I wanted to switch up some of the content I have on here and thought the best way to approach this was through all of you- my readers!
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get asked, with my detailed answers:
1. Where are you from?
I am from the beautiful city of Bangkok, Thailand. I was born and brought up there, as was my father and my sister- so I am technically a second generation Thai. My second language is Thai, my passport is Thai, and my parent’s house is in Thailand- I go home every year and miss it so much when I am in Vancouver! My ethnicity, on the other hand, is fully Indian- my mother was born in Mumbai, though she grew up in Nigeria and moved to Thailand when she was 19. My third language is Hindi and I do love my Indian culture too! I moved to Vancouver 6 years ago to study and then work, and I just got my Canadian Permanent Residence. Currently mapping out my life’s next steps…stay tuned.
P.S. I was born with red hair, have freckles and fair skin- traits not really common to most Indian girls, so I always get a confused look after this explanation. Trust me guys, I am still trying to understand my whack genetics myself.
2. Do you blog full time?
No, I do not blog full time and that’s not really something I want to do. I’m sure many of you have noticed that I have participated in multiple collaborations with various brands and full disclosure, it’s always great to make some extra money on the side, as well as support the brands I love- however, I want to maintain a strong level of my personality on my page and want to be adding value to my readers on a more personal level. I make sure to space out paid posts with my own content to make sure my platforms represent all the different sides of me and all the things I stand for. Also, I really do like working in the field I am in, Public Relations and Marketing- the thrill of climbing the corporate ladder really gets me going.
3. Who takes your photos?
My friends, my mom, my sister, my cousins… whoever I can bug really! In all seriousness, I have very supportive people around me who are always willing to take my pictures when we are out and about. I have also learned how to make the process as quick as possible so it doesn’t end up being too much of a problem to anyone- I literally have my favorite poses and angles ready to go 24/7! I will also collaborate with other bloggers and photographers, who are absolutely great to work with since they are creatives as well and enjoy the whole process as much as I do… if not more! Lastly, believe it or not, my tripod is my main go to, I will take so many of my own photos despite looking crazy to onlookers on the street.
4. What made you start The Open Journal?
Well firstly, I love to write and take photos and I wanted to use this platform as a creative outlet to share my work and thoughts with people. Secondly, in the world of marketing and communications, digital marketing is only growing and being in this industry, I felt as though it was important to be fully involved in it in order to understand and master it. In addition to refining my skills in Photoshop, WordPress, photography, writing and social media, my blog has worked as a portfolio I have used to apply for jobs and school as well.
5. What are your future goals for this platform?
If I am being completely honest, lately I haven’t been as inspired as I used to be. I have been posting almost every day for 2 years now and I am seriously considering taking a month or two off, just to get excited about blogging again. However, the thing about engagement- in a blogging world as competitive as it is today, is that it will drop dramatically if you leave for a while, and you don’t really know if it will ever come back. After working so hard to get The Open Journal where it is today, I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that risk yet. So circling back to answer the question, I don’t really know what direction The Open Journal is heading as yet. I know I want to do something different, start something unique- but I don’t have that answer with me now. I will be launching my Youtube page soon though, I do think it’s time I try out video content- so hopefully I’ll find some more inspiration on that platform! Let me know if you have any ideas at all!:)
6. How do you work with brands?
When I first started blogging, I would directly email brands to ask if they were interested in working together. I would send over a media kit which included samples of my work, my rates, my social media and website statistics and all the ideas I had for our partnership. Now brands reach out to me and offer me the different ways we can work together. They always ask for screenshots of my platform analytics, my rates, and availability to create and post the content. People don’t realize how much back and forth actually go into creating paid content, I usually have about 20 email exchanges before the post is made. Brands will send out guidelines on what they want the photo, caption, and stories to look like- and we also need to send them various options to choose from. If they don’t love them, we are required to reshoot. I will also get invited to various media events where brands will invite you for a lunch/dinner/activity where they will take some time to talk to you about their products and even send some home with you to try- they don’t ever ask for anything in exchange, but if I love the products I will totally give them a well-deserved shoutout on my page.
7. What apps/camera do you use for your photos?
I just bought my first DSLR a few months ago, the Nikon D5300 which I love! Honestly, I live for bokeh (blurry backgrounds) and no camera phone can do that as well as a good DSLR lens that has an aperture of at least f1.8. For flay lays and days I can’t bring my DSLR with me I will use my Google Pixel 2 phone camera, which is also pretty amazing. In terms of apps that I use for photo editing, I use:
–Photoshop: For major edits like changing background colors, removing any noise in the photo etc.
–Instagram: For minor adjustments in brightness, warmth, and shadows right before I post.
–Snapseed: I mostly use this to add light to specific parts of the photo which are darker than the rest of it to make the whole picture look more balanced.
–Preview: I use this app to plan my feed to see how my whole page will look. It allows you to post pictures in a grid form to preview what your Instagram page will look like with certain posts.
–Nebi: This app I occasionally use to add some vintage effects into my pictures, like those scratches that are trending all over Instagram at the moment.
Please don’t be shy, if you have any more questions at all, hit me in the DM or fill out the contact form below- I love hearing from you guys!