Dirty Little Secrets – Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of all the beautiful blogs out there? Me too 😉 So along with a few awesomely talented bloggers we thought it would be fun (and useful) to share some of our dirty little secrets and the behind the scenes of a DIY blog.
Warning – this post involves ass creeping pajamas and doggy doo-doo that may not be safe for sensitive viewers 😉
Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog
Okay now that the disclaimers and wot nots are out of the way. I’m passionate about creating things and inspiring others to try do it yourself. But I always go into a flat spin when it comes to taking those beauty shots that will either make or break the whole post. Those ones where everyone goes WOW, I want to try that so I’m gonna pin it for later. Yeah those ones. UGH. If you don’t have pretty doctored photos, pinning is so not going to happen. The competition is brutal.
In the days before the internet we were perfectly okay just competing with the Joneses or the Smiths. You know, the family next door who drove a swanky red car and held loud parties every weekend that you never got invited to. And if you wanted to feel really crap about your house you just had to subscribe to a glossy magazine. How I miss those days. Now all you need to do is surf the net to find out that you live in a hovel with mismatching tiles and that your super comfy couch is as out as Justin Beiber’s hairstyle. Does he still have hair? I haven’t checked in a while. Anyways this blog hop is all about going behind the scenes and seeing how the Joneses really live, dirty little secrets and all.
To set the scene (no pun intended it just helps my SEO if I use my chosen keyword lots – google likes that apparently), here’s an after photo of a little Steampunk Balloon we made.
Cute hey? We hung the balloon inside the house but the lighting is really yucky. We don’t have any fancy equipment to take a good indoor shots. Yet 😉 Plus I’m not a big one for dusting and most of the time our house looks like a crafty bomb went off inside.
My lack of dusting skills will finally pay off when it's Halloween
I’m not going to bore you with how we made it, that’s a post for another day. Let me rather
bore entertain you with what normally happens behind the scenes to get a photo like this. Because of the bad lighting situation inside the house, most of our craft and DIY photos are taken outside. We live in a sunshine-filled country and the harsh African sun doesn’t only play havoc with our skins, it can ruin a photo too. The magic hour is usually early in the morning or just before sunset but we’ve learned that sunset doesn’t really work for us. That’s beer time you guys and no one messes with our beer time.
When life gets blurry, adjust your focus
So early morning it is, which means there’s no time to get dressed or pick up the doggy doo-doo. Most weekends you’ll find me wandering
aimlessly around in the garden like a banshee on a mission, still in my PJ’s, trying to find the perfect spot to take a photo.
Either my ass has gone AWOL in the last few years or those PJ’s have become crack fillers while I wasn’t looking. Did you see my slippers?
my hubby’s anti doggy doo-doo weapons 😉 I do have my own elf styled weapons of mass doo-doo destruction, but they were in the wash that day. Plus the hubby’s slippers match my outfit so perfectly 😀
Are you wondering why the aimless banshee has a rake in her hand in the previous photo? We needed a way to suspend the balloon in thin air so I could take photos from different angles. The rake was the best plan we could come up with.
See the fishing gut? We often use fishing gut and double sided tape to make things work. I had visions in my head of creating a photo where the balloon seems to be drifting through the air. A little bit of fishing gut tied to a rake worked perfectly.
A rake is an awesome photography tool. You can swing that baby around until you get the best lighting and angle without trying to PhotoShop out an arm that’s lost the war against gravity. Talking about Photoshop, we can’t afford it. Sad I know, but beer money is way more important 😉 The only editing software we use is Paint.Net. It’s free and there are loads of people developing little plugins that will mimic about 87.639124% of what PhotoShop does. The other thing we can’t afford is a REAL camera. All the photos on the blog are taken with my Samsung Galaxy S something or other.
Except for this one. Hubby used his LG something or other to take this one. I love using our mobiles to take photos. Mobiles are just easier. They’re always there. All we need to worry about is the green and red button and how many MegaPixels the camera has. Once we’ve taken a gazillion photos from all angles and the banshee has calmed down to a slight panic, hubby is there clearing up the destruction left in my wake. Love you, baby. Thank you.
Doesn’t he look like a grown up Tom Sawyer? Wanna see some real destruction? This is our workshop area and there’s just no ways hubby will ever be able to tidy this up.
It’s a chaotic, messy, DIY heaven. Our creative zone. Everything is in it’s place waiting to be turned into something. It’s full of
useless crap awesome stuff that may or may not become a new thing.
Want a Quick Recap of Our Dirty Little Secrets?
- The best lighting is natural lighting. So if the lighting inside sucks take it outside
- If you have big dogs, always exercise caution when taking photos in the garden and remember to wear your anti doo-doo weapons
- Find a way to shoot from different angles to see what works best. This may involve using a rake or other garden implements
- Always have some fishing gut and double sided tape ready. When you can’t make holes in walls, double sided tape and fishing gut are your go to tools.
- Free editing software works almost as well as the top of the range stuff. And if it works for you, please remember to give the authors a good rating
- Most mobiles have great cameras. Use what you’ve got
- Behind the scenes helpers deserve a medal and lots of loving
- Chaos and madness are okay. We’re not all meant to be a Jones or a Smith. We are unique and I never wanted to go to their silly parties anyway. I still want that red swanky car though 😉
Are you keen to see more behind the scenes stuff? Oh good, then hop on over to these amazing blogs to get the low down of what really happens in their creative world. Just click on the photo. Trust me it’s worth it.
Let’s kick off with all the behind the scenes staging from a foodie blogger.
And a dive into another DIY blogger’s world.
A small apartment in Greece poses some unique challenges, but Mary from The Boondocks Blog has them all under control 😉
If you’re a furniture flipper then you’ll love the secrets The Interior Frugalista shared.
And then there’s The Navage Patch. Their beauty shots are amazing but you have to see what’s happening behind the scenes.
And if you enjoyed seeing what happens behind the scenes of a DIY Blog don’t forget to pin.
Do you have any little secrets you want to share? I love to hear about them and if you’ve got some tips on how we can improve our photography, that would be awesome. We’ve still got so much to learn.
BTW, I thought I’d include my wish list of stuff I’d love to get for the blog. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and maybe I’ll be able to afford a real camera one day 😉
And as always, here’s wishing you all a blessed and creative week.
104 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secrets – Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog”
This was so funny! It’s cool that you showed the behind the scenes because it’s a lot of work that bloggers put in to creating content!
? I’m glad you enjoyed it Nicole, thank you
This is such a fun post, I love reading how people work and even how you take photos is so creative.
Thank you Ellie ?
I love all of this post, it’s defintely very creative and fun. I do agree about the lighting. If you have bad lighting our vision isn’t the best!
You’re so right Ariel. The right lighting makes such a big difference
lol I love how honest you are! Natural lighting is my life, it was actually one of my stipulations when I was moving!
It makes such a big difference. We love our home but with all the big trees in the garden natural light inside is a huge problem
Wow this was an amazing post, one of the best I ever read… really loved reading it .. must say you’re so creative..
I loved reading your posts and visiting your blog, keep up the good work.
THank you soooo very much Helene ?
Ha ha ha ! love it! That is one creative post and I loved the spirit of collaboration! Looking forward to more out of the box thinking!
? Glad you enjoyed it Aditi
I agree that natural lighting is the best lighting although it does depend on what you are photographing. Love the idea for BTS post, you are so amazing and real. I am going to check some free photo editing apps, my photoshop trial is getting over this week.
Thanks so much Preet and I hope you find an app that works for you and suits your budget
This is a hilarious post. Love the idea and the way you wrote it. It’s a wonderful way to tell the readers about the hustle bustle we go through for the perfect shot.
Thanks so much Surekha. I have to be honest it was a little scary at first exposing all our dirty secrets but it was a lot of fun
The secrets have been revealed lol. DIY’s requires a lot of work and its normal that your workplace gets messier than ever but from your photos it looked like being resourceful is the key to hide all of those secrets.
Ahhh yes, those behind the scene secrets that all bloggers have. Thanks so much MJ
Oh I just love this post. Your realness is so refreshing. I lol’d several times. It’s a great way to show viewers that everything isn’t what it appears and people really need to work to get that “money shot”
Geez, right!!!? I have soooo much to learn Jodi. Love your portrait shots BTW ?
I love the behind the scenes looks at your craftiness! I hope to become much more crafty in this New Year!
Thanks you so much Jasmine, it was fun putting the post together
Michelle, I love the idea for this post! It’s such a cool perspective. A lot of my photos are taken indoors because so many are food related. Avoiding glares and shadows are the bane of my existence some days. ? I also move background stuff out of the way or crouch in different ways to get shots. Sometimes I involve my mom or sister. ? I use my iPhone 7 and filters either on my phone, laptop, or There’s a lot of effort gong into photos, even if it doesn’t always look like it! ?
LOL Sam, I’ve never even tried taking photos of food. That would drive me nuts ?
This post certainly had me laughing. Then I thought of what my own “behind the scenes” would look like and shuddered a bit. The addition of humor and reality to a how-to post is such a great idea and made the whole thing that much more relatable. I’m not sure what you’re currently using, as I see this post is a bit old, but I highly recommend Gimp, Pixlr, and Inkscapes. All are free and great for various forms of editing and tweaking!
Someone else mention GIMP. I really have to make a plan to play around. Thanks for that Jill and I’ve haven’t heard of Pixlr and Inkscapes either. So much to learn, so little time ?
Lol! I am over here laughing. I love how you put a little personality in your blog posts. I rarely see that. By the way your garden is absolutely beautiful!
Thanks so much Shadlyn. Our garden is our little refuge from the world and we’re very lucky that she’s completely self sufficient now
I love how real you are. You hold nothing back and your personality shines through in this blog. Your images are great as well. I love Photoshop but I am also using Canva.
Thanks so much Kesha. I’ve played with Canva but not Photoshop. I wish we could afford it. Maybe one day ?
I agree that natural lighting is the best lighting although it does depend what you are photographing . I liked the idea of using a rake as a photography tool but I think that your camera has a great image resolution!
Those Samsungs are such amazing little phones. I don’t what I’d do without mine
I have actually wondered about the BTS especially after visiting your blog for this past year. It sure looks like hard work and lot of ‘interesting’ efforts involved ahah … Interesting blog post idea too!
Ahhhh Tanvi, the struggle is real. I was a little scared at first to expose all our little secrets, especially the messy ones, but I’m real glad we did it. No one’s perfect and we all just try do the best we can. Hope you have a really beautiful 2018 my friend
This post seriously made me giggle! Sometimes the behind the scenes isn’t as fabulous as the end results! 😉 Happy New Year!
? Happy New Year to you too Talina
Oh I love this, Michelle, its always fun to see the crazy extremes it takes for a blogger to produce their amazing art. I love your little hacks – I’ve no judgement when it comes to how things are produced, if it works for that person then that is great! My light box for my nail is is constructed out of a cardboard box ^^’ That thing has more tape than anything I’ve ever seen!! Inspiring post and I love your beautiful creation as always.
I would love to see your light box Ithi. Your photos always look so beautiful, especially since they’re close ups of your gorgeous nail art
ahah loved this post! so relatable! there is so much behind a picture! you should see the mess in my flat after just one flatlay!
I know right!!!? It always looks like a bomb went off ?
Interesting read** Michelle this post got me laughing Aaaand hey! I’m happy you shared this dirty secrets.
Glad you enjoyed it Precious ?
I just found this set of blogs, via the Navage Patch. It’s like watching sausage made. I love it!
And for your photo editing work, I definitely second the GIMP (www.gimp.org) because not only it it free, it’s really powerful with all the plugins that have been developed for it.
I’ve been using the GIMP since version 0.2 in the late 1990s, and in a direct comparison with PhotoShop, using the same image as input and with the same goal, which was to remove the guy in the plaid shirt who had photobombed our product shot, no one could tell which software had done what.
OMW – I’ll have to try GIMP. Thanks so much for that Tsu. I really appreciate it
Loved this post!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am feeling better now and thank you for your well wishes!!
I’m so glad your feeling better Debbie. I’ll check in again on the weekend xoxoxoxoxox
I love how candid you are about all the dirty little secrets of getting a good shot for your blog. I have been known to roam around my property in my pj’s as well. I am sure I am legendary in my neighborhood as a crazy lady. Your steampunk balloon is super cool!
Thanks so much Lisa but they made me do it 🙂 Us crazy ladies need to stick together
Ohhhh I love that little balloon! So many great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks so much Carolann. I’ll have to put the tutorial up sometime soon
Laughter is the best therapy and you made me laugh so hard!! I am sure there is a global PJ’s revolution because mine do the same… maybe because they are angry for being full of paint? Love the creative use of the rake and I tell you your hubby is an angel! Mine doesn’t clean all my destruction so happily. By the way, I fell in love with your garden
LOL, thank you Pili, I’ll tell him 😉
You are so funny Michelle…love the behind the scenes look and all the dirt, grit and poo of capturing the right shot!! What an awesome project too…always love your creations!!!
😀 Thank you so much Michelle 😀
Hilarious but so true!!
I wonder if a rake would help in my outfit photos?? LOL!
Bwaaahahahaha Jodie, nooooo, that would be just wrong. Nope, nope, nope. You don’t need that kind of help with your outfit photos 😀
The rake really works for photography! Your phone camera produces crisp images too, I will check out Paint.net
Thank you so much, that little Samsung is great for taking photos when the lighting is good 😉
That was an interesting post, I really enjoyed reading it. Reading a blog post based on such a subject for the first time.
Thank you Jithin, I’m glad you enjoyed it
This post really had me laughing 🙂
😀 That’s so good to know Courtney, laughter is the best medicine
Hi, Michelle, this is s good theme to write a post on it. Secrets behind the scene are very nice This is a very interesting and funny post, I enjoyed reading it. Clicks are awesome, and yes your slippers are cute. You have a nice garden.
Thanks you so much Sadhna, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and
myhubbies slippers. I think we all need to expose some of our secrets every now and then. No-one is perfect
I love this entire series, I went through and read each one. I chuckled all the way through. If people could only see what we crop out of photos, how we dust or vacuum in a photo editor, or how many shots we actually take to get one that works! These are the best and your husband is a trooper. They never knew what marrying us would get them into, did they? LOL
Thanks so much Nikki, I think we all had so much fun with this blog hop. It’s quite nerve wracking exposing ourselves like that too, but I’m really glad we did it.
These are cool! Thanks for the tips 🙂
😀 Glad you likes them Lucy
Hahahaha That was great! Thank you for giving us a sneak behind the scenes and also for the great tips! 😀
😀 Pleasure Hannah, glad you enjoyed our dirty DIY secrets
Michelle, I got a kick out of your humorous writing. It’s fun seeing the behind the scenes of your blog. The anti doo doo shoes had me laughing. What a fun post!!
Awww Keri, I’m so glad that the post made you laugh. That’s great 😀
This post has put the biggest smile on my face, and the rake is a genius idea Michelle – has it occurred to you that if hubby would just stand where he is in that shot all the time (well maybe just daylight hours) it’d make you life so much easier as you’d be able to hang things off him whenever you wanted? You don’t need to thank me – I’m full of genius ideas! 🙂
LOL Sarah, now why didn’t I think of that 😀
I just love these kinds of posts. To confirm to myself I am not the only one out there doing crazy things for a blog post. And – you took a fantastic photo of that balloon!
Thanks so much Maya. Looking at all the beautiful creations you make, I’m glad you do the crazy too.
Good Evening Michelle, Oh my goodness you really made me laugh with your post. I do hope you managed to have a cup of tea or coffee before you wandered in to your garden to take the photograph.
Your husband is a gem…. I love how he was left with the balloon and rake. Actually my hubby helps me as well…. he helps me tidy up after I have finished cooking.
I use a little Canon point and shoot camera, which my daughter bought for me for my birthday, when I first started blogging and although I cannot take fancy photographs, I can take good photographs. As far as a mobile phone is concerned, I am the world’s worst. I never know where it is and I usually forget to charge it….. so taking photos with a phone is no good for me.
Do people still keep up with those Jones’…. what a waste of energy….glad to hear your the same.
I have to go now….. it’s time for a beer or in my case a glass of Bailey’s.
😀 Hey there Daphne, thank you so much for coming to say hi just before the Bailey’s hour. We’re so lucky to have hubbies that help out, and yours gets fed too. My poor hubby isn’t always so lucky. Sometimes I don’t know how he puts up with me, but I’m really glad he does. Your fotos are always lovely and I’ve heard so many good things about Canon cameras, if only I could find one that comes when I call it 😉 Happy birthday BTW, hope you had a lovely day
Michelle you are hilarious with your ass creeping, PJ crack fillers, and dog :poop: LOL 😀
I love you steampunk balloon! I suck at photography so I use my Samsung for all my photos as well. I seem to get better pictures on my phone then when I use a real camera. It’s easier, and saves me time as well by editing and unloading straight from my phone.
Thanks for showing the chaos, and can’t wait to read more about the chaos. LOL
Yay, Linda I’m so glad. Samsungs are great phones and their cameras work so well. Damn I wish I was sponsored to say this but I’m due for an upgrade and I think I’m going to stay with them. They’re so easy to use.
Haha what a fun idea for a blog post but with some seriously good advice! I am the worst blogger-photographer!
It was such a fun post to do Katerina and all the bloggers shared so many tips. I learnt so much
Too funny, Michelle! And what a lovely outdoor setting ! Be still my heart!
Thank you so much Gail 😀
You have it nailed, loved your post, reality at its best – and a great finished shot. Love seeing how others make this work.
Thanks so much Joy, this one was so much fun to do and it’s a great feeling not having to be perfect all the time 😀
PJ’s are the bloggers uniform or baggy shorts and tee shirt covered in paint. Our stage is crammed with supplies. You captured the reality of it. And I can’t believe you use your phone for the pictures. That is amazing. This is a fun series.
I know right, PJs and baggy shorts are the best and mobile phones. I love my mobile, they’re just so convenient. One day when we’re big we’ll use a real camera, maybe 😉
I really laughed out loud, not at you though, but about how funny you described your photo adventures! Your garden makes a beautiful backdrop even with dog popo, lol. I always use my husband phone camera, it’s the best and takes pretty good photos, I wouldn’t even know where to store all kinds of camera equipment anyways… And I love your pj’s!! They look great and mine do the same btw, 😉
LOL Katrin those nasty PJ’s 😀 I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses a cell phone camera and your photos are always so awesome
What a fun read, Michelle! Your pj’s on crack gave me some serious laughs. I love your garden and want to move next to you (for the sun all year round). I promise to invite you to my parties, and won’t even make you do dishes 😉
LOL 😀 Jas if I can crack an invite to your party, I’ll be there in a flash and I’m still going to wash the dishes coz that’s the way I get to eat all the potatoes and yumminess you make without anyone noticing 😉
Thank you for the laughs this early Monday morning after a long weekend. I couldn’t agree more about not messing with that magic sunset happy hour. I’ll never look at a rake the same way again – so much easier than climbing a tree to find the perfect branch (in my pj’s for our neighbor’s enjoyment).
LOL, Marie, those neighbors should be in bed not out there staring at the mad woman trying to get the perfect shot 😉 And you’re right no one messes with the happy sunset hour
P.S. My mouth is still hanging down to my knees in learning those gorgeous photos on your blog are all taken from a phone! Seriously girl, do you know how much I spent on camera equipment that I couldn’t afford?
At least with a mobile I can get someone to phone it when it goes missing in amongst the crafting chaos. If they ever bring out a camera with a very loud beeping thing or that comes when I whistle so I can find it I’ll be the first person to buy one
Lol, awesome! You look just like Handan when she’s crafting (and even when she’s working in the garden). All pajamas, all the time.
😀 Sooo glad I’m not the only PJ freak out there. Us girls and guys have to stick together and it gives us more time to craft. Who wants to wash and iron clothes anyways
Ahhhh! I love this and you Michelle. You’re too funny. Can I come over and steal that balloon? It’s gorgeous. Gosh, keeping up with the Jones’ is tiring so why try 😉 I don’t have Photoshop either and we use a program called GIMP since it’s also free. It too has most of the bells and whistles as Photoshop. Great job!!
<3 Thanks Angie. Yeah those Jones's are tiring and they smell strange too. But you can come steal the balloon anytime you want to as long as you and the hubby stay for a few beers so we can chat about real stuffs
You are hilarious Michelle! So many dirty little secrets! At least you have a beautiful, lush garden to use as backdrop. I have to fight to find some clean wall space. For me it is the opposite, I try to use the sunset light more, because in the morning it is too strong. I love your crafty area, remember a messy spot is indicative of a creative mind! And we are lucky to have sweet helpers who put up with our madness! As for those Jones’s, who needs them when you have blogging friends like us!
LOL Mary, that’s so true. Good riddance to the Joneses. I’m going to throw my own crafty parties from now on and celebrate the mess and chaos more. Wanna come?
I’m on my way girl!!
Oh stunning, I’ll get the paint brushes ready 😀