Instagram is probably my favorite social media channel: that perfect square (or occasional rectangle, if I want to keep things in their original landscape format!) conveniently edits out everything you don't want others to see and captures just what you want to focus on. Deceptive? Maybe. Anti-social? Often. Narcissistic? Yes.
But it's fun.
In my defense, I'm a really "visual" person, so I love finding inspiration on Instagram - even more so than Pinterest. I typically use Pinterest for ideas, but for every day imagery, I'm constantly on Instagram. I love to see what other bloggers have been up to and I follow a lot of American fashion bloggers (SongofStyle, WeWoreWhat, HelloFashionBlog, KendieEveryday being a few of my favorites!) - plus, there's just some beautiful photography out there.
But after Instagramming for a couple of years,it seems like the same (or similar) images keep popping up in my feed. Below are the most popular shots (and their accompanying hashtags) ... and the ones that I'm guilty of overdoing.
All. The. Time.
1. The Latte/Flat White Shot #foamart #coffee #latteart #flatwhite
You know the drill: you've met your #BFF for brunch (have you noticed? It's always brunch in Instagram-land, never breakfast - no matter how early it is. If it's really breakfast, then you'd better have granola, yogurt, fresh blueberries, and chia seeds on standby) and when your flat white arrives, you can't resist snapping a quick photo with your phone. Even better: when the table's been "styled" with fresh flowers. Eye roll (yes, I'm rolling my eyes at myself - that's the point of this post).
2. The Eggs Benedict/Royale/Florentine Shot #eggs #eggsbenedict #eggsroyale #eggsflorentine #brunch #food #foodie #instafood
Continuing on the brunch theme, I'll sit back on Saturday mornings and wait for images of runny, orange egg-yolk to saturate my Instagram feed. WHY DOES EVERYONE ORDER THE SAME DAMN THING? IN DIFFERENT PLACES? BUT AT THE SAME TIME? INCLUDING ME??? Btw, that eggs royale pictured above was seriously overpriced. My wallet hurt more than those eggs that were being sliced into.
(Sidenote: I can just about bring myself to use the #foodie hashtag in some of my posts, though I do gag a little when I do it, but I can't do #foodporn or #foodgasm. Gross. My fingers refuse to tap out the words.)
3. The Macaron Shot #macarons #dessert #sweets
matter if there's one (or a thousand, as it seemed like when I stumbled
upon this stand in Borough Market); if they're behind glass or on a
plate; if they're being sold in England or America or France, macarons are the most
Instagrammable dessert to grace social media. I don't know what it is about these meringue-based almond flour confections, but they're everywhere. Oh wait, yes, I do - they're pretty (and delicious). They're also expensive (let's be honest here), so they're seen as a luxury and a treat.
4. The Ramen Shot #ramen #food #foodie #instafood #instagood
Funny story: I had a spontaneous ramen date with a friend of mine on Monday, and I Instagrammed my bowl of tonkotsu ramen while I was there. By the time I'd gotten home, two more people in my feed had Instagrammed their bowls of ramen at the same restaurant - taken at different times. Funny or crazy? What's Instagram's (my) obsession with ramen? Oh yes, it's "trendy" and nice to look at. Well, I'm waiting for congee to make a comeback. Oh, but wait - it never will, because it's just ... white. With unidentifiable ingredients floating in it (but so delicious).
5. The Oh-Look-It's-Just-Me-Holding-A-Product-In-My-Hand Shot #icecream #saltedcaramel #food #foodie
This is perfect for, when - excited by a new discovery (as I was when I discovered this £6 tub of Jude's Salted Caramel ice cream, which was worth every pence) - you want to share it with EVERYONE, but just want a photo against a flat, white background. I see a lot of beauty bloggers do this, which is effective, since all the focus is on the product and nothing else.
6. The Outfit-From-Above Shot #fwis #ootd #widn #fbloggers
It's tricky to try and pretend that taking a photo like this isn't narcissistic, when it totally is (guilty!).
But sometimes (and believe me, it's rare), I'm like, "Hey! I like what
I'm wearing today. What the heck - I'm going to share." And then this
7. The Watch/Bracelet Shot #armcandy #wristcandy #accessories #fbloggers
Actually, I took this photo for a serious post that I wrote, but I see drool-worthy images of bloggers' stacks of bracelets and watches nearly every day and then it's like someone pressed a button in my head that goes, "MUST. GO. TO. TOPSHOP. NOW." Bad, right?
8. The Landscape Shot #spring #bluesky #country
You know this one. Where the famous "rule of thirds" is invoked and you see a whole lot of sky and it's outrageously blue and the grass is outrageously green because the person behind the shot (in this case, me) has clearly played with the saturation and the brightness and the contrast? That one. Everything looks so peachy keen and dandy in this shot, doesn't it? Until you realize that the person taking the photo (me, again) has stepped in a cow pie and tripped over a turnstile because she's wearing borrowed Hunter boots that are two sizes too big for her. #reallife
9. The Flower Shot #flowers #floral #spring
Flowers. Of any kind (BUT MOSTLY TULIPS). At any stage (BUT MOSTLY TULIPS IN FULL BLOOM). Taken from above. Or the side. Or the front. Or the back (do flowers have "backs"?). Mostly at Liberty.
10. The Cloud Shot #clouds #sky #cloudp*rn
Just clouds. In the sky. Doing their thing. Yet, attractively so.
Are you on Instagram? Are you guilty of any of the above offences? I'm at @angloyankophile, if you'd like to see!