Or: What I share where and why?
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying taking the images for instagram – especially now I’ve taken delivery of my new camera, a rather lovely Olympus OMD ME10. Its a big learning process as I’m trying to grapple with learning the technicalities of photography, a new camera and photo composition rules all at the same time.
I am really enjoying the challenge of creating visually pleasing images that support my work and show people what I am up to but I have been slightly struggling with the idea that it is all a bit fake and slightly contrived.
Do I have flowers around the house? Yes I try to, starting recently as I am finding that they really cheer me up and make me smile. Are they naturally in every shot? No, of course they aren’t! I’m placing them there to make the picture more visually pleasing.
If I show you a picture of what I’m working on I have two options:Take it there and then, (on the left) or style it up a bit and adjust for contrast and light (on the right):
Clearly the right image is staged but I find it much more visually appealing and I was able to put props into the photo to tell the story of the rest of my day (I was heading off to teach knitting classes but hoping to work some more on the design if I had time.) So is that fake?
I’m also always going to be somewhat guarded about my personal life. You will occasionally see pictures of my children – I always ask their approval before posting but I am wary about telling their stories online. I feel very aware that anything on the internet doesn’t ever really go away and can be searched by future employers. I’m erring on the side of “this is not my story to tell” at all times. Also, as a mother I tend to want to present my children in their best light. If they have been little sods all week and had me tearing my hair out, I probably won’t tell you. If they said something sweet I possibly will. Is that sugarcoating life?
I think my take on it is that my personality truly comes through when I share with you. Lots of people who I’ve met in real life after they have been following me online have commented that I am exactly how they expected to me. You won’t get any sugar coating or fakery there. I’m also going to try and document how much goes into designing too. Show you some of the failed swatches, talk about how I was up until midnight because I had a deadline.
But I would like to make my online world look as pretty as it can be.
I know some people feel very strongly about this debate. That adding gloss to anything in your life can make other people feel like they are the only ones not coping and that every one else is doing better/more etc. I would never want to make anyone else feel bad or pretend that I “have it all”. So know this, know when I took that pretty styled shot, I was probably balanced on a pile of mess I had to move out of the way to style it!
What do you think? Do you enjoy enjoy styled images and exploring the pretty with your favourite designers or would you prefer we all kept it real?