This whole thing surprised me.
Last January for my birthday, I got my first smartphone. I wanted an iPhone in part because many of my friends were on Instagram, the social network app that revolves around photos taken with your phone. And at the time, Instagram was only available for iPhones.
Well since then, I have not been as revolutionized by the social network itself (though it is my favorite) as much as what it has taught me about photographing life. Instagram has dispelled 5 myths, I've found, which for me equals a little bit of a personal historical revolution: I have a full year's worth of captured moments of my real, everyday life, most of which would never have been considered camera-worthy in my previous existence.
I'm in awe of how I feel about it, really. In other words, this is a post very close to my heart. My life has never been caught in glimpses like it has been in the past year. And to think it was wholly on accident. When I scroll back through the year, I'm humbled and grateful for every snap.
Myth #1: Cameras are for occasions.
But Instagram has taught me that every day is an occasion. Every breath, really. In fact, I've learned that the "ordinary" is really the most beautiful, the most real.
a. she loves reading. reads all the time. this is how i'll remember much of her childhood.
b. i remember the night he wouldn't go to sleep. i invited him to sit on the kitchen counter with me. he's wearing a tee shirt he made in preschool for the thanksgiving feast.
c. we always laugh at candyland. best game, though we lost the ice cream floats card.
d. her amazing, creative style is not even hindered by rainy days. those legs, those knees are in between little and big.
Myth #2: Everyone should be smiling.
But Instagram has taught me that part of life worth capturing is the melancholy, the strife, the grief. All of these emotions are just as beautiful and just as important to our histories as the happy, clean ones.
a. i remember the day we went to frozen yogurt. she wasn't happy with me and i was trying to win her over by chatting and buying her something with sprinkles. this photo represents the blurry wall that often exists between us, and how i find her so beautiful and yet unreachable at times.
b. it was memorial day when we came home to find his turtle Rocky has passed away. this was the burial site.
c. i remember the day he cried after realizing that someday, though in the distant future, his sister would leave for college and he'd be left behind.
d. you'd think that in Hawaii, the grouchiness would stay away. but she felt better hiding behind her daddy's hat.
Myth #3: I'm always the photographer, never the subject.
But Instagram has taught me that capturing my own many moods and moments is a historical account that I want and love. It's like a visual journal, really, chronicling my days. In our regular camera history, I'm in about 0.001% of the photos.
a. we were at a campground with friends, everyone playing in a dry ravine until dusk. i was playing with the sun and my new phone.
b. i was at a cafe with shauna, trying the no-heat-curls, which became my favorite hair trick.
c. i was at the local petting zoo having a great day with my children.
d. i got this souvenir in the airport as we were about to fly home, hearts full from a great family vacation.
Myth #4: You take pictures when you're away from home.
But Instagram has taught me that seemingly ordinary shots in the house are extra valuable because our home is where we live.
a. one day i'll miss the squashed cushions and tiny toes.
b. he drew hairs on his chest with a marker. enough said.
c. she made a campout under the kitchen table to listen to daddy play guitar before bedtime.
d. snuggly moments with my littles are a priceless part of my days.
Myth #5: You take pictures when you are in a place of interest.
But Instagram has taught me that a place of MY interest is in my car. Though it's my second home, I can't recall ever in my life taking a photo with a real camera in my car. And now, I can't believe how many I have snapped. Again, it is where we live. My car time with my kids is precious and short. It is worth remembering.
a. she snapped one of me on the drive to school.
b. i do a lot of good thinking in this seat.
c. my man likes to check on the surf now and then.
d. the makeup mirror is my friend.
e. these two right after pick up. i'm so happy to have them back after a day at school.
f. road trip to grammy's house.
g. melancholy as usual.
h. moments when i get to mother their friends is a blessing.
i. let's not forget how much eating we do in the car. he loves tacos.
Not a single one of these photos in these five collages would have been captured had I not been using my phone camera, and most of the time, I used my phone camera for Instagram. Such a happy accident. I've never had a photographic legacy like this before.
What about you? Have you changed the way you capture your life now that we have phone cameras with us pretty much always?