Instagram Worthy? Just Take The Photo!
So you have an Instagram account and maybe you're a blogger or influencer or just have an eye for taking beautiful photos of your kids and you've asked yourself, "is this Instagram worthy?" Most of us have been at that stage of stressing over your feed, trying to find your "look" and trying to get a good vibe down for what you want to post consistently. And there is a very real and monetary value to do this but it can get out of control if you aren't careful. I mean.. is it bad to want a "perfect" Instagram feed?
Honestly, no I don't think it is. I view it more as a curated gallery of your life. An artist paints several different works and maybe many of them, she really loves yet she only chooses her best ones and the ones she thinks will "sell" to be shown at her exhibit. I'm sure not ALL artists are this way but it's an acceptable thing to do. I see it the same with Instagram users. Some use their Instagram as their thought out and curated "gallery" of their life that just shows their most favorite, beautiful, and inspiring parts of their life. Others use their Instagram as more of a scrapbook to tell a story about their life and to share the inbetween, the ordinary, and the imperfect parts of their life.
When we start to think of it in this way, we stop feeling so much criticism towards these bloggers or lifestyle moms who seem to have "perfect lives". I actually enjoy following other moms and I get inspired all the time by their beautifully captured moments of childhood and their perspective of life. But I can't deny that there's been too many times that I have been sucked into the comparison hole. It's too easy to fall in and start comparing your life, your parenting skills, your beauty, your house, your clothes, ect to these beautiful Instagram feeds that you follow. What are you supposed to do? Um STOP IT! Remember that they are just snapshots. Despite what they post, you HAVE to remember that they have bad days too, they have messy homes, they have lazy days, they order pizza, they have debt, they argue with their spouse, they fart and poop, they have their own insecurities, they struggle with parenting too. For the most part, they too have a pretty normal life, just like you!
But what about your Instagram? Have you ever questioned about what you're posting? Maybe you've worried about it coming across as ingenuine or "too pretty?" Perhaps you've stressed about capturing every family activity or every good outfit day and then feel disappointed when you didn't get the "right" photo or forgot to take any at all. Yep, I'm totally guilty of this! This is where I think it becomes a problem. Many of us struggle with viewing our lives with an "Instagram mindset." We see every outing or unique setting as an Instagram photo opportunity. Any "Instagram husband" out there will be shaking their heads in agreement right about now! (Including mine...)
The thing is, it's not that it's bad to bring your camera everywhere or pull out your phone when you see a good photo in the making.. I think it may be unhealthy to ONLY ever be thinking in terms of getting a perfect or "worthy" photo or only in the mindset of "this is for Instagram." When I get caught up in this, I realize that I'm missing out on the actual moment that's happening and not really enjoying what's in front of me. While I'm so focused on getting a perfect photo of my daughter's outfit, maybe I'm missing out on her singing a song she made up. While I'm trying to take a cute photo of my hot chocolate and my boots, by the time I'm done, I now have luke warm chocolate.
Besides missing out on what's actually happening and enjoying my family, I also sometimes forget to capture the "real" parts of life especially of my kids. When I look at old photos of me as a child, I see crazy bed head hair and princess pajamas that I apparently wore every night. I see a blurry photo of me riding my bike at dusk. I see a face covered in spaghetti sauce. I see me sitting in a bedroom where you literally can't see the floor because every single toy I own is out. I see a ridiculous outfit that I picked out all on my own as well as my bare naked bum laying on the floor with dress up shoes on. I see me sitting on my grandmas old orange couch in a small house that I grew up in. I see ME. I see my personality, the imperfect homes I lived in, the toys I loved, and all the things that make me unique.
I want my kids to have photos like that to look back on too. Sure, I love the pretty ones but they won't care about their perfectly put together outfits, they won't know where they lived based on a carefully cropped photo taken in front of the window, they won't be able to laugh at themselves and see their personality if I don't take those real and everyday photos showing it and telling a story. So regardless of what you prefer to post on social media, DON'T FORGET TO CAPTURE THESE MOMENTS TOO! Don't delete the "bad" ones. Post your favorite but keep the other ones too.
I honestly don't want you to get rid of your Insta or feel bad about taking and posting the styled or really great photos. Just try to also take photos of the seemingly boring or embarrassing or funny or weird things. And although I love technology (always and forever... get the reference?) and the ability to store hundreds and thousands of photos on a phone, a computer, or even the cloud; my other piece of advice is to PRINT some of those photos! Nothing will ever compare to a tangible photo and the fun it is to dig through a box or bin of photos and surround yourself in piles of memories. Put them into Chatbooks, go old school and get your scrapbooking on, or do what I plan on starting and just print out those good ol 4x6's and throw them in a bin somewhere. I can pretty much promise, years from now your kids and even yourself will LOVE these photos and they will mean the most to you because they make up the story of your LIFE.