Yesterday, I posted my 1,000th Instagram picture, and today I feel like talking about it.
I joined Instagram just as Judah was preparing for his deployment to Afghanistan and was starting to have to travel for training. (It was kind of like a breaking-in period -- we got used to being apart for a couple weeks here, a few weeks there, and then, suddenly, seven months. But I digress.)
I'd started and failed to keep up with a couple of Project 365s in the past, plus I was going to be solo parenting -- and giving birth to our second child -- while he was gone, as well as working full time and commuting. Thus, I didn't aim to take a picture a day, or really anything with any sort of regularity. But the fact of the matter was, my phone became the most reliable way to communicate with my husband (though typically not phone call ) while he was training in California or Quantico or D.C. and once he departed for Afghanistan. I never knew when I might get an email or a Facebook message or the occasional call, so quite quickly, my phone, my lifeline, became attached to me in a way it hadn't been before. And the end result of that was that my phone became the camera I was mostly likely to have with me.
Yeah, Instagram sometimes gets a bad rap for its supposedly excessive filters, but I liked the ability to easily crop a photo, maybe brighten it up or add some contrast, and then share it over a few other social-media options if I wanted to (and also archive it on Flickr).
Within a few weeks, my Instagram account had started to become a record of our family's deployment life. As the weeks passed, I'd find myself scrolling back through my feed, seeing Isaac get younger before my eyes and being reminded of the experiences we'd been having. Once Aaron arrived, his face joined the feed, of course, and even our family's reunion when Judah came home was also documented there.
By then, Instagram was a habit, and I'm glad it has been. Going back through my 1,000 moments, I see a record of our family's everyday life, moments I wouldn't have captured with my several-pound SLR, plus things I thought were funny or just struck me in one way or another at any given time.
Looking through my Flickr feed, which has many of my SLR photos with my Instagrams sprinkled among them, I notice that there is a different feel to the Instagrams. Sure, the technical quality usually isn't as good as my SLR shots, but there in those shots is my real life, sometimes a little blurry, sometimes a little overexposed, sometimes clear as day. And I'm glad to have it on record.