#INSTAMUM

Photography, or perhaps I should say photos, have always been something I’ve been passionate about. So whilst being obsessed with my phone is a relatively new habit, being obsessed with taking pictures definitely isn’t.

Way before things got digital, I was always snapping away, using up reams and reams of film (remember that?) and spending my Saturday afternoons at the photo shop collecting the latest set of images of someone’s eighteenth party, a weekend away or pictures of the sixth form common room end of year shenanigans.

I remember the first photo I ever posted to instagram, when Tigs was about 7 days old, on my actual personal account. At the time I had zero followers, and to this day that picture has zero likes. Five years on, I haven’t ever gone crazy on my own account, for fear of being labelled a total Mum bore by most of my friends. There is the odd family snap, nothing arty, and less that 100 photos in the five years since I took off.

And then, there was the blog. A whole new channel to breathe freely and let my passion for imagery and my kids happily come together without the fear of judgement. No need to worry about being labelled an oversharer by those who don’t welcome their news feed being polluted by pretty yet dull images of my everyday life as a stay at home Mum. Now I have a new audience of kindred spirits who subscribe in (and out, definitely quite a bit of that too) to a (hopefully) pretty, realistic and charming set of snaps into our life. Just less than two years on, I’m fast approaching 1.5K images, and my followers are always on the up.

For the record, what remains a constant in my blog is the lack of identity. No faces, no vlogging and no names. That can make creating an engaging instagram feed quite a challenge, but also a unique selling point. Not everyone will get it, but that’s fine with me. I’m not looking for everyone, I’m just looking a lovely picture.

The thing is with Instagram, is that it can completely get under  your skin. There are plenty of elements of being an InstaMum which are downright crazy, and I reckon a few of you will know these bizarre stereotypical behaviours of an InstaMum only too well…

QUICK DRAW MCGRAW

Your camera phone will always be within arms reach for an impromptu photo moment. A front or side pocket of a bag (never at the bottom), in your inside jacket pocket (close to your heart) or my favourite, in your back pocket of your skinny jeans. You favour articles of clothing with pockets for the purpose of camera phone storage and have a bit of a tick of tapping your pocket to check your phone is there.

In the perfect moment your phone can be switched from hibernation mode to capture in a fraction of a second, and you can even take a stealth photo of your feet totally unnoticed in a packed out room.

SORRY, WHAT WERE YOU SAYING?

Picture the scene – you’ve met a friend for lunch and she’s recalling to you in intricate detail the latest saga with her boyfriend / her hopes for that promotion / her birth story. On the surface you’re making all the right noises, but inside you have noticed an incredible tiled floor that you just have to get a shot of (#IHaveThisThingWithFloors). Or, you have just spotted an unmissable frame behind her on the veranda and you’re wondering how you can make a detour to the loo via that view without looking like a bit of a nob. I was listening, honest. #FairCop #GuiltyAsCharged

BRING ON THE WALL

Every Instamum knows exactly the best spot in her home for a plain background shot. As it goes, they also know where the best light is for a flat lay too.

PUKKA PAL | You know you’ve got a keeper when one of your mates drops by with an impromptu gift, just to make you smile. Which, by the way this totally did! SAHM mum by day, crazy laptop zombie by night isn’t always the easiest option but I’m incredibly grateful for having found some #workthatworks for me and mine and allows me to get a few extra @aldiuk special buys and #hidethebags moments minus the guilt. Whilst of course being able to experience the first hand joy of the school run and tea time meltdown. Sending love to team pukka, @mother_pukka @grandmother_pukka (amazing job holding the fort!) @papa_pukka Mae and of course to my gorgeous pukka pal, @digitalmums in the making, @wot_nwkent xxx PS this is a G&T cooler cup right? 🍸😉 . . . . . . . . . #coolmumclub #flexappeal #digitalmums #ukparentbloggers #kentbloggers #pukka #letstalkaboutflex #thismamaloves #uniteinmotherhood #pinklinker #rockingmummylife #friday #cheers #solidaritea #iamslummymummy #parenting #workingparents #momblog #mumsthathustle #mumsthatslay #mumboss #momblog

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Less of an issue for a shy blogger like me, but then there is the whole pose in front of the wall thing. Even I can appreciate a good instagram worthy wall…I just like to ask my kids to turn around and face it! (They’ll grow up with such a complex).

DAMN YOU STEERING WHEEL

One of the most ridiculous thoughts that goes through my mind as an instagram obsessed Mum, is the actual frustration I feel when I see a beautiful scene and I am driving. So many times I have considered pulling over to capture a sunset, or a beautiful scene of rolling hills, or even a wisteria clad cottage. To date I haven’t actually followed through with this, but it’s only a matter of time.

For the record, when I’m in the passenger seat, I often reach the destination with a couple of dozen total rubbish blurred shots which need to go straight in the trash – will I ever learn?

SEASONAL SPECTACLES

Us InstaMums get proper excited about a seasonal spectacle of nature… Yellow rapeseed fields, rows of lilac lavender  or woodlands carpeted in bluebells. A deep freeze gets us pretty snap happy too, and before we know it our ‘unique’ capture joins the reams and reams of fellow InstaMums’, becoming just one in a whole host of seasonal spam.

These events in nature are pretty frustrating to an InstaMum – it’s so so difficult to translate the immense magic of something first hand onto a still photo, and in my opinion, separates the cameraphone Mums with the proper photographers (of which I do not count myself).

I GOT THE POWER

An InstaMum knows exactly how long 68% of battery translates to in units of time, and most probably won’t leave the house without a spare battery pack. When indoors, a cheeky top up is never turned down – and I’m not talking about the sav blanc here (well, maybe not…).

For an InstaMum, being somewhere beautiful without camera access is like torture. Forcing yourself to switch off from capturing that shot is both painful and liberating; both a shame and a fortunate accident when it happens from time to time. I’ve definitely learnt to laugh, embrace the moment and treat it as a sign from a greater force  when it happens! (After the initial heart palpitations, obvs).

ANYTHING GOES

When you’re an InstaMum there is a photo opportunity in absolutely everything. Baking? Snap. Craft? Say cheese. Dropped something all over the floor? They’ll love this…

It can get a bit all consuming, so keep your feet firmly on the ground. And be sure to realise that some things in life are worth keeping all to yourself.

MORE STORAGE THAN IKEA

At phone upgrade time (an InstaMum’s Christmas) she shudders at the thought of a smartphone with inadequate storage. I personally made the leap to 64GB a few years back and never went back. There is of course the cloud, dropbox, and other forms of storage, but to this InstaMum, I want all my images right there in my jeans back pocket. Well, and on Instagram of course.

CLUTTER

Back in the day when I used to get my 24 & 36 sets of film developed, the rubbish shots would clutter up my cupboard until the day I had a good old clear out. Now, the rubbish shots (of which there could be 10, 12, 20 plus a few accidental bursts) are all hanging around in my photos folder until the day I’m sat waiting for an appointment or too early for school and decide to do a bit of a clean up.

AT ONE WITH NATURE | This little flower fairy is at her happiest collecting flowers (from the floor, not picked – that’s illegal as she always tells me), stones, sticks, pine cones, leaves and feathers. We literally stumbled into the most incredible field today, just at the moment we said we’d head home for tea. Needless to say she immediately dived into the long grass and breathed it all in. That’s my girl. 🌿💚🌿💚🌿💚🌿💚🌿 . . . . . . . #coolmumclub #totsphoto #perfectandproud #rockingmummylife #clickinmoms #littlefierceones #childhoodunplugged #thismamaloves #366daysofpositive #myhappycapture #thismamaloves #dearphotographer #thatsdarling #takemyheartdear #oureverydaymoments #cameramama #littlefierceones #ig_motherhood #pixelkids #cherisheverymoment #thehappynow #rememberingthesedays #littleandbrave #childofig #pinklinker #happylittlebuttons #tribalchat #capturingtheday #lionessmama #livingfearlesslyauthentic

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One thing that makes me a little sad is that often when people ask to see a photo of my kids, I have to scroll through dozens, possibly hundreds of shots not showing their face until I find a beautiful smile staring at the camera. Something I’ve noted and have started to correct for our own personal collection.

#KNOWYOURHASHTAGS

One of the tricks to growing an instagram audience is to add on your full max 30 hashtags pinging them out to a wider community within your niche. There are other things going on, pulling the strings of what  you see via the algorithms of Insta. But, regardless, engaging and joining in with communities can only be a good thing when it comes to growth.

In my opinion, it’s just as important to get involved with the small communities where you can build new connections at the same time as the big guns – where you might be a drop in the ocean.

Of course InstaMum has a pre-prepped hashtag list on her notes of her phone for easy access. For the record, here are some of my faves…

#coolmumclub, #thismamaloves, #pinklinker, #happylittlebuttons, #funseekingkids, #perfectandproud, #saturdaysiblings, #livingfearlesslyauthentic, #mummyshot, #rockingmummylife, #littlefierceones, #ukparentbloggers, #lionessmama, #tribalchat, #snaphappybritmums

Please feel free to tell me the ones I am totally late to the party with!

BEHIND THE CAMERA

Whilst some InstaMums seem to have a professional photographer in tow to capture them and their perfect wall moment, many of us (me included) live mostly behind the camera. Note to Dads, we love the off candid shot of us with the kids too from time to time, so shots with us in are extremely precious. That’s a hint.

STAYCATION | A rare moment in front of the camera (thanks Mr G). Been a super busy ten days with these girls and I’d be lying if I said it’d all been picture perfect (red nail varnish on cream carpet this morning, for example). BUT all in all it’s been pretty lovely, exploring new corners of #Kent and beyond. Looking forward to the 4 day weekend of family events ahead, and maybe, just a little bit, the return of normal routine! 😬 . . . . . . . #perfectandproud #rockingmummylife #clickinmoms #littlefierceones #childhoodunplugged #thismamaloves #366daysofpositive #myhappycapture #thismamaloves #dearphotographer #thatsdarling #takemyheartdear #oureverydaymoments #cameramama #littlefierceones #ig_motherhood #pixelkids #cherisheverymoment #thehappynow #rememberingthesedays #littleandbrave #childofig #pinklinker #happylittlebuttons #tribalchat #capturingtheday #lionessmama #livingfearlesslyauthentic

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A CLARENDON OR A HEFE KIND OF GIRL?

If you’re an InstaMum, you’ll be talking my language. Chances are you have more than one means of processing your shots than the simplistic features of Insta alone. Whilst we can all appreciate a #NoFilter moment, let’s face it, they are few and far between.

TELL US A STORY

So now, all the less than instagram worthy shots and video clips can be added to….Instagram. Well, instagram stories that is. A place where you can become weirdly engrossed in someone else’s mundane day and what they are having for lunch. So. Addictive. But us InstaMums, we love a good Instastory. It’s like a Mum version of Snapchat, apparently. #NoClue.

CAMERA MAMA

So is InstaMum an actual photographer? Can anyone be a photographer armed with a smart phone camera and a few insta filters? A lens blur and a black and white effect doesn’t make you David Bailey, that’s for sure.

There’s no doubt that the quality of photo is far improved using a camera – you know with a lens that protrudes out of a box, and that you can’t make a phone call on. BUT, that comes with it’s downsides too. As an owner of a DSLR, I can’t be carrying that around on the school run, on my play date, or have it bumping around under the buggy. I can’t add editing and uploading shots to my never ending list of stuff to do, and I’m not sure for all the extra effort at this time it’s going to take me to my end goal – because I have no idea what that end goal is, other than to capture and share the magical moments of our growing family.

x MMT

Rhyming with Wine
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47 thoughts on “#INSTAMUM

  1. justsayingmum Reply

    Oh the popping out for lunch, coffee with a friend and thinking of everything as a square instagram photo – so guilty! That’s why I often take myself out on my own so I can get the photos I want. Your feed is beautiful and you’re so right as the blog has allowed us to share our photos – I don’t have a personal IG account and I know I’d feel self conscious posting there whereas I don’t so much on my blog account – sorry followers! #DreamTeam

  2. Lucy At Home Reply

    Loved this post so much! I only joined Instagram a couple of months ago but I am TOTALLY hooked! Like you, I loved snapping photos long before digital cameras were around so the idea of actually having somewhere to share all my “snappings” is so exciting! It’s made me more addicted to my phone than ever (yes I use my very cheap camera phone!) and I’m also a back-of-the-head photographer too. I know you’ve joked about it but I do sometimes wonder what my kids think when they tip their head up to smile into the camera and I tell them to look back at the floor again! I hope they understand! Definitely sharing this! #dreamteam

  3. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    I have always been in absolute awe of your pics on Insta. You really do have an eye for a spectacular shot. I go days without taking any at all! I’m with you on the “back of heads” thing though. I have to prod myself to take a few of their faces as at this rate they will grow up having no idea what the front of their heads looked like at all as children! Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam lovely xx

  4. Kristie- Mammaprada Reply

    I’m so guilty of these! I’ve been wondering how people find the time to use a camera and edit, upload, carry it around etc! Glad it’s not just me! #coolmumclub

  5. mymummymanual.com Reply

    Great post – so interesting and so true I’m just like this! Officially on my way to being an instamum! #DreamTeam

  6. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Aah I get this. Snapped at husb the other day for eating his meal before I’d taken a picture! It was displayed so nicely but he ruined it. Ha ha. #coolmumclub

  7. ourrachblogs Reply

    Ha, you’ve summed it up brilliantly here. I don’t use Insta *that* much – well, as much as I use and abuse Twitter but you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial. #coolmumclub

  8. beautybabyandme Reply

    I love this post so much. Instagram is a bit of an addiction! I love you photos they are always natural and so beautiful! xx #coolmumclub

  9. Mrs Lighty Reply

    Absolutely love this! 100% me!! Thank you so much for the #happylittlebuttons nod, much appreciated! And for the record I am a Clarendon; always a Clarendon! #coolmumclub xxx

  10. and Jacob makes three Reply

    I love your Instagram feed. Such beautiful photos. And I love that you also keep it real too! #coolmumclub

  11. pamsbakeandbabyblog Reply

    Your pictures are incredible you are efinitely a good photographer! I like that you have a style, im strugglimg with an instagram identity as i love everything! I think instagrak has been a great medium for people to get involved in photography as an artform! #coolmumclub

  12. Tracey Abrahams Reply

    I am useless at instagram. There is no rhyme or reason to what I post. Most pics will be crochet related but hey heres one of my cat being cute! I see other acounts with beautiful pics carefully edited with a running theme and I feel a little sad that I will never achieve that.
    #coolmumsclub

  13. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I swear I could have written this post….as always we are cut from the same cloth my #coolmumclub partner in crime xoxo

  14. talkingmums1 Reply

    I’m still at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to being a good #InstaMum, I can definitely relate to the ‘what were you saying’ though. I’m becoming increasingly aware of stopping suddenly to take photos! I think I’m just lucky when I get a good shot x
    #DreamTeam

  15. Kirsty @ My Home Truths Reply

    I’m not a natural photographer by any means but I so related to all these points! I’m always ready to take a shot, even if it’s not an especially good one!

  16. Donna Reply

    I love this. I only discovered Instagram a few months ago and I’m obsessed. I so often say “stop, let me get a photo!” #coolmumclub

  17. So Happy In Town (@SoHappyInTown) Reply

    I relate to this post so much as though I never thought I would, I’ve become an instamum! I didn’t even really know what instagram was a year ago but now, my eyes are wandering for insta photos all the time. My family get fed up with me but it’s also opened my eyes to more I think, as I’m more aware of beautiful nature and candid shots of my kids. Sometimes I have to try to switch off though before Mr S.H.I.T. throws my phone in the bin – can you imagine? You have beautiful photos and I love seeing other bloggers’ candid family shots of whatever, whether it be food on the floor or beautiful tiled floors. On that note, I’ve just looked at your insta thread as not caught up recently and just seen the most amazing photo of your washing – it’s so cool and that sky has blown my mind! #coolmumclub

  18. Nicole Roder Reply

    I am a late-comer to Instagram. I need to do better at keeping up with it for my blog page. But I post pics of EVERYTHING on Facebook. Funny, I was just trying to explain non-digital cameras to my 5-year-old yesterday. I was showing him a photo album from a trip to Costa Rica when I was in grad school, and I felt compelled to explain why some of the photos didn’t turn out exactly as I expected. I couldn’t see them on a screen! #coolmumclub

  19. Naptime Natter Wendy Reply

    I am stupidly addicted to instagram, spend half my life on there! I love your feed, your photos are beautiful. I actually have a half written post about being an # Insta Mum in my drafts, I’ll probably never publish it though as I’ll be too busy wasting time in instagram xx #coolmumclub

  20. ljdove23 Reply

    Love this post, so interesting and helpful to anyone needing a little help with Instagram. It’s only when I met you at Blogfest (cringe!) that I realised you were anonymous in your photos, I genuinely had never noticed before, and that’s a really good thing I think that your feed was so natural that I never felt there was anything missing to notice a lack of faces! #coolmumclub

  21. Sharon Reply

    Its funny, because with Ciara (my eldest) I have loads and loads of printed photos yet with the other three there arent that many as its all digital! the younger 3 used to often ask why there wasnt many of them lol. Great article, great photos put all mine to shame! and thanks for the heads up with some hashtags that I have never used, and I use a lot, really enjoyed this thanks. 🙂 #coolmumclub

  22. Amina Reply

    Wow your photography is beautiful. I have always loved photography too. Way before Insta was even a thing so now I love that my hobby can integrate photo taking even if it might be of beauty products! So funny how we become experts at lighting etc. Thanks for the link up x

    Amina xx http://Www.Aliandher.com

  23. rockandrosesmama Reply

    So funny, all of these are SPOT on!!! I have absolutely no shame in being an #instamum I LOVE IT!!! <3 #coolmumclub

  24. Helen Reply

    I can’t believe it took me so long to get into instagram. I’m hooked! I love looking through my feed and thinking back- it’s more of a memory maker for me I think.

  25. itsadrama Reply

    Thanks so much for this really useful post. I’m not on instagram and have wondered if it would help grow my struggling blog. I asked my teenager but he just grunted and I can never be bothered (or don’t have the time to google all the info) so Thank you! I might sign up for it
    #coolmumclub

  26. alifeinpracticeblog.com Reply

    I love your pictures! I can’t get the hang of hashtags though haha #coolmumclub

  27. Aleena Brown Reply

    I am ridiculously addicted to Instagram haha! I see everything in square! I use my phone camera (and carry a fully charged power bank at all time, #obvs!) but I am so in want of a ‘proper’ camera! Love this post, totally relatable! #coolmumclub

  28. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    I want to get a better phone so the camera is better for snapping on the go and instantly uploading. Trying to get to grips with the hashtags… #coolmumclub

  29. Tubbs Reply

    I love your photos. I’m terrible about remembering to post anything on Instragram and the Tubblet runs away at the sight of my phone.

  30. mealsandmakes Reply

    Brilliant photos! I don’t really know what Im doing with instagram hashtags but might give the ones you suggest a try, so thanks for those! #coolmumclub

  31. hjsburnett Reply

    I love you for posting this! I have no idea what I’m doing on Instagram! I thought I was supposed to make up my own ###!!! DUH! Maybe I shouldn’t have put that out there, but oh well! I’m glad to know now that there are small communities of people that are wiling to support others! I was going to give up on it, but I think I will press forward! Y’all keep an eye out!
    Question-How do you keep a list of the ###?

    #coolmumclub

  32. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    I was a bit late to the game with Instagram but now I’m hooked, it is so addictive! Thank you for giving #funseekingkids a mention, I’m loving how fast this community is growing and you always add such gorgeous pictures. I love Clarendon but it doesn’t always work for me, especially on shots taken inside, so I tend to use Gingham a lot too. I tried sticking to just one to make my feed more uniform but I got bored with it so now I just go with whichever one looks best in that particular photo x
    #Coolmumclub

  33. sarahsurreymama Reply

    I love this post, all so true about the #instamum – so true about going out for lunch, I went out for dinner with my husband and spotted a floor, got to love tiles so off I went leaving him to wait whilst I got my camera out to photograph my feet 🙂 Its fun and I love capturing the moments #coolmumclub

  34. Muffintopmummyblog Reply

    Yes, I love this! I’m currently battling with terrible storage – all because I upgraded before I started blogging! I hate my past self for being such a cheapskate haha! #coolmumclub

  35. Angela Watling Reply

    Your shots are always stunning – I would to be able to produce images like yours but I need to invest more time. You have certainly honed your skills over the years. I also love that all your pics are anonymous because I don’t show my daughter’s face either. Great post! #CoolMumClub

  36. Lisa Pomerantz Reply

    Honestly, I would never be so married to my smart phone if it werent for the camera and the kinder! I’m an instamum, and I love honing my skills and capturing memories. What a fun post you have here! #coolmumclub #dreamteam <3

  37. RaisieBay Reply

    I love Instagram because you can dip in and out whenever you like. I don’t get out much these days so I often find it difficult to post new and original pics, but I spend ages looking at others until my opportunity arrives 🙂 #coolmumclub

  38. Mom Of Two Little Girls Reply

    I am only just recently learning the value of hashtags. Thanks for this great list!
    #coolmumclub

  39. Mum in Brum Reply

    All so true! I changed my personal insta into my blogging one in the end as I hardly had any likes or followers back then anyhow! Like you say, blogging gives you a great excuse to become an Instamum and it’s definitely my favourite social media platform these days. I feel I can completely get away with the type of constant mum spam that I would never post to Facebook x #coolmumclub

  40. bridiebythesea Reply

    Haha such a fantastic post lovely! OK I have to confess I am totally an Insta Mum and these days when I whip my camera out, Emma sometimes shouts “NO Mummy NO!”. Yep she’s got her beady eye on me lol. This post really made me smile, thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

  41. Mrs Mummy Harris Reply

    I fell out of love with instagram after the new algorithms kicked in, more so as i cant spell it after 2 sips of wine… i’m trying to refind my love but currently im more about the stories and lives than the actual photos! #coolmumclub

  42. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    This is a fab post. I only joined instagram at the beginning of the year as blogging anonymously I thought it would limit my photographic options but I was wrong. I love it and am just discovering the communities I love. I do find some feeds a bit contrived but have found some great social media buddies via instagram. #coolmumclub

  43. Helena Reply

    I’m probably the only mum without a mobile phone. I best get that sorted so I can discover all the great things about it. #coolmumclub

  44. Mummy & the Mexicans (@ruthhilbrown) Reply

    I’m guilty of quite a few of these things! Instagram has become by far my favourite social media, it’s so addictive. I’ve discovered the powers of hashtags and joined two pods. I do catch myself thinking about things in terms of how it would l9ok on Instagram! #coolmumclub

  45. absolutely prabulous Reply

    You have this knack of thinking of fab blog post ideas. Fantastic writing as usual but Oh God the realisation that I’m NOT good at IG has hit home even harder after reading this! Hashtags defeat me, I had no idea there was further processing beyond IG’s filters and I am inept when it comes to Instagram stories. So I shall have to plod along clueless! #coolmumclub

  46. min1980 Reply

    Love all your photos. This reminds me I need to up my InstaGame. I aim for a photo a day (I know, starting small) but it ends up being more like one or two a week. I need more of those wall shots I think. X

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