Reality check.

You may be among the many who find themselves scrolling their Facebook & Instagram feeds, soaking up loads of gorgeous, swoon-worthy inspiration, wondering how these people have such perfect lives and photos and artwork when you're sitting over here eating cake.

Guess what? They're eating cake, too. There is always so much more behind a photo than a viewer will ever see. I thought I'd give you a peek into the backside of some of those gorgeous ads and photos you too may see in the world of social media.

Take this photo collage I made:

Pretty, right? (At least I think so. Idk. Maybe it's not.)

You see photos like this constantly on the WWD (aka: World Wide Deception) and you might think "Man, I have to get a better camera.

And table.

And succulent collection.

And life."

But behind the scenes, this is what this really looks like.

I'm going to break this down for you.

1. The mess. This is real life, guys. See my nephews toy cars sitting on the table? Random art stuff left out from my last oil painting. The scraps of greenery (which, btw, are from an old & dead bouquet of flowers). The kombucha (aka my "coffee").

And the best part. Over on the right. You see that? Yup. My leftover crumbs of the cake I ate yesterday for breakfast.

If that wasn't enough of a reality check, take a sec and look back at the first, finished photo.

2. Photo editing. The finished photo required Lightroom & Photoshop, and I used a wooden stock photo backdrop and a stock photo of the succulent for cultural relevance (ALL THE SUCCULENTS) and to make the photo collage pop.

No one's life is perfect. It's not automatically magical & ideal, with perfect lighting, and healthy looking plants, clean tables, and no cake.

There IS cake. My plants ARE half dead. And don't even get me started on what I look like right now (pajamas, hair that would put Einstein to shame, leftover make up from last night, etc).

Granted, you need certain skills and I'm not downplaying that. But they're all attainable. Calligraphy & hand lettering, Photoshop & Lightroom, and some basic styling and trend knowledge. It's not as hard as it seems, and the interweb is full of resources if you want to take your photos from drab to fab.

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