This week at Open Aperture, we’re featuring sustainable fashion blogger Jennifer Wang. Her blog, SustainableSiren is your source for women’s sustainable fashion. Jennifer and I have collaborated for the better part of 5 years creating content for her blog and my portfolio. From Santa Cruz to Hawaii, our photoshoots have taken us to beautiful places with incredible outfits that Jennifer has either made or been sponsored to wear and create content with. Her most recent project, ANTIDOTE, has garnered accolades such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA): Fashion Future Graduate Showcase and the CFDA+ Design Graduates. I spent a little time talking with Jennifer asking her about what it was like being a social media influencer and how the photographer – influencer relationship is important to the success of a blog.
What made you decide to start being a social media influencer?
I started my blog way before Instagram had been created (Lookbook.nu was the dominant website for posting fashion content), and my motivation was to start building a presence for myself in the fashion industry while I was still in high school so that maybe it could help me later on in my career.
How important was it to have good content such as photos and videos?
As we know, Instagram is an app focused on visuals, so these are the most important things to have. The first thing someone sees when they might be interested in following you is your feed, which can make or break their decision to click follow!
Do you think that having a good working relationship with a photographer is important in creating a fashion blog?
Yes, most bloggers I know either have a regular photographer (sometimes it’s their significant other who they are always with) or work with multiple photographers. In the beginning, I used to shoot photos with a tripod and remote, but it’s way easier to shoot with someone else.
How did you build partnerships with brands to help build your audience?
This can happen one of two ways. Often the brands will simply reach out to you via email or you can also reach out to them and pitch a collaboration idea!
How much time and work goes into posting a blog post?
For me it generally averaged 10 hours. This included initial outfit styling, traveling to shoot location, shooting the photos, editing the photos, writing the blog post, preparing the social media assets, pushing everything out to social media, and sending final assets to the brand.
What is it like to be an instagram influencer?
It is a lot of work to grow your account, sustain the growth, and push out high quality content on a consistent basis. However there are also perks such as being gifted product, services, or trips in exchange for your work!
What’s the hardest part of being an instagram influencer?
For me, I didn’t like when Instagram started to take over my life to the point where you’re no longer living and capturing the moment, but you’re living TO capture a moment.
What made you decide that being a social media influencer was not your calling?
Ultimately, the end goal is that I want to be a fashion designer. As a fashion blogger, you are often working with other brands promoting their products. At a certain point I realized that it’s time for me to commit fully to being a designer and promoting my brand and vision. I’m much happier and fulfilled now than I was before in all honesty! I still believe social media is incredibly important for brands and will return to Instagram when ready to launch, but for now, it has been awesome throwing myself entirely into my design work!
And there we have it folks, some insight into the life of a social media influencer. I must say that Jennifer is one of my closest friends as we met way back in our pre-college days at Academy or Art University around seven years ago. She’s a great designer and model to work with and has such a great personality! Don’t forget to go check out her current work, ANTIDOTE. You can also follow her on Instagram @betheantidote.Comment below on whether you’ve worked with social media influencers before and remember to always keep on shooting!