Friday Favorites – Instagrammed

Remember when we used to take photos on real cameras?
No, but really.
If you’re like me (and about a third of the world), your go-to source of capturing memories isn’t your Cool Pix or your 35 mm anymore, but your phone.
The easiest and most convenient point and shoot there is, and with all the apps that have multiple filters, it’s like having Photoshop right in your pocket.
A quick search at the Apple app store results in more than 50 different applications you can use to make your phone pics (and of course, your selfies) look fab.
I like to kick it old school, though, and pretty much just use the phone’s camera and fancy them up on Instagram if I decide to share them.
I love Instagram.
I love the idea of people sharing their lives through pictures rather than words.
I hear they’re worth about a thousand of them.
Anyway, I have an Instagram account that until recently I only “allowed” my family and two friends-who-are-like-family to follow, which meant I had a whopping 13 followers. And I liked it just fine. I used to follow a lot of celebrities, but after a month or so — and I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this — I grew tired of them. Every time I opened Instagram I’d have to scroll and scroll to find a photo that my nephew had shared of his early morning desert hike or one that my sister had shared of her gourmet dinner creation; much like when you start to follow a lot of pages on Facebook (excluding this one, of course) and your newsfeed gets clogged with inane updates and you miss the ones from friends who you actually care about.Lately I’ve begun branching out and have been finding more friends to follow and accepting friend requests from a few friends (that I actually know). Because the thing I love the most about Instagram is that it’s a snapshot of real, every day life; not vacation photos or holiday pics or weddings, but the small things that make up our big lives. And that, to me, is interesting to see; to see what it is that prompted a person to take out their phone and snap a moment…and then care about it enough to share it.
I love that.Last month I was scrolling through the over 500 pics in Instagram I’ve taken over the past two years and was really enjoying reliving the memories. Simple memories of a perfect dinner, a lovely evening on the dock, a sick kid napping with a warm cat…things that weren’t major events, but things that made up my days and my years.
Simple Things.
And I wanted them out. Out of my phone and of my computer. Out where I could see them.
I have hundreds — probably thousands — of photos from birthdays and vacations and holidays and big big events all trapped on my computer that I’m apparently just fine with leaving there, so why did I feel the immediate need to get these random photos out?Because they’re authentic.

These photos are an authentic representation of my life: much more so than all the others, if I’m being honest.

A quick google search of “Instagram photo books” resulted in, and the site walked me through a fairly easy process of creating this book, which I just received in the mail last week, and is this week’s sole FAVORITE THING.

It’s not very big (about 61/2 inches square) and because I only selected about 90 photos (and yes, it was very difficult to narrow it down), it’s not very thick. I think after about 60 pages, the base price goes up.
This one ended up being around $40.

With over 550 photos in my Instagram account, I decided to make year books: a snapshot of my year as told through the photos I cared to Instagram.
I love love love it.

I chose the template where I only used one photo on each page and maximized the space (there are templates where your photo can be smaller therefore allowing you to get more bang for your buck, but I liked the full page photo best).

I decided to forego captions.
I liked the idea of having the person who is looking at the book coming up with their own, and trying to figure out what the reason was behind the photo.

Here, let me share a few. A few photos of the moments — the small ones — that made up my 2013.

A walk on the frozen lake:

Which resulted in a few snow angels right on top of our favorite summer swimming spots:

First dinner on the deck after a long winter:

An impossibly tiny turtle I almost stepped on during a run:

A 20th anniversary spent lakeside:

A napping buddy:

A favorite summertime kind of a dinner:

Some teeny tiny sunglasses I found when cleaning out a desk drawer that made me happy (and a little sad):
And the girl who used to wear them turning 12:
A cat who thinks she’s hiding:
A snowy day:
And a warm evening by the lake:

What did I tell you?
Small ones, but the very best — most favorite — kind. 

Visit and check it out.

I’m mulling the idea of starting a YMFT Instagram account.
Would you follow?


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  • Teri Biebel - Love our small moments!!ReplyCancel

  • The Dose of Reality - Okay, that is not just one of the best snow angel pictures I’ve ever seen…that is one of the best snow angels I’ve ever seen ANYWHERE. (I grew up in St. Louis. I know from snow angels) I’m impressed! There are no telltale entry or exit marks. WELL DONE!!

    We have an Instagram but we don’t really use it. It’s funny to read this today, because just this morning Ashley and I were talking that we might need to get on the Instagram bandwagon. This might tip me to the “yes” side!! –LisaReplyCancel

  • Amy Flory - I love IG! Whst an awesome idea, Michelle. Thanks for sharing your pics. Get a YMFT acct so I can see more!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Flory - I love IG! Whst an awesome idea, Michelle. Thanks for sharing your pics. Get a YMFT acct so I can see more!ReplyCancel

  • The Dose of Reality - PS. We *just* started an Instagram account (as in today) and have begun following people…so YES!! We’d follow you!! Do it…DO IT!! –LisaReplyCancel

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