all day so that’s what he went for. And of course he chose the biggest one.
We sat and had a drink, waiting for our food over candlelight when we saw the waiter bringing our food. Our eyes lit up. The waiter stripped the skewers right before our eyes, I was salivating I think. (I don’t have a photo of that because I was just loving it too much!) He plonked down Fred’s huge steak and we dug in. I think we both scoffed too much because we soon started to slow down and begin to struggle with the food. I burped (a lot) and was able to carry on. What a trooper I am. A DJ started mixing (or whatever you call it) and this is the moment I wanted to leave. It went from a cute, romantic meal, to eating in a nightclub in seconds. Also, I was so exhausted from the day I just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep/cuddle.
I slept quite well, considering the bed was actually slightly hard. We lounged around in bed for a while before heading down the breakfast. It was in such a lovely restaurant area with crystal chandeliers and posh carpets (I have to admit, I felt slightly out of place!) Walking past all the options, my mind was spinning in excitement of all the things I could eat. Cooked breakfast, cereal, yoghurts, cakes, everything. It was beautiful. I went for the English breakfast to begin with. It was lovely, which was a surprise because hotel breakfasts are usually cheap and bland. But I have to say it was cooked to perfection and the presentation was immaculate. Half way through eating, I started thinking about having some cereal – rookie mistake, I know, but I just fancied some Rice Crispies. So that’s what I went for. Please don’t judge me. I then spotted a croissant which was all alone on the shelf so I quickly swooped in, picked it up and rushed back to my table as if I’d just committed the crime of the century.
After breakfast, went back to our room, showered, got ready and checked out of the hotel.
We then made our way to the shopping centre that was 5 minutes walk from there.
It was a modern place with so many levels and branches I had no idea where to go first or which way to head. After much walking and shopping, we came across a bubble tea place. I had never tried one before so I had no idea what to get or which one was best. I just panicked and chose a Vanilla one. It was nice but I still have absolutely no idea what it is or what the point in it was. Ooops!
We then decided to leave the beauties of Bristol and head back towards Bath for the reason that Fred chose there anyway – the Natural Spas. (We were supposed to go on Saturday but the queue was HUGE and we were too tired to wait.)
They. Were. Terrific.
There was a heated rooftop pool with spectacular views looking across the whole of Bath. It had jets that soothed my aching feet and hurting legs. On another level, there were scented steam rooms. Fused with elderflower, ginger, cricklewood and eucalyptus, they all were so calming that I nearly fell asleep. I had to get out after a couple of minutes and step under the cold showers. And when I say ‘cold’, I mean ice cold. It was great. On another level, they had a pool similar to the rooftop one but with lights to help de-stress and unwind. I felt so unwound after a long weekend, all my problems seemed to just float away for a split second.
I couldn’t get any photos of the inside because we weren’t allowed phones or cameras. A girl took her phone in for a cheeky selfie on the rooftop but I didn’t want to break the rules so I kept mine in the locker.
I would highly recommend going to these if you’re thinking of going to Bath at all. They make you feel so cleansed and calm that you just feel stress-free for the 2 or 4 hours that you’re in there.
We then went for dinner at a traditional, old pub and it was the perfect ending to the most perfect weekend. I just sat and thought about how nice it was to spend time alone with my boyfriend and not have to worry. I couldn’t thank him enough in the car on the way home, he told me off for saying it too much, but I meant it every time.
You guys know her as Maria Pizzeria, I got a chance to speak to her about her life and get a little insight into what she does.
She has travelled a long way to reach her ‘dream’ job but plans to go even higher.
“I dreamt about Lazy Oaf for many, many years” says Maria. “It was my first major brand crush – they had a competition and I won it.”
Since coming to London two years ago, Maria has been working her way up the fashion ladder. Stepping up from working in Topshop to being an assistant at Coffin On Cake PR, she has certainly stamped her Swedish trademark into her work.
Starting with her dream job interning at Lazy Oaf, she has been interested in all of the aspects with fashion. The all-in approach from this brand was what sparked the passion for Maria as she realised that she can do all sorts. “Everything was connected. I like everything together.”
To the average person, they think fashion is just about the clothes. Maria disagrees. “I work in everything! My areas are social media and the press.”
Her flame was set alight when she started blogging 7 years ago, a laugh from Maria suggests that even she is surprised by that. Posting about her outfits and brands that interested her was her enjoyment at that time. “I just figured out my likes, my style, music because the internet was there and it’s like a whole world. I was trapped in a tiny home-town and felt like I could never develop.”
She applied for a Digital Media University in Sweden where she attended with solely the knowledge of blogging. Luckily for her, the course was based on the personality of the applicant, not about the skills, “it was cool”.
Getting experience is highly important in this industry. Maria was proactive and threw herself into the eye line of people that could help her progress. “I put up what I like and I found people that like the same stuff. It made me realise that the world is out there and it’s not just wherever you are”. Being in the agency has opened her up to the possibilities and reminds her that she isn’t in a boring 9-to-5 office job that people dread to have. She is able to be out and about, doing her own thing and creating those all important contacts that she is so grateful for.
Maria’s ‘office’ is one that inspires. Clothes hung up on the wall, fashion magazines scattered everywhere you look and wondrous pieces of art catching your eye at every turn. It’s like no office I’ve ever been to.
Social media seems to be a growing phenomenon that creates a portal between the average person and the people that can give you an opportunity. Sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn give a platform for someone to start off with and create relationships with huge companies or celebrities that would be impossible by phone/email. “It’s all about connections and networking. If you can get a good recommendation from someone that people know, its enough”
“I was interning at a magazine and they were working with agencies a lot – that’s where I got the connection. They saw I liked JuJu shoes, they said they didn’t have anyone in the office that liked them so they wanted me to do the accounts.”
Her most recent venture, Malmö London – a Swedish fashion brand, catapulted her into the photography and styling aspects. “I shot the look-book and styled it and now I’m doing the social media and press. I really like to grasp it and tell the brand “I’m up here to help you develop it if you want me to””.
Bursting into the fashion scene is difficult. Sometimes you just have to take what is given to you. It hasn’t always been straight-forward for Maria as she has had many jobs that didn’t go so well. “I did a job assisting a stylist once, that wasn’t fun! There was nothing to do on set, just collecting and returning things. I think I learnt a lot anyways.”
Even her role at Lazy Oath didn’t live up to her dreams. “It wasn’t paradise. When I was there, I was so f**king scared.” Moving to new country, learning a new language and being expected to fit right in was daunting for Maria – she even had to share a room in a flat.
Maria aspires to build her own empire in London one day and plans on publishing her own magazine. Beginning with online and finally going into print is obviously a huge passion for her as she gets excited even mentioning the idea.
“If I would work full time for an agency, it would be my own”
Pay – £80 a day
Hours – “As a guide, I’d say 12 hours a day! But I work whenever I can. Since, when I’m off I do shoots and style stuff as well and I count that as work”
Work/life balance – “I got my office at home as well, so obviously I just work all the time. I want to be able to go out and have a coffee with someone, even if it has nothing to do with the agency, it just helps me to think or get inspiration.”
Best thing – “The agency experience; being in a team and where people appreciate your role and what you do!”
Worst thing – “Being dressed up everyday and being stuck in front of the screen all day long, that makes me cringe.”