I know some people don’t like the fact that Instagram can sort of make everything look better than it is, but I’m pretty okay with it. I mean, we’re all living the same life. We KNOW life isn’t always as sticky sweet as it appears in some of our photos, but I don’t have a problem with framing anything in it’s best possible light.
I’ve read this about writing non-fiction (memoir specifically), that sometimes a writer embellishes the the story a little to make it read as dramatically as it felt. We’ve all done this, right? I’m not sure if I tell the story in it’s bare bones if it will convey the emotion I felt at the time, so I add a pause or a word or something. You’ve done this, right? Not to lie but to make sure the listener is hit with the same kind of emotion that you felt.
That’s Instagram for me. In the photo above, Macy had been playing outside literally all day. Under a tree. In flip flops and a sun dress. Oso (our emotionally challenged dog) and I met up with her at the park just down the hill from our backyard. Her face looked like a child who had worked the coal mines all day. Her hair was sticky, sweaty mess. But when she and Oso walked ahead of me on our neighborhood path and they were parallel to a wall of old fashioned lilac bushes, I wanted to capture it in the way it felt.
So I added a filter.
There are times for gritty, real-life photo journalism and there are times for Instagram filters. The truth is, my phone camera is better at capturing the general idea and then I add a filter that organizes the shapes and light into the moment I wanted to save. It works for me.