Elizabeth Savetsky, an influencer who lives in New York, has kept her Instagram feed blank until now. In each photo she takes, she wears an enviable outfit with perfectly combed hair and, sometimes, her smiling and tall plastic surgeon husband. These are photos that make people want to live in their place. But things are changing now that she is stuck at home because of social isolation: she cannot hire photographers, she does not attend events and she does not dress for anyone other than her family. His publications are beginning to reflect this new reality.
For the first time, Savetsky recorded herself singing, surprising her disciples who probably had no idea that she had a good voice. Last week, she posted a selfie showing her natural, wavy hair and minimal makeup (although she did remove it later). Her most recent articles are one of her on the couch surrounded by snacks and an old photo with her mom in which she laments the days they could hang on.
Fashion influencers’ accounts may never be the same again after the pandemic ends, and that already forces them to adjust the way they create content and what they publish. Of course, they still receive loot in the mail to produce unboxing and test videos, but they are also fighting the pandemic themselves and determining what their accounts should look like. Do people always want to see cute outfits during a recession? How to take a studio quality photo when the only photographer available to you is your husband? What happens when you feel mentally and emotionally exhausted? The aesthetic people organized against whom – who has defined much of Instagram so far – could slowly disappear.
“This will force us to be more creative,” says Savetsky. “I’ve been posting on Instagram for about seven years now, so it’s nice to almost have this challenge that forces me to think outside the box because we all tend to adopt these habits of doing the same thing over and over to always shoot the same street corner, and we can’t do it anymore. “
Influencers hope to continue working with clothing brands, although these brands can move from advertising for clothing to leggings or comfortable clothing. The photos they take will also be simpler with minimal decor and anything they can work with at home. Professional photographers are also leaving, as are the studios they hire to photograph.
But the business will continue. Katie Sands, another influencer who manages both an Instagram account and a fashion blog, sees the pandemic as an opportunity to have more honest, personality-driven conversations.
“I had a bunch of followers who reached out and said,” What do you think is going to happen to the blogosphere? Do you think the blogging industry will disappear? “And I, personally, think it’s actually the opposite,” said Sands. “I think it’s going to get stronger than ever. People, including myself, turn to the creators that I am to find different sources of inspiration – for homemade recipes, for workouts, for working from home, for beauty tips. “
Her stories now include videos in which she dances with her father because she socially distances herself from her parents. She also records her boyfriend trying the loot she sent. His videos are clearly made in his house. Sands also goes live on his page every Thursday with his therapist to help others overcome the stress and anxiety of a pandemic. One of his most recent articles is a video of his dancing in a kitchen, his phone clearly leaning against something. It’s not bad, but it’s different from the older photos of her laughing with friends or dressed up at a party, posing for a photographer.
Photos of fashion influencers are often beautiful because they hire professionals to help them take photos. This is not the case during social separation. Another influencer, Charlotte Bickley, said her mother is now a photographer and that she will take photos while they are isolated in Florida.
“Obviously, at the moment, everyone understands that they will not be the most glamorous shots,” she said.
She also asked her subscribers what they thought about posting brand offers during this period, and the majority said they felt comfortable with it. “I feel a little weird doing superficial things right now, just personally, I know my followers want to see it,” she said. “But I feel a little weird to be honest.”
The logistics of these brand agreements must also be renegotiated. Sands says that one of her agreements specifically requires her to take street photos, which she is unable to do due to quarantine restrictions. Her brand partners also pause the deals while they define their own strategies, which she understands, but that also means her revenues are limited.
“Like everyone else, my business has been hit so hard,” says Sands. “When brands don’t want to partner, when I’ve already allocated them to my monthly budget, it’s difficult.”
Sands says most brands have been receptive to hearing alternative ideas, like posting on Stories rather than on the grid or finding a way to adapt messaging to the current situation. Brands that are not on board are invited to speak to their agent, she said. Still, she hopes to be able to return to the publication more regularly this week. (Last week, she promoted a vitamin company in her grid and in Stories, by tilting it around the pandemonium created by COVID-19.)
Certainly, if the pandemic slows down and social distancing is lifted in just a few months, the honest insights from these influencers in their lives could also disappear. Subscribers will only get a glimpse into the real life of their favorite influencers.
“We are going through a serious period and this creates a serious conversation,” says Savetsky. “I see a lot of my influencer friends going further than usual and posting different types of content. This will change the industry for the better, make it less organized and make it more based on the relationships between the influencer and the follower. “