Thursday, May 3, 2012

Instagram Meets the Animal Kingdom

A couple nights ago, I was stuck waiting for the G Train at Court Square. Robb and I had just come back from the city and we ran into a couple of his friends who were also on their way back to Greenpoint. While we waited for MTA to clear the body off the tracks (ok, ok...they just called it a "medical emergency," which really could be anything...let's assume some woman had a miracle baby at the Flushing stop!), me and this girl started talking about Instagram. She was all dolled up and had just come from an event where the most popular Instagram photographers in New York City were being honored. One of them was her friend. But that didn't stop me from saying something fairy uncouth, like, "But doesn't Instagram require no talent whatsoever?" OK, I didn't say it like that. I think I said, "Huh, I didn't realize that people could have careers taking Instagram photos. How interesting!" Yes, it was definitely something nicer like that. 

Out of curiosity, I asked if her friend had any photography background. Maybe he is an expert in composition? Lighting? Nope, the guy has had no photography training at all. He just got really into taking Instagram photos and lots of people started following him and now his work is lauded at champagne events. Fascinating!

Truth be told, I had just the week before caught up with the 21st century and downloaded the app on my phone. (And just a month before that, I buried my Blackberry and got an Iphone.) I am pretty far behind the times and I still don't understand half of the functions on my phone. But I must confess this: I not only understand Instagram....I LOVE it.

My photos--like, the kind I take on a real camera--are not great. My husband, who went to school for photography, has probably explained the concept of ISO to me 32 times. I have retained none of what he has taught me. I like to shoot things really really really close up, so you don't even know what they are. The horizon is often iffy. My sense of lighting is deplorable. The adjective I would first choose to describe my photos is "grainy." The second would be "underwater." So, it is fairly amazing to me that a device exists where I can take a mediocre photo and then make it look interesting. Give me your filters, give me your frames. Lighting schmiting...I'll Instagram it! 
So this last weekend, I went out to take photos of some bags I made. They have little whales on them! Isn't that cute? And after Robb took a whole bunch on the camera, I had him take a few on the phone. Once I Instagrammed them, the photos were suddenly transformed! They had personality. The daylight had depth. The bag had a shape and a story. A quick trip to the park had suddenly turned into what looked, on my screen anyway, like a memorable day.

This shit is magic.

So...I'm late, it's a fad, and I'm not really convinced that there is much talent involved other than picking an interesting subject matter to photograph and a filter that flatters the shot. But I'm a fan. And now you know how I feel about Instagram.
Incidentally, I put up photos of the two blue bags on Etsy and they both sold that night! (The red one, above, is still available...if red corduroy whales are your thing. And you know they totally are.) But I'm thinking that I may have finally found the winning formula: make animal-themed bags, take photos on the phone, and then transform them on Instagram.

Speaking of which, what has four legs, a trunk, and feathers? Possibly the new HeyAllday Handmade palette.


  1. I have the whale fabric in dark blue with off-white whales in my cart on amazon.
    Also, the bear fabric is the best, doi.

  2. Yay, Tessa is a whale buddy! Btw, do you notice anything missing here? No dinosaur fabric! I actually found a lot of dino fabric online, but it's all crappy. We need cute, sophisticated dinosaur fabric because we are cute, sophisticated ladies (obvs).

    1. Dino fabric is such a bummer. Its always cartoon-y and cheap looking. Dinosaurs were majestic beasts who rued the planet for ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE MILLION YEARS. They should have wondrous fabric that reflects their awesome reign.

  3. Eeeeeeeeeeee! I love them all!

    (PS: I still have never used Instagram. I am so oooooooooooold.)