One of the main reasons I love Instagram, is because it provides an opportunity to record my life through images in a way that no other platform does.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed allows me to remember the details of certain moments in my life, which wouldn’t otherwise have been documented. It keeps the memories fresh and clear in my mind.
Without Instagram, I wouldn’t bother to snap a picture of a cool piece of street art or a funny sign. I wouldn’t photograph the books I was reading, or capture the way the light shines through the trees in my garden on a particularly beautiful day.
Instagram also allows me to catch a glimpse of the wider world through someone else’s eyes. I can discover photos from places I’ve never heard of and will probably never visit. I can share photos of my own little corner of the world and highlight the things that are worth seeing.
I spend so much of my time writing that I do struggle to keep up with a journal, although it’s something I’ve always done. I find that weeks and even months elapse where I haven’t written anything, leaving me scrambling to record the significant things that have happened recently.
But Instagram takes the focus away from writing, onto photography. I can exercise a different part of my brain; use my creativity in a different way. It’s not about how I’m feeling on a particular day; it’s about the things I’ve seen and the beauty that can be found in the world around me.
Instagram has inspired my love of photography and helped me to discover the art of composition. It’s also full of user run challenges, which offer prompts or ask you to post photos at certain times, like the #1day12pics challenge. This encourages you to look at the world in a different way.
So how can you use Instagram as a journaling tool?
Take part in challenges
As I mentioned above, there are some great challenges on Instagram that will really spark your creativity. The key to using Instagram as a journaling tool is to capture flashes of your day-to-day life, which is why the #1day12pics challenge works so well, as it encourages you to take a photo an hour over the course of one day.
Examine the world around you
Don’t just document the special or extraordinary things, like parties or holidays. By capturing the small details – whether that’s a photo of your new shoes, or a picture of the cat curled up on the sofa – you’ll get a better sense of what your regular life is like and the things that are important to you.
Think about the moments you would like to capture
Do you often feel like you don’t have enough pictures of certain people or events? Think about the things you would like to photograph more; perhaps it’s a pet, or maybe your walk to work takes in some gorgeous sights. The beauty of Instagram is that you can photograph anything.
And some of the most striking accounts often work around a theme, whether it’s something concrete like travel or beauty, or a particular aesthetic, such as a colour or style. I saw a great profile recently which was based around images of a guy doing headstands. It might sound extreme, but it gave all his images a unified look and allowed him to do some really amazing things.
What are your interests?
Perhaps you use your Instagram as a way to showcase an extended part of your life or career. If you’re an artist or designer, you might focus on pictures of art or typography that you’ve loved.
My Instagram tends to be a mixture of landscapes, detail shots and book related content, because those are the things I enjoy looking at.
Interact with other users
Some people prefer to keep their account private or have little desire to gain lots of followers, and that’s cool. Using Instagram as a journaling tool means that the focus is on capturing your life the way you want to remember it, not for anyone else.
But exploring the app and seeing what other people are doing is a great way of finding inspiration and improving your own photos. By liking other images, you’ll see more of those things recommended to you when you hit explore.
Get creative with photo editing apps
There are so many photo editing apps out there now that you could spend hours listing them. Chances are, every time you see something unique or creative in Instagram and wonder how the photographer did that, there will be another app involved.
As well as editing the technical aspects of the photo, some apps also allow you to add text, overlays or multiple images, which could give your pictures a scrapbooking feel.
However you choose to use Instagram, it’s a brilliant way of creating memories and sharing snapshots of your life.