In LIFESTYLE

What I have Gained and Lost Thanks to Instagram

Everyone knows instagram today. The original idea of this social network was for the art souls to share photos – without captions. Its strongly coloured filters gave it a special look and it was limited to square pictures only. Instagram, as we know it today, is a very strong social platform not only picture wise, but also text wise. We share our opinions, feelings, happiness and hate. Back in 2012 I would have never thought, that instagram would be one of the main tools of my work and it would be generating a substantial part of my income. It also serves as my porfolio for both me as a fashion stylist and a content creator.

Trough out the years my relationship with instagram went trough several phases: From “I don’t give a shit” and “what instafilter will I use tomorrow” to “OMG, I have nothing to post tomorrow and where will I fly next for the content”?? There was an addiction period and a separation period too. There was love and there was hate and I’d often asked mysel – is digital world really my world? It gave me a lot and it also took some things away. This year though I have finally found a balance between living on and off this social platform.

WHAT I HAVE GAINED

– Instagram has tought me to be a better photographer. It actually constantly forces me to improve my photography skills and thanks to this platform I am discovering new techniques, how to capture what I need, every day. It forces me to also follow the trends worldwide in “instaphotography”. Thanks to the fact, that Slovakia is at least 1 year behind the world, I have time to absorb the knowledge gained and decide, whether I want to apply it or not.

– I’ve self-tought myself to use Lightroom. This editing program has been around for ages, but I feel like it became super popular during the past few years. Big bloggers have released their presets for sale and it became the next big thing. Suddenly the secret to color-coordinated feed was out and presets have started poppin out from everywhere. I also bought some at the beginning, now I create my own. I absolutely love editing photos, it’s one of the most relaxing activities.

– I’ve learnt that a good photographer isn’t necessarily the right photographer for instagram and vice versa. A great instaphoto doesn’t necessarily mean it would be great outside of this platform. Why? On instgram you tell a story. Your story. But slightly differently, than by a regular photograph. You need to put a whole message into the photo and you need to create an interest for people to stare at it for at least 5 seconds. Some break the rules of composition and some love the rainbow unicorns in the backround. Great “instaphoto” can be easily taken on a mobile and it’s actually pretty cool, if you can manage for this to work. You simply need to grab peoples attention and for that some are willing to break more than the rules of composition, lol.

– It made me a Content creator. This is my favourite part. It has opened a door to a dream I did not know I was dreaming. The clients have noticed my content on my instagram (well on my blog too) and they wanted the same for their socials too. Trough out the years it turned from a small side job to a full time profession. I love shooting products (more than people in fact), create interesting compositions love the fact they give a me a free hand in all my projects.

– It tought me not to take what I see on IG too seriously. Instagram isn’t anyones 100% reflection of their life – I hope you all know that by now. Right at the beginning I compared how much I share from my private life and what I see on IG and realised, it’s only a fraction. Of course I have cought myself to envy someones life from time to time… and then realised, that they don’t share the ugly shit because nor do I.

– It brought me new clients outside of instagram. This platform is not only my visual diary but also as my porfolio for both styling and content creation. Many clients that I have been working with a for a long time now have found me trough instagram.

– I met amazing people trough IG that I became great friend with. Last by not least – actually this is the best part! If you dont let instagram to rule your world, you might actually find some amazing peeps here – just like I did! Love it!

WHAT I’VE LOST

– A part of my private life. By choice tho. When we got on Facebook, we shared every single thing of our lives on it. Every breakfast, every heartbreak and every party. With instastories came the same – just in a less annoying form. You can skip the story and filter the content if you wish. With growing followers though you kinda need to share more of your life to keep them interested…But you are the one setting boundries. The real and most important parts of private life should stay private. They don’t call it a private life for nothin!

– The obsession to post the most perfect content only. Thank God! Not that long ago I was still obsessed checking every single detail of a photo I’ve posted. If the composition wan’t right, the hair wasn’t in the right place or my eyes were not sharp enough, the photo never made it to the feed. I wanted everything to be perfect and sometimes it took me hours to edit one photo. The stress levels became super hight and one day I realised, it’s absolutely ridiculous tobe stressing about such things. Now I often post a photo that is not even sharp and my most liked photo ever has a hand cut off. I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s the imperfections, that make things perfect.

– Socialising in real life. With social networks entering our lives, we have stopped actually socialising. Have you realised that? Isn’t that bizzare? You can connect with everyone, ask them how they are, or send them your pie recipe online. We no longer ring the bell of our friend to ask them out for a drink, you text them instead. Our whole lives are online. Since I often work alone, there are days when I don’t even meet a person. And it makes me sad. I know it’s in my own power to change that, but I just can’t be bothered sometimes.

– The wish to make blogging my full time job. I love blogging and the freedom it gives me. It gave me a lot of opportunities to grow and to discover a lot of new directions. I love opening new doors, but what I don’t like is to be dependent on someones decision. To wait if I got the assignment or not, if I am the one the client has chosen. I love to create my own projects and I love the freedom of it and that’s what I would love to keep. I still want it as my part-time job, to have an option to refuse a job If I don’t feel like doing it – because only then the passion really shines trough. I wouldn’t wanna fall among those bloggers begging for likes and attention on social media just to get their numbers higher to get paid. Thanks, but no thanks.

Everyone today has probably a “love and hate” relationship with instagram. I, fortunately, have it pretty balanced. Just like in any other relationships, I have gained a lot – the good and the bad too. When I feel like I have enough, I take a break a day or two. When I need to get inspired, I search for the right accounts and can spend hours looking at the photos I love.

There is no need to hate this app and blame it from our addiction on it… It is only in our head and only up to us, what we decide to take from it. The bottom line is not to follow bullshit, but not to post it, either.

Love,

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Jana

Stylist, blogger, traveller, content creator.

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