Kos, Greece

Living For ‘Likes’

Photography by Simon Creasey

Since the evolution of Social media our patterns of behaviour are changing; why we do things, what we buy and where we go.  Not everyone will have fallen in to this trap but I have for sure.  It’s not necessarily all bad though, social media also brings a lot of good vibes and inspiration to the table.  Good vibes and inspiration, those are the fundamental elements which I always wanted my blog and social channels to, well, channel.  However it’s been very easy for me get swept along with the numbers game, especially being on this side of the social cube.  I love photography, I have’t always, it’s definitely been a passion which has grown since starting my blog.  I now really appreciate photography, of all different forms and I like to experiment with my own.  For me looking at a good photo can be such a game changer, it can inspire in ways I never thought imaginable and it can certainly lift a mood or evoke a productive streak of motivation.  But, yes there’s always a but, stunning photography and Instagram don’t go hand in hand as harmoniously as you’d think.

You only have to open up your Twitter app to see many a blogger complaining about ‘the algorithm’ (dun dun duuuuunnnnn) and how they spend so much time on their photography and no one sees it.  I totally understand that this is heartbreaking and there are some fabulous accounts out there who rightly deserve more followers, for their photography alone.  However, from the mouths of Instagram themselves, their algorithm does not (yes NOT) prioritise iPhone (smart phone) images over those shot on a DSLR, contrary to popular belief.  Their algorithm is about engagement and it’s my firm belief that most people love a good iPhone snap because it’s ‘of the moment’, it’s realistic and it’s attainable.  I mean how many of you guys have a £3K camera to instagram with?  And then how many of you have a smart phone?  Exactly.  Now me being the little go-getter that I am, I stuck to iPhone snaps on my Insta feed for a good year and a half, and I saw incredible growth.  Almost every single picture I posted would end up on the explore page and my engagement went through the roof, pictures getting on average at least 20k likes and 100’s of comments.  My following grew by sometimes 1000 newbies a day.  It was a wave, and I rode it hard, but all waves must end and mine did when I got to around 390K.  Since then my rate of growth has halved, likes halved, engagement halved, why?  Absolutely no fucking idea haha and I don’t think any of us will ever fully understand how it works or find the ‘magic method’ for posting.  So yes I had a minor breakdown for about a week, then I got over it.  I reached 400K which is a number that I never thought I’d ever get to and I have the most amazing relationship with you all, I bloody love the interaction and LOL’s we have and I know that when I put out my content, you appreciate it, it might not be with a ‘like’ and that’s totally fine with me.  I’m certainly not going to start begging for you all to ‘like’ my pictures because all I want is for them to be inspirational and full of those ‘good vibes’ I was talking about earlier.  It’s with this in mind that Simon and I have picked up the DSLR again and I’ve started posting more of those pictures on the gram, do they perform as well on the like-front? No they don’t but I love the pictures, as do so many of you and I’m really done with living for ‘likes’.

Outfit Details

Hat - Lack Of Color

Dress - Faithfull The Brand

Espadrilles - ASOS (Old, but similar here)

Bag - Next

Necklace - Mango

Watch - Cartier

Sunglasses - Ray Ban (also similar here and here)

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  1. Emma
    9th May 2018 / 1:56 pm

    This dress on you is just the dream! Beautiful photos! Do you know, I’m not so sure I can tell if a photo has been taken on an iPhone or a DSLR…I always assume full body pics are in a camera and snapshots of ‘stuff’ are on an iPhone…

    • 9th May 2018 / 2:02 pm

      Well it’s usually the quality of an image, so an iPhone can’t get any depth of field aka the blurry background like a dslr can. The new iPhones have the function for it but it’s not the best and looks pretty shit on outfit photos x

  2. Florencia
    9th May 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Dear Emma, I really appreciate your honesty. I only found out about your amazing style when I was visiting London a year ago and you liked one of my photos (I was doing a 1 year-1 closet challenge @mominrags). I have no idea whether you did that to gain a follower or if you genuinely liked my photo, but let me tell you something… I could’ve just checked your Insta and liked a few of your pics and that’s it. But I ended up learning so much from your style tips, laughing with your videos, and recommending your account to other people here in Chile which means you are the real deal. Thank you for posting what you know and loving what you do. That shows through every post, every photo and every helpful video you post on Youtube.
    Have a good day. Lots of love from South America 🙂

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Well I don’t ‘like’ to get followers, that’s not my style but I will look through hashtags and on the explore page and if I see something I like, I like it 🙂
      I’m really glad to hear that you find inspiration from what I do and thank you so much for following and reading my posts x

      • Florencia
        9th May 2018 / 9:00 pm

        then I am extremely flattered that you once liked one of my pictures LOL. Thank you for your reply. Keep up the good work!

  3. Jess
    9th May 2018 / 3:09 pm

    Great post! I think it will be something of the next decade major trends to stop living for the likes..
    Btw, you can’t keep saying that you have “absolute zero boobs”.. There are plenty of them ;D or it’s one of those magic dresses.. 🙂

  4. Claire Walton
    9th May 2018 / 4:35 pm

    Emma. I have been following you since the beginning and absolutely LOVE you and your style. I have to say I have adored every single picture and story that you posted in Kos and when I’m feeling blue, just looking back at your Kos stories literally fills my heart with joy! You and Simon have an incredible talent when it comes to photography and I almost always like it and go to whatever it is your wearing to buy it. Please don’t change, keep up the amazing effort and hard work and enjoy the rewards, be it holidays or handbags.
    Much love xxxx

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:51 pm

      Ahhh that makes me so happy Claire, I’m so glad it can lift a mood, glad I didn’t remove the highlight now haha 🙂 x

  5. Katia
    9th May 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Really enjoy each and every post you make! Also the vlogs in your YouTube channel are amazing! Love from Greece!

  6. Dorine Brussen
    9th May 2018 / 5:29 pm

    Like the first commenter, I cannot tell the difference between a DSLR and an iPhone shot, but honestly, the pictures accompanying this blogpost are some of the prettiest you’ve posted since I started following you (Summer 2017)! X

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:52 pm

      Thank you Dorine, they are my faves to date too 🙂 x

  7. Alex Joanes
    9th May 2018 / 5:38 pm

    I’ve only recently found you and really enjoy your content. In fact, you are the only YouTuber who’s blog posts I read, as they are always considered and honest. I love your style and envy your height and shape, but I find a lot of inspiration in your work – a new batch of blazers and tee shirts in my wardrobe bear testament to that.

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you Alex, I really appreciate that. Haha, so great to hear you’ve stocked up on the tees and blazers, such a great combo 😉 x

  8. Shawnette
    9th May 2018 / 5:56 pm

    I don’t know the difference between photos, but I love your style, personality, & video content. These photos are stunning!! I think it’s the gorgeous girl in a beautiful dress styled impeccably!! xo

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:54 pm

      ahhh thank you so much Shawnette x

  9. Sue
    9th May 2018 / 6:38 pm

    As per you talk total down to earth sense Emma!

    Likes give you a boost for sure but creating good quality images should be the main motivation and satisfaction.

    Love the new pics ♥️

    • 9th May 2018 / 6:56 pm

      That’s so accurate, they do give you a little ‘pep up’ but on the reverse they can also be damaging to mental health when they start to drop, so I totally agree that the love should come from appreciating your own content x

  10. Cynthia
    9th May 2018 / 7:53 pm

    New reader here. I found you on YouTube and binge watched your videos!

    I really like the format of your blog. How as you’re scrolling through the images there is one larger image not moving in the background.

    Great work on all your content. You’re style is so chic and classic.

  11. Zuzana Philip
    9th May 2018 / 7:56 pm

    I have join your account recently and I get really great down to earth feel from your artickles and social media posts as well. They are really refreshing and …. normal 🙂
    No pretending. Too much of that is spashed in our faces every day and I am getting little tired of perfection and presentation of wealth on socila media. I really associate with your style and I have purchase few dresse which you presented on your Instagram 😉 The reacent white dress from Warehouse is really flattering and I love it. Thanks for lovely inspiration every day.

    • 10th May 2018 / 10:05 am

      Thank you Zuzana, I’m glad you’re enjoying my content, I’m not a fan of perfection either 😉 x

  12. Ellie
    9th May 2018 / 10:18 pm

    The content from Kos has been simply stunning. Enjoying it all very much and daydreaming about what I might like to take on my hols later this year! I love your blog and YouTube channel and the Instagram updates and how it gives me a little outlet away from everyday life. I still haven’t mastered/found my own happy style place (despite being nearly 40!), but with this kind of inspiration on tap surely it’s going to click one day soon!! X

    • 10th May 2018 / 10:07 am

      Thanks Ellie! Oooo where you off to? There’s lots more holiday outfit inspo to come 😉 x

  13. Nahir
    10th May 2018 / 12:49 am

    Well, I can say that you have inspired me to blouse over all my shirts since I started watching your hauls and vlogs. On a more serious note, really amazing work and it shows that you love what you do!! You inspire me to play with my clothes, not to go out and buy everything you haul, but to look twice at what I own and make outfits on similar things you have worn.

    • 10th May 2018 / 10:08 am

      That’s exactly it Nahir. I obviously buy and get gifted lots of new things but most of the time they’re pretty basic, so it’s about being a bit creative and looking inside your wardrobe and pairing similar items together or even just similar colours to create something similar 🙂 x

  14. 10th May 2018 / 3:59 am

    Hi! I also cannot really tell the difference between iphone and dslr shots on my small iphone screen. On the blog yes, and this post is great, lovely photos, and I learned something new about Instagram. I saw an interview between Aimee Song and Eva Che in which Eva was quite light hearted about how to do Instagram by getting engaged, being kind, leave comments, and be part of the community. I love the wholesomeness of that idea, but unfortunately this is an experience I get all the time: some new person starts following me, and I follow them back because I appreciated it, and then… two days later they have unfollowed me. It feels so opportunistic and makes me stay away from Instagram even though I too love beautiful photos and the inspiration that comes from them.

    • 10th May 2018 / 10:25 am

      Yes I understand how that must feel. Unfortunately as huge companies like Instagram get bigger and bigger this kind of thing will always happen because people are trying to beat Instagram at their own game which has now turned into wanting us to spend money to promote our content, it’s always about money 🙁 I also saw Aimees video and as much as I completely understand Evas points, I know girls who are constantly active, in a genuine way and still get nowhere so I still believe there’s more to it than what they say, but of course they’re never outright going to come out and say ‘hey give us all your money and we’ll actually show your content to your followers’ they want us to think they’re the ‘good guys’ x

  15. Belinda
    10th May 2018 / 8:17 am

    Hi Emma, I only recently discovered you through my daughter and I wish I had discovered you sooner. I absolutely love your videos. Keep up the great content. Xo

  16. 10th May 2018 / 8:51 am

    This post is definitely how I’ve been feeling as late. I love photography but definitely see why it’s maybe not as engaging but yet I stick with it because it’s a passion.
    Thanks for this

    • 10th May 2018 / 10:18 am

      That’s the right thing to do, I think you’d be surprised at how many people find it inspiring though, they might not show it with a like or a comment, but someone might look at a photo and it might just make them feel happy…for me that’s worth it 🙂 x

  17. 10th May 2018 / 9:28 am

    Lovely and really honest post. I totally get what you’re saying. We shouldn’t focus on how many likes a picture can get, we should focus on the fun and passion someone can see through a picture. I love that you’re posting more DSLR photography Xx

  18. 13th May 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Emma this chasing followers and likes is definitely energy stealing . Been there and did that , much to my dissmay , it doesn’t make me feel any more connected. I just stay steady and concentrate on my content . Thanks for a great post!
    Dress The Part

    • 23rd May 2018 / 12:58 pm

      Yaaaaas Jandrew, that’s the way x

  19. 14th May 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Yeah i love this outfit so much ! I’m happy when i reach 100 likes on my pics haha, i’m a small account and its not that bad, i receive every day mails to buy followers, and i never answer to them, i ay have a few followers but they’re real and so my likes are !

    • 23rd May 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Oh gosh those emails fill my inbox, don’t worry, you are not alone on that one. It’s always important to appreciate what you have, even when it’s not as many as other people, I always thing ‘but these people like me enough that they hit that follow button, and I should be really grateful for that’ x

  20. Emilia
    15th May 2018 / 7:20 am

    Great post Emma! I am one of those followers that rarely comments but just wanted to take this time to tell you that I have followed you for a long time and watched your account grow and flourish. Many other accounts come and go , but yours is the one I consistently look at for inspiration and happy vibes. You are always true to yourself and I can see how much of yourself you put into these videos and posts etc. It can’t be easy to put out content that inspires us all on such a regular basis … yet you always manage to and I thank you for that!! I am guilty of being a follower that doesn’t physically “like” every post or comment … it never really crosses my mind and I’m sure many other followers love your posts but don’t think to hit the like button. I’m a silent “liker” tho this post has made me more conscious of my actions and I just wanted to tell you that regardless of how many people push that like button, there are many more of us who adore what you do. You inspire me more than anyone I’ve ever followed and your sense of style, humour and integrity shines out through every post / video/ photo.
    I love what you and Simon produce together … you’re a great team so thank you and hope you realise what a fantastic job you’re both doing!
    (See this is why I don’t comment often…. …. my comment looks like an extract from War and Peace )
    Keep up the great work… so inspiring but always relatable
    Emilia xx

    • 23rd May 2018 / 1:08 pm

      haha thank you so much for your ‘extract’ Emilia. I totally feel you, I’m a silent liker too, I just don’t have a habit of physically liking things so it has to be a conscious effort for me to double tap. Honestly though, that’s fine with me, I just appreciate hearing that you enjoy seeing what content we create and that’s enough for me 🙂 x

  21. 15th May 2018 / 10:33 am

    Lovely dress!! amazing place , too!!

    Dear Emma, you mentioned a cloth-steamer in your holiday videos, which one do you use for your traveling?


    • 23rd May 2018 / 9:54 am

      It’s not a brand, just a cheap one I picked up off Amazon x

  22. 15th May 2018 / 11:58 am

    This felt like you were speaking right to me. I have 3800 followers on my instagram and get like 300 like per photo and it was starting to drive me mad because I felt like I was really trying so hard to create beautiful images but my followers weren’t seeing them. Earlier this week I kind of just decided to breathe about it all lol. My Instagram is for me and I love taking the photosI do, and editing them and making them convey certain emotions and at the end of the day that’s what matters I think. It can get super consuming, so thank for this reminder. http://www.theexpatmannequin.com/

    • 23rd May 2018 / 1:03 pm

      Wow 300 likes per photo is really good for that amount of followers, you should be really happy with that x

  23. Jo
    18th May 2018 / 7:13 am

    A real and thought provoking post Emma….I’ve followed you for what seems years and continue to do so because you’re funny relatable and stylish. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

    • 23rd May 2018 / 1:05 pm

      thanks Jo, and thanks for sticking with me over the years x

  24. 5th June 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Love this post Emma.. It really doesn’t matter about the likes, it’s about genuinely liking you and your content. This imagery in this post is beautifully shot! Especially loving the image of you holding your bag in front of your dress.. like, ‘I’m in Kos and I’m cute AF’ vibes ‍♀️ x

  25. 7th June 2018 / 3:18 pm

    I love your Insta Mate! I have my notifications turned on to your account!
    I used to post stuff I thought i should be posting but I now just post what i like to be honest.
    Although I’m a beauty blogger, I actually love taking landscape pics and Wildlife pictures. There is no rhyme or reason to the likes & comments etc but Im just posting anyway because I want too!

    Leanne | lemloves.com

  26. Dorine
    29th August 2018 / 7:52 pm

    The thing is, I like your pictures because of the vibe they all have in common and honestly appreciate all forms they come in :-). In the end I care much less about the ‘quality’ of a picture than what it is I’m looking at, as long as they feel ‘real’ and ‘honest’. And that’s precisely what draws me to your content. That having said, I do appreciate a well-taken high-quality picture every now and then, because Simon does such a good job! Xxx

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