The Instagram Experiment

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I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures even though I’m not the most talented photographer out there. I never set out to be – let’s make that very clear. My usual philosophy is to simply point the camera at something pretty and the rest will take care of itself. Sometimes it works, but most of the time ….. not so much!

My first look at Instagram blew me away. There are so many amazing photographers out there and quite honestly I found it intimidating. Plus, I don’t do selfies, so that ruled out another huge part of Instagram. So, I didn’t join.

It all changed this summer, when I decided I didn’t really care what anyone else thought of my pictures. I just wanted to have fun with my camera and play with the idea of snapping random photographs. If anything, I was infinitely curious of what I would do. Call it an experiment of the self, if you will.

The results of my little experiment surprised me. I didn’t expect it to be such a cathartic experience, nor did I expect it to mirror another element of my life so closely. I found I didn’t worry at all about framing my shot or achieving the perfect image. I cared more about what I photographing and how it made me feel within a given moment.

I took pictures of the books I read, craft projects, writing projects, the weather (the monsoon sky in particular) and random things like movie tickets and my iPod. In many respects, nothing that special to anyone but me. My summer was supposed to be about decompressing, relaxing, and reconnecting with the things I love to do. Everything on my Instagram feed reflects that fact.

The significance of taking pictures of seemingly small things didn’t really hit me until about a month into the experiment. My practice of writing haiku ties in so perfectly with what I’ve been doing with my camera. Haiku is all about capturing a feeling, a moment, or something fleeting. Camera in hand, I found some minute detail in each day that was worth celebrating. In many ways, playing on Instagram reminded me of the importance of the little things. They are so often overshadowed by the bigger things that try so hard to distract us from what really matters.

Are there some pictures I wish I hadn’t posted? Yep. But only because they are sooo bad. However, they will remain as they reflect a memory I want to keep. Sometimes it isn’t about being perfect, its about being in the moment.

I still don’t do the selfie thing, though.

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If you dig “in the moment” pics, follow me on Instagram: @cbwentworth

🙂

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c.b.w. 2017

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15 thoughts on “The Instagram Experiment

  1. I am a recent joiner of Instagram too, CB. I’m using my cell camera for most shots and looking for those images that startle, confuse or tell a ‘wordless’ story.

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  2. Love this post. Most people don’t have the courage or care to publish all the photos. You only see their best. i admire the ones who admit to that and are willing to show the everyday things and photos that are a memory. Thank you for sharing your feelings on this.

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  3. Sounds like the perfect outlet… and, let’s be honest, another way to give some balance to the inner critic. Appreciation for the little things matters so much in life. I was reflecting on that while making lasagna this afternoon. That’s where the beauty in the everyday lies. : )

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    • So very true – it is the little things. I think you’re right about bringing balance to the inner critic, too. I have a habit of being too hard on myself and I think putting it all out there on Instagram is easing that negative voice.

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  4. In a brief discussion about Instagram and perfectionism, I told a friend the other day that one of the commitments I’d made to myself when I joined Instagram was that I wasn’t going to worry about perfect photos. I was going to be real, and not worry about messes or mess-ups. And sometimes I scroll through my feed and am like “this is just crap” but mostly, I’m glad for the memories and moments that even the crummy pictures represent.

    I’ve really enjoyed your Instagram so far! Hope you stick around there for a long time. 🙂

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  5. I’m following you now! I ghosted on instagram for about a year before I started adding any photos myself. I haven’t posted any selfies, but there may be a day that I do. I use it as a personal photo album of daily moments and it’s fun with others like them too. I also signed up for the Chatbooks program and they mail me mini-albums of my instagram photos too. LOVE it! It lets me enjoy them away from the electronic screen too.

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