Vamp Taste Makers: The Girl Who Lived For Clothes

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Miranda Lewit-Mendes

Founder & Editor of @thegirlwholivedforclothes

Vamp Collective Member


Vamp recently caught up with Miranda to see if she could shed some light on how she achieves such a consistently high engagement rate. Besides creating beautiful, distinctive fashion & foodie photography that anyone would be happy to see on their feed, she let us into the secret about how she carefully maintains her community of followers on Instagram. She also shares her top tips & tricks for creating a fashion photograph and what she loves most about blogging.

A scientist and a creative, when she’s not researching genetics at University, she’s diving into the realm of fashion, food and photography. She started the @thegirlwholivedforclothes as a creative outlet and to find like-minded fashion lovers who share her love of giant fluffy coats and rainbow clashing prints.

I lead a bit of a double life – I love learning about science, but I also adore the creative and exhilarating process of putting an outfit together. I need both sides of my life to keep me balanced. I hate the sun and the beach, I adore travelling and I’m a massive perfectionist – I go all out.

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Describe your style in 3 words.

Unexpected and eclectic, but calculated.

What camera do you use?

The baby of the DSLR family – Nikon D3300, with what I call the magic lens – a 50mm.

My camera feels like a toy when you compare holding it to some of the larger cameras, but the clarity and saturation of the shots are no child’s play.

What editing App do you use?

VSCOcam is my go to app – I only ever use the S2 and S3 filters as they suit the look of my page and always using the same filters maintains a constant aesthetic.

Top 3 tips for creating a successful fashion photograph. 

1. Have an idea in your mind of the photo you want. 

If you don’t know what you’re looking for then it’s going to be hard to find it. What story do you want to create? What scenery will work with your outfit (colour, monochrome, quaint, retro, industrial)?

For example, if you’re wearing an evening dress, find some elegant steps or a grand building – don’t shoot it in front of someone’s fence, as chances are it will look like you’re posing in an evening dress in front of a fence.

2. A good photographer.

You need someone that understands what your vision for the photo is, so when it’s not working they can help to troubleshoot.

It doesn’t have to be a professional photographer, but someone who understands what kind of look suits your page and also what the brief is (for collaborations).

3. Make sure you’re entirely in character.

Remember shoes, clothes, jewellery, hair, makeup, handbag are the little details that can make a big difference.

Even if you’re shooting a pair of shoes, think of little things that could make the shot more exciting, like some fancy socks, printed pants, or a bag with fringes that could dangle into the shot.

This is even more important if it’s a sponsored post. You want the photo to be of a look, not an item. If I wanted to look at a plain photo of a pair of shoes, I’d go on a shoe brand website.

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“If you want engagement on a personal level, you need to connect on a personal level – ask a question, or share a personal experience relating to their photo.”

Talk us through your thoughts on building a community on Instagram, how best to interact with your followers and maintain a high engagement on your posts. 

Building an engagement on Instagram is about firstly, getting noticed, and secondly, forming real connections with people (not pages) so they want to continue to engage with you on a personal level.

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It’s a reciprocal process – if you comment a lot on someone else’s photos, chances are they’ll comment back. If you write boring generic comments, you’re probably going to get similar comments back.

If you want engagement on a personal level, you need to connect on a personal level – ask a question, or share a personal experience relating to their photo.

I try to interchange personal comments that build up a connection with the other person, with shorter ones that simply remind the person that you’re still there.

You don’t have to share every aspect of your life, but give people something to remember you by and be consistent to reinforce the memory in people’s minds.

There’s a billion bloggers out there, how are people going to remember who you are?

I’m the only Melbournian who wears colour, hates the sun and has an unhealthy obsession with fluffy things, who are you?

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“Very careful consideration goes in to choosing my next photo to ensure it fits my feed and the colours match up, so I always need to have options on hand.”

We absolutely love your unique, colourful style! How do you achieve this distinctive aesthetic?

I actually barely edit my photos… my clothes are just THAT colourful in real life (I know it’s hard to believe, as I live in Melbourne, but I swear it’s true). I actually use a slightly less saturated filter most of the time! Colour certainly does present its challenges in that I can’t upload pictures in random orders.

Very careful consideration goes in to choosing my next photo to ensure it fits my feed and the colours match up, so I always need to have options on hand. When I’m shooting, I normally try to choose slightly less colourful backgrounds if I’m wearing a colourful outfit, so the outfit stands out and it doesn’t make a mess in my Instagram feed. That said, if I find a fantastic piece of street art, I am not one to shy away from clashing outfit and backdrop.

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What is the best thing that has come about due to @thegirlwholivedforclothes?

Friends! I originally started the blog as I wanted to find people who shared my love for fashion and who might appreciate my crazy style, and this wish has definitely been fulfilled a million times over. Whether it’s attempting to create bizarre photoshoot ideas (e.g. searching for fairy floss to match a pink coat), laughing at photo disasters, helping each other choose what photo to upload, or driving to events in the middle of nowhere because free food…

I’ve been lucky enough to connect with an amazing new group of friends that I otherwise would have never met. Obviously being able to work with amazing brands and attend fabulous events is absolutely incredible, but knowing that I have these friends to share it all with makes it even better.

Right now I’m…

Listening to: I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to music… I hate RNB and I love techno. My current playlist is a bit of a bizarre combination of Berlin techno artists and Broods’ new album.

Eating: Brunch, always. I’ve been on a porridge-eating rampage this winter but looking forward to acai bowls as the weather gets warmer.

Drinking: Whatever new hipster latte is available (there’s some new taro one I need to try, it’s purple) + 2 coffees because otherwise I can’t life.

Wearing: Fluff, fluff, more fluff, desperately trying to wear all the fluff I can before warmer weather arrives (I hate summer and I love winter, yes, truth).

Watching: Scrubs & Parks and Recreation, I’m all about the light silly comedies because being sad / stressed / scared is for real life.

Reading: I don’t have time to read because I spend my life on Instagram… Just kidding. Not really though. I might try and read The Girl on the Train when I’m on holidays.

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