I got lost in a state park a few weeks ago and stumbled on this view. It was raining (heavily) and it was FREEZING but I jumped out of my car and took this shot. While driving away, I felt lucky to have found this moment – or that the moment found me, and I realized that these kinds of moments happen quite often. I’d like to think that they happen so you can capture them and share them and bring inspiration to yourself and others. To create community. Community is having something for you and sharing the very same thing with someone else. Personal moments can create community if you let them. And that’s why I started this blog.
3 months ago, I posted my very first photo on Instagram and founded this blog. As much as it’s helped me feel like I share beautiful moments, and highlight the ones that find me, it has also created paths of insecurity and inadequacy. Being and hosting yourself on social media is vulnerable. You put yourself out there, your work and your words, and someone likes it or they don’t. Then you see someone else’s photo and (CAN) think all sorts of things. “That decor is really in, I need to decorate like that.” “I wonder where I can go this weekend so I can get a cool shot like that.” “Is it a filter making her look effortlessly pretty or is it her? And WHICH filter is it?” (Lol, I know).
What I’ve learned so far is not to reinvent myself. I don’t want to get into debt trying to appear stylish, trendy, curated, travelled. If Im going to host myself on social media, it has to be about me, truly. And, most importantly, I have to be okay with the fact that some people may not click like or click follow.
I remind myself often of the photo above. I want my blog and Instagram to be about the moments that find me, not the other way around (as tempting as it can be to stage things). I’m not saying I won’t spruce a moment up, or put a filter on a photo because I SO will, but life shouldn’t be about chasing moments, rather living in them. And I think that social media can be a beautiful place to practice and share that.
If you’re wondering about my photos, I use vsco app and after light (solely for the brightness). I only stick to two filters on vsco: A6 and J2.
When I take a photo, I make sure it’s straight! I can’t stand a crooked shot. Honestly. It’s a monster peeve. I will use a stabilizer or the grid option on my phone to make sure it’s eerie straight, and for photos of Adam and I, I’ll use a tripod, not a person (I don’t care how weird we look in public obviously). I also think it’s important to watch the distance of your photo. Certain views need a certain vantage point. As a rule of thumb, I pick one focal point, center it, and show case it inside its surroundings. For example, I centered the green house in the above picture between two trees and I included the same amount of sky as the green house below to make the picture look balanced. You can’t do that with a selfie, which brings me to my last point – I don’t believe in them. Selfies are for family, and the occasional hardy har. But hey! That’s just me and if your selfie inspires people, do it! (Honestly, do it).
Instagram: @monika__alexandra (two underscores because one is lonely and threes a crowd, jk, one was taken)