Remember when I won "Best on Instagram" in the Parents Magazine Social Media Awards? (Thanks to you guys— don't worry, I didn't forget.) Well, Page 111 in their May issue is my grand prize! Be thankful you can't hear my high-pitched happy squealing. (Your dog probably can though.)
FYI- if your photos are ever published in a magazine, your four-year-old totally will not care.
Case in point:
ME: Mazzy, I have a surprise to show you!
ME: Look at this magazine. See your picture?
MAZZY: There's me and Harlow and you and Daddy's feet!!!
ME: Isn't that cool?!
MAZZY: Is that it?
ME: Yes, that's it.
MAZZY (pouting): I thought it was going to be a toy.
Nothing like your preschooler to bring you crashing back down to earth.
Anyway, the article features nine of my photos along with an article about why I luuuuuuv Instagram. I know, I know, all my Instagram talk must get old for all you non-Instagrammers out there. So, this one is for the non-believers— I am going to convince you to join.
Here are 6 reasons why I'm obsessed with Instagram and you should be too (along with some of my favorite recent photos, of course):
1) I finally found something that forces me to curate my photos. The biggest problem with digital photography is you no longer have to make decisions about what photos you take. It's not like you have 36 shots before you have to shell out $15 for a new roll and another $20 for processing. Editing yourself comes after you've already taken 90 photos of your baby eating mashed peas for the first time. And that's IF you edit after the fact. I have a photo hoarding mentality. It's tough for me to delete even the blurry shots. Which means I've got thousands upon thousands of uncurated photos sitting in various hard drives and iPhoto libraries that I rarely go through. Too painful. It reminds me I haven't printed an album since Mazzy was born. Instagram forces me to upload the best 1-3 photos of the day, since any more than that would annoy my followers. As a result, I have a two year stream of photos I love looking at, without deleting anything— so I am still free to add to the mess of pictures I avoid on my computer.
2) It's an easy way for my extended family to see daily pictures of my kids. This is a use which every grandparent should take advantage. My mother follows two people— my sister and me. My mother-in-law, my dad, and my brother-in-law all follow me too. None of them have posted one picture of their own. They just use it as a way to see daily updates of the kids because it got really tiring waiting for me to email them each individually.
3) People are really nice there. The internet can be an ugly place with trolls and haters and people who found baby suiting on HuffPost when they thought they were getting more serious news. "THIS STUPID MOTHER NEEDS TO GET A LIFE!!!" But on Instagram, the most popular comment is probably a strand of red emoji hearts. Sometimes a strand of hearts is all a girl wants to hear. Plus, I love the two-sided relationship you can have on Instagram. When a follower comments on your photo, you can click over and get a glimpse of their life too.
4) I'm inspired by the photography there. If you look back at my feed from when I started, my pictures are not nearly as good as they are now. I attribute the improvement to following really amazing photographers on Instagram and seeing what they post on a daily basis. Most of them are parents themselves and I'm constantly seeing photos that inspire my own. Oh, maybe it will be more interesting if I take an overhead shot as opposed to straight on. Or, isn't it interesting how this person crops her stuff with a lot of space on top... maybe I should try that...
5) Instagram is a real time story of my life. On my blog, I don't share every detail about what I do, where I go, what I eat. I don't talk about my commute or post pictures of my shoes or write an update every time Mazzy gives Harlow a hug. I would bore you all to tears. In some ways, Instagram is more personal than my blog. Every photo is of my family or my surroundings. I don't worry about being funny or trying to weave a moment into an interesting big picture story. Not every moment needs a whole blog post, but that doesn't mean it's not worth sharing. (I hope.)
6) Instagram has made me treasure regular moments as opposed to just the special events deemed worthy enough to whip out my camera. When I look back on my life with my family, I think those moments, when the girls are sitting around watching TV in the morning or Mike is walking down the street with Mazzy on his shoulders, are the ones that best represent us. And the ones I ultimately want to remember.
Are you sold yet?
A huge thanks to Parents for the awesome article and to everyone for voting for me!