HEAD: LeLutka – Simone 2.0 (bento)
EYES/EARS: Genesis Lab
HAIR: Photoshopped hair by Rayne Morgan
This post is dedicated to Daeberethwen Arbenlow, a blogger and photographer I’m sure you all know by her creative pictures and helpful tutorials (links to her work can be found at the end of this post). I had the opportunity to live the dream and meet her a few days ago. I can’t just skip the experience and not share it with you all.
First of all, let me start by saying that everything I know about SL photography, Photoshop or blogging I learned by two bloggers. Strawberry Singh and Daeberethwen Arbenlow. Their work has been incredibly motivating and inspiring. They make everything look effortless. Of course, later on, I discovered it is not really. There is a huge list of bloggers and photographers I admire on SL but Dae’s work has influenced and inspired me in a way I can’t really describe.
Last month, there was a charity event on SL, called #unitedandkind and Dae put herself up for one of the auctions. The highest bidder would get a portrait from her. Can you imagine my enthusiasm as soon as I saw that?
So that brings us to my portrait (which is as beautiful as I expected it’d be) and the conversation I had with her. We did say a lot and talked for a while so I’ve only selected to share what I’ve found most interesting and important:
EXIS: I’m assuming you were blogging back when it was mostly reviewing a copy rather than just making a pretty picture. How much would you say blogging has changed today?
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: I’ve actually only been blogging for 2 years. I’ve been in SL longer, but I never did reviews. It has always been about the art for me. The only things I review now are things on my youtube so people can make educated decisions about expensive products.
EXIS: Many people say – some actually accuse – bloggers of behaving like celebrities and basically turning SL into a fashion/picture game/contest, where if you’re popular, you’re loyalty and if not, no one wants to hang out with you. Do you think that’s true?
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: I think that is very true in certain circles, particularly among the people who consider themselves runway fashion models. But among the event bloggers and casual bloggers I do not think that is true. People will hang out with you if you are nice and they get to know you. Social media like plurk helps you to get to know people. I do not think most people are clique-y on purpose, if they don’t know you they won’t hang out with you. You have to get a certain level of trust or rapport with someone, is all.
EXIS: How hard is it being Dae? Meaning, almost everyone knows you, wants to be your friend. You probably get randoms teleports, friend requests all the time.
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: It’s not really hard at all, to be honest. I wish I had more time for SL because I work a lot in RL, but I don’t get bombarded with friend requests or teleports. I don’t leave my platform too much, but blogging really makes me happy and I never feel harassed from it. Most people are nice with me because I treat people how I want to be treated. You get the occasional jealousy problems, but for the most part I think people are better than we give them credit for.
EXIS: I think it’s needless to ask about your favorite stores/designers. I’m guessing most bloggers blog or at least try to, for the stores they love.
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: I don’t always blog for the people I like, sometimes they have too stringent requirements. If I don’t think I can honor my commitments with integrity I don’t apply.
EXIS: Do you have any advice to give to new bloggers like me?
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: My advice to newer bloggers is to network, network, network. On Flickr, on Plurk and in world. And then to never let blogging become a job. If you don’t love it, it will start to show in your work. If you feel in a rut, take a photo that makes you happy even if it doesn’t mean everyone will like it or it will meet your requirements for someone you blog for. Do it for you. And don’t repost your photos excessively for faves. People hate that and will unfollow you. Personally it doesn’t bother me much, but I see people getting really upset over it. I do not think bumping is a real problem, I think it is a little dramatic to care if you see the same photo. But bumping a photo more than once (for timezones) comes off as desperate. Another piece of advice, faves do not denote your worth. Not every photo will get as many faves as you hope or think it deserves. It doesn’t mean you suck. Don’t dwell on photos you feel underperformed.
EXIS: Very good point!
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: When I first started, I thought 20 or 30 faves was amazing, but I didn’t focus on faves I focused on my work and eventually the work kept improving because I was learning as I went. And people liked what I was doing. But they like what I do because my passion shows in my work. Not because I thought I’d get good faves. It’s not instantaneous and a blogger doesn’t suck if you don’t get there right away. Just keep doing what you love and it will come in time if you network to show people you exist. Even if you’re Picasso, if you don’t network at all no one will find you.
EXIS: Do you prefer blogging for events or individual stores more? I know you’re blogging for collabor88, The Arcade, We love role-play, The epiphany to only name a few, is it better blogging for events?
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: I like blogging for events the best because I get to play with things that aren’t what I usually blog for, but also it’s really nice to blog for stores because you get basically every release. For skins especially it is nice since I like portraits. I blog for Deetalez so I always have fresh portraits. Skins and heads are my favorite things to blog for, but events are my favorite type because of variety. I blog nearly every day, it would get so old without all that.
EXIS: How did you learn so much about Photoshop? Are you working with Photoshop in your real work too?
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: Well, I already knew a lot of basics from real. But I mostly just did graphics, not retouching. And then I just learned through trial and error, I have a knack for picking up on things that are technical. I just did whatever I needed to make something look how I wanted. Passion about photography is so important for blogging. A lot of taking pretty pictures is knowing what will look good for angles and colors, and that is something that is hard to learn unless you are truly passionate. If you don’t like it after, you take it and bring it into Photoshop, try doing lots of effects on it until you do, like overlays, light leak overlays or snow or anything.
EXIS: Dae you are wonderful, thank you so much!
Daeberethwen Arbenlow: It was my pleasure, thank you for donating.
Then she had to go and edit my picture, which she had ready in like 10 minutes! I don’t know about you, but it takes me way more to edit mine. Overall this is one of my best experiences in the virtual world. I’m more than happy with the result. I’m also incredibly happy I got to meet the woman I look up to and have her actually guide me and advise me.
Here’s where you can find the beautiful work of Daeberethwen Arbenlow:
I would recommend to follow her Plurk too, apart from talented, she’s hilarious.
Thank you all for reading (if you’ve made it this far). Have a lovely day/night/weekend and see you all next time.