I read a few articles recently that bashed the glorified photographs on Instagram, the ones with perfect filters that share only the good and never the bad parts of our lives.
I laughed and nodded along with some of it and then I realized that I love Instagram for that and more. Today, I’m taking a few minutes to share my happy place in social media with you.
It isn’t just about finding your friends and connecting with them on another social media platform. Something beautiful, delicious, funny, fashionable, breathtaking, awe-inspiring is always just a scroll away.
Instagram is a 60 second peek into another world whenever I want to take a minute away from my own.
I have met so many diverse people there that I never would have gotten to know outside of Instagram. I can follow a family of five on their travels around the world, photographers so talented they stop me in my tracks, amazing food bloggers with creativity that inspires me daily, lifestyle photographers capturing the best in the people around them, the list goes on and on.
I couldn’t begin to list them all, but whether you are just getting started on Instagram or looking for more great people to follow, here are some of my favorites:
Breathtaking Photography / Art / Travel:
Chateau Gudanes – the story of an Australian family currently restoring a chateau in the south of France, gorgeous location and photography.
Eric Kimberlin – west coast photographer, songwriter, artist.
US Interior – breathtaking outdoor photography from all over the United States.
Explore Canada – curated shots from all over Canada, nature, architecture, food, and lifestyle.
EverythingEverywhere – 2014 Travel Photographer of the year. Traveling the world since 2007, over 100 countries and all 7 continents.
Inspiration / Lifestyle / Travel:
Humans of NY – NYC one story at a time, currently traveling to 30 countries in 3 months.
Tsh Oxenreider – traveling around the world with a family of 5, currently in China. Minimalism at it’s very best.
I tried, but I just couldn’t narrow it down to even a fraction of my favorite food bloggers on Instagram. You can find me on Instagram, and then check out more of the bloggers I follow, if you want to fill your feed with deliciousness!
Instagram reminds me of the moments that I choose to treasure. The people, the food, the sunsets, the walks in the rain, the silly smile from my kid with bed-head, the vacation I took with a friend who lives too far away, the coffee cup that still makes me smile, the summer’s ice cream cones, a much needed date night, the first time I tried a Coffee Crisp candy bar.
When I began looking for fun and beautiful things to share, I found them in abundance. Instagram reminds me to be grateful for my life. Instagram isn’t a brag book, it’s my memories. It highlights the good times and shadows the sad. It brings my thoughts back to the happy places and times. It helps me remember that awesome morning when my middle son read to my youngest for the first time.
As someone who doesn’t scrapbook or even print her photos most of the time (I gave that up right about the same time we brought my second child home from the hospital), this is my way of treasuring the moments big and small.
I remember my baby sitting on the bed trying to play his daddy’s guitar while it was twice as big as he was. I can scroll forward just a few months and watch him strumming it and singing with his dad.
Camera phones and Instagram help me remember a dish that I want to try to make at home, or a dish we made that was so exciting, I wanted to immediately share it with the world.
We are blessed. Period. I have food on my table, whether fancy or not. I have a roof that doesn’t leak. I have a vehicle that takes me anywhere I need to be. I have technology at my fingertips that allows me to be present in the lives of my family and friends that live thousands of miles away from us. I can watch my little niece dance and video chat with my brother across the country.
I’m reminded of those blessings every time I scroll through my photos and see where I’ve been and the things I’ve eaten and made and done. That picture taken on the beach? Yeah, behind the scenes, we were leaning over an ugly cement pier and laughing at our attempts to get the speck of ocean into the camera frame. Every time I see my grin in that picture I laugh and remember our walk through Miami, full of fabulous Cuban food, pausing in the shade to post our silly selfies.
There are times and places in my life when I disconnect from technology completely and there are times when I have my phone with me to snap pictures and share them. It’s a personal choice and I choose to save my memories this way.
I can follow a random hashtag and find a whole new group of people who amaze me. Instagram offers zero-business value to me, it isn’t about the numbers, the traffic, or the followers. It’s just a fun, creative outlet and I find it completely stress-free and peaceful.On Instagram, people share little peeks into their life and I feel like I actually get to know them better. I treasure the connections I’ve made through blogging, but I don’t always feel like I have a chance to get to know many people beyond the delicious foods that are shared through a blog or on Facebook. Instagram is my favorite way to connect with you all and share the casual moments in life that make me smile.
Each and every one of you makes my life better just for knowing you. Thanks for the comments, the shares, the emails, the everything. I love hearing when you’ve made a recipe and when something makes you smile. Thanks for hanging out with me both here and there!