D&C: Behind A Beautiful Distraction
HOW IT STARTED...
A Beautiful Distraction started as a free WordPress blog in 2012 as a site for me to share, document and experiment, apart from ranting. fast forward to 2016, it has moved to Squarespace and is still a space for me to continue doing what I love - creating and messing around.
I’ve been in the blogosphere since about 10 years ago. I know, I know, you want to ask, what the heck was I doing with a blog at the age of 10*? My sister was assigned to set up a webpage then and being a nosy, irritating little sister, I followed whatever she did.
I hope it's an interesting story like how my parents bought me a camera and here is where I share it or how my friends realize I'm good at writing and encourage me to start a blog or how I moved 10000 miles away from home and use this as a tool to update my friends and family. but that's just how it is. and I'm glad.
*please go ahead and count my age
A BEAUTIFUL DISTRACTION
when I moved* I wanted a blog name that has "beautiful" in it because I like the word. I also wanted an "A" at the beginning because it's the first letter. then for whatever reason, "distraction" came and sit at the end of the phrase and didn't want to go. like a college boyfriend, I love it, but sometimes I just think that it's not right. it's too long and not catchy. I wanted to change it when I moved here but it's too troublesome to think up a new one. so yeah, whatever, I'm still stuck in this relationship. I don't hate it, mind you, I just find it odd.
also, the switch to Squarespace was a little abrupt but I've been playing around with the free trial since last July. I didn't like how Wordpress needs plugin. Squarespace is simple and minimal, easy to navigate. it does has it's limitations, especially 'cause I like to play around with layouts. but before I find a coding wizard, I'll stick to Squarespace.
*storage problem, le sigh
BEHIND THE SCREEN
you probably think I lead a "glam" life hopping cafes after cafes and having fun. honestly though, I think you can find me sitting in front of my laptop or desktop 90%* of the time and 8% out of the 10% I'm driving.
blogging is not hard, but it takes a lot of time and effort.
okay. you probably already know that as the Chinese saying goes like "ten years of practices for a three-minute performance". but you don't know the details until you watch Whiplash**.
*might also comprises of reading my blog feed, doing assignments and rounds after rounds of Tetris Battle
**go watch it, it's one of my favourite films
Q: How long do you usually take to write a post?
I know you're gonna hate this answer but... it depends. but it's never less than 2 hours. the longest was this post that took, well, obviously, one year. normally it'll take two days for me to properly organize and filter my photos. then, it'll take another half day to post process and upload*. sometimes I could be toying around in Illustrator on and off for 2 weeks and then at the last minute, decide to use some other image. it seems more relaxed doing things on and off but when I'm putting things together before I post, I realize that there's so many problems to fix and I'll have to spend hours on it.
*I don't mean like I spend 60 hours in one sitting lah. I mean like there's a little slash maybe quite an amount of procrastination in it.
anyway, I don't usually pre-plan what I need for a post. I just wing it, even after realizing times after times that I cannot. and here's an "infographic" sorta thing that shows you what it's like to be me.
"no" 8 out of 10 times when I want to take photos. not to mention that I have to search up and down my house for the right props. by the time everything's ready, I'm already soaking in sweat.
when shooting cafes or people, I was really shy at first. but after some time I became really buaypaiseh and just don't care how others see me and keep snapping away. I see some people who wants nice visuals but aren't willing to look stupid. if you want an overlay of your desserts, stand on your chair if you need it. that's the kind of price you pay. haha.
Q: Where do you normally get the props?
haha. this was asked by Kyan, who kinda lend me most of the stuffs. things like books, flowers, toys and polaroids, they're mine. credits goes to Alibaba and his cafe, 12 Cafe where Kyan works, for props used in this recent experiment post, this post about my Bally shoes and when we did a studio shoot.
now you may wonder why it takes so long for me to filter my photos. I'm pretty OCD when it comes to this and I can spend 5 minutes comparing 2 photos that's just a little different, like 1 is slightly askew. I also spend a lot of time just organizing my photos and files. here's a rough figure of how many photos I take each time:
and what ends up here is only about 10%. sometimes, some photos don't even manage to end up as a post.
after going through these, it's time for post processing and it's another long process because I'm always indecisive. like what do I do, should I +0.05 or +0.10 for exposure? but it takes lesser time because I've already filtered down to about 10 photos.
that's why, even though I don't mind people using my photos, I really, really hate it when people don't credit* and notify me. I know there are people who do that because I am a giant stalker**. you probably don't understand why I hate it so much before, but now you know. please, they're not photos that take only five minutes to process using an iPhone and VSCO.
you think the process is smooth after going through these? no. I always think that too, but a lot of the times when it comes to uploading, there's problems like page won't load, or there's no WiFi connection***. :/
after getting the post up, there're still things to do that readers normally overlook. for easier navigation, I've to tag it, categorize it, schedule it, make sure the URL is right and links aren't broken. and finally, TADAA, done!
*please link me or my blog
**more gigantic than the stalk in Jack and the Beanstalk
***THANKS A LOT, TM
that's how a blogpost is done. there are still other stuffs to take care of, like the Homepage and social media. I also have to constantly tweak the site so it stays up to date. so yeah, blogging is not hard, but to keep a site running, it takes a lot of time and effort.
here's a sum of what I usually use. I know it's definitely not English but I hope you guys understand~
(previously, RIP Baby Nick)
Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G
Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
Wacom Intuos Photo
Q: Where do you get your inpirations?
I am one of those crazies who can stay at a bookstore or record store for an hour not reading any synopsis or trying any CDs. I love looking at things. if you want inspirations, they are everywhere. one of the fastest way for photo inspiration is those visual geared website, like Tumblr, Pinterest or Flickr. you can follow me on my Tumblr. also, pay a lot of attention while watching movies, they're a good start. and most importantly, read.
I don't usually share my blog/Instagram/Facebook following* so please appreciate this list that I put up. /wink wink/ I started to really follow blogs when I signed up for Bloglovin' because of Lookbook, so most of my list consists of fashion bloggers... yeah, I know some of you find it weird that me, someone who spends more time in her PJs than socially acceptable clothes, actually reads fashion blogs**.
*unless you're so interested in me that you actually stalk my profile, which I think nobody does :/
**there's a high chance I know more about fashion than you OOTDs-Instagrammer /smirks/
it makes me both happy and surprised that people actually care about what I write. like when I posted about donating my hair, people actually came to ask me about it. there are also people asking for travel tips, etc. if you have any questions, don't be shy. just drop a comment and I'll be more than happy to share it with you! it's because of you that it makes me realize that I'm not alone on this journey.
so far I'm still not sure where this blog is going, but here's a list of people I want to specially thanks for all these time: my family for allowing me space to do what I like, Yuenny - my number one fan, Temperance - the wise one, Wilson - finally, a lens buddy, Jia Yi and Li Ying for all the kind words, my close friends - from both high school and uni, people who follow me along the years, and finally, you, the one reading this. :)
ONE MORE THING...
since moving here, I've set up separate Twitter and Instagram accounts while my Tumblr remains the same. my Facebook is still personal, only for friends and family. if you don't want to miss any blogposts, make sure you follow me on Bloglovin'! you can also say a simple "hi" by dropping me a mail at email@example.com.
for your convenience, just click on the buttons to get to my profiles. :)
thanks for reading all the way till here. I wish I could give you a potato but rather, I'd give you a virtual hug.
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