Instagram is the home of the instamum. She’s a magical god like creature, posting pictures of her clean white walls, roll top bath and range master cooker. Her children could model for vogue and you can only assume she wears matching lingerie! It seems her husband is a professional photographer and she always post’s the perfect picture. But is that what makes her instamazing or is it all just an illusion?
Last month I lost my phone. I say lost. In actual fact I drank way too much Prosecco and left it sitting on a bar with my bank card and driving license for companionship! Obviously it was uninsured so as you can imagine I was pretty distraught – something which the Prosecco only made worse! Fast forward a week and I’d bitten the bullet and purchased a new one *sobs at the thought*. Syncing my new phone to the cloud and Apple alerted me to the 4000 plus photos I had safely tucked away. Initially it was a surprise. How had I accrued so many photos in little over a year?
Taking the opportunity to reminisce I begun browsing through pictures of days gone by. Pictures from Christmas and Rory’s first birthday. From Bonfire night and Halloween. Summers walks and days out at the farm. It was only after delving a little deeper that the sudden change became obvious.
Around the same time that I started my blog there’s a very obvious shift in the type of photos I’ve taken. Replacing the random pictures of yogurt covered faces and cheeky smiles are pictures which appear rehearsed. Not quite staged although not completely unplanned.
Looking through the pictures made me feel a little sad. Have I stopped taking the real life pictures of parenting? The messy and often blurred in favour of instaworthy snaps, artistic and filtered. Have I unknowingly become everything I set out not to be?
Of course, when I post a picture on Instagram it’s something which I’m proud of. I want people to see it, hopefully like it and maybe even tell me what they think of it. I’d be lying if I told you it isn’t disappointing when people unfollow me – something which I definitely take way too personally!! But I also want to share pictures which are an honest portrayal of my life as a parent. I certainly don’t want to make people feel inadequate or given them unrealistic expectations of what it’s like to raise a child.
So what turned me from a regular snap happy mama into a member of the perfect picture paparazzi?
I think it’s a combination of factors. The first been the army of Instamums who I follow adoringly. Their feeds are overflowing with bright, beautiful pictures. It’s near on impossible to not aspire to be even half as talented as they are. I like to think I have my own style but I take inspiration from their creative techniques, flawless edits and attractive styling.
Secondly is my growing interest in photography. Six months ago my only camera was my phone. Now with a new camera I have the potential to take better pictures. I say potential although it’s currently untapped! While understanding the benefit of natural light may be advantageous, it’s clearly luring me away from taking as many pictures at home.
So with the free-flowing inspiration and a newly developed passion for the lens it’s easy to see why I’ve been led astray.
While I enjoy developing my new-found interest and capturing photos I’m proud of, I want to make sure I’m not forgetting amount the candid family snaps. The ones which fill family photo albums and decorate walls. The ones that will make up video collages at future weddings or that I’ll proudly display at family gatherings. The filtered versions of real life might be OK for Instagram but it’s the everyday pictures that mean the most!
Going forward I’m going to make a conscious effort to take a wider variety of pictures. Still sharing my real life yet ever so filtered pictures on Instagram, I’ll be reserving my grainy, action shots for the likes of Facebook, Twitter and of course Rory’s scrap-book.
Stop aiming for picture perfection and enjoy the everyday moments
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