The art of levitation – an interview with Zuzana Hnídková

On: October 31, 2011
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About Laura Burlacu
I am 22 years old, come from Romania, and before coming to Amsterdam I studied Integrated Social Sciences at Jacobs University Bremen. Longing for a change of pace, I moved to Amsterdam to study New Media at the UvA. Pictures are soon to follow...

Website
http://lauraburlacu.blogspot.com/    

Sugar, spice and everything nice. These are the first words that come to mind when going through Zuzana Hnídková’s fashion blog, Salad of my life. The 23 year-old Czech is known for her stunning levitation photos, which have gained her a growing audience of savvy online shoppers, who appreciate compelling photographs, have a strong fashion sense, and cannot overlook a great bargain. On the blog she also shares personal information, her tastes and various insights into her life and thoughts, creating a special connection between herself and her followers.


Zuzana is part of a recent movement characterized by the increase in popularity of fashion bloggers. This comes part as a result of online shoppers relying more and more on peer reviews and personal opinions rather that objective product descriptions that are offered by companies, part as a result of companies grasping the potential that bloggers have to offer through their dedicated followers. Considering how popular some of these blogs have become, such as Frugal-Fashionista or Keiko Lynn, and the high regard with which their creators are starting to be seen within the fashion community, it is safe to say that they are around to stay.


Being a fan of  fashion blogs in general, and of Salad of my life in particular, I decided to interview Zuzana to get a better glimpse into the makings of such blogs, the process that goes on behind them, and how she got started into the ‘business’. Here is the interview.


Q1: Tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Zuzana, I’m from Prague, Czech Republic, but currently I live in Amsterdam with my boyfriend who is studying here. I have recently graduated from a Bachelor’s program in Marketing Communication and Public Relations and right now I am trying to find a job related to marketing here in Amsterdam.
Q2: What were your reasons for starting the blog?
My bachelor thesis was about fashion blogs and how marketing departments of fashion and cosmetic brands use them as a platform for their marketing activities. I decided to run my own blog to be as close as possible to this kind of communication between brands and bloggers.
Q3: Would you consider blogging a full-time job, or something you would still want to be doing five years from now?
It is a hobby for me. I love making photos and this blog is a great way to share what I create with other people. Right now I have no idea how long this will last, I will see :)
Q4: What would you say are some of the best aspects of being a (fashion) blogger?
Well the biggest advantage is probably all the free clothes that I regularly receive :D But of course also the possibility to show my photos to people from all over the world is pretty cool.
Q5: What do you think are a blogger’s biggest challenges?
For a fashion blogger, it is pretty challenging to start to collaborate with various fashion brands. And the next step is to be invited to fashion weeks. But there is a huge gap between these two things :)
Q6: How do you get people to find you among all of the other websites or blogs?
I try to post on several community webs (e.g. lookbook.nu) and so people can find me there and maybe come to my blog and maybe even like it and come back :) And I am also trying to post an original content on my blog, for example I couldn’t find a video on youtube that would properly show how to rip your jeans, so I found my own way how to do it and shot a video that I uploaded on youtube. Right now this video has almost 150 000 views and about 1 200 views every day. That shows that having original content can help you to be found among the countless number of other blogs. :)
Q7: How did you decide to start doing levitation photos and how do you get your inspiration for them?
It started as a project for my school, for a subject called Digital photography. We had to choose a theme and make a series of photographs that would show our editing skills. I chose levitations, because this kind of photography had always fascinated me and I saw it as a chance to try out my own creativity.
Q8: What advice would you give to potential bloggers?
Running your own blog needs time and patience, so you really have to enjoy what you do no matter how many people appreciate it, because in the beginning literally no one knows you. And I also think that having high-quality photos is crucial, especially for fashion blogs.
Q9: Final thoughts?
I think of blogs as some kind of reality show where readers want to see a beautiful world full of pretty clothes and other things that show a perfect life. The more beautiful it looks on photos, the it gets the interest of people.
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