Edited by my beloved friend K.L
“Creation stories” is the new category of the blog. For each season of the year, I will meet a creator and record his or her story. Creating can either be the main job of our guests, one of their jobs, or just a pure hobby.
With this series of creation stories, I hope to break the clichés that widen the gap between public’s vision of creative professions and reality.
Spring guest: Morgane from Instagram account @morgane.mood
This article is the second part of the article « Creation story: Morgane – Being “Influencer” is a real creative profession (1/2): Creator – Mother / creator – Educator / creator » published on April 5, 2022.
In this second part of our spring guest’s creation story, we will focus on the work of an influencer on Instagram, the profession that is more than often considered “easy” and “empty” on a social network “that promotes superficial contents.”
“Influencer” is a real profession. And it’s a beautiful profession!
The entourage – the solid base
An: On your Instagram account we can see pictures of your children. Since I do not have any children, I feel like I cannot give an opinion about this, but I have seen many negative comments below the posts made by the influencers who are also mothers about showing their children on social media. Have you received this kind of comments? How do you feel about it?
Morgane: I thought about this a lot.
Timi (my first child) is 10 years old, soon he will be a teenager. Whenever I post a picture or a story of him, he would validate them first. And he knows that at any point in his life, if he wants me to take down the pictures of him, I will take them all down. It is the same with Matt (my second child). Of course, I talked it through with Guillaume (my husband) as well. We always think things through as a family.
I have always tried my best to not let what I am doing as an influencer become a reality show, with things like “Matt in diapers, Matt on the toilet, Matt in the bath” … I know that the photos that we posted would stay on the Internet forever even if we take them down from the original source, anyone can take a screenshot.
There are influencers who get paid to show their babies. That is really the way they make money. I have never fallen into that. When we do collaborations on products for kids, my boys are always the ones who make the choice with me.
An: I remember how Guillaume showed us your account with a lot of tenderness and pride. (Guillaume and I were co-workers when I was still employee). We see your little family on your account, and we see the reels that you made with your parents and your sister as well.
Did they support you since the beginning? If you did not have all this support from your family, would you still start creating content?
Morgane: In my family, there was my little sister who has her own clothing brand and works as an influencer on Instagram before me.
At the beginning I did not have a lot of self-confidence. Before each post, I would send to my sister to get her opinion. She was the person to whom I would turn to, because on Instagram there are codes to follow that I was just not aware of. It was literally just a whole new world for me.
About my parents, the more time passes and I meet other people of their age, the more I realize myself that I was extremely lucky. They are in their sixties, but they are very open-minded and understanding.
My parents are always proud of us.
I know that I am very lucky to be with Guillaume because he is more than kind.
Of course, I would not be here if I did not have this entourage base. It is interesting that you asked me that question because I came to realize it as I talk about it.
« Influenceuse » is a creative profession
An: When I told a friend that I would like to start this interview category of my blog by meeting with an influencer, her reaction was: “But where is the connection between being an influencer and creativity?” That is how I see that this connection does not seem to be very straightforward in the public perception. How would you think of this misconception?
Morgane: I am an influencer on Instagram. Bottom down, Instagram is a platform to share beautiful photos. Taking photos is a creation for me.
As for to be an influencer, it is to create your universe to highlight what you are entrusted with. You transcribe your values in that universe and that’s what will eventually become an “influence” on others. It is a real job.
I took a long time to ask myself “What does it actually mean to be an influencer?” And I realized throughout the stories, the posts from which I would receive comments from people saying “You made me think of this, of that…” For me that’s what influencing is!
It is not pejorative, it is not bad to influence someone if the message behind transmits great values.
An: Your Instagram feed is always consistent with a color palette that is recognizable. How do you do when the brand’s product that you are collaborating with has a color that has nothing to do with the photos you usually take and risks breaking your feed?
Morgane: I use Lightroom to edit my photos. I always have the same filter. I increase contrast, then I will choose between putting on automatic adjustment or not, and then I will rework the light, and after that I adjust the sharpness and fix the details. You see, I know everything by heart!
I can spend an hour pulling out a photo for tea which might end up getting very few likes ☺ But I do not want my job to be reduced into “Here, this is the product, I tasted this, it is super good, buy it, here is the promo code!”
And of course, the products never have the same color base as my main photos. However, I do make sure that the original palette does not change. I would try to find a way to make everything blend well together.
Despite all that effort, my Instagram feed does not appear that homogeneous, it is rather a good mix between the moments of life, the landscape, the nature, and the products. Photography wise, I think that I have my own style and that my universe, my elements and what I like will always shine through my photos.
Today, I am an ambassador for Cepparfums, an European perfume company based in Dijon that specializes in creating natural perfumes. I think in this case, they were attracted to my account because they liked my photos and my universe.
Sometimes, doing a story for a brand can take me a long time, because I am aware that there are people behind the product. I never take any assignment lightly.
Of course, at the beginning it was complicated. Back at the starting line, you would accept some collaborations because you know it will work. I am lucky that nowadays the brands start to prefer small accounts with real commitments.
An: I see that you often write long captions as well, including the texts to introduce the products. It feels concrete and personal. We can see that it is not a script that you just copy and paste …
Morgane: Absolutely, because in fact we did receive scripts from the brands! And we are given a deadline too, we cannot post at any time as we please. That’s why I tend to work more on my photos because that is where I have the freedom, and even on that part, they give us instructions to follow. Sometimes I do not pick a certain products because we have to film ourselves putting the cream on.
I really test the products that I endorse. For example, recently I have been talking about the new product from The Body Shop. I really used it in some stressful situations to see, for example during traffic jams. I am really scared of traffic on the highway. And it kind of breaks the smooth and perfect image that I have on Instagram as an influence. We, as humans, we all have fears and emotions. And that is what I want to deliver.
An: At the very beginning, how did you get the collaborations? Did they come to you and you took the opportunity, or did you have an idea and went to the brand that you see fit?
Morgane: I have two ways of getting collaborations.
I use an app for influencers and brands. The brands put the products up there, we confirm whether or not we want to do posts and then the brands decide whether or not to send us the products.
Otherwise, in Dijon, there are brands that propose directly to me.
I always buy from independent creators when I want to find gifts for someone, simply because I appreciate these creations and I want to support the small businesses. At first, I put on Instagram what I bought. And then these creators would write to me to ask if I would like to do a giveaway. That’s how I found out later that the giveaway is the best way to make the account grow.
There is also my sister who took me to events as her + 1. Thanks to her, I got to go inside the “network” of the influencers who are based in Dijon.
What is great about Instagram is that what you created can be reposted, shared. As I take a lot of pictures of the city, the city of Dijon offered me a contract for the Christmas period.
I am also an ambassador for the Toison d’Or shopping center. That collaboration gave me a lot of visibility. Because we were only four influencers and out of the four, I have the least number of followers, so eventually the other influencers helped pulling me up by sharing my giveaway, which boosts my popularity quite a lot.
An: Did you take any class that help you get to your current level as a creator?
Morgane: I only took one short photography course at the very beginning of my job as an educator to do photography therapy mediation with teenagers.
I did not have any training on Instagram, I am self-taught. It is my father who self-taught himself who gave me this desire and ability to learn things on my own.
Taking photos for me is capturing the moments, I can stay three quarters of an hour planted in front of a tree if I want to take a bird that I saw three quarters of an hour ago.
I also do some hustles on the side with photography, doing shootings for others’ Instagram or for their weddings. And I often tell them that I am not going to take photos while posing. It is really the moments and the emotions that I try to capture.
This is also what I explain when I do photo mediation with teenagers. Observing is part of the mindfulness.
Future, past and present
An: Have you already had some thoughts about your future in the coming years?
Morgane: Yes. My job as educator in teenager’s psychiatry is already tough but when Timi is close to become a teenager, it is getting harder because what I am working on keeps making me reflecting on my own family and how we should operate together.
I always said that when Timi becomes teenager, it would be complicated to continue working with the teenagers.
I am good at this job, it is great but I must admit that I have always loved the bond between mother and her baby. I also love working on parent support groups. I was really trained to do such works. It is what I like to do and it is what I do best.
If I can dream, my future will be to be part of a social service center that offers different services, to which I could contribute as an educator to accompany different families.
But if it will not be the case, then I think I might turn to something smaller such as another social service based in La Chartreuse
And this job on Instagram, it will come to its end one day, and I think it is fine.
An: What boosts you the most during your journey as a creator?
Morgane: There are women photographers that I admire during the post-war period, like Diane Arbus or Vivian Maier. They practiced photography even at a time when it was not even a profession.
I also think of Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
I also admire the artist Lena Dunham with her series Girls which speaks openly about taboo subjects.
These women did not wait for others to start doing what they wanted to do.
An: What is the worst piece of advice you received on your creative journey?
Morgane: I think about the time when I was pursuing my education in photography and I was told that “To take a portrait you have to put your camera on this, and do this, and your focal length has to be like this, and there, you will have a beautiful photo!”. But such is not a beautiful photo! A beautiful photo is the one that can convey emotions and even a little poetry.
An: If you had some advice to give to those who want to become a creator or an influencer like you, what would you say?
Morgane: Before reaching out to the other person, you must be in touch with yourself first. That way, even when things do not work out, you will always be in tune with yourself.
An: I always sign my articles with the phrase “Keep creating!” And I think it would be cool if the guest could add their phrase or slogan next to it. What will be your ending remark for this?
Morgane: I think I will sound cliché but well … It will be “Carpe diem”. It reflects completely the state of my mind right now of living in the moment, because we do not know what will happen next. It is the state of being fully conscious, being with you right now is me who is really in my full consciousness.
For me this is the richness of life.
You can find Morgane on Instagram
Carpe diem & keep creating!
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