|So finally here it is. A while ago, I asked you guys to throw your questions - any kind of questions - at me, and my inbox was filled with different questions everyday for a while (thank you guys!). Some of questions are repeating so I've done my best to compile a list and answer every single one of them. Enjoy reading them:
How did you start blogging and become where you're today?
When there weren't so many bloggers 8 years ago, I was like you - a reader of many bloggers... until one day I realized I could become a blogger myself (The thought just popped out of my head), and that's how the blogging journey began.
I'm a newbie blogger and really want to work with brands. How did you get to work with brands? Did you try to approach?
When I started blogging, I focused more on my content and photography, rather than how to work with brands. I never thought to approach a brand myself since I'm not entirely sure how to - something like "Hey! I'm a blogger, give me some job!" sounds not very professional and it's not something I would do. As my blog is growing everyday, brands/PR have come to me naturally as they see something that Von Vogue can offer. That being said, I have rejected a lot of offers and opportunities and only worked with the brands I truly love - I also need to understand how to market my blog as a small business. Think wisely.
Love your photos! They are so beautiful! Who takes photos for you?
Most of time it is my boyfriend Larry - not a professional photographer but is passionate about photography. Sometimes my sister Celeste takes photos for me, or my friends (rarely). I've been thinking to get a tripod to shoot photos by myself, in case I travel alone and no one is able to take photos for me... haha
What kind of software programs do you use to edit your photos?
I use Lightroom for white balance/color correction and Photoshop for further photo editing.
What are your Photoshop tips?
I'm a self-taught Lightroom/Photoshop user, which means I learn everything from online tutorials, YouTube (a good one like Aaron Nace), or my photographer friends' experience. If you're new to photo editing, I would suggest you to play around with colors - don't be afraid! For Photoshop, try to use layers wisely - you should always have an original layer and only edit on the copied ones not the original one! Since Photoshop can only allow you to redo limited steps, it's always a good idea to duplicate a new layer, in case you screw up later but still has the old one.
Have you gone to any fashion event or show? If so, how did you get invite?
I've been to Vancouver Fashion Show once, and that's about it. I will be going to New York for New York Fashion Week in this September, so be sure to follow my adventure on Instagram. As for fashion events, yes! PR people and brands contacted me about going to their events. I was there to preview some of their latest collection and meet new friends.
How do you manage between blogging and working as a full-time engineer?
It's all about time management! I start working on my blog after work, which is usually 7pm to 11pm. I have my schedule planned on a calendar - blog posts, events, and projects/collaborations. It's very important you have your schedule written down somewhere, or else you'll totally forget about it!
Why did you decide to major in engineering, but not fashion?This is the question that I give different answers everytime people ask me. There are so many reasons, but only one of them explains better: I just thought that since I was good at math and science, I should pick engineering. I do love engineering, don't get me wrong. I used to dream to become a fashion designer (yes!), but maybe some of these dreams are meant to be just a dream.
I know you're an engineer, that's so cool! I'm an engineering student and find it hard to stay in the program, how did you get through it?
I never think of myself as a very smart person, at least not book smart. I'm not type of student who can study for 4 hours before an exam and still manager to an A+... I literally had to study harder in order to maintain a good grade. Maybe I shouldn't say "studying hard" - you should "study smart". You should understand your professor's teaching style and what kind of materials would most likely appear on the exams, so you can study the "right" materials rather than everything. I'm lucky to have some smart friends who were always there to help me with assignments and exams, phew!
How come you don't wear famous designers' clothing, like Chanel, Gucci or Louis Vuitton?
There are two reasons: 1) I simply can't afford every piece - or sure I can, if I eat 99 cents noodle cup every meal for a year. That doesn't sound practical to me so I wouldn't want to do it, but that doesn't mean I won't get it - I don't feel it's my time to wear them. 2) I like to mix high and low and discover new designers from different places/countries. I don't feel that fashion is only limited to certain big name brands - as long as it's something beautiful as a clothing piece, we should consider it as part of fashion.
Your skin looks so flawless, what are your secrets?
My only secret is less makeup - I like to invest some good skincare products rather than makeup products. My personal favour is Fresh Seaberry Face Oil - I use it as moisturiser at the last step of my skincare route and leave it overnight (no moisturiser since it would be too rich for my skin). I only use it once every 3-4 days. My skin feels super soft the next day - moisturizing your skin is the key point for anti-aging.
You look so skinny! How do you stay fit?
To be honest, I'm naturally skinny, which is something I don't like. The relatives on my Dad's side are naturally skinny. I try to do yoga 2 or 3 times a week. Being skinny isn't always that great - some people might even start attacking skinny person without knowing why he or she is skinny. We should all try to respect other people's different body shapes... and we are still learning.
Could you please do a YouTube video on how to curl your hair?
Ah-ha! I'm not sure if a video is a good idea since I just do my hair in a random way... I use a FHI Heat ceramic flat iron to twist my hair in random directions (inward and outward), just whatever I feel like. For extra volume and style extending, I use a prime spray from Living Proof on damp hair.
What do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Would you still do blogging?
That's a good question! I was just thinking about the same thing a while ago. Let's be honest, I'm not sure if I will still be a blogger when I'm 35?! So currently, I'm in the transition of doing something different other than being a blogger. I started my first photographer role a while ago with Walnutte. The photos are on their way... just stay tuned!
Are you a model?
I never consider myself as a model. Posing for outfit photos does not count, at least in my perspective. Maybe in a way, similar, but not entirely the same. Calling myself a model, rather than a blogger, would be a disrespectful move to all the professional models.
What apps do you edit your Instagram photos?
I use Snapseed and VSCOcam. They are fun to play around with!
I want to visit Vancouver soon! Any places that you can recommend?
Depends if you're a city-person or more a nature-lover. If you like hiking and anything about nature, you should visit Whistler, Sea-to-Sky Gondola, and Sunshine Coast to name a few. If you like wine tasting, you should visit Osoyoos. I wouldn't consider Vancouver as a shopping heaven, so you should be able to save your wallet from bleeding too much. Biking around the Sea Wall or Stanley Park is one of the to-dos in Vancouver.
How tall are you and how much do you weight?
I'm 5’4″ and weight around 100 pounds.
What is your nationality?
I was born in Taiwan and moved to Vancouver at age of 12.
Hi Claire! Just wondering how many pairs of shoes do you have?
Ughhh.... to answer your question, I just counted the number (laugh away). I have 16 pairs of shoes so far, but I'm giving away some of them since I don't wear them that often.
Do you make money from blogging?
Sometimes yes, depends on what kind of collaboration it is. I'm trying to do more blog-related work so we will see what happens next :)
This is it! If you still have more questions, I would love to hear from you (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wednesday, 5 August 2015