I'm doing this Instagram challenge to get more followers. I'm growing my own business. I'm exploring different marketing techniques. I like Instagram.
Assignment number two was post a photo of my workspace. The example was a stylized desktop with an inspirationally ironic coffee mug, computer, camera and cutesy notebook and pen set (presumably used when overcome by an idea for a blog post). I glanced at my present workspace and rolled my eyes. I fucking hate this table. My coffee mug was long ago emptied and washed - it's an ant magnet. I like our couch, it could pass as a stylized workspace but I don't work there. I lounge there. Posting it would be a lie.
I felt like my post was good enough. My enthusiasm for the challenge is waning.
Later, I met with a couple who's wedding I'll photograph in May. It was a lot of fun. We drank craft beer (rare here). Getting to know a bride and groom before their wedding is like a gift. It makes photographing them on their big day so much better. They're comfortable with me, with being photographed. And this couple was funny! Their family was a pleasure! These exclamation points are authentic!!
As we talked about the game plan for their wedding day, I made an aside about photographing their invitations and I felt the bride prickle. The groom mentioned sending e-vites. I realized immediately they thought I was serious. I don't do that. I take pictures of people. I'm there for the moments, not the paper products.
I told this bride I was joking. She laughed and seemed relieved.
I was looking through Instagram later that night, scrolling through the feed of other challenge participants. I came across a photo with this scrolled across it,
"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" ~ Oscar Wilde
I was a refreshing reminder. I'm constantly looking at the work of other photographers. Seeking inspiration and guidance. I see so much great work. I also see such stylized work that I feel like I'm in a totally different world from so many other photographers. I don't have a team. I don't have the latest and greatest equipment. Wedding days go by as fast for me as they do for the couple. I don't have time to waste a second trying to recreate a photo that looks staged or lacks intimacy.
Yes, I will continue the challenge and I will continue to pour through Instagram, gawking. Yes, I want more followers because I think it will translate into more business. More business becomes more financial security. Security ensures the continuation of this Mexican life. This life, as a result, remains happy and content.