When and how did you start your blog?
I started Pretty in the Pines back in the summer of 2014! I wasn’t nearly as consistent about it then and I definitely did not know where all it would take me. At the time, I just knew I needed some creativity in my life and I had just purchased my first DSLR camera a few weeks before. I absolutely loved taking photos with friends, of our home, our travels, and I also loved styling my outfits and home. My friends would always ask where I got my outfits and, for a while, I knew that I wanted to create a blog but struggled on finding the perfect name. One day as I was flying back from a trip, I remembered the plane descending into the tall, lush, pine trees and thinking to myself how pretty the state of NC was. I guess you could say “Pretty in the Pines” means a lot more than just pretty outfits and pretty decorations for your home. It encompasses the beauty and inspiration of ‘the land of the pines’ and the people I’ve met along the way. I’ve also grown an interest in traveling to local areas, sharing my personal style, and tips on decorating a small apartment! We recently moved into our first house so I’m sure a majority of the content will be focused around renovating/decorating. The core will probably always be fashion though. 🙂
Who takes all of the photos you’re in?
One person I can’t thank enough is my husband, TJ. We’ve been together for the past 8 years (married for less than a year). TJ has supported Pretty in the Pines since Day 1, has become quite the photographer, and has even traveled with me to any blog adventures that have come up. I’ll take a majority of the décor/scenery photos but for any of the photography where I am the subject, TJ is typically behind the camera.
What type of camera and lenses do you use?
Up until about a year ago, I used a Canon EOS Rebel and have upgraded my 50mm f1.8 lens to a 50mm f 1.4. I recently upgraded the camera body to a Canon 6D and it is incredible! I edit all of my photos in Adobe Lightroom.
Where did you go to school and what did you major in?
I went to NC State University and I majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Nutrition. I’ve always been interested in nutrition and overall wellness. I’ve worked in pharmaceuticals/healthcare for most of my post-grad career but have since changed paths and have grown an interest in marketing/digital/social media.
Do you blog full-time?
Starting in 2018, my blog will be my full-time job which is so crazy to say. When I started back in ’14, I didn’t know that you could make an income off of something like this but, 3.5 years later, it did, and I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to focus all of my time on what I am passionate about. There is a lot of work that goes into blogging behind the scenes… creative planning, reaching out to brands, photography, writing, social media, customer service even, and so much more.
Any advice on growing your blog?
If you are starting out with a blog of your own and are eager to see growth, I would say engagement, content, and consistency are all key. Engage with readers on all social media platforms, stick to content you believe in, and try and stay as consistent as possible (that’s the hard part!). It can be an extremely time-consuming hobby/business but I have found so much joy in it!
Who are some of your own favorite bloggers/people to follow on Instagram?
I have quite a few that come to mind, especially on Instagram! Lately, my favorites to follow have been @happilygrey (I met her at a conference and she is so awesome), @galmeetsglam (always), @jessannkirby (a variety of all things I love), and @craighowes (photography goals)!
If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message on Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat!