Every single time I post, I get a flurry of people asking me “how do you edit” or the more blunt option: “how 2 edit?”.
And while I will disclose the apps I use in this post (a color story + a design kit), I’m here to tell you why this bothers me.
One: It’s not so much the question that irritates me; it’s the way people ask. I get excited when people comment on my posts & reply to my stories, but when I open up the comment or DM to find another blunt message demanding I tell people how I edit my photos, it is just upsetting. I love talking to you guys online about books, home decor, controversial issues, literally ANYTHING… except this. 99% of the time, nobody says hello or who they are or why they want to know. And guess what – half the time, the person isn’t even following me. So it just comes across as though they’re out to copy my process, and then run away so I’ll never know they’ve done that.
If you want to discuss editing processes with me, say hello 🙂 Introduce yourself, talk to me about what you’re struggling with and ask me if I have any advice. Please do not just ask me how I edit my photos, because to put it nicely, it’s just hurtful to be a source you can copy from.
Two: It took me YEARS to create my editing style. I make my own preset in the color story app, and have purchased tools to help me do the doodles over my photos. I didn’t steal or copy this idea from someone else. Sure, photos I saw online inspired me, but the whole process came to me around Christmas 2019 when I sad, lonely and bored. I’ve been testing different filters and processes every few months for the 4 years I’ve been on bookstagram, and this is only the second time I feel like my editing process represents my state of mind and my current space in life. My chosen colors, photography style and editing process reflect the coziness and space I feel reading and staying at home creates, which is especially important to me through this pandemic.
Frankly, I don’t want to share that because it’s personal to me. It would feel really bizarre to see this style on someone else’s feed when they don’t know the depth that goes into the way I’ve chosen to represent myself online.
Third: That’s just it. This is my representation of myself, and it’s one of the only things I have complete control over in the world. This is my personal corner of the internet where I get to share my love of reading, writing, decor, and the feeling of being at home. The reason it brings me so much happiness is because it’s mine. Whenever I’ve tried to replicate someone else’s style online, it hasn’t brought me happiness because I’m constantly comparing myself to them.
That’s what I encourage you to do, too. Explore your style. Represent yourself in a unique and chosen way, that feels safe and familiar but still fearless. And for the love of books, please remember that when you DM or comment on somebody’s content, you’re talking to a real person, with real feelings, and it can feel a little dehumanising to never speak to them like you would in real life. Say hello, introduce yourself, and don’t demand things.
Thanks for listening to my rant, which may come across as angry, but know that I have all the intentions of this being for your best interest, as well as mine. And sometimes, especially online, you have to set boundaries.