Since its conception in 2010, Instagram has been a platform for people to share highlight reels of their life. What started as a way to share a photo of your trip to the local cafe or what you cooked for dinner, has quickly become a billion dollar industry and everyone wants a piece of the action.
For me, it has been a place of creativity, community and allowed me to create content for some amazing brands who I still can’t believe choose me to work with. In the industry terms I’m classed as a “micro-influencer”. It’s also been a place to share my travels and highlight reels of my day- to-day life.
Earlier this year I had noticed my time spent on the app was overtaking my life and my social situations were sometimes decided based on making sure I get “that photo”.
In August, I took a step back after my screen time for the week stated I had spent 41 hours on my device. This is longer than I spend at my actual job and it’s no surprise I couldn’t sleep properly and my right thumb was always in a cramp from scrolling endlessly.
I knew it was time to take a break and go to a restaurant with friends and enjoy it, go to a party without taking insta stories of the best bits and have a think about what I want to get out of social media when I decided to come back to it.
Call it me roasting myself, but I thought it was a good idea to take a little insight into what really goes on behind the scenes to get the perfect shot and that nothing is always as it looks on the gram.
DID YOU REALLY GO TO BALI IF YOU DIDN’T TAKE THE PHOTO?
I love to travel and I love to do it as often as my bank balance will allow me. When I went to Bali earlier in the year I was excited to explore everything it had to offer, experience new cultures, have an awesome holiday with some mates, eat well, tan and relax. While I did all of those things, I also had a constant inner battle with myself to make sure I got the perfect shot wherever I went.
Looking back, this holiday was when I started to realise Instagram had taken over my ability to find balance between social media and my life. This was taken on my last day and I vividly remember thinking how badly I “needed” to get this photo before the sun went down.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS
I have been so lucky with the brands that have wanted me to create content for them over the last few years and I pride myself on delivering what is briefed within the time frame. (I also want to make it clear that I have only and will only ever work with brands that I truly believe in and would use myself.)
Somehow I missed the deadline for this project and received a very friendly reminder email to make sure the content was on the way. This is when the panic of potentially letting someone down sets in and damage control to get something finished asap takes over. What looks like a couple of cocktails is in reality, 2 glasses of soda water……
QUICK OUTFIT CHANGE AND NO ONE WILL KNOW….
To the average person this is might look like I have just spent the afternoon outside enjoying my Saturday. Maybe I just went for coffee or did some shopping on Chapel St and wanted to capture the moment? Wrong.
The reality of this photo is I had spent the morning at the vets to get my Cats nails cut and then spent the rest of the day inside my apartment watching trashy TV with a friend. Thats when it hit me – I had no Instagram content and pressured myself to think I needed something to post.
This is me getting changed into an outfit and dragging my friend who was staying with me at the time outside to take this photo in the alley way next to my apartment building.
People have jokingly asked me if I have a photographer with me at all times and the answer is…. sometimes.
If you think this is me casually out for the day and taken the opportunity for a quick photo then you are mistaken. The reality is I had spent 3 hours on New Years Day in 35 degree heat with my friend Jono (@jonobadbitch) taking photos of me in different locations, getting changed in the street into outfits to have content for the next month.
And let me tell you, this is very common…….
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Oh boy if only you knew the struggle to get this photo. Who would have thought a used KFC box and drink bottle you found on the ground would be a good camera stand. 45 minutes of failed attempts, self timer and trying to make sure I did it without any witnesses thinking I was completely mad, this is the end result. Ridiculous!
TRYING TO FIT IN
I have a really strong memory of this photo, which looking at it isn’t that interesting and you could question why I remember it so well. This was around the time I was trying to make a real effort and started to put a lot of pressure on myself to be consistent and create content I thought was popular or astetically pleasing.
All day I had been sat in my apartment at the time, wasting the Sunday away when I had a panic and felt I “needed” to post something. I dragged myself downstairs and bought a coffee and took a free magazine from the cafe and took this photo. And I will let you in on a secret…… I never read the magazine.