Real Life vs Insta Life • January

Around this time last year I wrote this post alluding to the concept of a perfect "Insta" life. And it's been one of my most popular posts, even to this day.

So I decided that it should become a monthly feature, a celebration of behind the scenes!

It's waaaaay too easy to believe what you see is really what you get. The family photos with no family stuff. No hooks on doors straining under the weight of 15 coats, plastic boxes bursting with broken toys, Lego in tuppaware boxes, yikes, not in Pinterest perfect colour sorted trays with Instagram ready hand made labels. 

I'm not saying it's all a lie but I've learnt to take a lot of photos with a pinch of salt.

Yes they are the houses that those people live in, yes that's where they go on holiday, but most often they are showing us the absolute best bits of that moment. It's a little slice, not the whole picture. And when you embrace that you don't feel any sense of envy or negativity. I look at Instagram as this amazing, never ending source of inspiration.

Not a place that makes me feel bad that I don't have incredible natural light in our house, or spend our weekends battling with the boys, wrestling the iPad out of their hands, instead of soulful walks in the wild.

Because we do take them out and we do have lazy days, where the house is a bomb site, the sink is full of dishes from the night before and the dogs are filthy from rolling in mud in the garden, but I just don't share that photo. 

It's been a bit of a special month for me on Instagram. I watched my follower numbers tick over 25,000 and I almost fell off my seat! If you follow me you have made me cool to my 17 year old nephew. Thank you!

I'd like to take a minute to get a few things off my chest.

Firstly - it is a.ok. to edit your photos. Take them on your "big" camera, your point and shoot, your dslr, anything but your phone camera and spend time editing and preparing your best photos. In fact, I would encourage it! If you love shooting with your phone fantastic! But never ever feel guilty or feel like you have to justify or hide the fact that you share photos from your more fancy camera. It is not cheating.

Secondly - it is absolutely good sense to have a few images ready to use. A little bank of imagery that you can call on if you don't have a spontaneous photographic friendly moment. The weather has been DIRE this January, constant grey wet days in England and I tend to take advantage of the natural light whenever I can in the week and over the weekend to set up some mini shoots ready for the week ahead.

I try not to flood my feed with all the images from one set up, so I will spread them out, share a really detailed shot one day then maybe 4 days later share another. 

Thirdly - I think Instagram is the most supportive and encouraging platform. It's a way to join in and be part of a community and the more you put in the more you get out. By commenting, liking, interacting. Join in hashtags, totally indulge in the evening, sat scrolling through your feed. 

So here is a peek behind my photos. I hope they make you smile!

Yep, that's a fake piece of tongue and groove that I bought from Homebase for £9.99 and painted white, a piece of wrapping paper as the table and a dog strolling in thinking what on earth is going on?!

Here we have the newly wallpapered hallway, and the box of Christmas decorations that STILL haven't been put back up in the loft and the new stove that is so heavy that it's stayed in the hallway, in the way, for a week before it was fitted. 

Ah the glorious yellowly light that bathes our houses during winter. So what do I do? Edit that puppy with the help of white balance correction! Oh and rearrange the cushions. 

I had the pleasure of collaborating with HomeSense this month, sharing a week of images on their Instagram feed and this was one of the outtakes. My potting bench was in fact my small painted sideboard (an old HomeSense purchase!) next to the boys desk, which you can't actually get to for all the craft boxes full of pens, pencils, paints and left over stickers!

This was a photo I put together for the lovely Rose and Grey interiors and don't you just love the Christmas trees (yes plural) again STILL waiting to be rehomed in the loft. Aaaaah!

I had no idea when I posted this photo of the fruit in the bowl that it would sky rocket. A couple of weeks after I posted it, it still gets new likes and comments and I do a double take when I check the number of people who have taken the time to press that heart button. Just wow. The funny thing is it is exactly what I hope you can expect from my feed. Colourful, fun, not too perfect, but pretty. Does that make any sense at all?! 

And this last one will feature tomorrow! I'm not quite sure which one I love more to be honest. Check my feed tomorrow and see which one I went with! 

Here's to a February full of photography inspiration. Let's all fall a little bit more in love with Instagram together.

Linking up with The Ordinary Moments