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LifestyleDamsel Diaries

10 Times I Did It For The Gram {and what I learned}

0 Leave a Comment Jul 17, 2017
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I will be the first to admit that not 100% of what you see on my blog and Instagram are all real life moments. From time to time, there are in fact things that I will do simply for the photo. I thought I would share a few of those moments and what I’ve learned about how sometimes faking it until you make it can actually offer up a life lesson or two.

Starting with the feature image: Having no plan on getting completely soaked, I sat close to the water in hopes to have the water kiss my feet just perfectly enough to capture an inspirational image. A huge wave crashed over me and it actually ended up being hilarious. I used this candid moment of me being shocked versus the “perfect one.” Sometimes you really cannot control natures elements and if you are open to them, they will deliver you with a smile or two.


On the same day as the sunset soaked beach shot, I was trying to stock up on some evergreen content that I would be able to use throughout the year. I was forcing myself to try and look editorial and hot in this swimsuit and read somewhere that if you arch your back in swimsuit photos that it’s more flattering. I ended up throwing my neck out for a week to get this shot which ended up not even performing that well. Lesson learned? Keep it real.


I kept this vintage car for an extra day after I used it for a Shopbop project. I’m going to admit, I woke up this day feeling really cranky. I had just spent a half day shooting for Shopbop and the last thing I wanted to do was have my photo taken. But, I had seen this sign about a year earlier and even though I was pretty tired that morning, I sucked it up and headed out in effort to get some good photos. The day ended up taking me to a really fun beach I had never visited and I ended up with some really great pictures that did well. I may have “done it for the Instagram,” but I ended up having a solid weekend because of it.


On a trip to Florida with NetJets, the Polo Match we were supposed to attend was completely rained out. Stumped on how we could take blogging photos to cover the weekend {because it was raining} we decided to grab some bottles and all jump into the pool fully clothed. We ended up swimming around for about an hour and sharing some great laughs over how ridiculous it all was.


Freezing. That is all I have to say about the water that day in Positano. Everyone thought I was crazy, hell I thought I was crazy. But you only live once and I literally yelled out “I’m doing it for the gram,” before jumped off into the icy waters. Lesson learned? You really do only live once and I’ll never forget jumping off the boat that day.


Speaking of cold: I had a shoot scheduled with my friend James Nord on a day that welcomed a huge blizzard in NY. I am going to admit that I was not happy in this photo. I swore that the photos were going to be a waste because you couldn’t even see my outfit. But it turns out that people love the weather and real life moments. My readers ended up “liking” these photos because they captured a mood more than an outfit.


You may or may not have seen the incredible hike we did in Maui recently to “Chutes and Ladders.” I saw this place posted on my blogger gal pal Happily Grey’s Instagram and knew I had to check it out. Turns to find out that the free climb down the 60 foot rock cliff was incredibly challenging and life threatening. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I truly would have never done had my motivation not been to “do it for the gram.”


Sometimes, no matter how many onlookers there may be and people whispering “what is she doing” while you look like a complete idiot who is snapping photos, you can be in the right place at the right time and a bit of magic happens. When would I ever lean up against a palm tree like that? Never. Is it real? No. Did I do it for the gram? Yes. Is it one of my favorite photos to date? Absolutely.


The caption to this photo was “Did it for the gram” because I truly woke up that morning with the intent to hike up to the Hollywood sign just to take this photo. I hated the hike. It took all day. I was exhausted. I guess it was worth it because I snuck in a work out but the photo didn’t turn out as epic as I wanted it to.


Every one this summer is posting photos with pool toys. As cliche as they are, the lesson in doing a pool photo is that it gets you in the pool!


0 Leave a Comment Jul 17, 2017
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  • And those are all worthy instgram moments! Bravo👍🙂😘

    🌸LA BIJOUX BELLA 🌸| By Mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Ray

    This was so fun to read. To be honest a lot of us female do this exact thing. Perhaps because we are so used to seeing beautiful editorial pictures. I’m guilty of this as well but at the end of the day some really good photos come out of it. Like check yours out!

  • Awesome moments! This was brilliant, I have to say that I completely do the same from time to time, there’s a pressure to capture some awesome ‘for the gram’ photos – and I loved hearing the stories behind yours!

    I hope you have a great Monday,

  • The Gold Lipstick

    Absolutely love it!

    Mireia from TGL

  • effortlesseverydaystyle

    Always keeping it real! That’s what I love about you! xo

  • Love this post!!! I love how you’ve received some positive and negative/learning experiences as a result of doing it for the gram. You’re right that insta isn’t real life… but you don’t pretend that it is, you’re open with that.. as per this post

  • Loved your honesty in this post and I think at some point we’ve all taken photos or done things just for the gram

  • I love everything about this post. You are the coolest.


  • This is such a great post. I love the candid behind the scenes and knowing what’s behind a photo – because the story is there. Even if “just for the gram”. I’m always scouting places to take pictures and, more often than not, pictures I take without the scout are better than the others. Even though, I love the feel of having a great gram picture that I know I’ll love. Xx

  • The Middle of No Wear

    I feel like such a fool when getting photos taken! I also can’t count the number of times a stranger has come up and asked my husband if he wants them to take a photo so he can be in it, too! He politely declines and I feel even more ridiculous 😉

  • Bee

    Such a fun post! I love getting to hear the behind-the-scenes story. That feature photo is so cute!

    Briana |

  • Omg, I’m ALWAYS doin’ it for the gram girl!! Love hearing these stories 🙂

  • Anaelle Claudet

    You made me laugh a lot! Omg what would bloggers do…

  • Well this is my favorite post ever!

  • Kritsida

    Onlookers can be the most awkward thing ever! I feel like by now they should know that we’re “doing it for the gram”. I always love how your photos turn out and how you are so open about it.
    x. kritsida

  • This is one of the most fun reads in a while for me haha! A day in the life of a blogger…!

  • What a fun read. I can totally relate haha. All of the photos are amazing 🙂

  • Jennifer Wilson

    I seriously love this post. I think we can all relate to this!

  • I love the stories behind the shot, so much fun and keep it up girl!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Brewing Up Style

    I can so relate to this. I love how you spun it in a positive way! Keep it real, girl.

  • Lovey Fleming

    Love seeing the world beyond the gram! So cute and great posts girl! Keep killing it.

  • Loved reading each story… definitely a thing or two to learn. Loving your candid moments the most xox

  • These are magnificent. I think anyone who is a blogger or uses social media to leverage an audience in any way has had moments where they did it for the ‘gram. The rosé shot is easily the most relatable one for me. How many times have we tried to get that perfect shot and then something totally unplanned happens anyway. I also have a very similar palm tree shot that my wife took on our honeymoon. And, inevitably, I got so many weird looks from fellow beach bums. Oh well, such is the life, right?


  • Courtney

    This was a fun read. That pool photo was/is one of my favorites of yours!

  • Jacey, this is one of my favorite blog posts EVER! It’s fun to see the outtakes and read your real life experience behind them. Your photos are always amazing and have gotten even better in the past 6-12 months!

  • love all of the pics!

  • Great post! So great I think you should make it a regular feature throughout the year:)

    Ali x

  • This post is amazing and I love the stories behind each photo! Palm Tree pic is my all time fav too.

  • Sepideh

    I loved this post Jacey ! Thank you for being real (and funny, as usual) it’s refreshing about goes on in the background because it’s easy to start believing that you have a picture-perfect life!

  • I love this! Taking it for the gram gives us a reason to live outside our comfort zone and create memories that we might not otherwise. Thanks for sharing. XO, M

  • Catherine Xiang

    Loved this post! Sometimes ‘doing it for the gram’ makes you do things you otherwise wouldn’t, and make memories you cherish.

    Catherine X

  • Liesl & Tieneke

    This is why we love you and your site, you are so honest! Thanks for the chuckle, it really reminds me of the silly things we’ve done “for the ‘gram”!

  • I loved this photo. So real and so fun! Amazing

  • I just love you. You’re such an inspiration – creatively, and just as a badass woman. Thanks for sharing these.

    xx Leah /

  • Fantastic post! I have to say I look at tons of blogs and your photos are always among the best. They never look too staged and your personality always comes through. I absolutely love the underwater shot, brilliant!

  • Gotta love this post ! Super honest and fun 🙂

  • ahahaha, i have such pictures too!!!

  • Shannon

    I love this post; honestly trying to create those kinds of photos creates memories in themselves, so I think it’s totally fine to do stuff ~for the gram~ haha.

    – Shannon |

  • I so agree. Sometimes trying to find the perfect picture is the perfect motivation to do something amazing.

  • I loved this! Doing things for the gram is a great way to discover new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

    xo, brooke

  • Absolutely loved this post! It’s so true that ‘doing it for the ‘gram’ can often lead to doing things you would never do! and even if it doesn’t, the satisfaction of nailing the photo is good enough! Haha
    Kirsty x

  • All these photos are so pretty. I really loved the one when everyone is underwater, you can tell that the photo brought a lot of great laughs. I also loved the one with the blizzard. Like you said, it captured a mood and it is quite beautiful.

    Emily |

  • I loved all these photos and I loved your honesty about “doing it for the ‘gram.” What I really love is that in most of these photos you managed to have such a fun story or adventure around it, so it ended up being more than just a moment on Instagram.


  • Amazing stories hahaha I’m very stuborn as well and If I want to get the shot I’ll do what it takes.

  • hahahah we can all admit we’ve done it…

  • Love these stories behind the photos, gives more insight and makes even the most posed ones feel even more real! Post more of theses!


  • Loved this! Your photos are amazing 🙂

    Romina |

  • Jennifer Esperanza

    I think that you can dig deeper than this … all of these “life style” set up shoots on instagram look the same & are pretty dull to me … I get nothing from them … & this is fake LA … where are the homeless people & the “I buy houses for cash?” signs … please go get involved in community & do something to help others .. & if you already do … please tell those stories … we will all collectively suffer from so much ego focus in our culture … so the water was cold … wow … what are you doing to save the public beaches in CA ? Go deeper & then deeper still or you are just playing into a culture that would rather market false set up moments & empty dreams than something that is Real. Paz y Amor #resist

  • Natalie Redman

    Fab pictures! Amazing!

  • Amanda Champion

    After reading this post previously I had to come back to let you know that after a trip this past week I totally had a #diditforthegram moment. I was in Vancouver and decided to be daring and stand on the edge of the seawall for some shots. Well, my fave utility jacket flew up with a gust of wind and went over the edge. The jacket didn’t survive, but the shots were amazing! Lol.

    xo, Amanda