Meet Daria Varlamova, the blogger behind the popular Instagram account @dazvarlamova. If you don’t already follow her, you should seriously check her out. I promise that you’ll fall in love with her cohesive feed, amazing outfits and Australian flare. With partnerships with top-tier brands like Olay, Pandora and Nescafé, Daria has grown her personal brand into something to be envious about. Check out my interview with her below to learn a little bit more about her and her tips and tricks to blogging success.
1. I absolutely love your Instagram theme and how seamlessly your feed fits together. What advice would you give to people who are trying to find their signature look? What are your favorite editing apps/software?
Thank you! The number one advice I have is to do something different and to think outside the box. Do something that makes you unique, and I guarantee people will notice. Also, put a little thought into your feed aesthetic- I generally stick to a handful of colours at any one time. I like to use UNUM app to plan out my feed and rearrange the photos so that they are presented in the best possible way. Snapseed is another editing app I love. Even the Instagram editing tools can do the job sometimes!
2. What would you say is the most important part of growing your following? What did the journey to almost 53k followers look like for you?
The most important part for me has been engaging with my followers. If someone leaves a nice comment, I tend to give it a ‘like’ or comment back, and I think people really appreciate that I take the time to do that. The moment I stopped stressing over following trends and having a prefect feed, and when I started capturing more authentic moments and being 100% myself, is when I started to notice my following increase. If you look back at some of my older posts, you will see the massive progression I went through as I was trying to find my feet in the blogosphere. It’s like a personal photo album of my journey towards growing up.
3. I know I’m not the only one who’s envious of your photos. What’s your #1 tip to taking a good Instagram photo?
I know every blogger says this, but lighting really is key! You want to avoid being in the direct midday sun, as shadows don’t look as pretty on your face as they do on buildings. Ideally you want to get the light to flatter the subject, so early morning and late afternoon are the best times for me to get that perfect shot. Of course, the cloudy Melbourne weather means that most days I have great photo lighting all day long. Try to think about colours and composition and how they will play in your feed- whether you need to add bursts of white or a pop of colour to make your feed exciting. Also, create the habit of snapping the everyday moments, like brunch with friends or an array of fruit at the Sunday market. You never know when an ordinary moment will tell an interesting story.
4. Everyone has favorite posts. What would you say are your favorite Instagram posts and why are they your favorites?
My favourite and most popular posts are definitely when I am traveling! I can’t choose, I honestly love and cherish every travel post I’ve ever snapped. The majority of them were taken with an iPhone, but since I’ve invested in a good camera this year, I’m hoping to produce even more exciting content in my future travels. I’m jetting off to Greece, Russia and Tokyo this year, so I can’t wait to capture these adventures through my eyes.
5. There are so many amazing bloggers out there, but if you had to name one blogger that inspires you, who would you say?
I would have to say Miranda from @thegirlwholivedforclothes. She’s a sweetie in real life, her captions make you laugh and her enviable photos make you drool. She always takes the time to reply to comments, so that makes her really personable in my books. Also, not many people know this, but the reason I started my blog was because I stumbled across Jessica Stein’s Instagram @tuulavintage a couple of years ago. Her colourful travel posts made me identify with that lifestyle and I became inspired to create beautifully curated travel photos myself. I was traveling a lot at the time, and I thought ‘I can do that!’ I’ve always had this attitude of- if they can do it, why cant I?
6. Every blogger’s goal is to work with brands. What would you say is your biggest piece of advice on sponsored posts and how to seamlessly include them into your feed?
Good question! Authenticity is key. If a post is sponsored, it is a good idea to let people know through a hashtag, such as #ad or #sponsored. The more my blog grows, the more picky I become in relation to the brands that I work with. I have turned down many brands that compromised my ethics in any way or just were not my style. Some people may be turned off to see a blogger doing sponsored posts on Instagram, but they’ve got to remember that us bloggers put A LOT of work, thought and effort into our brand, so it’s nice to get compensated for it occasionally. Stray true to you, and the right people will be happy to see you thrive.