Instagram is a funny business.
You either love it, or you hate it.
Personally I love it. It’s by far my favourite social media platform, but it is also really hard work.
As a blogger I want to grow my following. No, numbers aren’t the be and the end all, but growth is always a good thing to see, and an increase in following and engagement is always going to be good for an influencer who wants to make money from what they out online.
But it’s so very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like it isn’t worth it when algorithms are making visibility harder, and numbers are dwindling.
And I’ll admit, some days I have questioned whether it is worth it.
It’s hard seeing people with huge followings uploading any old photo and getting loads of likes, when I spend time curating a feed that I love, for no one to see it.
So I readjusted how I looked at Instagram.
Yes it’s a part of my blogging toolkit, but, like my blog, it should be fun. It shouldn’t be forced. It should make me happy. It shouldn’t make me frustrated and sad and fill me with self-doubt. It should be a place filled with happy and beautiful photos, ones that I’ve enjoyed creating and editing.
And so I started to create images that I love.
Yes I have a theme, and curate my images to match this, but it is what makes me happy.
And to stretch my creativity, I’ve started to take part in Instagram’s weekend photo challenge. Each Friday they announce the theme for the weekend, and the associated hashtag, and Instagrammers from around the globe take part creating their own pieces. Instagram then shares its’ favourites during the week following.
Now don’t get me wrong, getting a share from Instagram would be a dream come true, but mostly I’ve loved taking on a challenge that has nothing to do with my blog and work. It’s for fun. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me get more creative with the images I take. Some of my uploads have been a lucky image that matched the theme, or edited to fit better, and some have been planned specifically for the tag.
My first photo challenge contribution, and a very popular shot, though the caption was probably more relevant than the actual photo
One of two from the weekend. I was already planning on sharing this photo as I loved the symmetry and light, and I added the flares/boken in the A Color Story app.
My second entry for the weekend. A completely unplanned shot whilst we were out, and I was mucking about with A Color Story app and just fell in love with the photo! It’s now one of my total favourites and is the wall paper on my phone.
This one I actually planned and stuck to the theme, creating coffee rings. Dann took the shot from the top of our of our kitchen chairs. He’s a good egg.
I did these as a swipe on the same photo as I just couldn’t pick a favourite angle! I took these specifically for the hashtag challenge which was all about playing and action. From the looks of the hashtag over the weekend, quite a few people had a similar idea with their kids!
And so I’ve fallen back in love with Instagram.
I’ve taken inspiration from my favourite accounts, and made a Pinterest board filled with images I love and want to recreate. And then I’m on the lookout for new challenges and tags to join in with.
It’s put the love of creation back into the platform for me, and even if my growth hasn’t really changed, I’ve changed instead.
You can follow me on Instagram here!