So there was this post which recently made its rounds on social media. In it, the writer mentioned about how so many people seem to be intent on showcasing their lives through Instagram. The resultant 'Envy effect' can perhaps be detrimental to the people who are privy to the photo postings, for they may then be tempted to compare between their world in messy black and white, versus the soft filtered hues of a picture perfect Instagram one.
While I can truly identify with the post in question, I find it quite difficult to totally agree with the points raised. Perhaps it's because the subject(s) of my Instagram photos are those which I hold near and dear to my heart. The intention is not to evoke envy, but to simply showcase a more 'presentable' photo than one simply taken as is. In a picture frame, there would be a certain point of focus, and the crop tool in Instagram makes it so much simpler to draw the viewer's attention to the object. Add a filter to enhance the 'mood', and it's a moment in time captured beautifully. My friend Evelyn, of the BottomsUp Blog, summed it up pretty nicely here, where she shares her thoughts on how Instagram has changed the way she viewed the world.
I am not a photographer, nor do I attempt to pass my images off as such, but since the evolution of Instagram, I have become more aware that we can capture images to tell a story without words. I look through the many beautifully taken photos on my feed, by friends, and also by others whom I follow because their photos move me. They have taught me that there is more to just simply a photo taken in point and shoot mode, and we don't really need a fancy camera to capture wonderful moments which speak for themselves.
While I may never be able to take a picture which will make a photographer sit up and take notice, I am able to still learn to take better pictures. I can explore different angles and capture it in such a way that it touches not only my heart, but hopefully, elicits a visceral feeling in others. Call me a visual narcissist, if you may, but I believe that life is filled with a myriad of fleeting multi coloured moments which are worth remembering.
A photograph starts long before we take the camera out of its case. In the absence of cumbersome equipment, the mobile phone is a device which we can instinctively whip out to capture a passing moment. Without the benefit of a professional camera's add-ons, Instagram is simply a platform to accentuate the raw image so that it will be more visually appealing.
I've mentioned that I don't (and am not able to) take award winning photos, right? Here is a look at how I use Instagram to capture a wonderful moment shared between friends.
Being Instaddicts, we know that the best photos are usually taken in natural light conditions, so after lunch in a pretty dim restaurant with yellow lighting (gasp!) we scouted around for a place with sufficient daylight coming in. Not an easy task given that we were in a Harajuku style shopping centre!
Take 1: Not a bad photo, just that the angle isn't all too flattering for Adeline (The Accidental Mom Blogger) and Liza (Mother of Xander) looks like she's in the midst of labour whilst Jennifer (Dinomama) tries to catch baby before he falls out.
Take 2: By this time, we were laughing so hard that an attempt to take a photo with a non-shaky hand is next to impossible! Fuzzy pic, instagrammed to look like a posterized version!
Take 3: Try taking a photo stifling a laugh. Here we all look constipated. It was made worse by a big group of people approaching where we were taking the silly shots... and trust me, 4 middle aged women trying to look cute in a self taken pic is bound to be accorded with some funny looks.
After several failed attempts, we finally managed to take a not-too-bad photo.
But Jennifer's nostrils are distracting. So thank goodness for the Instagram crop feature!
Behind that 'perfect life' are countless of mis-shots and NG takes. I don't know about you, but I would rather see a pretty 'polished' photo of us four, rather than the wrinkles, nostrils or birthing techniques! Besides, I think I'm comfortable and contented enough in life to not be envious of others. I choose to take away the positives from Social Media, because there is just so much to what we can learn from others, and life is hard enough without us advocating to one of the 7 deadly sins.