A MELBOURNE woman has gone from ordinary teen to Insta-queen after gaining more than one million followers online.
Now 23, Stephanie Smith is buying her first home in Melbourne. The photogenic woman said she never expected to gain such a following in five years and she's even treated like a celebrity on the street.
"I started posting a bit of my dog, modelling jobs, and working out," she told news.com.au.
"They were the kind of photos that got people's attention and I just showed people what my life was like."
Ms Smith said there were a number of misconceptions around her Instagram fame and she said people thought her whole life revolved around eating brunch and posting photos.
"Most of the money I have saved for my house has been from modelling," she said.
"I've worked really hard to get to where I am and I am proud of where I am and now I'm at that point where I can enjoy myself."
Ms Smith said she was lucky to be in the position to put a down payment on a house.
"It was definitely a big goal of mine. I started modelling and I could make good money and I made sure I could live comfortably," she said.
"I've got at least an investment property and never really liked the idea of renting.
"It's a proud moment for me and I understand and respect I am in a lucky position."
The Insta-queen posts pictures of her meals, workouts and friends and she said while it was strange people knew the ins and outs of her life, she was happy to share herself with the world and inspire others.
"People don't know me but they come up and say they feel like they do," she said.
"I try to come across as real as possible so when people meet me or work with me they know what to expect because I share so much.
"People already know what I look like with no makeup on or what I look like in activewear."
However Ms Smith has found herself in some scary situations due to her high profile on social media. She's always careful about posting her location after some fans started to follow her.
"I've had some people find out what hotel I'm at when I've stayed in Sydney or places like that and they've called reception and pretended to be a friend to talk to me or they'll wait outside the hotel and that's been a bit weird," she said.
"They're always harmless but it's not a comfortable feeling."
Ms Smith wanted people to know what she put on social media wasn't always a reflection of what her life was like.
"My life isn't perfect. It's not positive all the time but I'm not always going to show I had a crappy day," she said.
"That's what social media is and everyone's Instagram account shows the more positive side of their life."
Instagramming has become like a second career from Ms Smith and since she's attracted more than a million followers, a number of businesses have asked her to promote their products.
"You can make good money through Instagram, but not all posts are paid for," she said.
"Over the last year or two I've really cut it down and never post anything I'm not passionate about or something I wouldn't buy.
"Even if I get contacted about promoting something I do research behind it first."
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