Monday, September 28, 2015

My beginners guide to blogging:

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about blogging in general and he said to me "blogging is free and anyone can do it." A lot of people approach me and ask me for tips about blogging or how to start their own blog, especially this year since my blog has started picking up.
The first thing you should know about blogging when you start is exactly what my hubby said, anyone can do it. There are pro's to this as it will be incredibly easy for you to start your own blog if you are passionate enough about it. What you must keep in mind, however, is the fact that it has to be unique. If anyone can do it, what is going to set you apart from the rest and what's going to keep your reader interested to make your blog a success?

There are so many fashion bloggers out there, famous ones like Kristina Bazaan, Negin Mirsalehi and Margaret Zhang, they are among my favourites and I aspire to reach that level one day. I am by no means an expert and so I can't be at the top of the list of people to give you blogging advice, but I can give you some of the tips that I have personally learned along the way.
1) You have to keep you readers interested,
I try to do so by blogging once a week.

2) Its important to scatter your posts.
Blog them over a space of time instead of blogging five times in one week and not having enough content for the following weeks.
3) There is no thumb sucking with blogging,
you need to get your content prepped and ready at least two to four weeks be the actual post is scheduled.
4) BlogSpot and WordPress are the immediate go to websites for you to sign up on
if you are a first time blogger. Its easy to use: Youtube or google will be your teachers and best of all its free.
5) Get in touch with specific media or PR companies.
They will invite you to events that relates to what you're blogging about. It will be fun for you to attend and something new and exciting for your bloggers to read about.
6) Social media, every platform is your marketing tool,
it's imperative to make use of it to get your content out. My best platform at the moment is...Instagram.
7) I hate blogs that are too text heavy,
 try to balance it between the pictures and text.
8) People want to read about things that interest them,
 they don't want to read about YOU only.
9) Post only what you think is worthy,
 high quality content will be more appealing to people for them to take you seriously i.e. good quality images and informative content.
10) Have fun,
don't make blogging a chore, make it your outlet to connect with people.
When it comes to shoots, these are my top tips:
1) Make sure you have a good photographer or if not a great camera with a timer and camera stand.
2) Your images should tell a story (the background is extremely important!)
3) If you have good images your blog post is 50% done.
4) Keep it exciting
5) Find a way to differ from the rest. How? That's up to you.

Let me take you through the process of my latest shoot:
Location: 16 Louis Street, Orchards
Reason: I fell in love with the Graffiti after I saw it when I featured on Lucky Radio a few weeks back, the graffiti is part of the design of the 24 carrots events company situated next to Lucky Radio.
Photographer: Long time friend, Layla Shaik
Outfit and my unique take: I love wearing my clothes in different ways, in fact I try not to wear the same outfit combination in the same year. I rewore my black and white jumpsuit but only as a pants, paired with a tee from the newest MRP collaboration with Tamara Dyson Cherie. My boots and bag are from Cotton On.
Theme: Monochrome
Content: From the heart

Maybe in a few more years I will do another post about blog tips that will be more advanced but these have got me far this year and if you want to start a blog yourself, I recommend you start with these tried and tested tips.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Legit x Boity

Last week, I went to one of the best media launches I have ever attended. Not every company knows how to run a successful press launch but one thing is for sure, Legit did an amazing job. The reason I thought Legit had done an amazing job is because I have experienced what its like to plan an event, and to keep people entertained throughout is not an easy thing to do but I along with the other guests were thrilled from start to finish.
The Legit Launch took place at a beautiful garden venue in Fourways, Johannesburg. The event was held to introduce the media and the public to Legit's newest brand ambassador, Boity. Boity had a humble start in life growing up in Potchefstroom and started to reach stardom from a young age as she took on various acting roles. Now a successful actress, Boity was honoured and in tears as another one of her dreams became real as she was announced the brand ambassador of Legit. Prior to her heart-warming speech we were entertained by an impressive fashion show that showcased the "Legit x Boity" range of clothing.

The room was filled with a display of four clothing installations to show off the range accompanied by live performances that took place while we watched the show.
Pop into Legit soon and check out their new sneakers, they are next on my list of must-have items!

I was privileged enough to sit in the front row of the show on a customized chair with my name on it (which we got to take home). My customized Legit x Boity "Ranaa" chair is now my new favourite blogging chair...
Whenever I sit on it I think of how Boity cried tears of joy at the event as she realized how blessed she is. It reminds me about how blessed I am each day, getting to do things I love like blog and work with amazing people along the way. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have achieved already. It has also made me realize that the successful year of 2015 is not the end. Being the brand ambassador for Cotton On and Nomada Accessories South Africa is only the beginning, so look out SA. 
Hat: Cotton ON
Dress: Jay Jays
Shoes: Cotton On
Bag: Forever New
Coat: Asseblief Vintage
In a few weeks I will be completing my BA at LISOF School of Fashion and I will no longer be a student.  This has me feeling mixed emotions, I may be sad to leave but I cant wait to show off the skills I've learned, with that said never-mind SA, LOOK OUT WORLD. HERE I COME.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Make Up Workshop by Raeesah R:

If you are an avid follower of my blog you would have noticed that Raeesah Randeree and I have done several collaborations over the past while.
I attended one of her renowned make up workshops, where she demoed two everyday make up looks on me. Her idea is to show the students who attend the class how to do beautiful make up that is not heavy, the way a professional would have done it. 
As she did my make up I listened and held onto every word she was saying, trying not to miss out on anything. If and when she has classes again, be sure to attend as she has great tips for all levels of experience, from amateur to professional. One of the tips I picked up from the class was that you should be gentle with your make up to make it last longer as well as with your brushes, the more gently you use them, the more value you will get out of them. She also noted that extreme contouring for make up is shown on various popular make up accounts on Instagram but it gets a bit scary if you wear that in person on a daily basis. Like everything beautiful in art, the trick is to blend! 

Attendees got to demo the make up on themselves after Raeesah gave her master class (on me). All the make up she used was available for them to use too. She also sells certain products which is a perk if you wanted to take some of the fun home with you. I personally took home a chocolate bar eye shadow palette that smells and looks like chocolate, mmm.
Now for some exciting news The Dream Team (Layla Shaik Photography, Hair by Raeesa E and myself) along side Raeesah Randeree have decided to collaborate for a new exciting competition to give back to you, our followers! The competition details will be posted soon but for now what you need to know is that the winner will be receiving a host of prizes as part of a special make over competition. The winner will be pampered for the day by all the ladies mentioned above, this lucky lady will have the opportunity to get her hair and make up done as well as take part in a digital photo shoot. She will also be styled by Yours Truly which will include a wonderful bag sponsored by Nomada Bag's South Africa , Jewellery by We Wear Gems and a clothing ensemble by The Skirt Courier.

On a side note: below are three shoots that took place with the help of all the ladies who will be pampering you.

Keep your thumbs ready to post for the win!  It's just a  teaser of what you're in for.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Evening with Cotton On:

If you shop at Cotton On you'll know that the aesthetic of the brand is casual and fun, so that's exactly what I chose to wear to the Cotton On event which took place at Katy's Palace last night.

One of the very first clothing items I received as a blogger from Cotton On were these jeggings. I've shot them previously but I wear them so often and so decided to make them part of a fun look for the night. I paired them with a neutral top from the brand "Her Ritual" and Zara heels to add a bit more fun. On my arm, was my latest buy from Aldo accessories which was definitely the most fun to wear: the strawberry milkshake bag.

The event itself was vibrant as the entire Cotton On team warmly welcomed us into 'their' palace. We were privileged to hear from the team at both Head offices in SA and Australia. They gave us insightful information such as the fact that the Sandton Cotton On store in Johannesburg is their best performing store in the world among 1300 other stores. Cotton On also have great plans for expansion of an anticipated forty more stores to open in South Africa this year. Lastly, it was mentioned that the Cotton On Group will be bringing in another Australian brand to the South African market called Supré. Supré is a young ladies brand that will grace our soil in 2016. Visit the link to see more about Supre.

I shot this look with Layla before the event while there was still good lighting, such good lighting and sunshine in fact that I added on a canvas cap from Country Road (I did not wear it for the evening of course).


The backdrop for this quick shoot were these beautiful flowers in wake of spring today!