Welcome to Instagram.
A platform of pixels and images, it is fast becoming my new addiction. Instagram offers a digital space to microblog and immerse into the colourful worlds of others, in a very different medium to WordPress. Perhaps a picture really is worth 1000 words.
Also, I am nosey and like peering through windows into other people’s Lark-filtered lives.
Once upon a time before motherhood (in the ‘other’ hood, the ‘other’ me) I was an artist. A slapdash part-time one. The world was tones, shades and pictorial division. Canvas and clay. Then life became forever entangled with another’s. My son’s. I am not the only one to feel part of themselves went MIA when they became a mother.
Scrolling through my phone and its multitude of snapshots I have appreciate the skill in parental photography. Enjoyment. I found a thread of me and followed it. What is it about children and pictures? The perspective. Hope, joy and curiosity. Adults can pout and pose and filter their ‘crow’s feet’ away but children’s photography is much rawer, unconsidered. Muddy.
I hate pictures of your kid on Facebook.
I stopped being a #sharent on F’book as my friends were politely tiring of a multitude of pictures of my firstborn. Of course they are excited for you, but all babies look like potatoes to them. Half a million children are born every day. That’s a lot of little faces clogging feeds. So, Instagram was birthed to share imagery; of…everything. To celebrate frothy coffee in white china cups, sunsets and sunrise. A mate has an account for her goldfish.
Why share at all?
The desire to document our lives is nothing new. Pre blogger I posted on Instagram as my way of saying, ‘we were here.’ We laughed in the mud and played. It is the same now. Capturing our families’ favourite memories, enthusiasms, and my son’s idiosyncrasies. The way he looked in his first suit which was too long in the sleeves. Runny noses and skimmed knees.
‘Your child is not cute enough for Instagram’.
Said a someone to me last week.
What does it take to be successful on Instagram? There are a plethora of how to’s and tips to grow your accounts audience. They involve algorithms and other wizardry I don’t fully understand. The conversation cornered, veered and concluded with the supposition that pro #pInstagramers need a big eyed, Joules clad, curly haired baby. Its is what’s brands and PR’s are looking for. And, that my gangly, almost six year old would not appeal to an ‘interested’ following.
These are our children, not a currency or a marketing tool. He is not my selling point.
My Instagram is my own. There is no perfect child, the same as there is no perfect parent. They suggested I would be offended if he was considered cute. What? Because a word would somehow emasculate him? He is five. Balls to that, my boy is beautiful. Pretty. Likes to wear a tutu and play with dolls.
I don’t want him defined as cute alone because that limits him. Hs is also intelligent, funny, full of potential #notjustcute. The photos I share on Instagram are not to celebrate him aesthetically but to represent him for everything he is; a child, occasionally wild, chocolate covered, angry.
Let’s show our children for everything amazing they are. Tell them, and encourage them. Follow me.
Have you got any favourite accounts on Instagram? What do you enjoy posting?
Gosh – can’t believe someone said that to you. Love instagram – particularly for real life, how it is, living in the moment photos. I fear it may not stay that way.. but for now, bring on your feeds… off to follow you now x
My son’s 6 and like yours is still cute, adorable, funny, handsome and everything else beyond. Ok, so mine might not get as many like as my flower pictures, but I’d much rather look at 6 year olds than babies. But then I’m not a baby person. I like IG for sharing my photography and challenging myself to take better photos. I love looking at my feed, and similar feeds. But I don’t live by a beach, don’t get photos of him in sunsets, so I’m never going to be a big IGer. But IG is for everyone, and I don’t want mine full of sponsored images, so I’m happy with what it is.
Eeek i can’t believe someone would say that! I literally signed up to Instagram last night so i have no idea what I’m doing, but this comment sounds horrid.
But having signed up, and seen the photos that are on there, I’m really worried that there’s no way I’ll be able to take such amazing images. It’s definitely going to be a learning curve…
As most comments say…your page…and folks can fly away if they don’t like your posts
Woah hang on, do you actually mean someone said that to you about your son?! I’ve been on IG (albeit rather clumsily) for almost two years. I’m crap at it. I finally, out of sheer submission and desperation, only started posting pics of my kids face-on in December with a whole ‘God am I doing the right thing?’ crisis because of those curly-haired wide-eyed kids that were apparently helping e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e around me drive up follower numbers. My kids are brown with straight hair. I think they’re cute and yes so much more 🙂 #stayclassymama
a mindless lunkhead! That is what the person is who said that to you! Some people have some chutzpah (nerve) and it is endless. Your boy is beautiful, as is childhood and play and dirt and fun. #stayclassymama xo
He’s gorgeous and your pictures show a boy, full of wonder, happiness and brightness. He’s enjoying life and you are capturing some beautiful moments #stayclassymama
your pictures are beautiful and you can post whatever you like! Why does there have to be ‘rules’? Thought provoking post x #stayclassymama
Ok so the photo with the wee boat… utterly gorgeous! I think that Instgram is definitely a lot about looks… and skill… and I am desperately trying to up my following to above 1000 but its so hard! I don’t have enough time in the day and to be honest unless were going off a day t I don’t tend to take that many photos <3 #stayclassymama
We love your pics over at #lionessmama hon and I don’t always think its a standard, I don’t have a snazzy camera and I love grainey silly pictures so I think different people like different things..keep doing what you are doing xx
Awwwww yay! Thank you so much you beauty <3
Awww thank you you beauty <3
What a thoughtless thing to say! Your boy is beautiful, and you can share whatever pictures of him you like for whatever reasons, it’s your instagram feed after all! xx #stayclassymama
My God, I can’t believe someone said that to you! It’s not only rude and untrue but also ridiculous and shows a lack of understanding about IG. I follow lots of different people for lots of reasons. I follow someone like you because I can relate to what you’re saying as we’re on a similar journey. Then I also follow some pro photographers for example, because I’m into that and I like to think about how they created that image, get some ideas etc… Keep on as you were and ignore people like that! #StayClassyMama
I can’t believe that someone said that to you!! I would rather follow real accounts and see real photos than all of these carefully posed and edited photos of the supposed “perfect child”. I share so many photos of my children, if people don’t like them then they don’t have to look at them! #staycalssymama
fI think all kids are cute, and most photos of kids are cute. I like the photos on instagram that are real, true to life moments captured, funny faces, funny kids. I also stopped posting pics on facebook as I realised the rest of the world probably don’t want to see my kids, but instagram, like you say, is mine. I feel I can do what I like on it and have some fun. #ablogginggoodtime
I I really am uncomfortable with kids on SM – It’s so uncontrolled. Read this terrible post on what paedophiles do with your kids photos and what they look for. As for not cute enough? Who’s to say what people like?? #Stayclassymama
I didn’t think when I started reading the post that someone would actually have said that. I don’t think they understand aesthetics. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am bored of catalogue model cuteness anyway. Also so flattered you were so complimentary about one of my pics now I know you’re an artist. #stayclassymama
We are not really a catalogue cuties family…we are to squishy and like pulling faces too much! Haha 🙂 thank you for the lovely comment xx
I cannot believe someone said this to you! (i think he is so they can shut their cakehole). You’re a parent, so sharing your kids is kind of natural surely? I try not to spam my personal FB with cat photos as ive made a few friends unfollow me due to this hahahaa #stayclassymama
Errrrr not quite sure what to say about this! Who actually says that about someones child? You post what you want. Like you say it is your Instagram! If they don’t like it they don’t have to look at it. People are odd!
iI try to share the highs and lows but nothing that I think might embarrass them in later life #StayClassyMama
I’m in love with this post. This is something that has been hinted at in the past to me (never actually out rightly said) and it makes me quite angry. I am not sharing these photos because I think my kids are model material aesthetic little cherubs (although they deffo are in mums eyes!) The photos on IG that always grab my attention the most are the real, unstaged, oftentimes messy, grubby faced, head thrown back, and everything in between, snapshots of childhood. Well said. #stayclassymama
I share anything on Insta, I love it and if someone doesn’t want to see it, I direct them to the unfollow button xx #stayclassymama
I wish there was enough room in the bio…If you don’t like don’t comment and feel free not to follow. xx
iI’m rubbish at all that stuff.The good photos I take are completely by accident but I kind of like that about them,just as it happened.The one’s without snot I put on facebook!#StayClassyMama
I can’t believe someone actually told you that. Have they no shame? All parents realise that we see our own children completely differently to most people anyway. And why do the kids have to be ‘cute’ – can’t they just be real?
I never seen a ugly child…I’ve seen sad children…sick children…tired children…never ugly…ugly comes with age and bad experiences…all children are beautiful…dying children can brighten the room with their smile…will break your heart with their compassion…I’d give my eye tooth to be appreciated by my co-workers the way a child appreciates me for taking them to the park…it’s a every sad, lonely and ugly adult who can be that critical of a child…take a million pics…you’ll miss one…but at least you’ll have that million
First of all, your son IS cute, and anyone who tells you otherwise is an idiot. Second of all, you’re right – we should celebrate pictures of our kids not because they’re perfect, but because they show them as they are in all their wonderful kid-ness. #stayclassymama
Although now I’m getting more requests for baby pictures to help drown out the politics on Facebook feeds! #stayclassymama
Bless this post. I agree. Social media is flat out flaunting our children and our ‘great life’ (how much better we are then you). Sign. Even I admit to it. On a side note at least you can get photos of your babe, I’m at the point where I’ve got to pin her down, haha. Also, I can’t believe someone said that to, how fucking rude. #stayclassymama
I bribe my kid with chocolate to take pictures for his nan who demands them every week or two lol Instagram is just the leftover from that x
He looks full of life! Who cares what any of them look like, let’s celebrate the funny, kind, brave, inquisitive, joyful creatures they are.
Social media is a crazy place, blogging it pretty crazy as well. It’s sad to think that some people / brands think you need designer kids to be successful – bit like being super skinny to be a model I suppose. The whole point of a parenting blog is that it’s real life and real families that people follow for its authenticity, not its glossy image – that’s called advertising!
I love your stance on family photography and Instagram! I’m so guilty of waiting for the ‘right’ photos to share that I barely post any at all sometimes. Thanks for the inspiration to capture and share the everyday, emotional, messy, adventure moments too x
Well said Jade and I totally agree, kids are not here to just be marketing tools! Yes kids bring the ‘awww’ factor but I like taking photos of our adventures, what we do every day, who we are as a family. Like you said their personalities are their true selves. Sod insta kid, they are our kids! Sorry, rant over and I love your Instagram feed by the way. ☺️ Chocolate covered faces and all. X