Instagram was my favourite social media. It had everything I wanted in a social media site. I love photography, I love pretty things, I love not seeing arguments unrelated to the original post.
And I still love Instagram for all these reasons. Recently however, it tired me out. I got Insta-tired, Insta-knackered. And it’s not Instagram’s fault. You read things online about sourcing traffic for your blog by posting on Instagram. You get an ‘aesthetic’ (which I could never be bothered with) you tag cleverly. You post daily, at the same time without fail. You utilise the maximum 30 tags. You post your tags in a comment so it doesn’t look spammy. And this is all very well. When you get 150 likes on your morning post you feel like the god of social media. But really – a question I ask myself a lot – is it fun?
No. Not in the slightest. Not for me anyway. For me, social media is part an extension of myself. Twitter’s a place for thoughts, having conversations with people during Strictly Come Dancing. Instagram’s a place to share expression through photography, the goings on of daily life captured in an image. And I was always doing that, it’s the using it as a business I wasn’t quite on board with. You find yourself thinking of tags rather than actually posting a nice picture.
So I stopped for a while. Stopped being so intent on posting daily, using the right tags, all the rest of it. Instagram is fun. A way to instantly share a snapshot of something cool I came across that day. I wanted it to stay that way.
I do love and respect a lot of the content you see out there. The perfect flat lays, the soft lighting. The marble countertops, artfully arranged throw blankets and foliage. Somewhere between looking online to try and source an imitation marble counter top (a piece of paper with a marble print) and looking at softbox lighting I realised this wasn’t me.
I don’t have a brand, I’ve nothing to sell. Nothing to make perfect looking to advertise or show off. I mean, I’d love to, don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for the folks who do this every day. But at the moment I feel like a bit of an imposter showing our lives with this filter on it.
On my social media adventure I’ve come to realise, my brand (if I have one) is me being me. A twenty-seven year old chap who love writing, art, photography, baking, knitting and probably a whole load of stuff I’ve not discovered yet.
The truth of the matter is, our daily lives can be perfect without adding all this stuff on top of it. I want to show that in my photography.
And of course I’ll always search to create the perfect photograph to go with posts. And the perfect Instagram photo. Maybe I’ll take a photo of a stack of books and throw some fairy lights over the top, but only if there are some lying around. I’d love to find the perfect balance between artistic and true.
I’m not a fan of stressing myself over something supposed to be fun. And if that means taking a photo of something not artfully arranged on a piece of imitation marble, so be it.
And maybe – maybe – one day we’ll have a real marble countertop to take photos of.